Russian family reunion is generally restricted to spouses and dependent relatives (children and in some cases parents/grandparents). Those who are in Russia temporarily to work, study, carry out business or on a humanitarian visa can be joined or accompanied by spouses or dependent relatives using an Accompanying Family Member visa. This will have to be done via invitation from the individual/organisation that provided the invite to the family member in Russia (e.g., employer, university) and agreed by the Russian General Directorate of Migratory Affairs (GUVM). It is easier to do this if the relative travels to Russia and enters the country at the same time rather than joins at a later date.
Spouses, children under 18, and incapacitated children who are family members of Russian citizens are entitled to a Family Member visa if the relative who is a Russian citizen signs a visa request form. Spouses, children and parents of Russian citizens can also apply for residence or citizenship in Russia if they meet certain conditions.
The exact documents required will depend on where you are traveling from but will include:
- A completed application form
- A valid travel passport
- 1 passport-sized photo
- Proof of relationship to the family member you are joining
- Letter of invitation from GUVM
- Receipts for payment of fee
- Medical certificate to prove that you are clear of HIV (AIDS)
Those who are entering Russia on a highly-skilled migrant visa can be joined or accompanied by spouses, children, and parents without an invitation needed.
Those who have been granted refugee status in Russia can also be joined by family members under Russian family reunification laws.
Relatives of any kind can apply for a Russian Private Visa to join family members in Russia and stay for up to 90 days. The GUVM decides on this.
It is possible to accompany or join relatives in Russia on a temporary residence permit. This is by invitation only, however, and is at the discretion of the GUVM.
Foreign residents who are living in Russia temporarily on the following visas can apply to be joined or accompanied by spouses or dependent relatives:
- Business Visa
- Humanitarian Visa
- Work Visa
- Study Visa
- Russian spouse visa
If you are entering Russia on a Private Visa, you must provide the letter of invitation from the family member. If entering on a Family Member of Russian Citizen visa, the relative who is a Russian citizen will need to sign the visa request form.
All foreign visitors to Russia must register their stay at the local GUVM branch within seven days of arrival. This is often done by the organization or individual inviting the visitor, however; it’s worth checking to ensure this is done. Failure to register with the GUVM can result in a fine and in some cases expulsion from Russia.
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