Russia is easing entry requirements and reopening its doors to British citizens

Russia has eased coronavirus entry requirements to give citizens from a list of countries, including the United Kingdom, more opportunities to cross their borders.

A government decree signed last week allows citizens of any of the 29 countries with which Russia has resumed regular flights to travel to Russia by plane either from their country of nationality or from any of the other 28 countries.

So far, foreigners have only been allowed to enter Russia by direct plane from their country of nationality or the country in which they are permanently residing.

The change means that British citizens can return to Russia. Most of them were unable to travel to Russia as Moscow temporarily suspended flights between Russia and the United Kingdom in late December after the United Kingdom announced that it had detected a new mutation of the virus with much higher transmission rates.

Flights between Russia and the United Kingdom are currently suspended until at least June 1. However, given that Russia had previously re-established flights with the United Kingdom after a mass halt to travel abroad at the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, the rule changes would allow UK citizens to travel to Russia via any of the other third countries.

The UK government updated its travel advice to Russia on Friday afternoon to reflect the new rules. The Russian authorities issued “guidance to citizens of various countries, including the United Kingdom, that they can now travel to Russia via a third country as long as that country is on the published list.” advertiser.

A representative of the Russian airline, Aeroflot, has confirmed that it will now accept British passengers on flights to Moscow departing from another country.

The UK is expected to update its official travel advisories so that UK citizens can only travel to Russia on a direct flight to reflect the changes soon.

“In the past, citizens and residents could enter Russia only from their countries of origin,” said Dmitry Filippov, an expert on visas and immigration at At Home in Russia.

“Now citizens of any open country can enter by air from any other open country. For example, a British citizen from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can enter Russia, a Finnish citizen from Switzerland, etc.”

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Lawyers and other immigration experts confirmed to the Moscow Times that the rules include the UK despite the temporary flight ban.

He said, “The citizens of the United Kingdom, as well as those who hold a permit or other document confirming the right to permanent residence in the United Kingdom, are eligible to enter Russia from the United Kingdom and other countries according to the list.” Trust groupRussian immigration company confirms the scope of the new regulations.

In other words, the [rules] … does not in any way limit the right to enter Russia depending on the opening of the airlines. There is no reason to believe that the closure of flights to the UK would be a reason to restrict the right of UK citizens or residents to enter Russia from the other side. [designated] Countries.”

Full list

The complete list of open countries is: Armenia, Azerbaijan, the United Kingdom, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Maldives, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Sri. Lanka, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin Exit The changes were made on April 14 and came into effect on April 19, but they have not been widely reported.

Russian airports have reportedly updated their recommendations to immigration officials.

Irina Bochkoa, head of immigration practices at Vista Immigration, said officials at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport confirmed that they have updated their advice to immigration officials to accept British nationals from other countries listed.

Most citizens of other countries are prevented from entering Russia on tourist and commercial visas, in addition to regular work as part of a long-term entry ban imposed at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic last March. There are exceptions for family members who are Russian citizens and people with an HQS visa (highly qualified professional).

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