Information about visa applications for Russian citizens

PROGEDO – the first friend abroad. This statement obliges! That is why we regularly inform our customers about current events which we consider particularly important for them.

Currently, we are all concerned with the war in Ukraine and the associated sanctions in Russia. Especially companies that employ Russian employees in Russia are concerned about them and their relatives.

We have seen special European Directives implemented into German national law for Ukrainian refugees and also regulations that allow Ukrainian citizens to apply at German embassies in neighbouring countries – this is quite some development for immigration to Europe and especially to Germany. And shows humanity to those who need to leave their country.

Since last week now there is a new instruction in place from the ministry of foreign affairs addressing Russian nationals who want to leave Russia – even if it is a very limited rule :
Visa applications for a national D visa from employees of Russian nationality can be done at a foreign mission other than in Russia IF they are employed at a location in Russia or a branch of a German or internationally active company or an internationally active group of companies that is located in Russia and will be employed at a German branch or at a German location of the same company or group of companies.

The applicant must have had their habitual residence in Russia at the time of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and only moved it abroad as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They must also have been employed there on February 24th, 2022 and must not have been terminated.

Even if the rule is really limited it feels a bit like a paradigm shift.

Current situation for Ukrainian nationals in Germany and Schengen area

The war in Ukraine is occupying and shocking us all – according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), almost 700,000 people are already on the run and, unfortunately, it can be assumed that this number will increase considerably.

As a relocation company, we want to try to support you with our experience in the field of immigration to Germany and help you understanding and overcoming the bureaucratic obstacles. Above all, we would like to summarise here which new regulations now apply.

People from Ukraine can enter the EU or the Schengen area for up to 90 days without applying for a visa – and thus also Germany. The prerequisite for this is a biometric passport – the Federal Police, however, stated on request that they would be lenient here and allow citizens to enter also without this passport from Ukraine.

For long-term stays of more than 90 days, a visa must be applied before entry. Due to the situation, this is currently exceptionally possible at the foreign missions of neighbouring countries – among other things because the German embassy in Kiev has been closed since the end of February. These visas can be applied for with or without a biometric passport.

In addition, the EU Commission has prepared on Thursday, 3 March 2022, together with the interior ministers of the European Union, the first application of an EU directive, with which all EU member states would apply the same, unbureaucratic procedure for the admission of refugees from Ukraine. The directive on so-called “Massenflucht” existed already since 2001, i.e. for 21 years, and was also converted into national law in the form of §24 of the Residence Act. Until now, there was no political will to apply it – now there is agreement among the EU member states.

The directive regulates the distribution of refugees, as well as the simplified procedures for temporary protection and also the possibility of taking up employment and self-employment. Ukrainian refugees can be admitted throughout the EU without asylum procedures for an initial period of one year and receive a work permit without complications. They are also entitled to benefits under the Asylum Seekers’ Benefits Act. An extension to a total of three years is possible. At the same time, the participation of children in schooling is guaranteed. The regulation applies to holders of a Ukrainian passport and to all those who have their regular residence in Ukraine.

In addition to the war situation, the pandemic must unfortunately still be considered. Ukraine has no longer been classified as a high-risk area since 27 February 2022. Thus, according to the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance, there is only a general obligation to test before entry, but no longer a quarantine and registration requirement. The Federal Police will deal pragmatically with the situation in the case of war refugees and displaced persons. Among other things, voluntary tests would be offered at the border upon entry. In case of covid symptoms, medical experts will be consulted.

Extensive information in German, English and Ukrainian can be found here:

DE: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/DE/themen/ministerium/ukraine-krieg/faq-liste-ukraine-krieg.html
EN: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/EN/topics/ministry/ukraine-war-eng/faq-ukraine-artikel.html
UA: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/DE/themen/ministerium/ukrain-war-ukr/faq-list-ukrain-war.html

PROGEDO is happy to provide information on the current situation in each federal state upon request.

Another important note: we have provided all information to the best of our knowledge and belief. We cannot guarantee the completeness of the information, nor can we accept any liability for the content. The facts are simply too complex for this and there are always adjustments and changes. In case of doubt, please contact us directly or inform yourself on the homepage of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees: https://www.bamf.de/DE/Themen/AsylFluechtlingsschutz/ResettlementRelocation/InformationenEinreiseUkraine/informationen-einreise-ukraine-node.html

Further sources:

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In all locations where PROGEDO is based throughout Germany, we asked what the status quo is. This is an inventory as of mid-March 2021 and can, of course, change on a daily basis.

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