The Russian Federation is the biggest country in the world, geographically speaking, covering one eighth of the world’s entire land area, and it encompasses almost every geographical feature. It has complicated and interesting history, dating from Imperial times to the Bolshevik Revolution to the fall of the USSR. Its great cities are Moscow and St. Petersburg, which have grown to be extremely expensive after the fall of the Soviet Union, but there are many different rural areas inhabited by different ethnic groups.
Visas in Russia:
All foreigners who wish to visit Russia require a visa, except for people from Georgia and Turkmenistan. You have to get an invitation from a Russian citizen or company, that is taken to a Russian embassy or consulate. You will need to register your visa within three business days of arrival. There is a different form you must fill out if you are from the US or different countries.
In order to get a visa to go to Russia, you must submit the following:
- Visa application form
- Tickets and Return Documents
- HIV certificate, if you are going for over three months
- Migration card
You can get a tourist visa through an invite by a tourist agency or hotel confirmation. They are usually issued for a month, and can’t be extended when you are in Russia. Your invitation must be approved through the Department of Consular Service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Your invitation must also have a confirmation and a voucher.
You must have an invitation from a Russian employer to work in Russia. There are many English-teaching positions, mainly for young children and business people. In order to then get a work visa, you must submit:
- Completed application form
- 2 Passport photos
- Original letter of invitation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs or its regional office
- Original HIV test certificate
Click here for job vacancies and their descriptions.
Students generally choose to study in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, but there are many different opportunities all over the country. Student visas have the same requirements as the work visas (see above). Visit the Russian Educational System’s official website for further details.
Click here for information about different types of visas.
Moving Pets to Russia:
Though the visa process can be complicated, moving your pets to Russia generally is not. Cats and dogs can come into Russia without waiting in quarantine, so long as they are vaccinated against rabies and other infectious diseases. You must prove this at customs with a valid international veterinary document and health certificate translated into Russian. Microchips are not mandatory as of yet. Birds are allowed into Russia, but follow stricter regulations.
Visit Moscow Animals for more details, and information about flying with your animal.
Click here for blogs about expat experiences in Russia.
Visit the Moscow Expat Site for information about laws, real estate and news.