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Russian Duma passes bill to tighten migration policy

In an ongoing effort to tighten up migration policy, the State Duma on Sunday passed a bill expanding the grounds for denying entry or expelling foreign nationals, Interfax reported.

Under the legislation, which also establishes new visa categories, foreigners can be kicked out or not allowed to enter the country if they pose "a real threat to the state's defense capabilities and security, to public order or to public health."

Among foreigners banned from entering the country altogether would be those convicted of committing a grave crime during a previous visit and those whose presence in Russia is "undesirable," the report said.

The bill establishes five types of visas: regular, transit, temporary residence, diplomatic and official (for staff of foreign missions and members of official delegations without diplomatic status).

In an attempt to stimulate tourism, the bill waives visas for foreign tourists in Russia for less than 72 hours on cruises.

(The Moscow Times 16.xii.02)

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