This post is part of my "red-tape" series on pursuing temporary residency in St. Petersburg, Russia.
I always wondered why people applying for residency were always trying to do it in 3 months. Well, now I understand...the Russian government doesn't like to accept any documents that are older than 3 months. This includes apostilled birth/marriage certificates, criminal background checks, etc.
So right now I am just getting some things ready to be mailed out and making sure I've put my signature wherever necessary. And then I will plan to have someone send them out in October or November so that I will get them in time but they won't have expired already.
It's tricky with the background check because it could take from 1 month to 6 months, and you also have to get it apostilled. I think I will enclose an expedite request. I don't think the FBI at least officially expedites, but I have heard that it helps if you write something on the envelope.
If you are exempt from the quota (have Russian spouse, etc.), then you have a little more flexibility with the dates. But you should still try to have all your documents ready around the same time, and start the process immediately afterward so that nothing will expire in the meantime.