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I am a Russian citizen currently living in Switzerland (I have a Bewilligung C permit, which gives me a Schengen visa), and I am travelling to Russia soon to visit family there. I've heard that I will have trouble returning from Russia without proper verification that I live in Switzerland. Will I have any difficulty leaving the country, and if so, what exactly would I have to do to ensure that I can travel back to Switzerland?

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    Will you be re-entering the Schengen area in Switzerland (at an airport, presumably) or through another country? – Greg Hewgill Oct 4 '15 at 21:43
  • I'll be flying in from Zurich to Moscow, and returning by the same route – Pointfree Oct 4 '15 at 21:57
  • Why can't you present your Bewilligung permit at immigration? – DJClayworth Oct 5 '15 at 0:42
  • Did you hear that rumour from a reliable source? – Gayot Fow Oct 5 '15 at 2:15
  • I don't see why Russia would care, and you have a permanent residence permit anyway. – Michael Hampton Oct 5 '15 at 2:39
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As a Russian national with foreign residency (including foreign citizenship), you are now required to declare it to the Russian government. There is a high probability that you will be asked to show proof that you've declared it (the office that does it will give you a little slip of paper) when you try to leave Russia - they will see that you are going to a country that requires visas from Russians and either see your resident visa if it's in your passport or ask for it if it's a separate card. There is a fine for not declaring foreign residency/citizenship. My Russian is not very good (my wife had to do this), but if you search around a bit in Russian you should find the relevant info.

  • Thanks. What exactly would I need to declare it though? Just my residency card, or proof of work/address/etc... Also, how long would it take, roughly, because I'll only be there for a week – Pointfree Oct 5 '15 at 11:23
  • As I said, I can't find much info on this in English for obvious reasons and my Russian isn't good enough to sort through the FMS site. See e.g. here (rferl.org/content/russia-expatriates-dual-citizenship-law/…). I believe all you need is your residency card, maybe your domestic and foreign passports - I would bring the originals and copies of all of those. It is all done in one visit, but it's impossible to predict how long Russian bureaucracy could take - the procedure is simple but there could be a long wait at the office. – hyrate Oct 5 '15 at 11:31
  • Oh, I forgot something that that article mentions - you can cancel the registration of your residency in Russia instead it seems, but you may not want to do that for various reasons (medical care, etc). And I can confirm that they will ask when you leave - my wife had to show proof of her registration at passport control both times we left to return to my home country after this law went into effect. – hyrate Oct 5 '15 at 11:32
  • You can do this by post. I think they are very serious about compliance to the new rules. – Gayot Fow Oct 5 '15 at 14:33
  • Persons having consular registration in a foreign country are exempt from this law. – ach Oct 6 '15 at 10:05

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