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Migration legislation amendments

30 July 2014

Revera Consulting Group informs about the migration legislation amendments adopted in the Republic of Belarus.

The Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated July 11, 2014 № 662«On introduction of amendments and additions to the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belaruson the matters of the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons» (hereinafter - the Resolution № 662) came into force on the 12th of July 2014.The Resolution № 662introduces amendments to a number of regulatory legal acts regulating the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons (hereinafter - foreigners)in the Republic of Belarus.

This material represents a review of the most significant migration legislation amendments and may be useful for companies, on the staff or corporate structure of which foreigners are employed.

Analysis of amendments

The Regulations of the sojourn of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Republic of Belarus adopted by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated January 20, 2006 № 73 "On adoption ofthe Regulations of the sojourn of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Republic of Belarus" (hereinafter – the Regulations № 73)

1. The list of persons entitled to apply for entry of a foreigner into the Republic of Belarus, sojourn or residence in the Republic of Belarus is extended. In addition to this list of legal entities or individuals, individual entrepreneurs additionally individuals and agricultural organizations providing services in the field of farm tourism are included (cl. 2 of the Regulations № 73).

2. The established rule to depart from the Republic of Belarus in case a foreigner has no valid visa of the Republic of Belarus: to depart from the Republic of Belarus is possible with the leaving abroad document and only after the imposition of administrative sanctions for violation of the Regulations № 73 (that is a stay in the Republic of Belarus without a visa of the Republic of Belarus, etc.) or the travel in transit rules through the territory of the Republic of Belarus. It is punishable under the article 23.55. of the Administrative Offences Code of the Republic of Belarus.

3. The clarified rule on the registration of a foreigner at the actual place of temporary residence set by p. 1. cl. 10 of the Regulations № 73: foreigners arrived in the Republic of Belarus within five days, excepting Sundays (previously - days off), public holidays and official holidays established and announced by the President of the Republic of Belarus as non-working, must register with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or the internal affairs authority, or a hotel, or sanatorium-resort and recreational organizations, or an entity of farm tourism.

The change is associated with the work schedule of the departments of citizenship and migration, which are usually open from Tuesday to Saturday; days off are Sunday and Monday. A similar clarification is made in cl. 11 of the Regulations № 73 and concerns reregistration at the actual place of temporary residence in case of its change.

4. The supplemented list of entities disclosing to the departments of citizenship and migration information on temporarily staying foreigners who registered their residence at these legal entities. The information is used to verify the presence of reasons for residence in the Republic of Belarus. This list includes entities of farm tourism, legal entities and individual entrepreneurs providing services for lease (sublease) of private premisses (p. 2 cl. 13 of the Regulations № 73).

Before this information was provided only by hotels, sanatorium-resort and recreational organizations.

The extension of the range of entities disclosing information on foreigners is aimed not only at strengthening of control over the presence of reasons to stay which foreigners have, but also on the confirmation of their actual residence at the stated place of residence.

5. P. 2 cl. 25 of the Regulations № 73 is supplemented with the period during which a foreigner has to register at the actual place of residence in case in relation to him the decision to cancel the temporary residence permit is taken. The period is 5 days from the date of notification on the taken decision to cancel the temporary residence permit.

6. The amendments are made to cl. 20 applications for a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Belarus, contained in the Exhibit № 7 to the Regulations № 73. In particular, the redrafted subclause "c", containing one of the most common reasons for obtaining a temporary residence permit: arriving in the Republic of Belarus to employ or to be employed in accordance with employment contracts as well as religious, business and other activities in the territory of the Republic of Belarus in accordance with the procedure established by the legislation the Republic of Belarus.

Thus the imperative provision is underlined containing in art. 23 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus dated 30.12.2010 "On external labor migration" that foreigners may be engaged in labor activities in the Republic of Belarus on conditions of obtaining a temporary residence permit and conclusion of an employment contract.

An employment contract is one of the documents submitted to the department of citizenship and migration to obtain a temporary residence permit.

Note that the words "or other activities" allow to use the stated reason for obtaining a temporary residence permit in relation to foreigners who are members of governing bodies or legal entity control authorities (for example, the board of directors, the board of audit) or other persons in relation to whom labor contracts are not concluded.

The Regulation on the procedure for using a migration card, approved by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated 03.02.2006 № 142 "On Regulation on the procedure for using a migration card and its form" (hereinafter - the Regulation № 142)

Cl. 2. of the Regulation № 142 redrafted: "a migration card is the document containing information on a foreigner entering the Republic of Belarus and leaving the Republic of Belarus, and serves to control his temporary stay in the Republic of Belarus". From the stated clause the words "or temporary residence" are excluded.

Thus, foreigners having a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Belarus are not obliged to fill in a migration card any more.

Cancelling the necessity to fill in a migration card for temporary residing in the Republic of Belarus foreigners and the existing before exemption in relation to permanent residence in the Republic of Belarus of foreigners, are also stated in cl. 9 and cl. 14 of the Regulation № 142, regulating the procedure of migration card demonstration when entering in the Republic Belarus or leaving it. The stated clauses supplemented with the words "excepting a foreigner temporarily or permanently residing in the Republic of Belarus."

The Regulation on theprocedure of issuing permanent residence permits in the Republic of Belarusfor foreign citizens and stateless persons, approved by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus dated 03.02.2006 № 144 "On Approval of the Regulation on the procedure of issuing permanent residence permits in the Republic of Belarus for foreign citizens and stateless persons " (hereinafter - the Regulation № 144)

1. Before when examining the question on issuing a permanent residence permit for a foreigner it was determined that, if necessary, for such the foreigner the period of temporary stay can be extended till taking a decision on issuing (denial) a permanent residence permit.

As a result of the late changes it is established by the imperative provision that when receiving an application for a permanent residence permit the period of a temporary stay of a foreigner in the Republic of Belarus is automatically extended for the period of application processing (cl. 16 of the Regulation № 144).

2. In cl. 30 of the Regulation № 144 the period during which a foreigner is obliged to leave the Republic of Belarus in case of cancelling a permanent residencepermit "during 5 days from the date of his notification on the decision" is clarified.

Remark

If we estimate the changes occurred in the migration legislation, it should first of all be noted that they contribute to simplicity and clarity to understand the existing rules of foreigner residence in the Republic of Belarus, eliminate the number of "blind spots" which before foreigners and their employers or legal entities established with their share faced in practice.

The changes aimed at the support of entities of farm tourism, which are now entitled to apply for the entry of a foreigner in the Republic of Belarus, stay or residence in the Republic of Belarus, are also worth noting.

In practice we are often faced the question on the necessity to fill in migration cards for foreigners having temporary residence permits. In response to the obligation to fill in a migration card for such category of foreigners as temporary resident, almost each time the question on the purpose of the procedure was asked. In our opinion, cancelling the necessity to fill in migration cards for foreigners having temporary residence permits is a step towards red tape reduction of the migration legislation.

The departments of citizenship and migration should also pay attention to strengthening of control over foreigners who temporarily stay in the Republic of Belarus. The extension of the range of entities disclosing to the stated authorities information on foreigners registered their residence directly indicates the undiverted monitoring in relation to this category of citizens.

How we can assist

Revera Consulting Group experts are prepared to render for you an advisory opinion on the matters of employment of foreigners in the Republic of Belarus, obtaining temporary residence permits for foreigners who are members of governing bodies or legal entity control authorities, obtaining a permanent residence permit, other issues of migration legislation and to support directly the necessary procedures.