Russian government implements passport handover requirement for travel ban recipients

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11th December 2023 – (Moscow) A new government decree in Russia mandates that individuals who have been banned from travelling abroad must surrender their passports to the authorities within five days of receiving notification. The decree, which went into effect on Monday, aims to enforce travel restrictions imposed on various groups of individuals under Russian law.

The travel ban can be imposed on several categories of people, including conscripts, Federal Security Service (FSB) employees, convicts, individuals with access to state secrets, and those possessing “information of special importance,” among others. Individuals falling under these categories are now required to relinquish their passports to the issuing authorities, such as the interior ministry or the foreign ministry authorities.

Once surrendered, the authorities will safely store the passports until the travel ban is lifted. The government decree also outlines that individuals can retrieve their passports by submitting an application once the travel restrictions have been lifted.

In cases where the travel restriction is based on conscription for military or alternative civilian service, individuals must additionally present a military ID as proof of completion of their service, as stated in the resolution.

This new regulation follows a report by the Financial Times in March, which cited unnamed sources close to the matter, claiming that Russia’s security services were confiscating the passports of senior officials and executives of state-owned companies in order to prevent them from travelling overseas. Although it is unclear whether this recent government decree is directly linked to the earlier reports, it signifies an expansion of passport control measures in the country.