Registering your Russian and why it is important.
Not many people are aware that your Russian visa should be registered when in a city for 5 days or more. The Russian Embassy that issued your visa does not explain this to you. If you are traveling with a tour group then you don’t need to worry about this, because they will take care of it. When traveling on your own, you will probably have to do it yourself or pay the hotel or hostel where you will be staying.
It is really important to do this because it is law and subject to fines. It could also prevent you from getting a visa for future travels to Russia.
How to register the Visa yourself.
If you are feeling adventurous or if you have a Russian friend who can help you, then I will explain how to register the visa on your own.
The first step us to guard the immigration card that you have received with your life. This card is very important and imprinted with a number that is needed to register your visa. The immigration card must be presented when you leave Russia and is needed if stopped by police or officials for routine checks, especially in Moscow.
Next is to find a post office in the city where you want to have your visa registered. Ask for the form to have your visa registered. They normally ask to see your passport and visa. As far as I know the form is the same for all types if visas.
It is a 2 page document in Russian that needs to be completed and signed. Most of the information can be obtained from your Russian visa and passport. You will need to fill in a valid address in the city and the name of a person whom you will be staying with.
Once completed the document is returned to the post office. They make a copy of your passport as well as a copy of the document of the person where you are staying. The documents are then stapled together and put in a registered envelope to be send to Moscow for processing. Details are entered on the computer and you are issued with a receipt that needs to be presented if asked for by officials. The cost is 350 Roubles at date of publishing this article.
It took us about 40 minutes to complete the document with the help of my Russian husband. We had to fill the form in twice because we made a mistake on the first one. Personally I think it is better to pay the hotel or hostel to do this for you, especially if you cannot read or understand Russian.