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No visa registration problem
Moderators: nickomsk, TonyH, Chris, DeaconStreet

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auster
Posted 2010-10-23 12:22 PM (#38862)
Subject: No visa registration problem
Member

Posts: 10

I have been in Russia 4 weeks and not registered as I stupidly believed someone that my dual entry visa did not need registering although I have been to Russia before on other visas. Now worried sick what to do! I am staying at a relatives house and concern is what I should do next to get out of this problem.

If I book into a hotel now, can I still get registration and have it back dated? Should I pay a fine at the police station or somewhere else and if so then what? What will happen at the airport when leaving if I haven't a stamp on my migration card? I want to stay another two weeks so looking for any advice that can help..!

Cheers, Terry
Mrs.T(E)
Posted 2010-10-23 12:43 PM (#38863 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: Re: No visa registration problem
Member

Posts: 11

it all depends on where you are staying and if you have plans to travel anywhere else in Russia within these 2 weeks
when we stay in moscow we sometimes dont bother registering at all
i dont think they ask to show your registration ticket at any airport in moscow because you are not meant to have one on you when leaving the country.
but there are some funny places in russia where they can cause problems for you, we had one of them - ended up paying a fine
if you are staying with relatives they can register you if they own the property where you are staying.
i know in moscow we used to go to a post office, they would give us a form to fill, pay the fee and thats all it was then in the end of the stay had to send the bit of the form they give you back to the immigration people.
Michael
Posted 2010-10-23 8:38 PM (#38871 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem
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Terry

As you have read, it seems to depend where you are. The migration card no longer carries the registration stamp (at least in St P and I assume that is national). So at the airport, no-one could know. And if you do the business of a 'private registration' (post office) it seems to me that you have to give the registration paper to the host so that s/he can send it back in the post. So, again, you wouldn't have it with you.

I think the only issue is with the new computer system which Chris tells us is just about in place, so that "the system" knows if you entered and left but didn't register. Which might in time make it tricky to get the next visa. That said, if the registration is done at the post office I don't know what guarantee there is that it will get there. And: I understand there is a fine for late registration, even through a hotel.

After all that, I'm in no position to give advice. Instinct says 'leave well alone' this time.

Michael
udmurt1
Posted 2010-10-24 4:12 PM (#38879 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: Re: No visa registration problem

Hi Terry, I've had problems in the past getting hotels to register my visa, especially if its anything other than the first night in Russia after arrival. Most won't backdate it even if you offer a nice bribe.

I would suggest getting your relatives to go with you to the post office to register as soon as possible, if they won't register you then say you have been travelling around Russia and have only just arrived in this city.

Another option is to go to UFMS and confess, but this won't be pleasant or easy and there will probably be a fine.

I wouldn't just leave it as this can make problems for your next visa.

Rasboinik
Posted 2010-10-24 4:15 PM (#38880 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem


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auster,
First of all hello and welcome to the forum.

With regards to registration in general as has been said many many times on this forum.
It is a legal requirement for all foreigners to register with the UFMS within 3 working days if staying at a private residence and within one day if staying at a hotel or another place (organisation) that provides accommodation.

Therefore the comment:
when we stay in moscow we sometimes dont bother registering at all
is not good advice.
That is because the consequences of being caught not registering can be quite severe

Regarding your problem with the fact that you have not registered.

There may be others that will give different advice but that is up to them.

In my opinion it is now (4 weeks after you arrived) far too late to try and find a fix to the problem and furthermore by trying to find a fix you are going to bring the issue to the attention of the authorities so in this case in my opinion you are probably better off "Letting the sleeping dogs lie" and hope that you do not get found out.


Edited by Rasboinik 2010-10-24 4:16 PM
Mel
Posted 2010-10-24 6:23 PM (#38884 - in reply to #38880)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem


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Rasboinik - 2010-10-24 9:15 PM auster, First of all hello and welcome to the forum. With regards to registration in general as has been said many many times on this forum. It is a legal requirement for all foreigners to register with the UFMS within 3 working days if staying at a private residence and within one day if staying at a hotel or another place (organisation) that provides accommodation. Therefore the comment:
when we stay in moscow we sometimes dont bother registering at all
is not good advice. That is because the consequences of being caught not registering can be quite severe Regarding your problem with the fact that you have not registered. There may be others that will give different advice but that is up to them. In my opinion it is now (4 weeks after you arrived) far too late to try and find a fix to the problem and furthermore by trying to find a fix you are going to bring the issue to the attention of the authorities so in this case in my opinion you are probably better off "Letting the sleeping dogs lie" and hope that you do not get found out.

Terry,

The above advice from Raffi, is most probably the best advice that you will get, take heed....

HTH

vada
Posted 2010-10-26 6:46 PM (#38905 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem
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Posts: 2

First... Relax.

Finally... a post I can reliably answer to! I've been frequently visiting Moscow for over 15 years. The first few years, I always had myself registered, a time-consuming, tedious, costly process ($50 last occasion) which can take the course of an entire day with Metro/bus transport. However, I never was asked for the registration paperwork, even when stopped by the Militia for one reason or another, nor at airport passport control.

So I stopped a few years ago. No problems ever! FYI I've been to Moscow earlier this year and have two more trips scheduled before New Years.
Rasboinik
Posted 2010-10-26 7:47 PM (#38908 - in reply to #38905)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem


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Dear Slava.
Please do not give bad advice.
There have been occasions that people have been fined and at least one occasion where someone was banned from entering Russia for 5 years (if I remember correctly) because of registration problems.

Registering in Russia is the law of the land and if you are a guest in a foreign country you must abide by the laws of that country.

If you are happy to suffer the consequences of ignoring Russian law that is up to you but to advise others to do so is wrong.
vada
Posted 2010-10-26 9:25 PM (#38910 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem
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Posts: 2

Hi Rasboinik,

No offence, I am relating my hard-earned personal, qualified experience, not an opinion or unsubstantiated statement beginning with "I heard or someone was about something that happened to someone else." Its up to the Auster to ignore or heed it.

And to be a little off-topic, but are you serious? The "law of the land" as you call it, is not in Russia or in Moscow, one of the most sadly corrupt cities in the world.

GaryM
Posted 2010-10-26 10:06 PM (#38911 - in reply to #38910)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem
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Most of us on here can't afford a 5 year ban from entering Russia because we have relatives and loved ones we need to go and visit.

In most cases I don't believe the Russian consulate staff usually bother looking through peoples previous visa history but it only takes one person at the consulate to decide to do that and they will discover all your previously non-registered visas. This will almost certainly result in a visa refusal and possibly a more serious penalty (i.e. a ban period on any future visa applications). All visa applications and associated registrations are now computersied so they can trace everything back at the press of a button if they wish to do so.

Excuse the pun, but not registering a visa is like playing Russian Roulette in my opinion. It is only a matter of time before someone eventually catches you out and you end up paying the price. Personally I'm not prepared to take any gambles and would rather spend a few hours each time I visit filling in forms and standing in queues to register my visa for peace of mind than having that constant worry in the back of my mind and always having to keep looking over my shoulder.
Rasboinik
Posted 2010-10-27 2:22 AM (#38915 - in reply to #38910)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem


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vada - 2010-10-27 7:25 AM
No offence, I am relating my , not an opinion or unsubstantiated statement beginning with "I heard or someone was about something that happened to someone else."

You are stating "hard-earned personal, qualified experience" , now I will admit that I do not have any qualified personal experience of visiting Russia without registration and that is because I have never visited Russia without registering.

I handle the registration process normally within a few hours of arriving at my home in Russia and because I am fully prepared the whole process takes between half a hour to an hour (assuming that there are no long queues).

 

As regards to individuals getting into serious  trouble if you care to read through the threads on this forum you can see for yourself people that have gotten themselves into trouble because of registration issues.

 

Further, somebody that I know has received a ban from visiting Russia because of registration problems and the really sad thing here is that his wife and child live in Russia and for personal reasons his wife must continue to live in Russia, so effectively he can only see his wife and child for a few weeks a year (on holiday).

 

Last but not least if registration was not an issue then could you please explain the cottage industry that exists regarding registrations.

To explain there are individuals who make a living registering foreigners in Russia, at least that is the case in the area of Russia where I live.

 

Its up to the Auster to ignore or heed it.

While I do agree with you that any advice given can be ignored, giving bad advice is unacceptable and the advice that you gave is not good advice.

As GaryM stated not registering is the same as playing Russian Roulette, yes you can get lucky and pull the trigger many times but eventually you will find the chamber with the round (bullet), you can also be unlucky and find the chamber with the round on your first attempt.

Further more the computerised system that will check registration is already  in place in some parts of Russia and I know that from personal experience.

 

Further do not forget that this is a public forum and it will not be only the Original Poster that reads the advice and because the registration process can be a pain in the derriere (unless you are properly prepared) there will be those that will say "It is OK not to register because I read on a forum that it is not required (see the above comment about Russian Roulette).

 

And to be a little off-topic, but are you serious? The "law of the land" as you call it, is not in Russia or in Moscow, one of the most sadly corrupt cities in the world.

"Law of the land" is an expression that does not necessarily mean that the "land" that you are in is a "lawful land" and therefore if you are in a land without laws the "law of the land" is "lawlessness".

 

I am not going to pretend that there is no corruption in Russia and further I fully accept that in Russia corruption is a problem.

 

I do not know how well travelled you are, I will state here that I am very well travelled and that Russia is not unique when it comes to issues of corruption.

If I may go further the corruption is Russia  is quite mild compared to corruption in some other countries.

 

Personal experience of corruption (none of these incidents relate to Russia).

I have had to "buy" my passport back from an immigration officials on quite a few occasions when departing from a certain country.

I have had to pay "fines" to customs officials for exporting "antiques" out a country, I will state that those antiques that I was exporting were either pictures or wooden statues that had been created in front of my eyes only a few days earlier.

If you want to discuss corruption in Russia or elsewhere  in the world for that matter then you can do so by starting a new thread

 

 

Back to the topic.

To summarise if you wish to run the risk of getting into trouble with Russian Immigration because you cannot be bothered to register, that is your business.

Telling other people that they do not need to register is wrong!



Edited by Rasboinik 2010-10-27 2:27 AM
auster
Posted 2010-10-29 7:22 AM (#38992 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: RE: No visa registration problem
Member

Posts: 10

Thanks all for your assistance and out of this some very good advice to heed for not just myself but anyone else who may end up in this situation. I have always registered before when in Russia and will do so in the future! It seems that generally if you haven't registered within the three days then no one is too prepared to do so after this time...best advice is get registered! I am here a few more weeks and if any problems occur I will definitely update you. Regards to all, Terry
Chris
Posted 2010-10-29 12:15 PM (#38994 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: Re: No visa registration problem


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just one other point, the Russian authorities are in the process of computerising the system which will be rolled out over the next 12 months or so, after which people who dont register will be identified.
Rasboinik
Posted 2010-10-29 1:20 PM (#38996 - in reply to #38994)
Subject: Re: No visa registration problem


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Chris - 2010-10-29 10:15 PM

just one other point, the Russian authorities are in the process of computerising the system which will be rolled out over the next 12 months or so, after which people who dont register will be identified.


I can confirm that in some places there is already a computerised system in place.

Last year I had a small issue with my registration, to cut a very long story short I needed to change the date of departure (extend my stay).
I went to the local UFMS office to sort out the problem, the official asked me for my passport, checked his computer and stated "not a problem, you can stay for up to X more days" (90 in 180 day rule).
Mel
Posted 2010-10-30 6:58 PM (#39014 - in reply to #38994)
Subject: Re: No visa registration problem


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Chris - 2010-10-29 5:15 PM just one other point, the Russian authorities are in the process of computerising the system which will be rolled out over the next 12 months or so, after which people who dont register will be identified.

Exactly what I have been saying here for many months, and they hope to be live by April 2011 in most places.....

Either register or pay a fine. (Expect the fine to be increased dramatically, talk is of $1,000).....and risk your next visa application, they are talking about 2 strikes and your'e on a 5 year ban......

The next step with this new system will be Biometrics, thats for sure.........

auster
Posted 2011-01-02 10:54 PM (#40330 - in reply to #38862)
Subject: Re: No visa registration problem
Member

Posts: 10

Just to follow up on my original post. To my great relief I had no problem exiting through immigration at Domodedovo without having registered during my 2 month visit so I can count myself lucky...BUT I certainly would not risk again staying without registering, particularly with the new computer systems coming into play soon. Good luck all and again thanks for your assistance!
GaryM
Posted 2011-01-03 1:01 AM (#40333 - in reply to #40330)
Subject: Re: No visa registration problem
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Before you count your chickens I would wait until you've applied for (and been granted) your next visa before you can count yourself as being completely out of the woods. Hopefully you will be OK but I guess you'll find out if you ever decide to visit Russia again. I'm glad at least that you didn't encounter any problems getting out of Russia on this occasion
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