You must have a valid passport and a Russian visa.

Another mandatory document is a migration card. It has to be completed using Russian or Latin letters for each person arriving, including children regardless of age. Migration card forms are handed out free of charge by airlines employees, train crew members, and border control officials.

Part A is kept by a border control official on arrival in Russia while you will have to show Part B on the border on departure from the country which is why it is recommended to keep it with your passport. After you go through passport control on arrival in Russia, you will have a stamp in your passport signifying crossing the border and Part B of the migration card also bearing a stamp (check that the stamps have been put).

The third mandatory document is your health insurance – make sure you are prepared to show it..

Similarly to the procedure on arrival,

you are required to show a valid passport with a Russian visa. The other mandatory document is detachable Part B of your migration card. The passport control officer will keep it and stamp the departure date onto your passport.

During your stay in Russia the host party (i.e., a hotel, a landlord, or your friends who provide accommodation for you) is required to register you with the FMS (Federal Migration Service). It is not your responsibility. However, the law stipulates that in all cases the host party must hand you the document confirming your registration, i.e. the detachable part of the notification of a foreign citizen’s arrival. If you do not have one, it is seen as a violation which might give the police a cause to investigate your circumstances: “If you are not staying at a hotel, where are you staying?” Therefore, if you are going to stay in a rented apartment or with your friends for a few weeks, it is advisable to resolve this issue beforehand. An exception could be made if you are living in your own flat or in the flat of your friends who are away from Russia: in this case 7 business days after the date of your arrival to Russia the duty of registering with the FMS passes onto you personally.

  1. While in Russia, you must carry your passport (original only) with a valid visa and the detachable part of the migration card at all times. The Russian police will not accept a copy of your passport as a valid document. Nevertheless, you should carefully assess the risk of losing your passport. For instance. If you are going to have a good time in nightclub, it could be wiser to leave your documents in the safe in your hotel room and take copies of them and the hotel business card with you.
  2. It is advisable to keep the bills from the hotels where you stayed in Russia until you return to your home country.
  3. Do not sign any documents in Russian without translation.
  4. Do not carry documents together with cash and credit cards.
  5. If your passport should be lost or stolen, you must report the incident to the police. To do this, you need to come in person to the police station at the place where you lost your passport or your place of accommodation. You will get confirmation of loss of the documents there. Next, to obtain the document called ‘Certificate of Return to Home Country’ you should contact the consulate of your country and submit the confirmation of loss of the documents issued by the police.
  6. If you should lose the detachable Part B of the migration card, you are obligated to report it within three days to the local office of the Federal Migration Service at the place of your temporary accommodation, where a duplicate will be issued for you. If you happen not to have Part B of the migration card with you while passing through passport control on departure from the Russian Federation, a blank migration card will have to be offered to you and you are obligated to fill it in.
  7. There are no fines as such for the loss of a migration card. However, if you have arrived in Russia without a visa from a country which has signed an agreement on a visa-free travel regime with Russia and failed to restore a lost migration card, you will have to pay a fine of up to 7,000 rubles, and this incident will be categorised as violation of the rules of stay. If you have entered Russia with a visa, you are under no risk of being fined.