Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Future of Missionaries in Russia

Some amendments to one-year visa requirements are going to change things for missionaries in Russia, as well as for other foreigners here with the same kind of visa.

To put it simply, with the kind of visa I have now, I can leave and enter the country as I please within the one-year period. Last year the requirements added a clause that foreigners had to leave every 6 months and come back in and reregister. But that could be done by simply crossing the border into Estonia or Finland and then coming back in, even that same day.

Under the new amendments, a foreigner with a one-year visa to Russia can remain in Russia for a maximum of only 90 days within a 180-day period, and 180 days in one year. So even though the visa is for one year, you can only physically be in Russia for half of that. If you want to maximize your time spent in Russia, you will have to observe the following schedule: 3 months in Russia, 3 months somewhere else, 3 months in Russia, 3 months somewhere else. For short-term missionaries who come and go often, it might work out okay. But it simply will not do for anyone who wants to live here full-time.

The law is supposedly in effect, but I don’t think can be applied to anyone who already had their visa. Meanwhile, Russian Consulates around the world have not been uniformly notified, so foreigners currently trying to settle visa questions are being given a variety of answers. It is going to take some investigating to obtain clearer answers. But within a year, as one-year visas begin to expire, a lot of foreigners in Russia will be thinking about what to do next.


  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    My wife and I are serving in Nizhny Novgorod. We have residency status. It was terribly difficult to obtain, but of course things are different from city to city. We have been here 5 years and have had 3 year residency and on Tuesday we will get a "Permanent resident" stamp.

    Lets us know if you have any questions. We enjoy your blog - ours is at

  2. I have lots of questions! I will be visiting your blog.

  3. Visa pour la Russie:voucher touristique, l’invitation affaires, assurance, appartements à louer.mais votre temps est trop précieux pour le perdre dans les longues files d’attentes pour préparer to russia


Just added word verification to reduce spam. Nothing personal!

You’re welcome to leave a link to your own blog here if it's relevant to this blog.

Please make sure that your comments are 1) relevant and 2) respectful (i.e. no cuss words, attacks on individuals).

5 years later

 After my latest  weird dream sequence , I found my mind wandering to an alternate scenario where our church never split up . I did the math...