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I'm a Canadian with a tourist visa. Someone has offered me a ride from Riga to Moscow from BlaBlaCar and I wonder if I would be denied entry into Russia due to trying to enter from a private car rather than from an official bus company.

If the driver were my friend, perhaps it would be better, but this driver is a stranger and my tourist via invitation came from a tourist company, not from a friend, so I'm not on a "visiting friends visa". I'm just using this stranger for the ride, which I will be paying for through agreement on BlaBlaCar.

I do not speak any Russian, but I have downloaded the "English -> Russian" Google Translate dictionary on my phone for off-line usage.

  • Does your visa specify exactly means you should use to cross the border? Otherwise why would you be? – bipll Sep 26 '18 at 11:00
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    What do you mean? The visa just has my picture and the dates of validity, but there's certain countries that have restrictions on how can you can enter. For Belarus I can only enter by flight into Minsk airport and it cannot be from Russia. – user1271772 Sep 26 '18 at 11:02
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    Yes, because Belarus has a more relaxed visa policy compared to that of Russia yet they both are in the same visa-free regime, hence more artificial restrictions. On the contrary, Latvian border is nothing special in this aspect, so you'll be subject to the usual border passing rules. And last time I've hitchhiked through Russian border — 13 years ago, from Ukraine — it was really nothing special. Besides, you have the BlaBlaCar app in your phone (don't you?) and you can additionally print the invoice to present it to the guards, should they be curious about it. – bipll Sep 26 '18 at 11:24
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    Great to hear at least someone's hitchiked across the Russian border successfully! It was 13 years ago though, this isn't something I want to risk just to save 20 Euro (the cost of a real bus from Riga to Moscow is only 20 Euro more than the BlaBlaCar). That is good advice for me to keep the screenshot of the invoice on my phone. Thank you for that. – user1271772 Sep 26 '18 at 11:29
  • Just to make this clear, do you have a valid Russian visa? I don't think a Latvian/EU visa alone will do. As long as you have the visa, there should be no issues regardless of whether you enter the country by bus or in a private car, as long as the driver is trustworthy. – undercat Sep 28 '18 at 10:34
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There is no rule whatsoever preventing you from entering by means of hitchhiking.

In general, foreigners from low-risk non-Russian speaking countries aren't questioned at all; the FSB simply checks that the passport and visa is in order and then stamps you in.

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I can't guarantee that there will be no problems but I don't believe there would.

It's a busy checkpoint since the bulk of traffic between Latvia and Russia goes through it, and they are accustomized to all kinds of strangers there: the Baltics are known for low cost flights and Russia isn't, hence the traffic.

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