Russian law requires visitors to register their Russian visas within 3 business days of their arrival. Visa registration is necessary for every foreign citizen entering Russian Federation.

The registration can be done:

  • in a hotel or a hostel where you are going to stay
  • by the owner of the apartment if you are staying in a private apartment with friends or a family
  • by the company issued your visa invitation

When you stay in a hotel or hostel, your Russian visa registration would be done either at no additional charge or at some administration fee (about 5 Euro) when you check in.
If you are staying in private accommodation your Russian visa registration must make the owner of the apartment – and this is the most hellish procedure! Apartment owner have to visit the OVIR office (the Federal Migration Service Department) and spend several hours in the queue. We advise you to control it and ask to make the Russian visa registration for you – otherwise you will feel the Russian bureaucracy at its worst!

Upon arrival, you will be given a migration card, which you should fill in carefully (your full name, passport data, purpose of visit, duration of stay, terms and purposes of visit and the prospective place of residence) and the instant you cross the Russian border, the customs’ officials stamp it thus indicating the date and site of your arrival.

Keep your migration card safe until departure – you should hand the migratory forms back at the customs and if your migration card was lost/stolen or simply not stamped you will be prevented from leaving the country until you are fined and all the necessary paperwork is done.

Warning: The rules of the Russian visa registration were changed in January 2007.

In order to register the visa a copy of your passport, visa and migration card together with the special registration form should be taken to the local branch of the migration service. This should be done by the landlord or hotel representative.
The authorities accept the form and give a tear off coupon that the foreigner should keep until departure. When leaving, the foreigner returns the tear off coupon to the landlord and the landlord passes it to the migration service office. This should be done within 24 hours after departure.

It’s worth keeping in mind

  • Every foreign citizen including children entering Russian Federation with own passport has to fill in the migration card and register Russian visa.
  • Russian visa has to be registered on-site, which means that you are obligated to register your Russian visa in every point of your route where your stay exceeds 3 business days.
  • Violation of the Russian visa registration rules leads to the Russian visa withdrawal for up to 5 years and the following fines:

for the foreign visitors – 2000-5000 rubles,
for Russian hosts – 2000-4000 rubles
for authorities – 40000-50000 rubles
for inviting companies – 400000 -500000 rubles

Please apply for any additional questions. We’ll be glade to answer.