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 fly to Russia either from their country of citizenship or from any of the other 28 countries.

Until now, foreigners were allowed to enter Russia only by direct plane from the country of their nationality or the country in which they permanently reside.

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

Flights between Russia and the UK are currently suspended until at least June 1. However, as Russia previously re-established flights with the UK after a mass halt to overseas travel at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, the rule changes will allow UK citizens to travel to Russia via any of the other third countries.

The UK government updated its Russia travel advice on Friday afternoon to reflect the new rules. Russian authorities have 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 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 advisory 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 only enter Russia 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.

“UK citizens, as well as those who have a residence permit or other document confirming the right to permanent residence in the UK, are eligible to enter Russia from the UK and other countries according to the list,” he said. trust groupRussian immigration firm confirms scope of new regulations.

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

full list

The full list of open countries are: Armenia, Azerbaijan, UK, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Greece, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Qatar, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka. 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 took effect on April 19, but were not 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 they had updated their advice to immigration officials to accept British nationals from other listed countries.

Most citizens of other countries are barred from entering Russia on tourist and business visas as well as regular work as part of a far-reaching entry ban imposed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic last March. There are exceptions for family members of Russian citizens and persons with an HQS (Highly Qualified Professional) visa.

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