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Important Note: For entry into Russia AND departure from Russia, foreign citizens including those who enter on a visa-free basis and persons without citizenship, must obtain and fill in a MIGRATION CARD upon arrival in Russia. The migration card with marks of entry into Russia made by a border control unit, should be produced when the foreign citizen registers with a territorial section of the Ministry of Internal Affairs or a hotel. The migration card is to be returned at the Russian Federation’s Frontier check point when the foreigner leaves the country.

The main purpose of the migration card is to establish control over entry, stay and departure of foreigners from Russia as well as accumulation and subsequent analysis of statistical data.


No visas required for South African passport holders.

No visas required for South African passport holders.

  • The original invitation issued by the Federal Migration Service or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be submitted to the Embassy. A TELEX confirmation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs or it’s Regional Representatives going directly to the Consular Office is also acceptable.
  • In the case of a multiple entry visa, the applicant must adhere to all the above mentioned requirements PLUS an AIDS test (not older than 3 months) must be provided.

Visitors/private visa (in addition to General)

  • Inviting person, Russian citizen must appeal to the local representation of the Federal Migration Service in order to organise an official invitation. A foreigner currently residing in Russia appeals to the Federal Migration Service for the invitation. Only original invitation is accepted when lodging a visa application.

Transit visa

  • Passport (must be valid for 6 months after departure from Russia)
  • Application form with photo attached
  • Visa of country of final destination
  • Air ticket to and from Russia to the country of final destination
  • Transit visa cannot be issued for more than 3 days by plane and 10 days by land (car,train etc)


In general, the climate of Russia can be described as highly continental influenced climate with warm to hot dry summers and (very) cold winters with temperatures of -30°C and lower and sometimes heavy snowfall.


Country: Russian Federation
Capital City: Moscow
International Airports: Sevastopol International Airport (Belbek)
Gagarinsky International Airport
Vladivostok International Airport (Knevichi)
Baikal International Airport (Mukhino)
Irkutsk International Airport
Koltsovo International Airport
Roshchino International Airport
Surgut International Airport
Sabetta International Airport
Magnitogorsk International Airport
Volgograd International Airport (Gumrak)
Sochi International Airport
Simferopol International Airport
Platov International Airport
Krasnodar International Airport (Pashkovsky)
Ufa International Airport
Kurumoch International Airport
Perm International Airport (Bolshoye Savino)
Strigino International Airport
Kazan International Airport
Cheboksary International Airport
Voronezh International Airport (Chertovitskoye)
Ostafyevo International Business Airport
Zhukovsky International Airport (Ramenskoye)
Vnukovo International Airport
Sheremetyevo International Airport
Bryansk International Airport
Belgorod International Airport
Area: 17,075,400 km²
Population: 143 Million (approx)
Time Zone: Moscow is GMT + 04.00 however to the extreme east of Russia you have (UTC +12:00)
Religion: Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism
Language: Of all the languages of Russia, Russian is the only official language at national level. There are 35 different languages which are considered official languages in various regions of Russia, along with Russian. There are over 100 minority languages spoken in Russia today.
Currency: Rouble (RUB) = 100 kopeks. Notes are in denominations of RUB1000, 500, 100, 50 and 10. Coins are in denominations of RUB10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 10, 5 and 1 kopeks…The import and export of local currency is prohibited.
Exchange Rate: Please consult your local bank as exchange rates fluctuate.
Credit Card Payment Availability: Most cards are widely accepted.
ATM Accessibility: ATM’s are readily available.
Dialling Code: +7


Electricity: Russia has a voltage of 220 V, an electrical frequency of 50 Hz
Water: It is advisable to drink only bottled or distilled water.
Business Hours: Offices and Banks 08:00 or 09:00-17:00 or 18:00 Mon-Fri. Shopping Hours Mon-Sat 0900-1900. Most food shops are also open on Sundays. Department stores and supermarkets are open throughout lunchtime. Stores which are open 24 hours a day are becoming more common.
Banking Hours: Mon – Fri –  08:00 /09:00 – 17:00 / 18:00
Photography Restrictions: No restrictions
Tipping: No tipping required, however most appreciated. If tipping; give it directly to the intended person.
Vaccination Requirements: No Vaccinations required, but always consult with your medical practitioner or travel clinic.
Dress Code Restrictions: No Dress Code restrictions
Peculiar Customs to Observe: When meeting someone at the front door, never shake hands over a threshold, wait until you are inside to do so.


  • Russian Orthodox Christmas – 7 January
  • Maslenitsa Festival – pre-Lenten carnival
  • International Women’s Day – March
  • Russian Orthodox Easter Week – March / April
  • Stars of White Nights Festival – May – July
  • St Petersburg Beer Festival – June
  • International Moscow Film Festival – June – July
  • St John the Baptist’s Day – July
  • Den’ Goroda – September
  • Russian Winter Festival – mid December


“Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma”

– Winston Churhill