Turkish delight not so ‘delightful’ in Russia
Both Russia and Turkey have been close business allies and trade partners for past several years, however relations have dramatically gone sour after Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet on 24th November. As a direct consequence, the Russian authorities have decided to suspend visa-free travel agreement with Turkey that currently provides for stays of up to 30 consecutive days without a visa and also stop issuing work permits to Turkish nationals beginning 1st January 2016. It is obvious that Business ties between the two countries remain strained after the incident and the announcement of visa changes.
What does the change mean?
The imposition of a visa regime and the termination of work permits would have major impact on Turkish nationals traveling to Russia for leisure or work purposes. It is important to note that whilst Russia has imposed the visa regime, the Federal Migration Service has not provided any clear indication as to how these changes will be put in place after 1st January 2016. On the other hand, the Turkish government has not yet issued any formal statement regarding travel or immigration restrictions for Russian nationals travelling to Turkey.
It is worth noting that as of now, Turkish nationals may still apply for Russian work permits, however employers should bear in mind that any new applications may not be approved by the Russian authorities.
Any Turkish nationals looking to travel to Russia between now and 1st January 2016 should carry relevant documents confirming the purpose of their visit e.g. invitation letters from the host entity. Likewise, Turkish residents in Russia should keep their passport, work/resident permits and any other relevant documentation with them at all times. They should not leave Russia as there are no clear instructions from the Russian authorities if Turkish nationals would be allowed to re-enter Russia.
Turkish travellers are advised to contact their Hudson McKenzie representative for advice and any latest updates prior to travelling to Russia.