Friday, June 11, 2010

Applying for a TRP in Russia-the summary post

Although I've yet to receive my actual residency permit, the majority of the ordeal is over. So here it is, the summary post on how to get through the application process.

This applies to the quota system, so if you are exempt, you will have to produce whichever documents prove you are exempt, and go from there.

6-12 months before beginning
-talk to people who have done it, plan out your steps (for example, what visa you will use to be in the country while applying)

a few months before applying
-look into what it will take to get your criminal background check, as well as appropriate authentication. This is by far the most time consuming as it requires waiting on several different parties and working with the policies of two different countries
-check the list of required documents (may vary); plan your moves; try to estimate about how much time you will need to have everything ready, keeping in mind that it will all have to be ready and NOT expired at the same time

getting in line
-the quota filled up in about a month this year (2010), so make sure you get there in the first week or two. The staff at the FMS is very helpful and informative. They may ask you to call at a different time regarding specific questions, but you do NOT need to pay a lawyer or any other "middle man" to help you get through. The exception would be a translator, of course. But there is no bribery necessary. Just do what they say; and they will tell you very clearly...

signing up for your document review
-once you are on the list, you're on the list. You don't have to worry about getting bumped off because you're behind with your documents. Still, the sooner you hand them in, the sooner you will receive your residency permit. When signing up for an appointment after your initial consultation, keep in mind the calculations you've done already (see previous points). Is your FBI check still in the U.S.? Then you will need at least a few weeks. And so on...

pacing yourself
-once you've got an appointment and done some planning, you can start going down your list collecting everything necessary. If you are going to be waiting for any specific documents (background check), you may want to hold off on the others. Otherwise, you may end up like I was, worrying that my medicals were about to expire. Paying the fees, getting docs translated, getting your medicals, etc, are all things that happen instantaneously or take 2-3 days to accomplish.
-once you know there won't be significant delays, DO go ahead with everything, so that you will have as much as possible ready for your first appointment

your further appointments at the FMS
-make sure to be very organized when you go and have just the documents you need available. Even if you aren't able to have everything ready by your first review, you should still show them what you DO have so you can work on correcting any mistakes in your application, etc.

tips about documents
-make photocopies of everything! passport pages; migration card; registration; visa; application forms; etc. It can't hurt to have extras and it will save time.

tips about translations
-make sure to check names and dates very carefully. Transliterations vary, and the Russian "dating" system (date-month-year) does not correspond to the American one.

tips about filling out the application
-instead of just answering yes or no, expand the answer a little...I wasn't born in Russia , I didn't change my name (не менял), etc. (if you have specific questions, email me)

handing everything in
-when you hand everything in, they do a lot of stamping and stapling and have you fill out a statement. Then then give you a signed statement testifying that you have applied. You get your passport and visa and everything back, but everything you got specifically for the TRP (medicals, background check) are theirs.

Stay tuned for the next installment in a few months! For more details, check out posts labeled "residency."


  1. V............. (aka Vitali)June 15, 2010 at 6:23 AM

    Liz, not to steal your thunder but if everything goes well I will become a US citizen in about 3 to 4 months. I have just sent my application to the USCIS. It took me 12 years to come to this point. I am so ready to experience what it means to be a US citizen. Will keep you updated.

  2. If you ever want to adopt, Liz, you will be very good at the paperwork end!


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