Authorities continue to enforce amended foreign registration rules through July 25 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. Foreign nationals have three days to register with authorities upon arriving in cities that are hosting World Cup matches, whether coming from abroad or from other areas of Russia. Russian nationals arriving from other parts of Russia must register with the relevant authorities within three calendar days of their arrival. The requirements for both foreign and Russian nationals apply regardless of whether their stay is temporary or permanent.

Key points:

  • Some migration officers consider the day of arrival as the first day of the three-day registration window.
  • Foreigners arriving in Moscow from other regions in Russia should have a scanned copy or a photo of their ticket available.
  • Belarus is offering visa-free travel to those attending soccer matches.
  • Those staying in a hotel are automatically registered by the hotel.
  • Those participating in soccer matches or representing FIFA, FIFA subsidiaries or national soccer organizations are exempt from the registration requirements.

Background: Russian authorities are imposing additional registration requirements during the World Cup, similar to when the country hosted the Confederations Cup. The requirements are in place until July 25 and affect Russian and foreign nationals arriving in cities hosting World Cup matches before July 25. These cities are Kaliningrad, Kazan, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-na-Donu, St. Petersburg, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Volgograd and Yekaterinburg.

The additional registration requirements for Russian and foreign nationals traveling to the areas listed above may cause delays during the tournament. Business travelers should note that the registration requirements apply during the specified times no matter whether they are traveling to attend soccer matches or not. Travelers may be affected, therefore, even if their purpose in Moscow or other cities hosting soccer matches has nothing to do with the matches themselves.

BAL Analysis: Those planning to travel to cities hosting matches are urged to follow the requirements listed above. Failing to do so could lead to administrative penalties, including fines of up to 7,000 rubles (about US$113) for visitors and up to 500,000 rubles for hosting companies and 50,000 rubles for hosting company officials. Foreign nationals who fail to register risk not only fines, but expulsion from Russia.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Russia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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