You need a visa in order to travel to Russia.

At present, it is not possible to buy a visa at the port of entry. (However, your visa can be issued at the Pulkovo II International Airport's Consular Office, if that is pre-arranged by your local host organization. Click here for details). Many find the procedure of obtaining a Russian visa a difficult and lengthy process, but unless your name is James Bond or Al Capone, you won't have much trouble getting a Single Entry visa. It is a Multiple Entry visa which is so difficult to get. For details, see How to get a visa?

Types of visas
How to get a visa?
Visa registration process and why it is important
Visa Registration Offices in St Petersburg
Extending your visa


Visa registration process and why it is important

Every foreign visitor to Russia has to register his passport and a visa with a local OVIR - Department of Visas and Registration - within three working days of his arrival.

If you are staying at a hotel, they will do it for you. When you check in, you should give your passport with a visa to the reception desk staff, who will handle everything. Just pick up your passport later.

If you stay with a friend or at a rented apartment, you should go to a local Visa Registration Office during their office hours and register your passport and visa. It is important to comply with local regulations, including visa registration, especially if you plan to apply for Visa Extension at a later stage of your stay.

Editor's note: Don't be offended by the fact that you need to register. This procedure or some similar to it exist in many countries. One day visa registration will no longer be required. Meanwhile, it is a good idea to know all the rules and play everything by the book.

Extending your visa

Detailed information on this issue is coming up soon

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