Leaving Russia

Information on what to do when moving on from Russia, including notifying schools, closing bank accounts, ending contracts for utilities and insurance, and terminating residency…

When the time comes to move on from Russia, there are a number of tasks to be completed before departure.

Residency

When leaving Russia, it is mandatory to submit the Federal Migration Service (Federalnaya Migracionnaya Sluzba / ??????????? ???????????? ??????) migration card that was completed on arrival. The registration slip may also have to be presented. Failure to submit the Migration Card may result in administrative difficulties as well as a possible fine, although foreigners are not usually prevented from leaving the country.

Rented Accommodation

In the case of rental properties, it is important to abide by the tenancy agreement. When moving away from the country, inform the landlord or real estate agent well before the tenancy contract expires or in advance of a move mid-term. Legally, this should be at least one month before the end of the current period, or if in a rolling contract after the initial fixed term has been completed, but giving notice as early as possible is better once definite plans have been made. Confirm the exact moving date with the landlord or real estate agent.

When leaving a property, the landlord or real estate agent usually visit to check the state of the flat or house and to check all items against the inventory that was signed when moving into the residence. The keys can then be handed over, the deposit returned (where applicable) and all documents for the end of the tenancy can be signed.

  • For more information on terminating a lease, see the Guide on the Lease Agreement

Utilities

All utility providers should be contacted about the plan to move well in advance of the departure date, at which time the procedure for ending services can be checked. There is usually no need to request a final bill from every single provider as a utility bill is sent by the local centre handling all calculations for utilities and taxation. This can also be checked in advance with the landlord or real estate agent when giving notification of moving out.

Try to ensure that final bills with providers are settled well before departing from the country, and make sure to get a copy of receipt of payment or proof of the final cancellation/closing of an account (if being done online, for example).

Final meter readings should be taken on the day of moving out (especially if a flat or house is being sold). This is to avoid any extra charges for both old and new tenants or owners. A note should include both date and time of the reading, and it is ideally done with the landlord or the new owner present.

Telephone, Internet, TV and Satellite

Inform all companies of the intended move as soon as a date is set, and of the last date services are required. Make sure to finalise everything well in advance of the departure date. If these services are provided by the landlord, check with them or the real estate agent how to go about paying the last bill. As with utilities, make sure to get a copy of receipt of payment of the final bill, or proof of the final cancellation/closing of an account (if being done online, for example).

Post

There are no mail forwarding services available from the national postal service company, Russian Post. When planning to leave Russia, it is best to inform people well in advance of the move and to arrange for any mail in the last few months to be sent to the address of the employer.

After moving out of personal accommodation, ask the landlord or real estate agent to forward on any post to a contact such as the previous employer or a friend, who can then pass it on.

Banks

It is recommended to do ensure the following steps have been taken well in advance of leaving the country:

  • Pay off any loans or debts
  • Stop using all credit/debit cards and cancel them
  • Stop all automatic payments such as direct debits
  • Withdraw all the remaining money in bank accounts or transfer it to other (international) accounts
  • Start the process of closing all accounts after allowing any money transferred to clear in the new account

When the accounts are closed, ask the bank(s) for a confirmation letter or notification of this, stating that there are no loans unpaid or money owed. This may be required to prove there are no outstanding debts when leaving.

Insurance

All insurance companies should be informed of the intended departure in advance of the move, and of what date policies are required to end on. Check the terms of contracts for the required notice period and inform the insurance company in writing. Some insurance policies can only be cancelled within a specified period.

For policies with some providers (such as medical insurance), it may be possible to get a partial refund of the premium paid for the unused part of that year. Request no-claims certificates for policies such as car insurance.

Tax

At the end of employment, an employer should issue foreign nationals with a confirmation of income and tax paid (Spravka 2 NDFL / ??????? 2 ????).

Only expatriates who are self-employed or have additional income from dividends or salaries abroad and are leaving Russia permanently during the tax year need to file a departure tax return. This needs to be done no later than one month prior to the departure date and PIT obligations should be paid (or a refund claimed back) within 15 days of filing the tax return.

If transferring a large amount of money to a bank in the home country (or an offshore bank), or taking it when leaving Russia, it may be necessary to declare it at the arrival airport or to the tax office in the new country.

Tax Offices

For details of tax offices (Federalhaya nalogovaya sluzba / ??????????? ????????? ??????) in St Petersburg and Moscow that can assist foreign nationals with questions and all tax issues, see below:

  • Moscow
    At
    :  Pokhodny Proezd 3, Bldg 1, 5th Floor, Moscow, 125373
    Tel
    : (495) 955 9987
  • St Petersburg
    At
    :  Sadovaya str 55/57, St Petersburg, 190068
    Tel
    : (812) 740 4390

Medical Care

Before leaving the country, as well as notifying any hospitals or clinics used during the time in Russia of the departure, a copy of all medical records that have been kept by doctors and dentists should be requested. This is especially important for children, and should include records of all vaccinations given. Additionally, any medical insurance providers should be informed of the move and the date after which the service is no longer required. It may be possible to get a partial refund of the premium paid for the unused part of that year.

Cars and Vehicles

Vehicles are rarely exported from Russia when a foreign national leaves, and it is more usual to sell cars before leaving. Any vehicle that has been registered in the name of a foreign resident will have to be sold and any loan for the vehicle cleared in advance of exiting the country. Vehicles should be sold well before the departure date to allow the transfer of ownership to be completed.

Schools

Notification should be given in so that academic reports and records to transfer to the new school can be prepared before  departure. School clubs and activities should also be cancelled. It is advisable to leave a forwarding address for any correspondence.

International Moves

International movers (mezhdunarodnye perevozki / ????????????? ?????????) may be required to handle part or all of the move. As well as shipping general items, there might be belongings acquired during the time in the country that need to be shipped, along with special transportation for certain items, and custom rules to be followed.

Pets

For arrangements needed when leaving the country with a pet, see the Guide on Leaving Russia with Pets.

Change of Address

Details of a new contact address (email, for instance) should be passed on to all the organisations listed above, as well as to the employer and the real estate agent or landlord in case anything needs following up after the move.