FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Question. What is a visa?

Question. Who issues visas for Russia in USA?

Question. Do I need a visa?

Question. I am a US citizen. Do I need a Russia visa?

Question. How do I know if I need a visa?

Question.Is the visa valid for Russia only?

Question. Do I need a visa for my child?

Question. I want to apply for Russian visa. What should I start with?

Question. How to obtain a visa?

Question. I am planning only one short visit. The purpose of my traveling is sightseeing. What kind of visa do I need?

Question. I am planning to visit my friends/relatives. What kind of visa do I need?

Question. What is the difference between a tourist visa and a business visa?

Question. I would like to apply for a tourist or a business visa. Do I still need an invitation?

Question. I am planning to visit Russia to attend a Championship (Congress/Business Meeting/Exhibition/etc.). How can I obtain the "Original invitation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia or the Migration Service of the Russian Interior Ministry?

Question. Can I get a Russian visa on arrival?

Question. I will be applying for a tourist visa shortly. Do you accept copies/faxes of the tourist confirmation of acceptance?

Question. I’m planning to visit Russia. What is the cost of the Russian visa?

Question. Can I pay for my visa by Credit card, Bank check or bank transfer?

Question. I don't have time/opportunity to go to the Russian consulate myself. Is it possible to send the necessary documents by regular mail?

Question. I have booked a hotel in Russia. Do I still need an invitation?

Question. What is a Tourist Confirmation?

Question. According to your visa requirements on website one of the required documents is a "Confirmation of Acceptance issued by the Russian Tourist company". How do I obtain this? Does this refer to the hotel where I will stay - do they provide such a document?

Question. I will apply for a Russian Work Visa next month. I have an invitation from Russia. I will also collect all the documents like stated on your webpage. Which documents should my spouse present when lodging the application? Please confirm if she needs to present the same documents like the main applicant and whether there are additional documents needed, like marriage certificate?

Question. When in Russia, can I change my visa status (i.e. from tourist to business or from business to educational and vice versa)?

Question. I am visiting Russia on an international cruise. Do I need a visa?

Question. If I'm visiting St. Petersburg on a cruise, do I need a Russian visa?

Question. If I'm visiting St. Petersburg by ferry, do I need a Russian visa?

Question. If I'm visiting St. Petersburg by train from Helsinki, do I need a Russian visa?

Question. What does single/double entry visa mean?

Question. How long can I stay in Russia?

Question. I have arrived in Russia. How do I register my visa?

Question. I have lost my passport.What should I do?

Question. I would like to extend my visa

Question. Can I obtain a new visa without leaving Russia?

Question. Can I change the dates of my Russian visa if it has already been issued?

Question. Do the Russian visa centers have anything to do with the actual visa decision?

Question. Can I confirm all my travel bookings before getting the visa?

Question. If my visa is issued, from when does the validity begin?

Question. Where can I get the correct specifications of photographs?

Question. I have created an online application. How do I know if it has been saved?

Question. Can I edit the online application form once it is printed?

Question. How do I retrieve the form if I have not completed it?

Question. Can I use my digital signature on the application form?

Question. How do I know which type of passport do I choose on the application form- Diplomatic, Official or Tourist?

Question. If I have filled out a form for a minor – who has to sign the application?

Question. Do I need to submit originals of any documents when applying for a visa to Russia?

Question. If I submit my application through an external agency, who is responsible?

Question. My visa application was returned to me due to incorrect information. Why?

Question. How do I withdraw my application and will I get a refund?

Question. Will I get my visa at the end of the process?

Question. Where can I obtain information if I require a work permit for traveling to Russia for business purposes only?

Question. If I have received visas in the past, do I have to submit a full set of documents when applying for a new visa for another trip?

Question. If I have a Russian visa which is valid at the time I am submitting a new application – can I have 2 visas at the same time?

Question. I booked a hotel. Does my confirmation constitute an "invitation" to Russia so that I can apply for a visa?

Question. I have an invitation from Russia but the airline did not allow me to board the plane to Russia. Why?

Question. Can it happen so that my visa application is rejected?

Question. What if the information that appears on my visa is wrong?

Question. What are the visa requirements for the citizens of the former USSR?

Question. I have dual citizenship. Which passport should I use to travel to Russia?

Question. How much money in foreign currency can I bring to Russia?

Question. Are there Currency Exchange offices in Russia?

Question. Are there any restrictions on the travel checks (Thomas Cook, American Express, Visa etc.) or credit cards in Russia?

Question. I take pills. Is it OK to bring medical drugs to Russia?

Question. I am in Russia. What to do in emergency?

Question. What should I do if I want to travel to Russia with my pet?

Question. Which is the best currency to take to Russia?

Question. Where is the best place to exchange money?

Question. What is the weather like in Russia?

Question. Which means of transport is better to use in Moscow, in St Petersburg?

Question. Who should I ask if I get lost in Russia? Do people speak English?

Question. Are tourist places closed during public holidays in Russia?

Question. Do I need to carry my original passport with me at any time during my vacation trip to Russia?

Question. What is a visa?

Answer. Visa is an authorisation issued by the representative of the Government of a country permitting a person, not resident in that country, to enter its boundaries.

 

Question. Who issues visas for Russia in USA?

Answer. In the USA, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Washington and its 4 Consulates  (in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Houston) are representatives of the Russian Federation, who issue visas for their country.

 

Question.  Do I need a visa?

Answer. The answer is almost certainly yes. A Russian visa is required for nationals of most countries. However, recently Russia established a visa free regime with several European, Asian and South American countries. To check whether the visa free regime is applicable in your case, please contact the Russian consulate in your country. You can find a list of the countries with visa-free travel regimes here.

Question.  I am a US citizen. Do I need a Russia visa?

Answer. All US Citizens require a visa and a US passport to travel to Russia, whether for business or tourism.

Question. How do I know if I need a visa?

Answer. Depending on your purpose of travel, you should log on to the website of the Embassy/Consulate of the Russian Federation to check whether you are eligible or require a visa.

 

Question.  Is the visa valid for Russia only?

Answer. The Embassy/Consulate of the Russian Federation issues visas for Russia only.

 

Question. Do I need a visa for my child?

Answer. If your child has a separate passport, you will need to get a separate visa for him/her.

 

Question. I want to apply for Russian visa. What should I start with?

Answer. First of all, you need to choose the type of a Russian visa you would like to obtain. Then you should submit a Russia visa application form (along with other necessary documents) to the Russian Consulate or Russian Visa Center.

 

Question.  How to obtain a visa?

Answer. To obtain a Russian visa, you first need to obtain an invitation (visa support) issued by an authorized organization. Then you should take that invitation along with other documents to the Russian consulate in your country in order to obtain an actual visa.

 

Question. I am planning only one short visit. The purpose of my traveling is sightseeing. What kind of visa do I need?

Answer. You need a tourist visa. Please note that a tourist visa is most often issued for a period for up to 30 days. This allows either one entry or double entry to Russia as indicated in your invitation.

 

Question.  I am planning to visit my friends/relatives. What kind of visa do I need?

Answer. If you are going to visit your friends or relatives, stay and get registered with them, you need to apply for a private visa. Please note that the process of getting visa from Russia may take some time. To apply for this kind of visa, you need a personal invitation from a person residing in Russia.

 

Question. What is the difference between a tourist visa and a business visa?

Answer. Tourist visa is issued for travelers visiting Russia on tourism purposes. Business visas can be used both in business and tourism purposes. A tourist visa is valid for no longer than 4 weeks. A business visa can be valid for up to 12 months (in case of US citizens up to 36 months).

 

Question. I would like to apply for a tourist or a business visa. Do I still need an invitation?

Answer. Yes, invitation letters are required for both types of visa.

 

Question.  I am planning to visit Russia to attend a Championship (Congress/Business Meeting/Exhibition/etc.). How can I obtain the "Original invitation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia or the Migration Service of the Russian Interior Ministry?

Answer.  It must be the Organizing Committee of the Event that initiates the issuance of invitation for you through the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Migration Service of the Russian Interior Ministry. Simply contact the Russian Organizers of the Event and ask them to prepare an invitation for you through the MFA or MVD. They should know how to do it.

 

Question.  Can I get a Russian visa on arrival?

Answer. No. Russian visas are only issued by Russian consular departments or licensed visa centers. Moreover, depending on your nationality, you may not be able to apply for a Russian visa at all consular departments. As a rule of thumb, Russian consular departments will only issue visas to nationals who can prove that they are entitled to live in the country where they are applying for at least six months. Before ordering visa support documents, you should always check where you are going to make your visa application.

 

Question. I will be applying for a tourist visa shortly. Do you accept copies/faxes of the tourist confirmation of acceptance?

Answer.  Yes. Tourist Confirmation is accepted in copy.

 

Question. I’m planning to visit Russia. What is the cost of the Russian visa?

Answer.  The cost of the visa is determined upon submission of the documents to the Consular Office. It can vary depending on the type of visa, its multiplicity, citizenship of the applicant, processing urgency, etc. Please see Tariffs at our website.

 

Question.  Can I pay for my visa by Credit card, Bank check or bank transfer?

Answer.  Unfortunately we can accept MONEY ORDER ONLY, which should be paid upon the submission of the application documents.

 

Question.  I don't have time/opportunity to go to the Russian consulate myself. Is it possible to send the necessary documents by regular mail?

Answer. Yes. If you have no opportunity to go to the Russian consulate yourself, you can send documents by mail to the Russian Visa Center. Please contact ILS for details.

 

Question.  I have booked a hotel in Russia. Do I still need an invitation?

Answer.  Hotel booking confirmation and visa support documents (invitation) are not the same thing. Confirmation from a hotel is only sufficient if a hotel is authorized to provide visa support for foreign citizens.

 

Question. What is a Tourist Confirmation?

Answer. Tourist Confirmation is the document, where the provided tourist services, are listed (i.e. airport transfer, hotel accommodation, museum excursions etc.).

Question.  According to your visa requirements on website one of the required documents is a "Confirmation of Acceptance issued by the Russian Tourist company". How do I obtain this? Does this refer to the hotel where I will stay - do they provide such a document?

Answer.  We'd suggest you to contact the Russian hotel or tour operator and ask them to provide you with the confirmation.

 

Question. I will apply for a Russian Work Visa next month. I have an invitation from Russia. I will also collect all the documents like stated on your webpage. Which documents should my spouse present when lodging the application? Please confirm if she needs to present the same documents like the main applicant and whether there are additional documents needed, like marriage certificate?

Answer.  For the spouse to accompany the “main applicant” the receiving Russian organization must provide her with a special (separate) invitation. And, the spouse must provide exactly the same set of documents as her husband.

 

Question.  When in Russia, can I change my visa status (i.e. from tourist to business or from business to educational and vice versa)?

Answer. No, you cannot change your visa status being in Russia. In order to do that, you have to leave the country and re-enter on different visa. There is no visa extension possibility.

 

Question.  I am visiting Russia on an international cruise. Do I need a visa?

Answer.  The regulations for cruise passengers are very specific.

A cruise passenger can get off the ship together with other tourists, in this case no visa is required. The passport control officers just check the list of passengers produced by the cruise company. If you do not want to stay with the group and prefer to make a separate city tour, a visa will be required. To obtain a Russian visa, you need first to be provided with visa support (official letter of invitation). You will then need to take your visa support with all other documents to the Russian consulate in your country and be issued an actual visa.

 

Question. If I'm visiting St. Petersburg on a cruise, do I need a Russian visa?

Answer. Cruise ship passengers have the right to visit St. Petersburg for up to 72 hours without a Russian visa, but there are limitations on what they can do. You have to be accompanied on land at all times by a licensed tour guide (with a specific state license for accompanying cruise passengers without visas) and you have to sleep on the ship.

If you would like to have greater freedom to explore the city under your own steam, it is worth getting Russian visas before you set out on your cruise. In order to do this, you can either book accommodation in St. Petersburg or buy visa support documents from a local agency.

Question. If I'm visiting St. Petersburg by ferry, do I need a Russian visa?

Answer. Passengers traveling on St. Peter Line ferries from Helsinki and Tallinn can also stay in St. Petersburg for up to 72 hours without a Russian visa. This is counted as a cruise, provided that you buy a "city tour" from the ferry company. You will also need to book accommodation for your stay.

 

Question. If I'm visiting St. Petersburg by train from Helsinki, do I need a Russian visa?

Answer. Yes, you do, unless you are from a country with an agreement with the Russian Federation for visa-free travel. Although it has been suggested that the 72-hour visa-free regime could be extended to passengers on the Allegro train, this hasn't happened and is unlikely to happen any time in the near future.

 

Question. What does single/double entry visa mean?

Answer. A single entry visa allows you to enter Russia once, while double entry allows you to enter Russia twice within the period of validity of your Russian visa

 

Question. How long can I stay in Russia?

Answer. Your visa will be issued for the period of time covered by your invitation regardless of the date of the visa issuance and that of your actual entry to Russia. You cannot enter earlier or overstay your visa but you can enter the country later or/and leave it earlier than originally planned.

Normally a tourist visa is available for up to 30 days.  If you are a US citizen and you want to apply for a 3 year  tourist visa  you can stay in Russia up to 180 days.

A business visa can be issued for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months. Please note that a multiple entry business visa allows nationals of all countries except the US to stay in Russia up to 90 days out of the period of 180 days. An alternative option is using 3 months business visas and changing them when necessary. The US passport holders can stay in Russia up to 180 days in a row.

A tourist or business visa cannot be extended.

 

Question.  I have arrived in Russia. How do I register my visa?

Answer. A foreign citizen must register with the local migration authorities (MVD) within 7 business days upon arrival. Then a visa has to be re-registered at each city where you stay more than 7 business days.

The registration must be completed by the receiving entity. Please note that the receiving entity is not necessarily the same as the inviting organization or hotel entered in the person's invitation and visa but a company, hotel or person a foreigner is actually visiting in Russia.

If you do stay at a hotel, the registration is fully taken care of by the hotel reception.

If you stay at a private apartment, your visa is to be registered by your landlord. Please have the landlord apply at the local police precinct (in Moscow) or MVD office in other cities. He will just need to fill out a registration form indicating your passport and migration card details. Your landlord will have to present his passport with the registration (a so-called "propiska") at the same address.

In most cities the form can also be sent to the migration authorities from the local post office. As sending a document by post takes considerably less time than presenting it to the police, we recommend that you use this option whenever possible.

Question. I have lost my passport. What should I do?

Answer.

1. Please contact the nearest police station urgently and report the loss. You will be provided with a certificate confirming the loss of your passport.

2. Please contact your consulate in Russia in order to be issued a new temporary passport.

 

Question.  I would like to extend my visa

Answer. Sorry, this is not possible. Neither a tourist nor a business visa can be extended.

If you happen to overstay your visa, you will need an exit visa in order to leave the country. An exit visa is to be taken care of by the invitation issuer. We find it our duty to warn you that the exit visa obtaining procedure is extremely complicated, time-consuming. We strongly recommend you to avoid overstaying your visa.

 

Question. Can I obtain a new visa without leaving Russia?

Answer. No, not legally. Here is the explanation why.

An entry visa to Russia is processed by the Russian consulates in foreign countries. No entity in Russia can issue a Russian visa.

Sometimes people think it a good idea to send their passport from Russia to their country via FedEx and have the consulate or a visa expediting agency send back the new visa once it is ready. Indeed, this would be the worst possible option to take because in such a case your new visa will be invalid as you will not have crossed the Russian border with this visa and obtained a stamp in your passport.

What with one visa expired and the other, invalid, a foreigner founds himself in a most difficult situation. The only thing he can do is to obtain an exit visa (which is a really complicated procedure) and leave the country directly.

 

Question. Can I change the dates of my Russian visa if it has already been issued?

Answer. Unfortunately you cannot change the dates if the visa has already been issued. In this case you need to reapply submitting all the required documents for the visa and paying the visa fee again.

 

Question. Do the Russian visa centers have anything to do with the actual visa decision?

Answer. No. None of the staff in the Russian visa centers have any authority or discretionary ability with regards to the visa decision. Their job is purely administrative in nature and they cannot influence or expedite any decision.

 

Question. Can I confirm all my travel bookings before getting the visa?

Answer. No bookings or travel arrangements should be confirmed until a visa decision has been made unless it is a requirement for your visa application. VF Services will not be responsible for any loss of expenses caused by delay/refusal of the visa.

 

Question. If my visa is issued, from when does the validity begin?

Answer. The validity of the visa begins from the date of your departure mentioned on the visa.

 

Question. Where can I get the correct specifications of photographs?

Answer.  Please see ‘Photo Specifications’ at  our website. Please note that if you will provide the photograph which does not meet mentioned specification, your visa application will be considered as incomplete and shall be returned to you.

 

Question. I have created an online application. How do I know if it has been saved?

Answer. Before completing your online application form you need to register on the website click here. Please note down your user name and password generated by the system. By logging into your account next time you will be able to see all saved application forms that you have created.

 

Question. Can I edit the online application form once it is printed?

Answer. Yes. Please open this link, enter your application ID and click on “Retrieve electronic visa application form”. On the next page enter all the required information. Please note that you will need to enter first 5 letters of your surname in CAPITAL letters. After you have entered all the required information please click on “Get a new draft ID” and then click “Next” on the following page. Kindly note that by selecting “Get a new draft ID” you will not delete the application form you have already created and it will be available for amendments/correction.

 

Question. How do I retrieve the form if I have not completed it?

Answer. Please open this link, enter your application ID and click on “Retrieve electronic visa application form”. On the next page enter all the required information. Please note that you will need to enter first 5 letters of your surname in CAPITAL letters. After you have entered all the required information please click on “Get a new draft ID” and then click “Next” on the following page. Kindly note that by selecting “Get a new draft ID” you will not delete the application form you have already created and it will be available for amendments/correction.

 

Question. Can I use my digital signature on the application form?

Answer. No, you cannot use your digital signature for the application form. The application form needs to be signed using a pen.

Question. How do I know which type of passport do I choose on the application form- Diplomatic, Official or Tourist?

Answer. A diplomatic passport is issued to someone who travels internationally on official state business. Official passport (service passport, also special passport) is issued to government employees for work-related travel, and to accompanying dependents. A tourist or ordinary passport is a document, issued by a national government for the purpose of international travel, which certifies the identity and nationality of its holder.

 

Question. If I have filled out a form for a minor – who has to sign the application?

Answer. Applications for minors (under the age of 16) must be signed for by the parent or guardian otherwise they cannot be accepted. In case of postal applications – the documents will be returned to the applicant if the signatures are missing. The parents are required to provide a consent letter along with the copy of the passport for the Minor child’s application.

 

Question.  Do I need to submit originals of any documents when applying for a visa to Russia?

Answer. Yes. Visa application form, passport and the invitation (in most cases) are mandatory submitted in original. Documents submitted will not be returned.

Question. If I submit my application through an external agency, who is responsible?

Answer. The visa centers will not be responsible for any errors caused by external agencies who submit applications on behalf of the applicant. In case you have applied through an agency – you will need to address your concerns to that agency.

 

Question. My visa application was returned to me due to incorrect information. Why?

Answer.  In order to obtain a visa, it is essential that the visa application form is filled out correctly. The information you enter in the application form must match the information on your invitation. Fill out the visa form with the invitation in front of you and match the information requested field-for-field.

Here are the some correct answers to the questions asked in the consulate application form.

 

Tourist visa application

•        Purpose of visit – TOURISM.

•        Russian institution to be visited – non-applicable. You need a tourist visa, not a business visa. Tourists are not supposed to be visiting any departments or organizations.

•        Type of passport – TOURIST.

•        Name and reference number of the tourist group - as listed on the invitation.

•        Address of stay while in Russia – as listed on the invitation. Those who apply for a tourist visa are supposed to have booked a hotel in advance. This is why a name of a hotel is always included in your invitation and indicated in Latin characters for your convenience.

•        Are any of your relatives citizens of Russia – please note that the visa type is supposed to match the actual purpose of your visit. If you visit your relatives or friends, please apply for a private visa.  

 

Business visa application

•        Purpose of visit - BUSINESS.

•        Russian institution to be visited – please indicate the name of the invitation issuer. This information has been sent you along with an invitation.

•        Type of passport – TOURIST.

•        Name and reference number of the tourist group – non-applicable.

 

Question. How do I withdraw my application and will I get a refund?

Answer. If you wish to withdraw your application you are required to visit the Russian visa centre and submit your withdrawal request. Russian visa center will not be able to provide you any definite timelines to get your passport back. You are requested to wait. All fees are non-refundable and will not be refunded if your visa application is not successful.

 

Question. Will I get my visa at the end of the process?

Answer. As an application centre, the Russia visa application centre will not be able to guarantee you a visa. The issuance or refusal of a visa is the sole prerogative of the Embassy or Consulate of the Russian Federation. The Russian visa application center cannot influence this decision in any way.

 

Question. Where can I obtain information if I require a work permit for traveling to Russia for business purposes only?

Answer.  Please visit  our website for the information.

 

Question. If I have received visas in the past, do I have to submit a full set of documents when applying for a new visa for another trip?

Answer.  Yes. All applications for Russian visa require documents as specified by the Consulate of the Russian Federation even if you are applying again.

 

Question. If I have a Russian visa which is valid at the time I am submitting a new application – can I have 2 visas at the same time?

Answer.  No. Please be aware, that in case you have recently been granted a Russian visa which is valid at the time you are submitting a new application, we will need you to provide us with the passport where the relevant visa is stamped as the Consulate will need to cancel it.

 

Question. I booked a hotel. Does my confirmation constitute an "invitation" to Russia so that I can apply for a visa?

Answer.  Please note that the hotel booking confirmation and visa support (invitation) is not the same thing.

Some hotels are authorized to issue visa support – but this should be confirmed with the hotel.

 

Question. I have an invitation from Russia but the airline did not allow me to board the plane to Russia. Why?

Answer.   An invitation enables you to apply for a Russian visa but IT IS NOT A VISA! Once you have received an invitation, you need to apply at the Russian consulate for an actual visa.

You will need to the present the Consulate with the following documents.

 

Question. Can it happen so that my visa application is rejected?

Answer. The Russian consulate reserves the right to process applications as long as it deems necessary, to invite applicants for a personal interview, and to reject applications if the consulate believes that the applicant's entry into or stay in Russia would not be desirable. Please note that consular fees are not refundable.

 

Question. What if the information that appears on my visa is wrong?

Answer. Once you receive the passport with your Russian visa, please check all the information which appears on your visa very carefully. The consulate will correct any of its own mistakes free of charge. If there was an error in the application through your own fault, however, the consulate have the right to ask you to submit a new set of documents for a visa. It is always a good idea to make a photocopy of your passport  and your Russian visa and take it to Russia with you. The photo page and the visa page are the most important.

 

Question. What are the visa requirements for the citizens of the former USSR?

Answer. No visa required for the citizens of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.

 

Question.  I have dual citizenship. Which passport should I use to travel to Russia?

Answer.  Russian citizens, even dual citizens/nationals, must enter and depart the Russian Federation using a valid Russian passport. If you are not a Russian citizen, If one of your nationalities is not Russian, you can apply using whichever nationality you prefer, but you must disclose all nationalities to the Consulate on your application form. Russian citizens, even dual citizens/nationals, must enter and depart the Russian Federation using a Russian passport.

 

Question.  How much money in foreign currency can I bring to Russia?

Answer. You can legally bring to Russia any amount of cash money, however you are required to declare a sum that is more than $10.000 (or equivalent).

You can legally bring out of Russia up to $10.000 in cash. If you have more, the rest of the sum must be accompanied by a special certificate named “Permission to export currency” issued by a Russian bank.

 

Question. Are there Currency Exchange offices in Russia?

Answer. Yes, there are. You can legally exchange foreign currency in Russian banks.

 

Question. Are there any restrictions on the travel checks (Thomas Cook, American Express, Visa etc.) or credit cards in Russia?

Answer. No, there are no restrictions. Credit cards and travel checks are not to be declared and can be used freely. Russian banks can cash your travel checks. You can also buy travel checks in Russian banks.

 

Question.  I take pills. Is it OK to bring medical drugs to Russia?

Answer.  Yes, in reasonable quantities for personal consumption. Better to have a translated doctor’s prescription with you.

 

Question.  I am in Russia. What to do in emergency?

Answer. In emergency, please, contact the nearest Consular Office or the Embassy of your country or Russian authorities.

In Russia, you can contact Fire Department, Police Department, or Paramedics - by dialing 911 or 112 from your cell phone.

 

Question. What should I do if I want to travel to Russia with my pet?

Answer. If you want to take your pet to Russia, you have to obtain an international health certificate from a local certified veterinary doctor.

 

Question. Which is the best currency to take to Russia?

Answer. All prices in Russia are given in roubles, and it is prohibited by law for any outfit to accept any other currency except the national one. It would be worth exchanging your cash into roubles upon your arrival in Russia.

Question. Where is the best place to exchange money?

Answer. Changing money is rarely a problem in Russia. Almost every place, even a smallest town, has a bank or a currency exchange office. This is not always the case in the tiniest remote Siberian or mountain villages, but, generally, if the town has more than 1000 inhabitants, a legal money exchange will not cause a problem.

 

Question. What is the weather like in Russia?

Answer. The best time to visit Russia is May through September. Temperatures range from the 21C-32C in the day to the 10C-21C at night. Be aware that the spring and fall are unpredictable with flurries showing up in May and September, and mud ensuing. Take along with you waterproof shoes and a jacket.

 

Question. Which means of transport is better to use in Moscow, in St Petersburg?

Answer. The Moscow and St Petersburg Metro is a great alternative to using local taxi services. You'll travel fast, cheap and easy, skip most of the traffic, and save lots of time. This means of transport may not be very comfortable, but nothing beats it as the traffic gets worse by the year. Also, taxis cost a lot these days.

 

Question. Who should I ask if I get lost in Russia? Do people speak English?

Answer. If you haven't learned to speak Russian yet and find yourself in a difficult situation, you can ask hotel receptionists, guides, translators or any English-speaking people to help you get around and find your way back to the hotel or train station.

In Russia’s big cities, you can buy a map or travel-guide in English with sightseeings. Russian transcription is found in most subways. If you get lost, you can turn to any policeman or passer-by for help. More and more people speak English in Russia with each passing year.

 

Question. Are tourist places closed during public holidays in Russia?

Answer. There are a total of nine official holidays in Russia. All countries have their own set of holidays, but what’s different about Russia is that holidays last longer.

Another unique feature of Russia’s holidays is that all markets and public places remain open, and people are seen thronging the streets. The entertainment centres and recreational activities can be enjoyed till late evening, making it a fun-filled holiday for Russians.

 

Question. Do I need to carry my original passport with me at any time during my vacation trip to Russia?

Answer. Police have the authority to stop people and request their documents at any time without cause. Due to the possibility of random document checks by police, foreign citizens should carry their original passports, registered migration cards, and visas with them at all times. Failure to provide proper documentation can result in detention and/or heavy fines. It is not necessary for travelers to have either entry or itinerary points in the Russian Federation printed on their visas.