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I'm an American, considering moving to Russia for a little bit, is there any restriction on that 3 year multiple entry visa that would prohibit me from actually just staying in Russia for the whole 3 years?

I checked on https://www.visahq.com/russia/ and didn't see any restrictions, but just checking to make sure it isn't like a "90 days in, 90 days out" policy.

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  • According to the Russian embassy web site for New Zealand, the maximum period of stay on a multiple entry visa is 90 days on any visit. That's for business visas. Tourist visas look to be more restrictive. If you want to live in Russia you should apply for the correct paperwork. Our friends on Expatriates are better placed to help. – user79658 Sep 14 '18 at 19:18
  • @CannonFodder the US and Russia have a bilateral agreement; these 3-year visas apparently authorize six-month stays, although whether that's six months per visit, as asserted by the US Department of State, or 180 days per year, as asserted by another web site, is not clear. – phoog Sep 14 '18 at 20:39
  • @CannonFodder the English version of the note (pdf) says "for a stay of no more than 6 months starting from the date of each entry," so that appears to support the US State Department's assertion, but I have no idea how the Russian visas are actually regarded in Russian law or administrative procedure. – phoog Sep 14 '18 at 21:04
  • Thanks @phoog - I wasn't aware of that. The gist of the argument remains, though: get the right visa; ask on Expats. – user79658 Sep 16 '18 at 1:08
  • I just looked at my valid 3 year, multi entry tourist visa to Russia (in my US passport) and it says the duration is 180 days (6 months). – AussieJoe Sep 17 '18 at 20:47
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No. Any non immigrant visa is for non immigrant purposes even if it is valid for 10 years.

Even if you can’t find that specific limit somewhere there is definitely going to be one. If you could use such a visa for prolonged stays it would kill the purpose of having any immigrant visas at all.

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According to https://waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/3-Year-Russian-Visa-US-Citizens.html, a 3 year tourist visa allows you to stay up to 180 days each year.

  • This is true, you can also look at a valid Russian multi entry visa and see that it reads "180 days" under duration section, like mine does. – AussieJoe Sep 17 '18 at 20:51
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    @AussieJoe but it's 180 days per visit, not 180 days each year. – phoog Sep 18 '18 at 5:44
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I am unable to load the web pages of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is the most authoritative source for your answer, but as a second-best source I went to the travel information site of the US Department of State. On their information page for Russia, they say:

Under a bilateral agreement signed in 2012, qualified U.S. applicants for humanitarian, private, tourist, and business visas should request and receive multiple-entry visas with a validity of three years. Visas issued under the agreement permits stays in the territory of the Russian Federation for up to six consecutive months. (Please note that other types of visas are not part of the agreement and those visa holders should pay close attention to the terms of their visas.) You must exit Russia before your visa expires. The maximum period of stay is shown on the visa.

(emphasis in original)

So, if your visa is a three-year visa issued under this agreement, you can conclude that you are allowed to stay no more than six months on each visit. That doesn't necessarily mean that you can re-enter Russia for a subsequent six-month visit immediately after ending a previous one. Instead, if you want to stay in Russia for longer than six months, you should investigate a proper long-term visa. The place to ask about that is Expatriates.

  • As suggested on the state departments website...I just looked at my valid 3 year, multi entry tourist visa to Russia (in my US passport) and it says the duration is 180 days (6 months) – AussieJoe Sep 17 '18 at 20:47

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