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Foreigners in Russia Can Extend Visas Without Leaving Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Foreigners will be able to extend their visas by contacting the nearest regional police headquarters. Michail Dzhaparidze / TASS

Foreign nationals in Russia will be able to extend their current visas without facing a penalty due to the coronavirus outbreak that is closing borders and canceling flights worldwide, the Interior Ministry has said.

Russia has temporarily banned all foreign citizens from entering the country and suspended its issuance of nearly all types of visas in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus within its borders. At the same time, nearly every country in Europe and several others around the world have shut their borders.

"In order to ensure the rights and freedoms of citizens and also taking into account the situation associated with the spread of the new coronavirus, foreign citizens can extend their period of temporary stay in Russia as of March 19," the ministry’s press center said in a statement.

Foreigners will be able to extend their visas by contacting the nearest regional police headquarters, the ministry said. Foreigners whose visas have already expired will also be able to extend their visas.

According to the ministry, Russia has also resumed its acceptance of applications for foreigners’ work permits. Labor migrants can renew their paperwork without leaving the country as well.

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