If you buy a ticket for a match of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, you get a Fan ID and can use it to enjoy visa-free travel to Russia. Do you have to attend the match as a condition?

I am not a football fan (sorry) but I am tempted to buy a last-minute ticket and use it for a quick Russian tour without going to the stadium. Is this acceptable to the Russian immigration authorities? One obvious downside is losing $210 (or whatever is the cost of the ticket).

I have seen this question, although the titles are similar that question has a different situation.

  • Would just getting a visa not be cheaper? – Richard May 11 '18 at 9:56
  • 1
    There's quite some paperwork and time involved with that. Plus FAN-ID also has other smaller benefits, like free transport. So that $210 wont be a complete loss. – Hanky Panky May 11 '18 at 10:04
  • Are there geographic limitations on the Fan ID? My only venture into Russia on a work visa a long time ago effectively restricted me to one city – Peter M May 11 '18 at 11:07
  • I don’t see them listed but I expect there may be some so I will still visit only the cities which are hosting matches. – Hanky Panky May 11 '18 at 11:51
  • Seemingly you need a match ticket in order to use the free travel on trains option (fan-id.ru/help.html - 21. If you are traveling on a free train to another city for a match, take your passport, FAN ID in laminated form and match ticket with you – without them you will not be able to board the train.) but it doesn't seem to say anywhere that a ticket is explicitly required in order to use a Fan ID and gain visa-free entry to Russia. It seems that the Fan ID and ticket are treated as separate entities and so actually attending the match doesn't seem to be a requirement. – MrAndySweet May 11 '18 at 13:07

Fan-ID website has exerpts from the relevant laws:

FAN ID is a document for sporting event spectators issued by a federal...

Spectators of sporting events are defined as persons possessing an entrance ticket for a match or a document in a form set forth by the government of the Russian Federation that entitles them to obtain an entrance ticket for a match.

I checked the law itself (in Russian): it does indeed say that. So technically whether or not you actually attend a match has no bearing on your legal status as a spectator.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.