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Things to remember when visiting Russia - A guide to Russian Visas and Do's and Don'ts.

Valuable tips for visiting Moscow.

When one visits a foreign country, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind. The visitor needs to understand and respect the customs, rules & regulations of the host country. Russia too has its own set of these etiquettes; moreover it would do you no harm to be prepared beforehand, instead of being all at sea when visiting this magnificent country.

Moscow, though more cosmopolitan than the rest of Russia, still has its set rules which it expects its guests to keep in mind. Here we present a set of tips which will be valuable for you, whenever you visit Moscow.

Russian Visa.

The Russian Government has identified a total of 6 different types of visas that one can opt for while visiting Russia . These are categorized as Tourist Visa, Business Visa, Student-Visa, Personal Visa, a transit visa and the short 72-hour visa. The tourist visa is generally the easiest to get, and can cost you anything between $50-$150. The Russian Consulate usually takes a week to ten days to process your visa. However, to obtain a Russian Tourist visa, you need to a have a tourist invitation. A tourist invitation is nothing but a support document for your visa, which can be issued by any registered travel agency in Russia . It comprises of a tourist voucher and the reservation confirmation at the hotel the tourist is booked at. All you need to take care of when carrying out the visa formalities is to make sure that the information you provide about yourself is accurate, and it matches with the information provided on the tourist invitation. The tourist visa is usually for a maximum duration of one month. Once you reach Moscow , make sure that you register your visa within 72 hours of reaching the city. If you fail to do so, you might not be able to obtain a Russian visa in the future, as the Russian government has strict rules for administrative infringements.

A business visa for Russia can be issued for duration of 1-12 months and is more flexible than a tourist visa. For getting a Russian Business visa, one requires a business invitation, which is issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign affairs and the Russian Interior Ministry. The visa allows a person to stay in Russia for 6 months at a stretch and costs vary from $50 - $150. It is recommended for those who visit Moscow for meetings, conferences, seminars or to conduct business. Even a business visa needs to be registered within 72 hours of arriving in Moscow.

Do's & Don'ts in Moscow.

While visiting the enchanting Moscow , do remember to follow certain guidelines to have a happy, no-hitch trip. Listed below are a few fundamentals that each visitor needs to keep in mind

Social Etiquette

•  When you meet someone, it is a general custom to shake hands. However, either shake hands inside the house or outside the house. Never shake-hands on the doorstep, as it is an omen for bad luck in Russia .

•  When bringing flowers, always bring an odd number as even number of flowers are only presented to the dead.

•  When visiting someone in Russia, it is a good gesture to carry gifts for the host.

•  To avoid pick pocketing in Russia, do not carry too much money with you, or do not flash expensive watches, jeweler or currency while traveling. One should also avoid taking walks alone at night to prevent any untoward incidents.

•  Do not take rides in taxis which are unregistered; avoid taxis which already have a passenger in them.

•  In Russia , all electrical appliances work at 220 volt/50 Hz, so carry a converter with you from home.

•  Avoid using or drinking tap water in Russia. Use bottled water at all times, including brushing teeth.

•  No immunizations are required while you are traveling in Russia.

•  Tourists are advised against visiting the disturbed areas of Chechnya , Ingushetia and other regions of Russia close to Chechnya and North Ossetia.

•  Photography of military establishments and other buildings of strategic importance is prohibited in Russia.

•  Please avoid getting fruits, vegetables, narcotics, sturgeon or sturgeon products, arms & ammunitions, and radio electrical equipment into Russia.

•  In order to bring pets into Russia , you will require a special permit as live animals are not allowed entry into the country.

•  The Russian government has banned the carrying of furs, antiques, art, arms & ammunition, and precious metals out of the country.

If you are vigilant and apply common sense, you will be able to enjoy a pleasant stay in Russia. Drawing from a range of do's and don'ts, these tips should serve you in good steed while you enjoy your stay in Moscow.


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