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Traveling to Russia

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Formalities related to traveling to Russia are quite complicated. This article provides you with all relevant information.

Russia has been attracting expatriates from across the globe for many years. However, formalities which have to be filled in may be quite complicated. You are advised to start your expatriation project by proper planning and inquiring on travel formalities with Russian authorities in your home country.

Note that whether you are making a short or long stay in the country, you will be required to report your presence with local authorities, both on your arrival and at your departure. The report form is available at the airport where you will be landing.

Arrival

Foreigners traveling to Russia are required to fill an immigration card which is available on your airline and at the airport. This document will be essential for the validation of your visa. You can seek assistance from airport or custom officers if you are facing any difficulty in filling the form. Note that the form consists of two sheets, one of which you will have to produce to Russian authorities on your arrival. You will need the other form at your departure. It is best to keep this document along with your passport in case you are subject to police control.

Moreover, you will have to fill in a Customs document whereby you will have to declare any foreign currency which is in your possession if its amounts to a maximum of 1,000 euros. You should keep this document carefully as it will be requested once again at your departure. In fact, you will have to declare your remaining currency.

Registration

You are required to register with the nearest post office to your residence within 3 days following your arrival in the country. Your host may accompany you in case you are residing at a sponsor's place. This was previously carried out at the OVIR office, now renamed UFMS. 

Departure

You are authorized to stay in Russia only during your visa's validity period. If you stay beyond this period, you may be liable to a heavy fine, to repatriation at your own expenses, or even to interdiction from coming back to the country.

On reaching the airport, your passport will be stamped with an exit visa. You will also have to remit your arrival card to the local authorities.

 Useful links:

Expat.com - Russia Forum 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia www.mid.ru
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia - Foreigners Registration application form www.mid.ru/bul_ns_en.nsf
Consular Department of Russia – Visa application visa.kdmid.ru/PetitionChoice.aspx
Russian Embassy – Embassy locator worldwide www.russianembassy.net

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