Living in Russia

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Visas to travel to another country

New Zealand Embassies or High Commissions do not issue visas for travel to another country (only to New Zealand), and cannot provide definitive information on another country’s visa or permit requirements. Contact the Embassy or High Commission of the country you intend to visit well in advance of travel for up-to-date information about their visa and permit requirements.

The information below is for guidance only. The final decision on issuing a visa to travel to Russia rests with the Russian authorities.

Do I need a visa to enter Russia? What about other countries in the region?

New Zealand nationals require a valid visa to travel to Russia and all other countries in the region i.e. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

For visa requirements to travel to Russia, see the website of the Russian Federal Migration Service(external link).

On receiving your Russian visa check the detail on the visa label is accurate (passport number, date of birth and validity period). It is generally difficult, time-consuming and costly to try to change your visa status once in Russia.

On arrival in Russia you are required to complete a migration card. A single card covers both Russia and Belarus. The Immigration authorities will retain one portion of the card while the stamped “Exit" portion is to be kept with your passport for collection on departure from either Russia or Belarus.

I am not in New Zealand. Can I apply for a Russian visa in a third country?

Visas to travel to Russia are usually issued by the Russian Embassy in the applicant’s country of nationality i.e. New Zealand nationals apply in New Zealand. But Russian visa regulations now allow foreign nationals with the right to stay in another country for longer than 90 days, to apply for a visa at the Russian Embassy in that country.

When applying for Russian visas in a third country, you need to submit with your visa application evidence of your right to stay in that country for longer than 90 days. This could be a long-term entry visa, work permit or residence permit. Present this in the original and attach a copy to the application. In countries where visas are not required e.g. the United Kingdom where New Zealand nationals have a right to stay for up to six months as a General Visitor (see the United Kingdom Home Office website(external link)) take a copy of the six month entry permit stamped into your passport on arrival.

Travel in Russia

Registration on Arrival

All foreigners entering Russia must register within three working days of arrival. Your hotel will generally do this for you and will hold onto your passport during check-in. Registration usually takes around an hour and you will need to remember to pick up your passport again before going out. Visitors staying privately must register at the local Federal Migration Office. Failure to register may result in significant delays or fines.

ID Checks

New Zealanders visiting or living in Russia are reminded that it is a legal requirement to carry a passport or Identity Card and visa and migration card at all times. Police can stop you to check your documents at any time, and failure to provide proper documentation can result in detention or fines.

Dual Nationals in Russia

Russia does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit the ability of New Zealand authorities to provide consular assistance if required. Male Russian/New Zealand dual nationals between the ages of 18-27 may be subject to military conscription. Dual nationals should seek advice from the nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate well in advance of travel.

Getting married in Russia

New Zealanders getting married outside New Zealand should contact the marriage authorities in the country where you plan to marry and check their marriage laws and requirements. Requirements can differ from region to region.

There are a number of things that New Zealanders have to do before getting married outside New Zealand. For more details go to the Births, Deaths and Marriages website Getting Married Overseas(external link).

Your marriage should be registered in the country where it took place. There is no legal obligation for you to also have your overseas marriage registered in New Zealand. The only practical benefit of registering your marriage in New Zealand is that a marriage certificate can be issued to you from New Zealand. However, this certificate does not replace the certificate issued to you in Russia or one of our accredited countries. Generally a marriage solemnized abroad in a non-polygamous country (recognising only one legal marriage) in accordance with the laws of that country will be deemed valid in New Zealand. Such marriages are recognised in New Zealand for the purposes of residence, visa or citizenship applications.


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