Registration of foreign citizens in Russia

Foreigners living or staying in Russia for more than 7 days must get a registration. It’s a really important document to have and quite easy to obtain. If you are staying in a hotel then they are required by law to register you upon check in. It’s a bit more complicated if you are renting an apartment as not all landlords are willing or able to provide you with this document. Below you will find an explanation of the process. 

What is a registration? 

A registration is simply a document which says where a foreigner citizen is staying for the duration of their stay in Russia. This can be a residential address such as a flat or a house or a hotel. According to Russian law, a foreigner must be registered within 7 working days of arrival in Russia. 

If you decide to stay in a hotel or a hostel, the hotel reception staff will register you for free for the duration of your stay there. However, if you are staying at in a private residence such as with a friend or renting your own apartment, the registration can be done only by the owner of the property. 

It is very important to be registered for the duration of your stay in Russia. Without a registration you won’t be able to do almost any official things such as open a bank account, access the account at the bank branch, apply for government services, etc. Furthermore, failure to register a visa within 7 working days will result in an administrative fine of 5000 Rub as well as having to deal with the authorities at the local police station.  

You must obtain a new registration every time you enter the country.  

In what cases is a registration not required? 

You don’t need to register if you plan to stay in Russia for less than 7 days. You are required to carry with you the migration card confirming your date of arrival as well as proof of onward travel. 

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What if you are renting an apartment? 

If you rent an apartment, you must register there by submitting an application to the appropriate local branch of “My Documents” or the local police station 

The process is simple: 

1. Only the owner of the apartment or house can register you. You need to contact your landlord with a request them to register you at the address of the rented apartment where you are residing. 

2. You must completely fill out 2 copies of the required form (see below). 
3. You will receive the original registration on the spot following a successful registration. Do not lose your registration as it will be a hassle getting the landlord to go with you to get a replacement 

What if your landlord does not want to or can’t register you? 

It is very common that landlords refuse or are otherwise unwilling to register tenants in their rented apartment. There can be many reasons for this such as being concerned they will be required to pay taxes on the rental payments. It may also be a simple case of the landlord not wanting to go through the hassle or if they are not living in Moscow. Furthermore, if you are traveling frequently and need new registrations on a regular basis, it is just an inconvenient process to go through. 

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