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Russian Visa Requirements

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The latest update on the new registration rules in Russia

New registration rules came into effect on January 15, 2007. Here is the latest clarification/update.

A foreign citizen visiting Russia on a tourist or business visa must register with the local migration authorities. Paperwork must be completed by the receiving entity. Please note that the receiving entity is not necessarily the same as the inviting organization or hotel entered at the person's invitation but the actual host company, hotel or person a foreigner is visiting in Russia.

If a person stays at the hotel, the hotel will take care of the registration.

If a person stays at a private apartment, a visa is to be registered by a landlord whether it is a tourist or a business visa. A landlord must apply at the local police precinct in Moscow or Federal Migration Service (commonly known as OVIR) at other cities. A landlord will need to fill out a notification form and include a visitor's passport and migration card details. A landlord will have to present his passport and he must be officially registered at the same apartment. A landlord can also send notification form by registered mail to the postal address of the local police precinct/FMS office. A landlord will have to present his passport at the post office.

Please note that registration has to take place within the three business days upon arrival at each location in Russia. Notification form has two parts separated by a puncture line. The main part is
submitted to the authorities. The tear off receipt must be kept by a foreigner throughout his entire stay and presented to the authorities if requested. Before a foreign citizen is leaving Russia, she/he must return this receipt to the landlord, who in turn must submit it to the migration authorities within 24 hours. Failure to do so, may lead to the authorities' assuming that a visa is overstayed. This in turn, could lead to a foreigner being fined or placed in one of the black lists maintained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which might make future travel to Russia difficult. In addition, a receiving entity will also be fined.

It appears that after an initial period of confusion, the Russian officials are getting a hang of the new registration procedure and it should go fairly smoothly at any location.

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