Foreign travel advice

Russia

Mongol Rally

The finishing point for the annual Mongol Rally is Ulan Ude in Russia.

Visas

Before you travel to Russia, make sure you’re aware of the terms and conditions attached to your visa, for both entry and exit. If you’re planning to enter Russia more than once, make sure your visa allows for that. If you hold a single-entry visa, you won’t be able to re-enter the country once you have left.

If you need a visa extension, you should arrange this before your current visa expires. Overstaying your visa without prior extension by the local authorities can result in a delay to your departure from Russia as well as possible fines, court proceedings, deportation and a ban from re-entry.

If you’re entering Russia you must complete a migration card at passport control. You must complete a migration card each time you enter Russia, even if you have a multiple entry visa. Keep your migration card safe. One part will be retained by an immigration officer on arrival. You should keep the other part with your passport. You’ll need it when you leave Russia or if you’re stopped by the police for an ID check during your stay. If you lose the second part of the card your departure could be delayed and you’re likely to be fined. Hotels and hostels aren’t allowed to check in guests if they don’t have their migration card.

Lost or stolen passports

If your passport is lost or stolen, report it to the local police and migration authority. You’ll be issued with a temporary ID document which will enable you to travel to the British Embassy in Moscow, or the British Consulate General in St Petersburg where you can get an Emergency Travel Document (ETD). You’ll need to get an exit visa from the local authorities in your ETD. Your Russian visa sponsor should be able to help you with this. Russian authorities expect those affected in this way to leave Russia as soon as possible, rather than continuing with a pre-planned journey.

Driving and importation of vehicles

You can drive a car in Russia using your UK driving licence. You should get a notarised Russian translation of your driving licence in case you’re stopped by the Police.

You’ll need to declare your vehicle with the customs authority at your port of entry. You should present the following documents:

  • customs declaration
  • car registration
  • ownership records
  • valid insurance document
  • passport

It isn’t possible to buy an insurance policy for a car in Russia with foreign licence plates. A certificate of temporary import of a vehicle will be issued. It’s illegal to drive an imported car without this certificate. You can bring a vehicle into Russia without paying import taxes if your visit lasts no longer than one year. If a car isn’t taken out of the country on time, customs fees will be payable. If your car is damaged or stolen, you should promptly report this to the police and to local customs officials.