All visitors to Russia must have visas, including children. You cannot obtain a Russian visa on arrival in the country.

Exact procedure of issuing Russian visas is listed on Federal Migration Service web-site:

Briefly talking, to obtain a visa a foreign citizen should apply to a diplomatic or a consular representative office of the Russian Federation in his country and submit the following documents:

  • identity document (passport);
  • filled visa application form with one photo;
  • one additional photo (30x40 mm);
  • medical insurance policy;
  • invitation letter in original.
    The letter is issued by one of the Federal Migration Service offices in Russia under a request of Russian inviting party - private person, legal entity or tour agency.
  • in case the foreign citizen applies for over 3 months visa a HIV- (AIDS-) negative certificate is also needed.
  • consular fees payment receipt.


Categories of visas: Diplomatic | Service | Ordinary | Transit | Temporary
By far the most wide-spread is the ordinary one, which itself is divided into: Private | Business | Humanitarian | Study | Work.
And depending on the number of entries: single | double | multiple-entry.

In addition, foreign citizens arriving to Russia on multiple-entry business visas or multiple-entry humanitarian one-year visas are authorized to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation summarily during not more than 90 days in each 180-day period.

A foreign citizen, who did not leave the territory of Russia upon the date of visa expiration will pay a penalty in amount of 2000-5000 Rubles and might be deported from Russia without possibility to get a new visa within 5 further years.

For more information browse Russian embassy web-site in your country:

Argentina | Armenia | Australia | Austria | Azerbaijan | Bangladesh | Belarus | Belgium | Benin | Bolivia | Bosnia & Herzegovina | Brazil | Bulgaria | Cambodia | Canada | Chile | China | Colombia | Congo | Costa-Rica | Croatia | Cuba | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | DPRK | Ecuador | Egypt | Estonia | Finland | France | Georgia | Germany | Great Britain | Greece | Guatemala | Guinea | Hungary | Iceland | India | Indonesia | Iran | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Japan | Jordan | Kazakhstan | Kenya | Korea | Kuwait | Kyrgyzstan | Laos | Latvia | Lebanon | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Macedonia | Madagascar | Malaysia | Malta | Mexico | Moldova | Mongolia | Morocco | Mozambique | Nepal | New Zealand | Nigeria | Norway | Pakistan | Panama | Peru | Philippines | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | RCA | Romania | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Singapore | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sri Lanka & Maldives | Sudan | Sweden | Switzerland | Tajikistan | Tanzania | Thailand | Tunisia | Turkey | Turkmenistan | UAE | Ukraine | Uruguay | USA | Uzbekistan | Venezuela | Vietnam | Zambia | Zimbabwe



Foreign citizens are required to maintain a migration card for the duration of their stay in Russia. It is used to monitor all foreigners coming to the country.

Card is given to foreign citizens at ports of entry: air-crafts, trains, international buses, etc and looks like this: Front side | Back side. Foreign citizens shall fill in both parts ("A" and "B") and present to the Border Control Officer along with their passports or other travel documents. One part of the card is kept by the Officer, the other half is submitted to the Border Control Officer when leaving the country.

A foreign citizen is obliged to be registered at the local branch of FMS within 3 working days upon arrival. There are 2 types of registration:

  • at his place of residence (po mestu prozhivaniya). The host party is a Russian citizen with whom the foreigner will be staying
  • at his place of work (po mestu prebyvaniya). The host party is a company in which he will be working

Host party must deliver a special notification to local FMS office with copy of foreigner’s passport, visa and migration card



Every working foreign citizen is required to have a work permit for employment in Russia.

The first step must be made by the inviting company. This is handled by the HR department, who will have to apply to the local employment office and Russian Federal Migration Service to obtain a permission to attract and employ foreign workforce. Usually it takes company 2-3 months to obtain such a permission. A foreign citizen will have to submit a number of documents mainly to confirm his professional skills: medical certificates, copy of passport, photos, negative-tests from a Russian approved clinic for HIV (AIDS), drug addiction, leprosy, tuberculosis, syphilis, chlamydia, chancres.

The whole procedure is lengthy and complicated with a possibility of refusal.



If you plan to drive in Russia you will need an International Driving License or Permit. This is a certification of your national license in several languages including Russian. Alternatively you may have your national license notarized here in Moscow when you arrive.