Greenpeace says authorities have issued an exit visa to the first of its 30 ship crew members that allows him to leave Russia.

The 30 people were arrested in September following a protest outside a Russian oil rig in the Arctic and spent two months in jail before they were granted bail in November.

Hooliganism charges against the crew were later dropped after Russia's parliament passed an amnesty law that was seen as an attempt by the Kremlin's to assuage the criticism of Russia's human rights record before the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Greenpeace said Anthony Perrett of Britain was the first to get the visa in his passport Thursday.