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exiting Russia

I am going on a 12 day river cruise (ST. P to Moscow) and planned to come early and have 3 extra days in St. P before the cruise started. My visa application was denied for those 3 days and the (3-year, USA citizen) visa starts on the day the cruise begins instead. I am willing to pay the extra expense of training back to St. P from Moscow at the end of the cruise to stay longer, but I am wondering about the exit part of any trip to Russia. If my cruise ends on Sept 1st do I have to leave then or if I have hotel reservations till Sept 4th, can I stay till then? When you arrive in Russia (coming in by train from Talliinn) do they give you the date then for the required exit? What is the exit date based on?
I have to book the plane trip home soon and am not sure about what is allowed. Help! Can not believe they denied entry (with a letter from my booked hotel) when I wanted.

Posted by
2056 posts

Did you get a 3-year visa? Or even a 30 day visa? Once you have your visa, you do not have to worry about having set bookings. Just save your hotel receipts and be sure your hotels register you, though we have been to Russia twice and have never been asked for receipts when we leave. As for travel back to St. Petersburg from Moscow, flying may be the cheapest option (usually around $50). But Moscow is also a great city, so you may want to spend more time there too. We were very impressed with the amazing metro system. If you are an adventurous traveler, I'd recommend staying in Russia as long as you can. As for hotels, we loved the 3Mosta in St. Petersburg and the Garden Ring Hotel in Moscow. Both were charming, well located and less than $80 a night. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have more questions are want more tips. We went to St. Petersburg 3 years ago, Moscow 2 years ago and last year and plan to go back to St. Peterburg next Spring. So glad we got the 3 year visa, and had many frequent flyer miles.

Posted by
2056 posts

Don't think I answered your question. The date you need to leave Russia by is the last day of your visa. They do not give you another date at customs when you enter.

Posted by
2393 posts

With the 3 year vise you can come & go at will during the 3 years the visa is valid. So staying AFTER the cruise is fine.

I am assuming you already the 3 year visa when you applied to add the 3 days on the beginning? That is likely why the 3 days were denied.

Posted by
145 posts

I know that Russian visa requirements are pretty strict. When we got our visas, we made sure to get an extra day at each end -- just in case there flight delays etc that would make it impossible to leave on the day the visa expired. That was suggested to us by the Russian consulate representative. I really would not try to push boundaries when it comes to dealing with customs and passport control.

I would personally consult the nearest to you Russian consulate to get an official take on it. Travel forums are wonderful to get general information about destinations, but I feel that issues with visas etc need to be checked first hand with an official representative.

Good luck! You'll love Russia!

Posted by
7814 posts

We did a tour and Russian River cruise in 2011 and I read up on the Russian visa process. Our visa was limited to the days of our packaged tour.

I was advised that if we overstayed our visa, even one day that we would not just be expelled from the country. Apparently, we would have to apply for a visa extension and that could take some time. Not sure where you stay during the process.

Perhaps things have changed since 2011, I don't think Russia gave 3 year visas then.

There was one story of a person that was scheduled to depart on a flight in the PM of one day, but the flight was late departing until after Midnight and the person's visa expired and they were not allowed to leave on that flight.

Posted by
4637 posts

Maybe by September visa for Russia will be abolished. Remember Donald and Vladimir are buddies.

Posted by
7209 posts

talk about 2 peas in a pod. Donnie and Vlad - best buds. It's gonna be a long 4 years.