International Firms Discuss New Law on Foreign Citizens in Russia - 28 March, 2003

200 representatives of St. Petersburg's top international firms gathered at a seminar on Thursday, March 27 which tried to unravel the implications of a new law entitled 'The Law on the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation.' The law, which was approved in July last year, constitutes the first unified code of rules in Russia regulating the entry, stay and exit of foreign citizens.

The seminar was hosted by the St. Petersburg International Business Association at the Hotel d'Angleterre. Rosbalt's correspondent reports that representatives from the Foreign Ministry and Interior Ministry discussed the key new requirements of the law, most of which have already come into effect. Confusion about migration cards and registration issues provoked heated debate, and seminar moderator Sebastian FitzLyon, St. Petersburg's Australian Honorary Consul, said that it would take a few months for the implications of the law to become clear.

A more detailed report on the seminar will follow in the next few days.