Local laws and regulations

Recommendations to foreigners in Russia

You must register your stay with the local branch of the Federal Migration Service within seven working days of arrival in Russia. Most major hotels will do this automatically. If you are staying in private accommodation the owner of the property must do this for you. You need not register a visa if your visit is for less than seven days.

All foreign nationals entering Russia must sign a migration card, which is produced electronically at passport control in the major airports. Provincial airports may still require you to complete the migration card manually. The card is in two identical parts. One part will be retained by the Immigration Officer on arrival. You should keep the other part with your passport; you will need it when you depart Russia and if you are stopped by the police for an ID check during your stay. There are many hotels and hostels that will not check in guests if they do not have the stamped white immigration card with them. You must complete a new migration card each time you enter Russia, even if you have a multiple entry visa. If you lose the second part of the card you will be fined, and your departure from the country could be delayed.

Do not become involved with drugs. Long sentences are given for those in possession of even small quantities of drugs, regardless of whether they are “hard” or “soft”

You must carry your original passport at all times in the Russian Federation. A copy will not be sufficient. If you cannot produce your passport when asked, you will be fined. The Russian immigration service usually retains copies of visiting cruise passengers passports for immigration purposes for 6-12 months.

Homosexuality is legal in Russia and there is a reasonably tolerant attitude to homosexuality in major urban areas. However, be careful about public displays of affection as there is still a degree of intolerance amongst some sections of the population.

The photographing of any military installation, establishment or site of strategic importance (including airports) is banned. You are likely to have your film confiscated, be detained for questioning and possibly arrested if you do not observe this rule.