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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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Old 7 May 2007
Chris D (Newcastle NSW)'s Avatar
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Cool Russian visa registration at each stop?

I understand that as one travells through Russia, your visa needs to be stamped at each new hotel/accommodation.

What happens if you camp out of town? Do you front up to the next police station to be registered?

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Old 7 May 2007
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Correct, each hotel will register your visa. This is a relatively striaghtforward process, hand in your passport and you'll get it back with a stamp 15 minutes or something later.
Now, registration must be on a certain address, so obviously if you are camping out you cannot be registered.
Don't worry too much about that, yes it is illegal, but no, it will not cost you more than a few hundred roubles worst case, if at all.
Recommend that, within 3 working days of arrival in Russia you spend one night in a hotel, just to obtain the first registration. This will enable you to, when questions are asked, to point at the stamp and say, there it is, although it will only be for the night you spend at the hotel. But since you do not read Russian, how can you know?
Alternatively, you could register with OVIR (not the police!) in each sizeable city, but this a lengthy procedure not to be undertaken without an interpreter and it'll cost you a at least half a day each time ...

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Old 11 May 2007
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The Way to Russia website has some advice about this as well - basically they have a list of "friendly" travel agents who will assist with registration.
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Old 16 May 2007
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Gday Chris,

We have crossed Russia twice now, both time we made sure to register the visas within the required three days, after that we it was a bit of pot luck registering them. Cheaper hotels and motels did not worry.

We only had a problem twice, once in Vlad when a hotel refused to allow us to stay unless went and paid the fine (1/2 days paperwork, whish was fine for us as we had 4 days to kill before the ferry left) normally we would not have bothered, but since we had to stay for a few days as we were leaving for Japan we decided to have all the right stamps just in case we had a problem leaving. Vlad officals appear to be a bit more hung up on having the right stamps.

The other time was when a medium size hotel out side of Kazan (cant recall the name of the city right now) refused to let us stay as it was 14 days since we last had a stamp, but I think it was just a case of the receptionist not waiting to have to bother with outsiders. The next hotel in Kazan had no problems and gave us the stamp.

I would say that in the combined two trips we spent about 60 days in Russia and would have only got about 10 to 15 stamps. The border crossings on Mongolia and Estonia did not appear to have a problem that we had huge breaks in the dates of the stamps. (We did not want to risk Vlad as we were at the very last few days of our Visa’s)

So I would relax and not fret, just make sure you get the first stamp and then play it by ear and be prepared to be flexible and go with the flow.

Will you be using an Australian registered bike?
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Old 24 May 2007
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Australian bike?

We will be in a Land Cruiser ute registered in NSW.

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Old 27 May 2007
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There is a 3 days gap between dates allowance

You can camp and not register at a hotel or find rented accomodation. I rode there last summer and never had any trouble. In volgograd I rented a flat. It was cheaper and far more confortable than hotels. I spent a couple of weeks around the area and later a posh-ish hotel in Volgograd stamped the registration paper for a small fee. Just ask discreetly and you'll find someone willing to help.
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Old 11 Jun 2007
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shipping from vladivostok to moscow

Hi all,

we will be on 5th august in Vladivostok and want to shipp (air) our bikes to Moscow. The question is now, is that possible at the time +- two days? Is there any known institution/agency or name, who can do the paperwork for us at the custom?

Many thanks in ad.
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Old 13 Jun 2007
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Russia visa

Hi, just crossed Russia, last week - Kerch to Kazakhstan.
The only thing you need to get stamped is the IMIGRATION/ENTRY form - about the size of a passport page that you get issued at the border. The visa is ONLY stamped by the authorities
Having said that, no one checked the imigration form on exit.
Just keep any hotel or Gastinitsa reciepts. Not evey hotel/gasinitsa will have a stamp.

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Old 21 Jun 2007
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This requirement for stamps caused me a problem when I exited Russia into Latvia after riding from Vladivostok in 2005. The immigration, or migration, card (I don't recall the correct name for it) referred to in the post above is a small document and after 4 - 5 hotels there was no more room for stamps. After that most hotels stamped their receipts rather than the migration card.

When I arrived at the border checkpoint to exit Russia the migration card was in my passport, but not the hotel receipts. The officials looked at the last date on the migration card and wanted to know where I had been for the last 2 1/2 weeks or so. Because of my lack of Russian we weren't able to communicate adequately until a woman official who spoke some english was called and I then realized the problem. I was able to retrieve a few of the stamped hotel receipts that were buried in my luggage and that satisfied them (they kept both the receipts and the migration card, or whatever it's correctly called). I had not known until then that I would ever need the receipts and the only reason I had kept them was for souvenirs.

So keep all of those stamped hotel receipts and have them available when you exit Russia. The officials seemed especially interested in where I had stayed the night before, so that one may be especially important. Of course, the procedures may have changed in the 1 1/2 years since my trip.

I've always wondered what would have happened if I had not been able to produce the stamped receipts. Btw, the officials were pleasant and courteous at all times, and in fact came outside and waved goodbye when I left. I don't believe this was an attempt to extort a bribe, just a case of a traveler being ignorant of the rules.

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Old 24 Jun 2007
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Recent Changes to Registration

The procedures for Registrations has changed twice this year. I use Mulit Entry Business Visas as it gives greater flexibility and freedom and costs less in the long term. Tourism Visas might be different - I do not know.

My Registrations are done by a friend who works for a travel and tourism company in Moscow. Because I do not use hotels but stay with friends, registrations were made through the local OVIR Police office.

Everyone, including Russians, must be Registered at an address. Visitors too who must get this done within 3 working days of arrival. Weekends and Holidays do not count.

Years ago even Russians had to get Registrations if they went out of their District. That has gone.

On my April 2007 trip I was given a 'continuous' Registration covering the remaining 11 months of my Visa.
My "Migration Card" was returned to me unstamped and I was given a photocopy of part of the Registration Form. Aparently the Registration now goes onto a computer.
On leaving, 10 days later, the airport Border people took my unstamped Migration Card, looked at the Computor screen for a while and let me through.
That specific Registration then ceases and a new one must be obtained for further visits under that Visa.

Last week I came by bike. It has simplified more and is dealt with at Post Offices.
The Registration is completed for the address where I stay - even if I am touring, staying with other friends, in hotels or camping, as I will be. This does not mean I must stay at the Registration address - it is purely where I am Registered and known. I am free to go anywhere in the country.
This time she went to a Post Office with photocopies of my Passport details page and Entry Stamp page, together with Migration Card. The bottom part of the Registration Application was stamped on the reverse and returned. This must be carried with me at all times along with my Passport and Migration Card.
It cost a total of 182.74 Rubles (about$7).
Two days before departure I should mail the Registration part back to the Ministry.
I will be leaving in August so we shall see how it works then.

I repeat this is how it now works for Multi Entry Business Visas when you have a contact address in Russia.
Presumably the Visa Agencies will prvide such an address and do it all for you - for a fee.

Russia is modernising fast but bureaucracy is taking longer. But it is happening.
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Old 9 Jul 2007
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No registration for me

I am in Ulan Ude , having traveled from Vlad to here for the last 2 1/2 weeks. I never registered because I stayed with Russian bikers from the community in Russia. I was stopped several times but only my visa was checked and my immigration form.
I cross to Mongolia-Ulan Bator tomarrow, not sure what will happen?? but I have hope that really this registration is a formality.
It has been so far at the police checks.
If you stay with people get their address.
I stayed in several hotels on the road and in Ulan Ude but they refused to register me.
I saved the receipts.
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Old 23 Jul 2007
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6 month Russian registration

I am back in Moscow and have taken the opportunity to pop into my visa agent to quiz her on the current state of play for permanent registrations.

As of a couple of weeks ago, the longest a foreigner can stay in Russia continuously is 6 months ... ergo the longest registration you will now be able to get is 6 months.

If you wanted to get that, thus be properly registered with out having to faff about in every new town you visit (but dont have a local address os Tony P has), then you can do the following: Not sure all visa inviters will be able to do this for you but many will ... and the agent I always use (Oxana at VisaLink.ru) can definately organise it.

At the time you apply for the russian visa invitation (assuming its a 6 month multi entry business visa), mention then that you will need the full six months permanently registered.

The permanent registration can be arranged once you get to Moscow and give her your papers. She will charge you 1500 rubles on top of the normal invitation fees.

Hope that helps
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Old 27 Jul 2007
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We registered our visa in a hotel in Vladivostok. We did not stay in any other hotels until we left Russia for Mongolia in Ulan Ude (1.5month later). The immigration officer frowned at our migration card and asked why it was so long ago we registered. We explained we have been camping all the time and that was OK with him.

The queue line at the border there was more problematic!
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