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tl;dr: Visiting Russia for 8 days, not staying in one town/city for more than 2 days at a time. Do I need to register? If so, when?


I’m planning a trip to Russia later this year, and am looking for some clarity as to whether it will be necessary for me to go through the migration registration procedure.

I’m a British/German dual citizen. I currently have only a UK passport, but can acquire a German one in plenty of time to use it for this trip if there’s any particular advantage to doing so.

I’ve already visited Russia once, but that time it was not necessary as the trip was less than 7 days long. This time the trip will be longer, but I won’t be staying in one place for more than 2 days at a time. Itinerary is still subject to change but will be something like:

2 nights in Moscow
1 night in Murmansk
2 nights in Teriberka
1 night in Murmansk
2 nights in Moscow

I’ll have hotels in Murmansk and Teriberka, and stay at my friend’s flat in Moscow.

The information I’ve found online generally points to registration being required after 3 days in one place or 7 days total in Russia (so I would have to register). But that information is coming from various not-very-authoritative looking google results (mostly travel agencies who should know, but there are plenty of contradictory statements).

My host in Moscow believes only the 3 days in one place rule applies (so it’s unnecessary as I won’t be staying anywhere for 3 days at a time), and that (while we can do it if I really want) registering would just be a waste of time.

The only authoritative source I can find is mid.ru: Migration registration of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation, but I can’t quite make sense of what it says. The applicable part seems to be:

Persons subject to registration at the place of stay:
[…]
2) a foreign national temporarily resident or temporarily staying in the Russian Federation – after seven working days from his/her arrival at the place of stay, except, when that foreign national:

a) is in a hotel or in some other organisation providing hotel services, in a spa resort, health resort, recreation centre, camping, travel camp, children’s holiday camp, medical organisation providing medical aid in hospital conditions or a social service organisation;

Which seems to suggest it’s time in one place that matters (and 7 days in one place, not 3), but I suspect I’m reading it wrong as it also seems to suggest registration is unnecessary if staying at a hotel.

A later paragraph says:

The procedure of migration registration, in fact, is reporting to (notifying) a territorial unit of the Federation Migration Service that a foreign national has arrived at his/her place of stay and must be carried out within seven working days after the arrival of the foreign national to the Russian Federation. Furthermore, it should be known that all the migration registration procedures are effected by the Receiving party, and the foreign national is not required to turn to any organisations and waste his/her time.

Which seems to say that it is necessary to register within 7 days of entering Russia, regardless of how long you’re in any one place. But also seems to say that I don’t need to do anything at all?

The end result of my research is that I’m very confused. Can anybody clarify what exactly the requirements are, and specifically whether the itinerary above would require me to go through the registration procedure?

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    AFAIK this has always been interpreted as you don't have to register if your stay is less than seven days at a location, but I don't have the official source. – Michael Hampton Mar 23 at 13:36
  • If you can prove to the border officer while exiting that you did travel to different cities (e.g by showing them train tickets, etc) you should be let through – Sandy Bridge Mar 25 at 11:26
  • Hotels will, as far as I know, always and immediately do the registration for you on your first night. So the question boils down to: do you need to register for the two Moscow nights at the beginning and/or at the end? – Jan Apr 30 at 17:21
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    @ChrisH I can understand wanting to shut up the voice in the back of your head and I am only commenting because I do not have sufficient evidence to make it an answer =) I think I remember (which is sadly not ‘remember’, but close) is that all they have to do is copy the migration card along with the passport and hand it in but again, that’s not enough to fully answer your question. – Jan Apr 30 at 17:55
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    @Jan I appreciate that you’re trying to help :) – Chris H Apr 30 at 17:57
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tl;dr: Registration is not required for stays of less than 7 working days


I returned from this trip yesterday, and can report back with at least a partial answer.

My fears that the accommodation we'd booked would not do the foreigner registration procedure turned out to be well-founded. Nevertheless, I wasn't worried by this as I'd been able to clear up the situation for my itinerary when I arrived at the airport:

I was in Russia from Sunday 5th May - Sunday 12th May, making a total of 8 days (or parts thereof). In usual circumstances that would be 5 working days, this particular week included the Victory Day celebrations and was in fact just 3 working days. In any case, I asked about the requirements at the airport on arrival and was informed that registration is mandatory after 7 working days. As I was not in Russia for 7 working days, the details of how long I stayed in one place were not relevant in my case and registration was not required.

It's worth noting that I asked about requirements at the information desk (that is, the answer came from airport staff, not from a passport control agent or other border official) but I can confirm that I experienced no difficulty passing passport control when exiting Russia without having done the registration procedure.

Unfortunately at the time I did not think to ask about rules relating to time in one location when staying in Russia for a longer period, so am unable to clarify whether or not somebody with a similar-but-longer itinerary would avoid the registration requirement.

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    It's 7 working days per region as well. If you leave the Moscow "region" for another region of Russia, you have to register again. Thank you for posting your experience. I too travel during holidays (New Years and Russian Christmas) and am usually exempt from a lot of the registration of the visa. Glad it worked out for you! – AussieJoe Jun 28 at 22:26
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A few years ago I was in a similar situation. (German citizen) But the solution was really simple. The receptionist of my hotel was processing the registration and at the end of the day, I had a registration receipt. (3 nights in Moskva) No questions were asked and never I needed it.

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    Sorry but I’m downvoting because this answers a different question than the one I asked. I know that in principle the hotels should take care of the registration, but due to the specific circumstances I have (slight) doubts about my accommodation. I know that a hotel should do it, and that I won’t have trouble leaving the country if I am registered. What i want to know is whether I will face any troubles at immigration if I am not, or whether my itinerary means no registration is required. – Chris H Apr 30 at 17:41
  • Feel free...but consider a review of your very broad question. I think it can happen, what can happen on every international border you try to cross without the proper paperwork. Everything from a small fine, to serious legal trouble. – user94624 Apr 30 at 17:45
  • It’s a long question, not a broad one. It’s so long because I tried (apparently unsuccessfully) to make it very clear what very specific information I’m looking for. No idea what the end of that comment relates to, I’m not asking anything about what happens when trying to cross borders without proper paperwork. I’m trying to find out whether a specific document is part of the “proper paperwork” for this trip - specifically so I can ensure I’m not attempting any border crossing without the proper paperwork. – Chris H Apr 30 at 17:56

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