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 Post subject: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 00:11 
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The migration card.

Is in two parts, both parts must be completed prior to approaching the immigration desk.
The Russian immigration officer will retain part "A" and give you part "B" after placing a stamp on it.

Image
This is the back of side "A" that is retained by the Immigration officer upon arrival

Be sure not to loose part "B" because you will need it to exit Russia.


Registration.

Registering is a must, if you fail to do so then you can be fined and even worse get a ban on applying for a visa for quite a long time.

If staying in a hotel or another organisation rendering accommodation services then you must register on the day of arrival.
Otherwise you have three business days in which to register (it is not recommended to leave the registration until the last day).
If travelling onwards from the point of entry then make sure to retain all travel tickets as evidence.

The options.

  1. Hotel.
  2. Agency.
  3. UFMS.
  4. Post office.

  • Hotel
Part of the check-in process

  • Agency
You find an agency that registers foreigners.
They take copies of you passport, visa and migration card.
I have heard of agency fees of up to £50.--

  • UFMS
To register with the UFMS you will require the same documents as registering with the post office and it is more or less the same procedure.

Registering with the UFMS directly in my experience is a nightmare and will take at least a day.
I though do know that at least one member of this forum prefers to register with the UFMS directly.

  • The Post Office
To register at the Post Office is very easy, especially if you come prepared.

First of all the UFMS fee must be paid in the Sperbank (2 rub. for every day of stay including the first and last day).
It is my experience that this can be done without the need for my passport but other people have stated that the Sperbank cashier has asked to see the passport of the person being registered (different local rules according to where you are getting registered).

The person (host) who's private residence you're staying at must register you, you cannot register yourself.

At the Post Office your host will be given a form to fill in (which they must fill in) unless you have already pre-prepared pre fillied in all the data and printed the form (my solution).

The Registration document.
Attachment:
Blank_UtvForm_Notification-A.doc

Attachment:
Blank_UtvForm_Notification-B.doc

You will also need to provide photocopies of:
  • The data page of the host’s internal passport.
  • The page in the host’s internal passport that shows that host is registered in the host’s flat.
  • The registration document of the host’s flat.
  • The data page (the page with the photo) of your passport.
  • The visa
  • The page showing the last entry stamp
  • Your migration card (both sides).
All documents must be provided in duplicate.

Be aware that post offices will not make the photocopies for you and further some Post Offices will not have photo copying facilities so if you know that beforehand then just get the relevant photocopies done somewhere else first before you make the trip to the post office.

The post office will take the filled in form along with the photocopied documents and give you back the bottom part of the form with a stamp on which is the "registration slip" (sort of a receipt). You need to keep this registration slip with your migration card and passport to prove you've registered in case anyone in authority stops you and asks to see your documents (rarely happens but is a possibility).
Another option is to make a copy of the registration slip (both sides) and keep it with you, if you use this option then there is no danger of forgetting to return the registration slip to the host before departure.
The registration form
Image

If you have not made a copy of the registration slip then before you leave Russia, you need to give the registration slip back to your host and it is then their responsibility to send it off the UFMS (again they can do it at the Post Office) in order to "de-register" you
According to Russian law your host must de-register you within two days of leaving Russia.
If this isn't done then your host could be fined and you could face potential problems when trying to apply for future visas so it's important that this gets done.

My experience of registering using the post office is.
I arrive in Russia.
I then travel until I arrive home.
I plug in my computer.
Go to the folder with all the required registration documents that do not need to be current i.e. Latest visa / entry stamp and migration card.
Update the Registration form with the current migration card number and the new entry and departure dates.
Hit print.
Scan and print the latest entry stamp and migration card.

We then go to Sperbank.
Then the post office, my fiancée goes into the Post Office I go to a florist.
By the time that I am finished with the florist my fiancée is waiting for me outside the Post Office.
And I have spent much more than she has [lol.gif]


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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 07:28 
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Thanks for this VERY clear and easy to comprehend explanation of a process that can be confusing and frustrating.


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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 08:14 
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Great info Ras

But a word of warning to those registering, as Ras stated try to register the 1st day you arrive, especially if its your first time in a particular town and your not familiar with the local system. If you are not in Hotel and must make registering via UFMS (immigration office) or Post Office yourself then be aware that UFMS is not open every day, or it can be open but the cabinet you need is closed !! and in my experience UFMS there is a lot of waiting involved, better post office if you have choice, which has only just become available in my town. And always pre print your forms ready and have a passport style photograph of yourself (Photo not needed for private invitation), photocopies of passports and visa, this will save a lot of time.

My example:- i arrived Friday and was too tired to register and my wife couldn't go with me , i thought it was 3 business days so Monday or Tuesday would be fine, thats not how some interpret it, but i should have registered Friday at UFMS or at Post Office which can be open also Saturday and Sunday which i did not know !!. I went to Post Office Monday 4th day (not knowing they open Sunday [surprised.gif] and they would not register me but where quite happy to offer me a Protocol [angry.gif] , so off to UFMS to try my luck there and they are closed until Tuesday - 5th day!!!

Now that i should and could have registered as Post Office within 3 days the UFMS wanted also to give Protocol, something they are keen to do, no good arguing with them, if they think they are correct then they will do as they please, unless you have a copy of the federal laws to hand and speak fluent Russian then forget it. Lets just say that my error again cost me a well placed 1500pyb !!! and they forgot about the protocol, finally the Russian system worked for me.

But if you get 2 protocols for registration issues you can be Black Listed for 5 years, some say its 3 protocols, but i can say from experience its 2 !!! :shock: , there is no right of appeal, virtually impossible to know why you have been refused Visa, Consulate and Visa Center and UFMS will not communicate any information about your problems, but the Barstewards are very happy to keep taking your Visa application fee each time you try, this is the side of Russia i hate, they are very Greedy and will use any opportunity to take your money in any situation of life and that goes for most people you don't know in Russia. It took me over one year to find out i was Black Listed for 5 years and for exactly what !! in my case i was stitched up. You can only challenge this decision by taking a Russian solicitor and i guess then would be very difficult to clear your name and very expensive, get the registration right and don't fall into this trap.

If you are travelling and you will arrive late at registration place then if you have copies of travel tickets with dates and times it will help, ie so you can prove when you arrived in town, as they only have the date stamped on your visa to go off. In my case i was late arriving to town because one of those very unreliable Russian cars which was bringing me from the airport broke down [wink.gif]

I am not sure what you would do if travelling through the country, ie what if you made a road trip across Russia and never stopped anywhere for more than a day, you travelled by car or motorcyle, you could be there 1 or 2 months, what would you do about registration, what would happen at border control on exit !! Just keep your petrol tickets !!, i ask this because next year i am interested to tour Russia by Motorcycle. Anybody know which is the best border crossing to make ??


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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 08:30 
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In Barnaul the UFMS refused to register me in a private apartment since I had a tourist visa. We did not try the post office, but did the old stay one night in a hotel trick instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 09:44 
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Julian,

I have heard of your horror story from elsewhere.
I am aware that it is now "spilt milk" and I do not want to be a "Smarty Pants".
As I see it you are correct in your assumption that you were stitched-up.

The Post Office is only open on Saturdays for a half day, at least in Yuzhno-Sakhalin.
Post Office open on Sundays? Not in Yuzhno-Sakhalin, and as far as I am aware nowhere else in Russia (I could be corrected).

OK I concede that the rules are applied differently in the different in different regions.
But the national rules stipulate unless staying in a Hotel or another organisation rendering accommodation services then it is 3 business days. and Saturdays and Sundays do not count because they are not business days. See the back of the Side "A" of the migration card in the Original Post.

Now it gets entertaining "Side "A" is the side retained when you enter Russia (could that be so that you cannot refer to it? [sarcastic.gif]

I just happen to be a scatterbrain :roll: and I lost the blank migration card that was handed out (OOPS [sorry.gif] )so I had to ask for another one (before the aeroplane landed), that is why I now have a spare one.
OK useless unless I want to refer to the text on the back but useful if I do need to refer to the text on the back :lol: , so a spare migration card does have it's uses.

OK in saying this I would still say that it is best to register As Soon As Possible just in case of problems such as the Post Office closed for "technical reasons".


Now to answer you question about travelling through Russia by car or motorbike.
I have asked Alla (my fiancée) about using receipts from petrol stations as proof, her answer was "нет" no, and the kind of look that says "foreigners, what do they know".

Alla's suggestion was, if travelling by road using your own transport there are two options
1. To get the militsia (police) to verify your movements.
2. To stay every second night in a hotel, get registered in the hotel and keep a copy of every registration slip.

As far as crossing the border as I understand it the best bet is the Latvian / Russian border (avoiding Belarus) I have read something about the M9.
I would also suggest looking for info on Redtape.ru (an expat forum that has a section called "The Garage"
Quote:
The Garage Discussion about anything transport related, including; GAI, Maintenance, Driving Licenses, Traffic, Maps, Roads and of course transport itself.


I Hope This Helps.

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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 11:38 
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Ok thanks Ras


But in Dimitrovgrad the Post Office is open on Sunday so it could well be in other towns !!! so i fell foul of presuming it would be closed, sometime's immigration office is Saturday morning and i am sure that in Russia they could class every day as a business day if they wanted to be akward.

You cannot register a tourist Visa to a private address that is law i believe.

In my region of Ulyanovsk they do not like you registering a business visa to a private address although i believe it is legal to do so. And if they suspect you are not making business and only there for the purpose of pleasure they can create issues.

In Dimitrovgrad the hotel registration does not work, because they want you to pay for every day you require registration for !!! not so good if your there 3 weeks, i have tried this and i know some Americans also tried and failed , i am interested to know how you do this, just staying one day, please explain , bribe the hotel ??? Hotel in Dimitrovgrad would not take bribe so i guess they have been warned by UFMS, there is only 2 hotels in town so no choice.

For me the only way now is private invitation as i stay at private house and i have a wife there so as i said before i am not tourist and in this small city i am well known to immigration and because there is Atom station there they are very watchfull of foreigners and it seems me, even the KGB or now FSB has investigated why i go to this town !!! and interviewed my wife and family, although not approached me, YET !!! [fingerscrossed.gif]


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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#7  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 12:58 
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Julian wrote:
Ok thanks Ras


But in Dimitrovgrad the Post Office is open on Sunday so it could well be in other towns !!! so i fell foul of presuming it would be closed, sometime's immigration office is Saturday morning and i am sure that in Russia they could class every day as a business day if they wanted to be akward.
I have just re-discussed the issues with Alla, she is adamant that Saturday and Sunday are not classed as Business days and that if a Post Office is open the facility to register will not be operational.

Quote:
You cannot register a tourist Visa to a private address that is law i believe.
Sorry but I beg to differ, and the reason being.
If a tourist decides to rent a flat for the period that they stay in Russia then they are going to have to get a registration for the flat that they are staying in.

Quote:
In my region of Ulyanovsk they do not like you registering a business visa to a private address although i believe it is legal to do so. And if they suspect you are not making business and only there for the purpose of pleasure they can create issues.
It is absolutely legal to register a business visa to a private address again I will use the example I give above just transpose the word "tourist' with "business person".
Further what is the definition of business, I conducted a business meeting yesterday with one of Alla's cousins, we discussed the economic issues of making wine in Northern Russia versus Southern Russia and we then discussed the possibilities of producing Vodka in Northern Russia from old shoes. [lol.gif] [rolfsmall.gif]

Quote:
In Dimitrovgrad the hotel registration does not work, because they want you to pay for every day you require registration for !!! not so good if your there 3 weeks, i have tried this and i know some Americans also tried and failed , i am interested to know how you do this, just staying one day, please explain , bribe the hotel ??? Hotel in Dimitrovgrad would not take bribe so i guess they have been warned by UFMS, there is only 2 hotels in town so no choice.
Julian, I think that you misunderstood me, I did not say that it is possible to stay in a hotel for just one day and get a registration for longer than the one day stay.
Or could it be that you meant to ask stubben about the one day hotel stay.
stubben wrote:
In Barnaul the UFMS refused to register me in a private apartment since I had a tourist visa. We did not try the post office, but did the old stay one night in a hotel trick instead.
My recommendation was to stay in a hotel for a day and then move on if you were travelling by car or motorbike through Russia so that you have an "official record of being on the road.

Quote:
For me the only way now is private invitation as i stay at private house and i have a wife there so as i said before i am not tourist and in this small city i am well known to immigration and because there is Atom station there they are very watchfull of foreigners and it seems me, even the KGB or now FSB has investigated why i go to this town !!! and interviewed my wife and family, although not approached me, YET !!! [fingerscrossed.gif]
See the above about registering in private flats.

OK an escape clause, in Yuzhno-Sakhalin there are many, many "foreigners" working/living here so there are a lot less problems of "jealousy", also some of the companies the employ many of the expats are multi-national with big legal departments that would stomp on any dodgy "home made" restrictions because some petty jobsworth thinks that it would be a good idea.

And as we know in many of the regions that are less frequented by foreigners the local UFMS officials make up the rules to suit themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#8  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 14:21 
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Julian wrote:
In Dimitrovgrad the hotel registration does not work, because they want you to pay for every day you require registration for !!! not so good if your there 3 weeks, i have tried this and i know some Americans also tried and failed , i am interested to know how you do this, just staying one day, please explain , bribe the hotel ??? Hotel in Dimitrovgrad would not take bribe so i guess they have been warned by UFMS, there is only 2 hotels in town so no choice.


It is a bit of a hit and miss with the hotel registration. My wife booked me for the entire stay, they completed the registration for the whole period, and then we paid for one night only. The next day, after getting the registration papers of course, we made some lame excuse about going to Novosibirsk for a day... they probably knew we were lying. I'm not sure if they can de-register early in such cases or 'cancel' the registration... maybe I will find out the next time I apply for a Visa. Anyway, I had the stamped registration paper I usually need to show at the airport when I leave, only this time they didn't check it...

My family stayed in the same hotel the month before, and even though they were just staying 3 nights they didn't complete the registration for the entire period.

Not that I've tried this of course, but bribing Hotel Barnaul does not work... [biggrin.gif]


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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#9  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 14:25 
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Rasboinik wrote:
Quote:
You cannot register a tourist Visa to a private address that is law i believe.
Sorry but I beg to differ, and the reason being.
If a tourist decides to rent a flat for the period that they stay in Russia then they are going to have to get a registration for the flat that they are staying in.


I wish you could have been there to 'beg to differ' with the UMFS officials when they refused to do my registration.


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 Post subject: Re: Registering in Russia
Post Number:#10  PostPosted: 22 Aug 2010 14:35 
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stubben wrote:
Rasboinik wrote:
Quote:
You cannot register a tourist Visa to a private address that is law i believe.
Sorry but I beg to differ, and the reason being.
If a tourist decides to rent a flat for the period that they stay in Russia then they are going to have to get a registration for the flat that they are staying in.


I wish you could have been there to 'beg to differ' with the UMFS officials when they refused to do my registration.


Simple really, show me the law that says that you cannot register as a tourist at a private address.

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