Russian Visa news & updates


(May 2013)


For most foreign citizens there is little change from last year.  Many nationalities will have to continue using tourist or business visas with a rather disappointing 90 days out of 180 limit.

The biggest change this year has been for US citizens, who can now apply online for a 1 to 3 year multiple entry visa.

For those living in Russia with their Russian partners this visa is an absolute no-brainer.  It seems that this new visa allows US citizens to stay in Russia for 6 months, after which a simple overnight trip to the nearest neighbouring country (lets say Estonia,Latvia, Lithuania or Ukraine) is required.  The good news is that you can re-enter Russia the next day!

Whilst this is still a bit on an inconvenience, its much cheaper and easier than hanging around in ex-Soviet republics for a week or two trying to obtain a new business visa.

(September 2012)


9th September 2012 brought about a massive change in Russia visa law for US citizens.

A new visa regime deal between the US and Russia means that US citizens can now apply for a 3 year multi-entry business/tourist visa!   The exact details are still being worked out, but this visa should be the most popular option for US citizens.

More information on this news here.


(April 2012).


No big changes in visa laws so far this year.  You still get a reasonable 7 days to register, although many post offices/UFMS offices seem to have their own interpretation of what constitutes a working day. Register early at your nearest post office!

On a couple of recent visa runs I’ve been given old fashioned paper migration cards on the plane.  If you get these then make sure you complete them, as I’ve seen people who didn’t bother sent to the back of the line from visa control.

The Sochi Winter Olympics is fast approaching.  Will there be a relaxation of visa regulations for visitors to the Olympics?

As for the World Cup, this will be a nightmare for many tourists unless Russia brings in special laws for the duration of the contest.


(Summer 2011)


Russian visa laws changed in March 2011.  Now all visitors get a rather wonderful 7 working days to register their visa.  In the past, visitors only had 3 working days to register, and many post offices would often interpret Saturday and Sunday to be working days causing a lot of confusion and unwelcome trips to UFMS.

My advice is still to register your visa as soon as possible.

As soon as you arrive at your destination go straightaway to the post office or UFMS (unless you are staying at a hotel).  Another important change is that it is now the responsibility of the visitor to de-register their visa.  Previously, the registration slip would be sent back to the local UFMS by your host.  Now you take it to the airport on your way out of the country and give it in to the visa officials to deregister.








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