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Russia Announces Long-Term Family Member Visas

Under current rules, the spouses and children of Russian citizens can obtain visas that are valid for up to three months. Alexei Pavlishak / TASS

Relatives of Russian citizens will now be able to obtain simplified Russian visas valid for up to 12 months, the Russian government announced Wednesday.

Currently, the spouses and children of Russian citizens can obtain visas that are valid for up to three months. The newly announced rules will allow the relatives to stay in Russia to renew their visas.

“Today, we will simplify the procedure for issuing ordinary private visas... for our citizens’ close relatives,” Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said at a cabinet session. 

The 12-month visas will be available to children and spouses, as well as to the parents, grandparents, grandchildren and siblings of Russian citizens, he added. 

“These relatives could apply for long-term private visas valid for up to one year,” Mishustin said. 

All they would need is a written form submitted by a family member who is a Russian citizen. 

The relatives of Russian citizens will also no longer need to cross the Russian border every three months to retain their right to renew their visas, the prime minister added.

“That will create more comfortable conditions for families who are divided by borders” that are shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mishustin said.

At the start of Russia’s Covid-19 outbreak in March, the Interior Ministry allowed foreign nationals to extend their current or expired visas without leaving the country.

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