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Registration: What is it and how do I get it?

Registration is essentially a process by which you tell the Russian authorities after your arrival to Russia where they can find you if need be. This is actually in accordance with international protocol (the US asks visa applicants for an address where they plan to stay as well), but in Russia it is considerably more complicated than usual.

The good news is that registration in Russia has been recently simplified. You now have seven days to register rather than the old three days. If you'll be in Russia for less than seven business days, you don't need to register at all. For example, if you arrive on Saturday, August 6th, and leave on Monday, August 15th, you will not need registration because your stay only covers six business days.

The bad news is that for those who still need it, it's still considerably more difficult to follow the related procedures than in, for example, the US. You should ask the folks issuing your invitation what will be the best way to get you registered.

The registration must be completed by the "receiving entity." Please note that the receiving entity is not necessarily the same as the inviting organization listed on the person's invitation and visa but can be a company, hotel, or person a foreigner is actually visiting in Russia. When you stay at a hotel, the registration is fully taken care of by the hotel reception upon check-in.

If your invitation was issued by our company and you stay at a private apartment in Moscow, you can have your visa registered at our office. Our Moscow office address is 29 Leninskiy Prospect, Bldg. 8, tel.: (495) 956 4422, fax: (495) 665 5424.

In other cities, if you stay at a private apartment, your visa should be registered by your Russian landlord at the local post office. The landlord will have to fill in a form and enclose a copy of your passport (photo page and visa page) and a copy of your migration card. Your host will also need to show his/her passport registered at the same address. Your host can also apply to the migration authorities (the local FMS office) but experience shows that getting registered through the post is easier.

The notification form has two parts separated by a puncture line. The main part is submitted to the authorities. The tear-off receipt or a copy of it must be kept throughout your stay in Russia and shown to the police or to the passport control officers at the border if requested. Before leaving Russia, you must return the original receipt to the landlord, who in turn must submit it to the migration authorities within 48 hours. Failure to do so may lead to the authorities’ assuming that the visa has been overstayed. This in turn could lead to your being fined or placed on one of the blacklists maintained by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which might make future travel to Russia more difficult. In addition, the receiving entity will also be fined. When leaving Russia, please keep a copy of your tear-off registration receipt.

If you visit several cities, you need to re-register your visa at each city where you stay more than seven business days. When you leave your current Russian city, you should be "deregistered" and then "reregistered" upon arrival to the next city where you will spend more than seven days.

It is NOT ok to not register (no matter what otherwise-helpful people may have told you). If you are caught without registration, the fine you will pay is significantly higher than any fee you might be asked for to register. This also counts as a visa infraction, which may lesson your ability to get another visa in the future. The inviting agency may be fined, investigated, and even put out of business if you are caught without proper registration. We know it's pain to register, but it's a much bigger pain for everyone if you don't register.

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This is a non-government site and whilst every endeavour is made to ensure the information is correct and up to date, there may be changes which we are not aware of. It is always a good idea to check the latest regulations. You should confirm details with your local Russian Consular Office.
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