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Expats With Business Visas Scrutinized

Authorities have stepped up checks on expatriates using multientry business visas to make sure they do not overstay their visits, the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia said Tuesday.

Customs and border officials started to use a database this month that allows them to quickly check the total number of days a foreigner has stayed in the country, AmCham said in an e-mailed statement.

Under the law, people with multientry business visas are only allowed to remain in Russia for 90 days within a period of 180 days. Multientry business visas are issued for periods of six months to five years.

Some foreigners have ignored the 90-day rule for years, saying it is not enforced.

Expatriates who stay longer than 90 days will be stopped at the border and directed to the nearest branch of the Federal Migration Service to pay a fine of 2,000 rubles to 5,000 rubles and receive a transit visa allowing them to leave the country.

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