Someone I know is a Swedish-South African citizen, and has a Swedish ID card and a South African passport.

He's going on the Allegro train Helsinki-St Petersburg (and back), and his documents, combined, are sufficient for this trip (Swedes have freedom of movement in Finland, while South Africans are visa-free for Russia for 90 days).

The problem is: when booking the ticket online, you have to enter document info to be transmitted to the Rajavartiolaitos and the FSB, and the system only lets you put one document per direction.

So the question is: should the person put the document to be used at Finnish, or Russian, border control?

Does it differ in each direction?

I e-mailed and called VR (Finland's railway operator), but they were completely bamboozled and ignorant about the situation, and thus of no help (they said "put in the document to be used during the journey")

Also e-mailed the Rajavartiolaitos head office, in Swedish followed by English, but haven't received a reply thus far. Would write to the FSB St Petersburg division as well, but my Russian is too poor and I doubt they'll reply to a message in English.

  • can't he just attach the two docs as a single file ?
    – Antzi
    May 17, 2017 at 5:51
  • 3
    @Antzi You don't upload a copy, you just put in the document number, nationality and (IIRC) expiry date
    – Crazydre
    May 17, 2017 at 5:54

2 Answers 2


I suggest to use the passport which would be used on arrival, so for a way to Saint Petersburg it will be South-African, and for a way to Helsinki it will be Swedish one.

This should work fine, as the most interested side for getting one's passport info is "accepting" country.


The information submitted to the railway operator will likely only be used by authorities to check against lists of unwanted/dangerous/interesting persons, and NOT to determine whether one is entitled to enter the country. That determination is made in person, based on the presented documents.

So, technically it shouldn't matter which set of details is entered. Given that I'd expect more hassle from Russian border guards than from the Finnish ones, I'd put the SA passport information in for both directions and then just show the Swedish ID when entering Finland.

  • 2
    What about when exiting Finland? I've heard (but cannot confirm) that the Rajavartiolaitos also want to see that you can enter Russia, so I assume that, going to Russia, you'd have to present both documents to them.
    – Crazydre
    May 17, 2017 at 14:47
  • If they ask, show them the passport, what's the problem with it? They'll add the information about your Sweden passport - they definitely have a workaround for this situation.
    – VMAtm
    May 17, 2017 at 20:39

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