RUSSIA: Immigration Authorities Reorganised

Business travellers could see a disruption to immigration services across Russia in the coming months, as the Russian President has signed a decree which became effective on 5th April. This will result in the reorganisation of federal immigration authorities in Russia.

Details of the Reorganisation

Under the decree (No. 156) the Federal Migration Service (FMS), the executive body responsible for drafting and implementing national migration policy for Russia, has been abolished. Its functions, responsibilities and staff (with a reduction of 30%) transferred to a department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA).

All organisational and staff arrangements under the decree are to be finalised before 1st June 2016.

In recent years, FMS officials have complained that the service is not an enforcement agency and is therefore not able to conduct investigations or arrest suspects. The current reorganization is intended to resolve this.

The FMS has been an independent government service since 2014, before which it was part of the MIA.

How will this affect you?

Travellers should expect delays in the process of immigration applications as the service reorganises as a ministerial department and staff numbers are reduced. 

We therefore advise that all applications are initiated promptly and that travellers allow themselves as much time as possible to account for any delays.

If you require any further information regarding the reorganisation of the immigration services in Russia, please contact us at

Contact Newland Chase