Registering When You Arrive For The World Cup

This article has now been updated due to new legislation. Please see:

There have been some rumours about whether visitors to the World Cup need to do something called ‘registration’ when they arrive. You do. This is a process whereby you tell the Russian authorities you are here and where you are staying. In most cases the process is done automatically by the hotel you are staying in, however you need to be aware that this is something you need to do and remind the hotel of their obligations if they don’t do everything for you. It is really a formality, but just in case, it is best to get yourself 100% ‘legal’. In this interview, Marina Kushnereva, the head of the migration legal practice at Scheglov & Partners makes it clear what you actually need to do. It is all a lot more simple than it sounds, but nevertheless necessary (editor). 

Interview by John Harrison

Marina, please tell us, what exactly is ‘registration?’

A visa alone is not enough if you want to visit and stay in Russia. After you enter the country, all foreigners are obliged to state who they are, where they are staying, and provide information about the host/hotel. Visitors can receive a stamped copy of a form where all this information is stated, to prove that they have registered.

Expats living in Russia with HQS visas will need to register within 36 hours if they are here during the World Cup (so from May 25), even if they have been or are resident in Russia now. People with ‘Vid na Zhitelstvo’) do not need to register, as their status is closer to that of Russian passport holders, however they will need to register if they travel to another city during the period of the World Cup. You do need to register, however, if you are due to receive temporary or permanent resident status during the World Cup period (25 May to July 25).

Competitors in the World Cup, the Confederate Cup, FIFA officials, national football associations do not need to register as somehow their official status excludes them from this formality.

Must visitors to the World Cup register when they arrive?

According to an official decree (Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No. 202 dated May 9, 2017), visitors to the FIFA 2018 World Cup must register within one day of their arrival. These rules apply for the cities of Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, St. Petersburg, Saransk, Sochi from May 25 to July 25, 2018.

How can visitors register?

If the fans are accommodated in a hotel, sanatorium, rest home, boarding house, camping ground, at a tourist base and in other places of temporary stay (accommodation), the receiving party signs the migration registration. When you check into the hotel, present your passport, migration card (obtained at the border crossing) and ask the administrator to give you the registration form as soon as possible. If you are not given it during your first day in Russia, you should demand it.

What about people who make their own trips and stay in apartments via and airbnb? How  should they register?

These people need to discuss in advance with the owner of the dwelling (the host party) whether he/she (the apartment owner) will be able to apply to the appropriate territorial body of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and place the foreign citizen on the migration record (to register him/her) on the day of his arrival.

Also it is necessary to find out what the opening hours of the migration service are, and to the location of its offices. Knowing the address of the apartment, it is easy to get this information on the official websites of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs.

How important is this?

Violation of the rules entails the imposition of an administrative fine in the amount of two to five thousand roubles (in Moscow and St. Petersburg from five to seven thousand roubles) or expulsion from the country (Article 18.8 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation).

I strongly recommend that all fans to not use the services of companies offering to offer you a migration account at an address where you will not actually be. As a rule, such addresses are fake, and not in the database of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and so you will have violated Russian migration law.

Remember, you do need to know how long you allowed to be in Russia for,  you need to register, and you need to have your passport and migration card (which you will be given on arrival) with you at all times, and the stamped form showing that you have registered. Finally, you not need to be sober enough to remember to get on the plane back home on the right day.

Any other questions — contact Marina can be reached at