New visa rules - migration card

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Posted by Visa on January 31, 2003 at 12:14:20:

According to the "The Moscow Times", Moscow police will start checking foreigners for migration cards from Feb. 15, and those without cards will face a fine of 2,250 rubles to 5,000 rubles ($70 to $140) or possible deportation, deputy Moscow police chief Viktor Cherkashin said Thursday, Interfax reported.

The rule, which is part of the law on foreigners that came into force Nov. 1, is largely aimed at curbing illegal migration by visitors from other countries of the former Soviet Union. Most of those visitors are not required to obtain visas to enter Russia.

However, visitors with visas are also required to fill out the migration cards upon entry.

The individually numbered cards were introduced Nov. 21 but have not been available at all border points, including Westerners' main point of entry to Moscow, Sheremetyevo Airport.

The card is divided into two identical sections and records information about the holder's name, age, sex and purpose of stay. Half of the card stays at the point of issue, and the other half is given up when the holder leaves the country.

Cherkashin said 30,000 migration cards have been issued so far in the capital, which has 860,000 registered foreigners.

The Moscow region, where 330,000 illegal migrants were identified last year, has issued about 30,000 cards, Interfax reported.

Andrei Chernenko, head of the Federal Migration Service, said Wednesday that cards will be available at the nation's 448 border crossings in mid-February 2003.

"Migration cards are a document for police to keep statistics and are evidence that a foreigner legally crossed the border," Chernenko was quoted as saying.

Visa holders who can show they entered the country before the migrant cards were available are UNLIKELY to have any problems

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