Entering Russia

Important procedural rules for foreigners entering Russia, including registering with the FMS…

When entering Russia, foreign nationals are required to complete a form called a migration card (free of charge). The form must be carried with the passport at all the times, and be submitted at the border when leaving Russia. Failure to do this may result in a fine.

After entering the country, foreign nationals are obliged to register with the Federal Migration Service (FMS, Federalnaya Migracionnaya Sluzba / ??????????? ???????????? ??????) within seven days (excluding weekends and public holidays). If the intended stay is to be less than seven days, no registration is necessary.

Registration is carried out in the local town or city office of the FMS by getting a stamp in the passport or on the migration card, and obtaining a registration slip. This slip is issued locally in each place where the foreigner stays in Russia, for the period of the stay at that place, and should always be carried together with the passport and the migration card. It may be required for a regular routine check by the Russian police at train stations, airports and other public places, which is not considered unusual or inappropriate. When leaving Russia, the registration slip is taken from the foreign national. When a multiple entry visa is granted, the registration procedure has to be repeated for each re-entry of the foreign individual into the country.

For tourists, hotels and other tourist establishments take care of the registration for their guests. For visitors to, or employees of, a Russian company or educational institution, registration is carried out by a representative of the organisation issuing the invitation for the visit. Private visitors are obliged to register themselves.

  • For information about FMS office locations: Click here (in Russian)

Failure to register, and to present the registration slip and migration card when exiting Russia, may both result in administrative difficulties as well as a fine of R.2,000-5,000, although foreigners are not usually prevented from leaving the country.

In case a foreign national is staying in a private apartment and cannot, or does not wish to, visit the local FMS office, Russian Federal Law also allows registration at a local post office.

Documents Required

Documents required for registration are:

  • Photocopy of the passport page with photo
  • Photocopy of the visa and the migration card with the date of last entry
  • Photocopy of the page with photo of the landlord's identity document
  • Photocopy of the current address registration of the landlord, which must be the same as the address of the registration of the foreigner
  • Two completed “Notification of Arrival” forms (in Russian; provided by the post office).
  • If registering at the post office, a large A4 envelope for posting the items to the regional FMS office. The post office should be able to provide the correct address. If all required documents are present, the post office checks them, compiles the application and provides the stamped registration slip