The Requirements for Entering and Traveling in Russia

russia sky line

Russia is the largest country in the world. Visiting it can introduce you to a wide variety of cultures. It houses the second-largest art museum in the world and is home to a rich and colourful history, incredible architecture, untouched nature, and unique tasting experiences. 

Tourists can visit Russia in two different ways. One is through a plane ride and the other through cruise ships. These options, however, adhere to different sets of rules for entering the country. 

If you find yourself hoping to visit the beautiful country of Russia soon, here are things you need to know and the requirements you need to meet. 

Flying is the most common way to get to this country, and if you decide to take this route, here are the things to note:

On Visa Application: Like other countries, you need to secure a visa from the Russian embassy in your location. Make sure that you allow enough lead time for its processing. For standard service, visas are often provided in 20 business days. That means you should consider applying at least one month before your travel dates. For rushed service, expect to get your visa in three business days. 

To ensure smooth entry and travel, follow the tips below:

  • Make sure all details are correct.
  • Make sure you read through your visa’s term and condition.

On Required Biometrics: Russia requires mandatory biometric data for every visitor to their country. This solution helps them manage their security and prevent illegal immigration. This requirement starts for foreign visitors aged 12 and up. If you belong to this category, please visit the visa application centre and submit your biometrics.

When entering the country via cruise ships

Here are the things you need to know when visiting Russia on a cruise ship:

  • If you are in St. Petersburg, Novorossiysk, Korsakov, Vyborg, Sochi, and Kaliningrad, you do not need a visa. However, you can only stay there for 72 hours.
    However, make sure that you are booked through a licensed travel company. 
  • In the instance that you lose your passport while you are ashore, you need to report it to the next embassy or consulate within 72 hours. Otherwise, you could experience the following:
    • Court hearing
    • Fines
    • Deportation
    • Ban from reentry

Other Things You Need to Know

On Your Passport: 

  • Make sure that your passport is valid and contains a signature. Passport owners who do not sign their passports will not be allowed to enter. 
  • Never travel if your passport is nearing its expiration date. Make sure that your passport’s validity is within six months after your visa’s expiration date. 
  • Even if you have a new passport with you and your old passport with a visa expires, you will not be allowed to enter the country. In this case, you need to apply for a new visa or ask for a visa transfer. 

On Immigration Cards:

  • Russia also requires you to have immigration cards as soon as you arrive in the country. It is used as an enter key. Therefore, if you do not register, the country will not allow you to enter. 


Visiting other countries would require people to abide by that country’s rules for their own safety. Since Russia is the biggest country in the world, it will need extra security elements to make sure everyone entering their land has good intentions. While their requirements are more demanding than other countries, you will find that they are worth going through once you see and experience the nation first-hand.

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