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27 of January 2023

Immigration: the situation of Russian nationals

Several situations can be distinguished.

Regular entry with a French long-stay D visa:
- Submission of the D visa application in Russia: there is no known problems to date but there are delays due to the busy schedule of appointments (as with other traditionally busy French consulates - Brussels et Sao Paulo for example). Busy schedules sometimes lead to the same family submitting its application to different visa application centres around the country. This can lead to administrative complications which we manage but which cause delays. A request for an appointment in Russia can also be made from another country, by electronic means. However, physical presence is required on the day of the appointment (as in all other countries). The classic procedure will then follow its course once in France for a residence permit application. But this implies a temporary return to Russia for 2 to 3 weeks to submit the application on the day of the appointment - made beforehand on the Internet, and to obtain the visa.
- Submission of the visa application D outside Russia, in countries where Russians do not need an entry visa (Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Montenegro....): the principle is that a residence permit valid in the country of residence is required. A simple short-stay permit (formalised or not) is not sufficient. Consulates in charge must be asked in advance. The situation is likely to change rapidly and the consulates may not respond. If necessary, we invite people to "try their luck" by submitting their application without a local residence permit. In case of refusal, the person would have no choice but to return to Russia to file his/her application with the diplomatic and consular authorities. According to the latest pieces of information in our possession, in Kazakhstan a Russian national could obtain a temporary residence permit in 2 to 3 weeks instead of one and a half month in Armenia; where France would also require the applicant to have previously resided in the country for 6 months. In Turkey, Turkish residence permit application receipts are insufficient, and we involve our client companies through letters of request to the French Consulate (with positive results to date). The sponsoring company or group must inevitably get involved (privileged contacts within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sponsor letters, etc.) to enable the processing of applications in a country where the person does not have a "valid" local residence permit. If the visa is issued, the classic procedure will then follow its course once in France with an application for a residence permit.

Regular entry with a European Schengen C short-stay visa (this is a generic visa issued for business, tourism, family visits, etc.):
- New application for a C visa filed outside the Schengen area: restrictions have been advocated by the EU Council which results in a closure of the tap. France is not bound by this as it is only a recommendation, but it is not without consequences.
- People who already hold a C visa, even an expired one, and are currently present in France: the sponsoring company or group must get involved, but an application for a residence permit in France seems almost impossible without a D visa.

Applying for a D visa in another Schengen country where the employee resides on a (valid or expired) European Schengen C short-stay visa:
We recently succeeded in obtaining a D visa for a person who entered Germany on a C Schengen short-stay visa, issued before the crisis.
As this type of visa is not considered a stable residence permit in a Schengen country, the person took action with a local lawyer to obtain an extension of his short stay in Germany. As the German procedure was unsuccessful, we then invited the person to submit his file and informed the French consulate. The person was subjected to a full interview (in Russian) by a French consular officer on the day of his appointment. The result was conclusive and the person was granted a D visa. However, this is an isolated case and no general conclusion can be drawn .

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

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