Updated 11 months ago

Russia has been attracting expatriates from across the globe for many years.However, Russia is often considered to be one of the most bureaucratic countries in the world and the procedure to get there can quickly become complicated especially for first time visitors. Hence, you are advised to start your expatriation project with planning and inquiring on travel formalities with Russian authorities in your home country a few months in advance. 

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 within seven working days following your arrival. 


Foreigners travelling to Russia are required to fill in an immigration card which is distributed by stewardesses on your plane or filled in by the customs officer when you present them with your passport. Note that the form consists of two sheets, one of which you will have to leave to Russian authorities on your arrival. You will need to produce the other form at your departure when going through customs.

It is best to keep this document along with your passport in case you are subject to police control. After going through customs and picking up your luggage, you will have to take the green corridor if you carry less than 10,000 dollars or euros with you or the red corridor if you carry over 10,000 dollars or euros with you. Walking through the red corridor simply means you will have to declare the amount you are bringing on the Russian territory. 


You are required to register with the nearest post office or federal migration office to your residence within seven working days following your arrival in the country. Your Russian host or hotel will do it for you since only Russian citizens or businesses are allowed to register foreigners.


You are authorised to stay in Russia only during the validity period of your visa. If you stay beyond this period or do not register within seven working days of arriving in Russian territory, you may be liable to a 5,000 Russian roubles fine, repatriation at your own expenses, or you may even be banned from coming back to Russia for the next five years. 

On reaching the airport, your passport will be stamped with an exit visa and you will have to remit your arrival card. 

 Useful links:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
Russian Embassy – Embassy locator worldwide

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