I'll be flying Aeroflot from Germany to Vladivostok with layover in Moscow SVO.

Aeroflot hotline told me that the check-in opens 150min and closes 45min pre-flight, but could not tell me about immigration formalities.

Vladivostok Airport homepage tells me I have to fill in the immigration card at VVO before leaving through customs.

This is my first non-EU flight. I already obtained the visa. Do I have take into account additional time for visa / passport / luggage checks at departure or layover airport?

  • 1
    Actual travel experience: Though arriving at SVO in August, queues were short, the immigration card was automatically printed for me and from arrival to departure gate, it took approx 20 minutes. Biggest timewaster is passport control queue.
    – arney
    Sep 10, 2013 at 16:04

2 Answers 2


A page from Moscow SVO airport website details these rules and the needed times.

From this, we can learn the minimum connecting time depends on the terminal you arrive/leave and it varies from 1h10 to 2h.

And yes, you will need to go through customs and claim your luggage, and then check your luggage again.

As for the Vladivostok airport (VVO) rule you mention, unless I missed something, it says you should fill a migration card "at the entrance to the Russian Federation", not specifically at this airport, so in your case it will most likely happen at Moscow airport (SVO)

  • Thanks for the link. As mentioned, procedure for changing from Aeroflot to Aeroflot might differ.
    – arney
    May 29, 2013 at 15:47
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    @arney you'll see my update about filling the card at VVO or SVO.
    – Vince
    May 29, 2013 at 15:53
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    @arney Why would it differ? In every country your transfer from International to Federal Flight you will pass through customs.
    – Karlson
    May 29, 2013 at 16:38
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    @arney OK. See #2 from Aeroflot aeroflot.ru/cms/en/before_and_after_fly/transit
    – Karlson
    May 29, 2013 at 17:29
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    SVO can be a mess when changing planes, the 2 hours may well not be nearly enough depending on time of day and who's at the customs/security/passport control desks. At times you might just walk through, other times you can spend hours and hours in a seemingly never moving line.
    – jwenting
    May 30, 2013 at 6:10

In general, the hard part of getting to Russia is sorting out your visa, once you have one actually going through Immigration is generally no problem. (Unless you land at a busy time and end up in a huge queue, but that can happen anywhere.)

Also, since you presumably have the entire trip on one booking from Aeroflot, it's their responsibility to accommodate you if you don't make your connecting flight, as long as your layover is longer than the minimum connecting time helpfully linked to by Vince.

  • Well, I'll infer from this that no one at the airport of first departure will actually give a damn whether my passport/visa are valid and there's no need to arrive any earlier than for national flights.
    – arney
    May 30, 2013 at 13:18
  • @arney They might but they are generally not required to. As far as arriving early you might need to if you're passing a separate outbound passport control, which in Europe you might.
    – Karlson
    May 30, 2013 at 23:32
  • @arney: Your Russian visa will most definitely be checked by airline personnel in Germany, but that won't take long. But you'll have EU exit immigration to deal with, which can be pretty bad in some airports (cough, Frankfurt, cough), so you'll want to show up earlier than usual. May 31, 2013 at 0:24

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