Planning Your Trip and Buying Tickets

When ordering your tickets to Russia, please check the entry date and the exit date of your visa. You won't be able to enter Russia before the entry date on your visa and leave Russia later than the exit date shown on the visa.
Please read our Section How to Read Your Visa for more details.

Documents Absolutely Necessary for Entering Russia

Before leaving for Russia please make sure you have the following documents with you:

  • Your passport
  • A valid visa to Russia
    (please pay attention to the entry/exit date and the number of entries available - read our Section How to Read Your Visa for more details.)
  • Copy of your passport and visa (Why do I need these?)
  • Copy (original) of your invitation to Russia (Why do I need it?)
  • Migration Card

    Migration Card

    This document is a rather new requirement, and was introduced in 2003 as a means of control over foreign citizens staying in Russia.

    Before entering Russia you will be given a blank of migration card and will have to fill it in. The main rule when filling in your Migration Card (and all other official documents concerning your stay in Russia) - is to avoid contradictions between them. If you are travelling with a tourist visa, you should mention "tourist" purpose of visit, if it is a private visa - you check "private" purpose, etc.

    You may obtain further information and have a look at a sample of a Migration Card here.

    Crossing the Russian Border

    Upon crossing the Russian border, officer will check your passport and visa. The so-called "entry" stamp will be put on your passport, arrival/departure card and your migration card.

    Stamps on all documents look the same. They should indicate the current date in DD MM YY format and have an arrow directed towards the date.

    Example of Stamp

    You will have to present your Migration Card to passport control. After putting a stamp on it, the border guard will remove the top portion of your Migration Card. Please keep the bottom part for the whole period of your stay in Russia - it is a must to present it when registering your visa in Russia and when leaving Russia!
    It is important to make sure that you don't lose your Migration Card. According to the new law, if you don't hand in your Migration card when leaving Russia, you may not be let in the next time! We recommend stapling it into your passport.

    In case you would like to get additional information on this issue or a legal advice from our visa specialist, please send a message to our Visa Helpdesk. We guarantee a response in 24 hours.
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    Visa Manual
    » What is a Russian Visa?
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    » How to Read Your Visa?

    Links for your trip to Russia
    Apply for Russian Visa Online
    Local Visa Agencies
    Russian Embassies Worldwide
    Hotels in Russia and CIS
    Apartments for Short Rent
    Russian Passport Service
    Tours to Russia
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