Service bureaus may appear in Russian foreign institutions, which will become, in a sense, a foreign analogue of Multifunctional Centers (MFCs). This was reported to Izvestia in the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Thus, the relevant norms are spelled out in the draft federal law “On Amendments to Articles 16 and 37 of the Federal Law “Consular Charter of the Russian Federation”. Such service bureaus will have to provide citizens with information and consulting assistance in the preparation of documents, as well as their preliminary verification before submission to the consular office.
“It is expected that this measure will significantly increase the throughput of consular offices with the same staffing level of the diplomatic staff, reducing the time for receiving a citizen and the queue time in anticipation of such an appointment. At the same time, of course, the possibility of self-preparation of documents by applicants (if desired) and their submission directly to the foreign institution will also be preserved, ”the department noted.
They specified that the aforementioned service bureaus will be created, first of all, in those regions where a large Russian diaspora lives, which leads to an increased demand for consular services and a workload for the relevant foreign institutions. In addition, it is meant to pay attention also to those countries where the staffing capabilities of Russian missions abroad have been curtailed due to recent demarches by local authorities to expel our diplomats.
On June 9, the relevant draft law was registered in the State Duma. The State Duma Committee on International Affairs will prepare the document for consideration, the first reading will be held in June. The list of countries where service bureaus will open will be approved by the Foreign Ministry. At the same time, they will act within the framework of the internal laws of these states. That is, bureau employees will not have diplomatic status.