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Dmitrieva Marina

MPF-4 IMMIGRATION LAW IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

I. Relevant legislation

II. Federal agencies and departments on immigration.

i. Department of Homeland Security

ii. Department of Justice

iii. Department of Labor

iv. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

v. Department of State

III. Citizenship and application process.

i. Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

ii. Other Family Members

iii. Preferred Employees and Workers

iv. Green Card Lotteries: Ethnic Diversity

v. Citizenship in illegible countries

vi. Special Immigrants

vii. Refuge and Asylum

viii. Amnesty and Special Agricultural Worker Status

IV. Nonimmigrant visas and their types.

V. Provisions of the Russian visa system that are unfamiliar to Americans.

Bibliography:

1. T. Alexander Aleinikoff, David A. Martin & Hiroshi Motomura, Immigration and Citizenship Process and Policy KF4818 .A43

2. Richard A. Boswell, Essentials of Immigration Law KF4819.B67

3. Austin T. Fragomen, Immigration Fundamentals: A Guide to Law and Practice KF4819.F725

4. Ira J. Kurzban, Kurzban's Immigration Law Sourcebook: A Comprehensive Outline and Reference Tool KF4819.3 K87

5. Richard D. Steel, Steel on Immigration Law, 2d. ed. KF4819 .S74 (1992 -2010) and KF4819 .S742 2011 (Law Library ceased subscription in 2012);

6. David S. Weissbrodt, Immigration Law and Procedure in a Nutshell KF 4819.3 .W4

Immigration law is one of the most complicated areas of law and it deals with U.S. immigration rules on green cards, visas, questions of citizenship.

The main acts that govern this area are

1) Immigration and nationality act (1952). The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides the foundation for immigration law. It was passed in 1952 and has been amended several times. The INA is found in Title 8 of the United States Code.

2) Immigration reform and control act (1986) Started sanctions for knowingly hiring illegal aliens.Provided amnesty to illegal aliens already in the US.Increased border enforcement.

3) The immigration marriage fraud amendments (1986)

4) The refugee act 1980

FEDERAL AGENCIES

* Department of Homeland Security

o U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS

On March 1, 2003, the responsibility for providing immigration-related services and benefits such as naturalization and work authorization were transferred from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to USCIS.

o U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: responsible for enforcing immigration and customs laws.

o U.S. Customs and Border Protection: primarily responsible for keeping terrorists and weapons out of the U.S., also facilitates trade and travel and enforces other administrative regulations.

* Department of Justice

o Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR)

The Attorney General of the United States delegates authority to EOIR to administer and interpret Federal immigration law and regulations through the conduct of immigration court proceedings appellate reviews, and administrative hearings.

Three components:

* Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) hears appeals of decisions made in individual cases by Immigration Judges, DHS District Directors, or other immigration officials.

* Office of the Chief Immigration Judge (OCH) oversees all the Immigration Courts and their proceedings

* Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) adjudicates cases concerning employer sanctions, document fraud and immigration-related employment discrimination

o Office for Special Counsel for Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practice: responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the INA; enforces laws related to national origin discrimination, unfair documentary practices relating to the employment eligibility verification process, and from retaliation.

o Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL): has jurisdiction over all civil immigration matters and coordinates immigration matters before federal district and circuit courts.

* Department of Labor

o Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) (Office of Administrative Law Judges):jurisdiction over the alien labor certification process and appeals.

* Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families

o Office of Refugee Resettlement: provides resources to newly arrived refugees in the United States.

* Department of State

o Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM): provides aid for refugees, victims of conflict and stateless persons around the globe.

o Visa Information Center: responsibility for handling visa requests (both of a temporary and permanent nature) from abroad falls with the U.S. Department of State.

CITIZENSHIP U.S. citizenship gives a person as many rights as the U.S. has to offer; for example, the right to vote, petition for family members to immigrate, and live abroad without losing the right to return. For these reasons, citizenship is not easily obtained.

To become a U.S. citizen through the process known as naturalization, you must first have a green card (permanent residence) and then meet other requirements, I will speak about them later.

If you are interested in applying for U.S. citizenship, first make sure that all of the following apply to you: you must be sure that:

> you have lived in the United States as a lawful permanent resident for at least five years (with exceptions for refugees, people who get their green card through asylum (shalter-убежище), wives(супруги) of U.S. citizens, and U.S. military personnel)

> you have been physically present in the United States for at least half of the last five years

> you have lived in the district or state where you are filing your application for at least three months

> you have not spent more than a year outside the United States

> you have not made your primary home in another country

> you are at least 18 years old

> you have good moral character

> you are able to speak, read, and write in English

> you are able to pass a test covering U.S. history and government (based on questions provided by USCIS), and

> you are willing to swear that you believe in the principles of the U.S. Constitution and will be loyal to the United States.

BUT you it's not necessary for person to comply with this requirements if you are getting citizenship by birth or through parents.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will carefully investigate(check) your background on the subject of illegal actions. If it discovers something wrong -- for example, that you used fraud to get your green card or abandoned your residency by making your home outside the United States -- you will lose your green card and will be sent out of the country.

The Application Process

You'll need to complete a citizenship application and send it in with a copy of your green card, the required photos, and the appropriate fee. After filing your application, you will probably wait for many months, depending on your local USCIS office. Then you will be called in for a fingerprint appointment(process), and later an interview appointment.

At the interview, a USCIS officer will test your English language and your knowledge of U.S. history and government. Applicants who are disabled can ask for help at the interview, such as a sign language interpreter or wheelchair accessibility.

If all goes well at the interview, you'll receive an appointment for your swearing-in ceremony. At that time, you actually become a citizen, and receive a certificate of naturalization to prove it. As a citizen, you can petition to have close family members join you in the United States.

U.S. lawful permanent residents have the right to live in the United States permanently, and they receive an identity card popularly known as a "green card." But green cards are available only to limited categories of people. Find out who qualifies, and how to apply. Must pay taxes and so on.

A green card identifies its holder as a U.S. permanent resident, with rights to enter, exit, work, and live in the United States for their entire life and later the right to apply for U.S. citizenship. But before a person thinks about applying for U.S. permanent residence, he should make sure that he or she is eligible under one of the following categories.

1. Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

Immediate relatives are at the top of the list.

This category includes:

-Wives of U.S. citizens,also including same-sex spouses, if the marriage is considered legally valid in the state or country where it took place

-unmarried people under age 21 with at least one U.S. citizen parent

-parents of U.S. citizens, if the U.S. citizen child is at least age 21

-stepchildren and stepparents of U.S. citizens, if the marriage creating the stepparent/stepchild relationship took place before the child's 18th birthday, and

- adopted children of U.S. citizens or permanent residents, if the adoption took place before the child reached age 16 and other conditions are met.

Each year unlimited number of green cards of such categories are given.

2. Other Family Members

Certain family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents are also eligible for green cards -- but not right away. They fall into the "preference categories" listed below, meaning that only a certain number of them will receive green cards each year (480,000). The system is first come, first served -- the earlier the U.S. citizen or permanent resident turns in a visa petition, the sooner the immigrant can apply for a green card. The waits range from approximately four to 24 years in the family preference categories, which include:

-Family First Preference. Unmarried adults, age 21 or older, who have at least one U.S. citizen parent.

-Family Second Preference: unmarried children of a green card holder, so long as the children are younger than age 21.

-Unmarried children age 21 or older of a green card holder.

-Family Third Preference. Married people, any age, who have at least one U.S. citizen parent.

-Family Fourth Preference. Sisters and brothers of U.S. citizens, where the citizen is age 21 or older.

3. Preferred Employees and Workers (limit per year)

A total of 140,000 green cards are offered each year to people whose job skills are needed in the U.S. market. In most cases, a job offer is also required, and the employer must prove that it has recruited for the job and not found any willing, able, qualified U.S. workers to hire instead of the immigrant. Because of annual limits, this is a "preference category," and applicants often wait years for an available green card. Here are the subcategories:

Employment First Preference. Priority workers, including:

-persons of extraordinary ability in the arts, the sciences, education, business, or athletics

-outstanding professors and researchers, and

-managers and executives of multinational companies.

Employment Second Preference. Professionals with advanced degrees or exceptional ability.

Employment Third Preference. Professionals and skilled or unskilled workers.

Employment Fourth Preference. Religious workers and miscellaneous categories of workers and other "special immigrants" (described below).

Employment Fifth Preference. Investors willing to put $1 million into a U.S. business -- or $500,000 if the business is in an economically depressed area. The business must employ at least ten workers.

4. Green Card Lotteries: Ethnic Diversity

A certain number of green cards (currently 50,000) are made available to people from countries that in recent years have sent the fewest immigrants to the United States. A green card lottery was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 to benefit people from countries that in recent years have sent the fewest numbers of immigrants to the United States. You can enter the lottery if you are a native of one of those countries and meet certain other requirements. Because the winners are selected through a random drawing, the program is popularly known as the green card lottery. Its official name is the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery. There are 50,000 winners selected each year. They are chosen by dividing the world into regions and allocating no more than 7% of the total green cards to each region.

Country of Birth

People from most countries are eligible for the lottery. The only countries not qualified for the lottery with the application period beginning on October 1, 2014 and ending on November 3, 2014 (called "DV-2016") were:

> Bangladesh

> Brazil > Canada

> China (mainland, not including Macau, Taiwan, or Hong Kong)

> Colombia > Dominican Republic

> Ecuador

> El Salvador > Haiti

> India > Jamaica

> Mexico > Nigeria

> Pakistan

> Peru > Philippines

> South Korea > United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories

> Vietnam. What If You Were Born in an Ineligible Country?

If you are a native of one of the ineligible countries, there are a couple of ways to get around this and become eligible to apply:

If your spouse was born in an eligible country, you can claim your spouse's country of birth for lottery purposes. However, your spouse must be eligible for and receive a visa to accompany you to the U.S. (a "DV-2" visa) and must actually enter the U.S. with you.

If neither of your parents was born in your native country or made a home there at the time of your birth, you may be able to claim nativity in one of your parents' countries of birth.

5. Special Immigrants

Occasionally, laws are passed making green cards available to people in special situations, such as young people who are under the care of a juvenile court, international broadcasters, and retired employees of the U.S. government abroad.

6. Refuge and Asylum

The U.S. government offers refuge to people who fear, or have experienced, persecution in their home country. A person still outside the United States would apply to be a refugee; a person already at the U.S. border or (better yet) inside the United States would apply for asylum.

The persecution must be based on the person's race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

One year after having been granted asylum or refugee status, you can submit an application to adjust status (get a green card). Refugees are, in fact, required by law to wait no longer than one year after receiving their status and having been physically present in the U.S. to apply for the green card. Asylees can wait as long as they want to apply, though earlier is better -- your asylee status can be taken away if conditions if your home country change and the U.S. government decides it's safe for you to return there.

7. Amnesty and Special Agricultural Worker Status

Years ago, a green card based on "amnesty" was offered to people who had been living in the United States illegally since January 1, 1982. There was a similar amnesty for laborers who worked in the fields for at least 90 days between May 1, 1985 and May 1, 1986. Although the application deadlines have long since passed, certain class action lawsuits mean that some applications haven't yet been decided on. See an attorney if you should have qualified.

In 1997, Congress added an amnesty for Nicaraguans and Cubans, called the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). Some provisions also benefit Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Eastern Europeans. The deadline for filing applications has passed.

8. Long-Time Residents

The law allows certain people who have lived illegally in the United States for more than ten years to request permanent residence as a defense in immigration court proceedings. This remedy is called "cancellation of removal." You must also show that your spouse, parent, or children -- who must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents -- would face "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" if you were forced to leave. Consult a lawyer if you think you qualify.

9. Special Cases

Individual members of the U.S. Congress have, on occasion, intervened for humanitarian reasons in extraordinary cases, helping someone get permanent residence even if the law would not allow it.

If you're planning a short trip to the United States, you must, with certain exceptions, obtain a "nonimmigrant" (temporary) visa. (For exceptions to this rule, see Nolo's article U.S Immigration Basics -- in particular, the discussion of the Visa Waiver Program.) Below we summarize who qualifies for the various types of nonimmigrant visas. For details, including how to apply for a visa, see U.S. Immigration Made Easy, by Ilona Bray (Nolo).

TYPES OF NONIMMIGRANT VISAS

You must choose the specific purpose of your trip (such as tourism or going to school) and apply for a specialized visa that authorizes that activity and no other. Each type of nonimmigrant visa is identified by a letter-number combination. You may already be familiar with the more popular ones: B-2 (visitor for tourism), E-2 (investor), F-1 (academic or language student), and H-1B (specialty worker).

Summary List of Nonimmigrant Visas

A-1. Ambassadors, public ministers, or career diplomats, and their spouses and children.

A-2. Other accredited officials or employees of foreign governments, and their spouses and children.

A-3. Personal attendants, servants, and employees of A-1 and A-2 visa holders, and their spouses and children.

B-1. Business visitors.

B-2. Visitors for pleasure or medical treatment.

C-1. Foreign travelers in immediate and continuous transit through the U.S.

D-1. Crew members who need to land temporarily in the U.S. and who will depart aboard the same ship or plane on which they arrived.

D-2. Crew members who need to land temporarily in the U.S. and who will depart aboard a different ship or plane than the one on which they arrived.

E-1. Treaty traders working for a U.S. trading company that does 50% or more of its business with the trader's home country, and their spouses and children.

E-2. Treaty investors working for a U.S. company with 50% or more of its investment capital coming from the investor's home country, and their spouses and children.

E-3. Australian professionals coming to the United States to perform services in a specialty occupation (similar to an H-1B, but with a separate allotment of 10,500 visas). Spouses and children may accompany the E-3 visa holder.

F-1. Academic or language students.

F-2. Spouses and children of F-1 visa holders.

F-3. Citizens or residents of Mexico or Canada commuting to the U.S. to attend an academic school.

G-1. Designated principal representatives of foreign governments coming to the U.S. to work for an international organization, and their spouses and children.

G-2. Other accredited representatives of foreign governments coming to the U.S. to work for an international organization, and their spouses and children.

G-3. Representatives of foreign governments and their immediate family members who would ordinarily qualify for G-1 or G-2 visas except that their governments are not members of an international organization.

G-4. Officers or employees of international organizations and their spouses and children.

G-5. Attendants, servants, and personal employees of G-1 through G-4 visa holders, and their spouses and children.

H-1B. Persons working in specialty occupations requiring at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent in on-the-job experience, and distinguished fashion models.

H-1C. Nurses who will work for up to three years in areas of the U.S. where health professionals are recognized as being in short supply.

H-2A. Temporary agricultural workers coming to the U.S. to fill positions for which a temporary shortage of U.S. workers has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

H-2B. Temporary workers of various kinds coming to the U.S. to perform temporary jobs for which there is a shortage of available, qualified U.S. workers.

H-3. Temporary trainees coming for on-the-job training unavailable in their home countries.

H-4. Spouses and children of H-1, H-2, or H-3 visa holders.

I-1. Bona fide representatives of the foreign press coming to the U.S. to work solely in that capacity, and their spouses and children.

J-1. Exchange visitors coming to the U.S. to study, work, or train as part of an exchange program officially recognized by the U.S. Department of State.

J-2. Spouses and children of J-1 visa holders.

K-1. Fiances or fiancees of U.S. citizens coming to the U.S. for the purpose of getting married.

K-2. Minor, unmarried children of K-1 visa holders.

K-3. Spouses of U.S. citizen petitioners awaiting USCIS approval of their immigrant visa petition and the availability of an immigrant visa, who'd like to enter the U.S. and apply to adjust status, as a supposedly shorter way through the system. (This visa is almost never used, as it tends to actually save no time and cost more.)

K-4. Unmarried children of K-3 visa holders.

L-1. Intracompany transferees who work as managers, executives, or persons with specialized knowledge.

L-2. Spouses and children of L-1 visa holders.

M-1. Vocational or other nonacademic students, other than language students.

M-2. Spouses and children of M-1 visa holders.

M-3. Citizens or residents of Mexico or Canada commuting to the U.S. to attend vocational school.

N-8. Parents of certain special immigrants.

N-9. Children of certain special immigrants or N-9 visa holders.

NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, and NATO-5. Representatives, officials, and experts coming to the U.S. under applicable provisions of the NATO Treaty, and their immediate family members.

NATO-6. Civilians accompanying military forces on missions authorized under the NATO Treaty, and their immediate family members.

NATO-7. Attendants, servants, or personal employees of NATO-1 through NATO-6 visas holders, and their immediate family members.

O-1. Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.

O-2. Essential support staff of O-1 visa holders.

O-3. Spouses and children of O-1 and O-2 visa holders.

P-1. Internationally recognized athletes and entertainers, and their essential support staff.

P-2. Entertainers coming to perform in the U.S. through a government-recognized exchange program.

P-3. Artists and entertainers coming to the U.S. in a group to present culturally unique performances.

P-4. Spouses and children of P-1, P-2, and P-3 visa holders.

Q-1. Exchange visitors coming to the U.S. to participate in international cultural exchange programs.

Q-2. (Walsh visas) Participants in the Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program

Q-3. Spouses and children of Q-1 visa holders.

R-1. Ministers and other workers of recognized religions.

R-2. Spouses and children of R-1 visa holders.

S-5. People coming to the U.S. to supply information to U.S. authorities about a criminal organization.

S-6. People coming to the U.S. to provide information to U.S. authorities about a terrorist organization.

T-1. Victims of trafficking in persons.

T-2, T-3. Spouses and children of victims of trafficking.

TN. Trade visas for Canadians and Mexicans.

U-1. People who have suffered "substantial physical or mental abuse" as a result of certain U.S. criminal violations including domestic violence and who are assisting law enforcement authorities.

U-2, U-3. Spouses and children of U-1 visa holders.

V. Spouses and children of U.S. lawful permanent resident petitioners who have already waited three years for the approval of their visa petition or for an immigrant visa to become available, so long as their visa petition was submitted on or before December 21, 2000.

For more information on eligibility for employment-based nonimmigrant visas, see Nonimmigrant (Temporary) Work Visa Options. Your next step is determining how and where to apply for your visa; for more information, see Nolo's article Applying for a Nonimmigrant (Temporary) Visa or get the book U.S. Immigration Made Easy, by Ilona Bray (Nolo).

Limits on Activities in the U.S.

Your visa allows you to enter the United States and to engage in certain activities while you're there. For example, if you receive a student visa, you're allowed to study in the United States -- but not to work off campus (unless you seek special permission) and not to stay permanently.

How Long Your Visa Will Last

Just as nonimmigrant visas vary in purpose, they also vary as to how long they last. Each nonimmigrant visa is given an expiration date according to what the law allows. Most can also be extended a certain number of times.

An important caution: The expiration date on your visa does not indicate how long you can stay in the U.S. once you arrive. It indicates only the period of time during which you have the right to enter the United States using that visa. How long you can stay is shown by the date on your Form I-94 which may be a small white or green card given to you upon entry or if you entered after April 2013, you can access this record online on the Customs & Border Protection website.

Becoming a Resident or Citizen of Russian Federation.

U.S. citizens can apply to become temporary residents of Russia by completing paperwork and submitting documents to the Russian government; a temporary residency is granted for three years. Russia has a quota system in place that allows only a certain number of people each year from a certain country to get residency. Americans also can apply for permanent residency; this is valid for five years and can be renewed endlessly. To become a full-fledged Russian citizen, a person must marry a Russian citizen and file the appropriate paperwork, or live in Russia for five years before filing a citizenship petition.

The Russian visa system includes a number of provisions that may be unfamiliar to Americans, including:

* Sponsorship

* Entry Visas * Limitations on Length of Stay

* Exit Visas * Migration Cards

* Visa Registration

* Transit Visas

* Restricted Areas

Dual citizens who also carry Russian passports face additional complicated regulations. Dual citizen minors who travel on their Russian passports also face special problems. International cruise ship passengers do not need visas if they remain with authorized tour groups at all times while ashore.

Sponsorship: Under Russian law, every foreign traveler must have a Russian-based sponsor, which could be a hotel, tour company, relative, employer, university, etc. Even if a visa was obtained through a travel agency in the United States, there is always a Russian legal entity whose name is indicated on the visa and who is considered to be the legal sponsor. Russian law requires that the sponsor must apply on the traveler's behalf for replacement, extension, or changes to a Russian visa. U.S. citizens are strongly advised to ensure that they have contact information for the visa sponsor prior to arrival in Russia, as the sponsor's assistance will be essential to resolve any visa problems.

Entry Visas: To enter Russia for any purpose, a U.S. citizen must possess a valid U.S. passport and a bona fide visa issued by a Russian Embassy or Consulate. It is impossible to obtain an entry visa upon arrival, so travelers must apply for their visas well in advance. U.S. citizens who apply for Russian visas in third countries where they do not have permission to stay more than 90 days may face considerable delays in visa processing. Travelers who arrive in Russia without an entry visa will not be permitted to enter the country, and face immediate return to the point of embarkation at their own expense.

A Russian entry/exit visa has two dates written in the European style (day/month/year) as opposed to the American style (month/day/year). The first date indicates the earliest day a traveler may enter Russia; the second date indicates the date by which a traveler must leave Russia. A Russian visa is only valid for those exact dates and cannot be extended after the traveler has arrived in the country, except in the case of a medical emergency.

Russian tourist visas are often granted only for the specific dates mentioned in the invitation letter provided by the sponsor. U.S. citizens sometimes receive visas valid for periods as short as four days. Even if the visa is misdated through error of a Russian Embassy or Consulate, the traveler will still not be allowed into Russia before the visa start date or be allowed to leave after the visa expiration date. Any mistakes in visa dates must be corrected before the traveler enters Russia. It is helpful to have someone who reads Russian check the visa before departing the United States. Travelers should ensure that their visas reflect intended activities in Russia (e.g., tourism, study, business, etc.).

U.S. citizens who are denied visas may seek a clarification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The U.S. Embassy and the Consulates General, however, cannot advocate on behalf of private U.S. citizens who have been refused visas or denied entry into Russia.

Limitations on Length of Stay: In October 2007, the Russian government made significant changes to its rules regarding the length of stay permitted to most foreign visitors. For any visa issued on or after October 18, 2007, unless that visa specifically authorizes employment or study, a foreigner may stay in Russia only 90 days in any 180-day period. This applies to business, tourist, humanitarian and cultural visas, among other categories.

Exit Visas: A valid visa is necessary to depart Russia. Travelers who overstay their visa's validity, even for one day, will be prevented from leaving until their sponsor intervenes and requests a visa extension on their behalf. Russian authorities may take up to 20 calendar days to authorize an exit visa, during which time the traveler will be stranded in Russia at his or her own expense. The ability of the Embassy or Consulates General to intervene in these situations is extremely limited.

Travelers with expired visas should also be aware that they may have difficulty checking into a hotel, hostel, or other lodging establishment. There are no adequate public shelters or safe havens in Russia and neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Consulates General have means to accommodate such stranded travelers.

Visitors who lose their U.S. passports and Russian visas to accident or theft must immediately replace their passports at the U.S. Embassy or one of the Consulates General. The traveler must then enlist the visa sponsor to obtain a new visa in order to depart the country. As noted above, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates General are not able to intercede in cases in which visas must be replaced. It is helpful to make a photocopy of your visa in the event of loss, but a copy is not sufficient to permit departure.

Travelers who are departing Russia by train should be aware that if they board a train on the last day of a visa's validity, Russian immigration officials may consider the visa to have expired if the train crosses the international border after midnight on the day of expiry. The Embassy and Consulates General are aware of cases in which travelers have been detained at border crossings, unable to leave Russia, because their visas were expired by a matter of hours or minutes.

Visas for students and English teachers sometimes allow only one entry. In these cases, the sponsoring school is responsible for registering the visa and migration card and obtaining an exit visa. Obtaining an exit visa can take up to twenty days so students and teachers need to plan accordingly.

Migration Cards: All foreigners entering Russia must fill out a two-part migration card upon arrival. The traveler deposits one part of the card with immigration authorities at the port of entry, and keeps the other part for the duration of his or her stay. Upon departure, the traveler must submit his or her card to immigration authorities. Foreign visitors to Russia are normally required to present their migration cards in order to register at hotels.

Migration cards, in theory, are available at all ports of entry from Russian immigration officials (Border Guards). The cards are generally distributed to passengers on incoming flights and left in literature racks at arrival points. Officials at borders and airports usually do not point out these cards to travelers; it is up to the individual travelers to find them and fill them out.

Replacing a lost or stolen migration card is extremely difficult. While authorities will not prevent foreigners from leaving the country if they cannot present their migration cards, travelers could experience problems when trying to re-enter Russia at a future date.

Although Russia and Belarus use the same migration card, travelers should be aware that each country maintains its own visa regime. U.S. citizens wishing to travel to both nations must apply for two separate visas. A traveler entering Russia directly from Belarus is not required to obtain a new migration card, but at his or her option may do so if blank ones are available at the time of entry.

Visa Registration: Travelers who spend more than seven days in Russia must register their visa and migration card through their sponsor or landlord. Travelers staying in a hotel must register their visa and migration card with their hotel within one day. Even travelers who spend less than seven days in one place are encouraged to register their visas. If a traveler chooses not to register a stay of less than seven days, he or she is advised to keep copies of tickets, hotel bills, or itineraries in order to prove compliance with the law.

U.S. citizens should be aware that Russian police officers have the authority to stop people and request their identity and travel documents at any time, and without cause. Due to the possibility of random document checks by police, travelers should carry their original passports, migration cards, and visas with them at all times.

Rules for registration of foreigners in the Russian Federation changed in January 2007. Registration is now performed either by the traveler's visa sponsor, or by a hotel, landlord, employer, or other entity acting as an "acceptance agent." The registration application form is called Uvedomleniye o Pribytii Inostrannogo Grazhdanina v Mesto Prebyvaniya and is available at post offices and on the website of the Moscow City Federal Migration Service (FMS).

The registration form consists of two parts. The first, top part is filed by the sponsor or acceptance agent with the FMS. The smaller bottom part remains with the traveler, who returns the form to the airport passport control officer upon departure. The last requirement is not enforced strictly. Failure to return the form does not interfere with departure. The sponsor or acceptance agent in turn must mail the form to the local migration office within two days. The process must be repeated if a foreigner travels to a different region of Russia for more than seven days. The registration fee is set and is usually posted in post offices and migration offices. There is a surcharge if the form is mailed.

Transit Visas: Travelers intending to transit through Russia en route to a third country must have a Russian transit visa. Even travelers who are simply changing planes in Moscow or another international airport in Russia for an onward destination will be asked to present a transit visa issued by a Russian Embassy or Consulate. Russian authorities may refuse to allow a U.S. citizen who does not have a transit visa to continue with his or her travel, obliging the person to immediately return to the point of embarkation at the traveler's own expense.

Restricted Areas: U.S. citizens should be aware that there are several closed cities and regions in Russia. Travelers who attempt to enter these areas without prior authorization are subject to arrest, fines, and/or deportation. A traveler must list on the visa application all areas to be visited and subsequently register with authorities upon arrival at each destination. Travelers should check with their sponsor, hotel, or the nearest office of the Russian FMS before traveling to unfamiliar cities and towns.

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40 Кб, 3 декабря 2014 в 22:56 - Россия, Москва, ВАВТ, 2014 г., docx
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