For the duration of the World Cup 2018, from May, 25 to July 25, new rules of registration for all tourists (not only football fans) are applied. If you reside at a private apartment, for example through Airbnb, or at any other private facility, you must be registered with local authorities within first 24 hours of your stay. Failing to obey the rule may result in problems with subsequent accommodation.
The rules described below down the post don’t apply to:
— those who stay at any official accommodation facility, be it a hotel, hostel, camping or any other organization you pay officially for your stay. This establishment will get all required procedures cleared for you, but it’s advisable to make sure they do it.
— those who travel with their cars (and sleep in the cars), motorhomes, yachts, or go from city to city by buses and sleep in transport vehicles.
If you stay at your friends or rent an apartment, then you must registered with special centers or police station within 24 hours. The note published by St. Petersburg authorities says that you personally needn’t go and pass through all these procedures, you are only required to provide your host with your passport, Fan ID (or a visa if you are not football fan or don’t have a ticket for a match) and a migration card and get him to go and do it.
The only problem which can occur here is if your host doesn’t want to be preoccupied with it and doesn’t go to the police to handle this. Which negative consequences for you can follow?
First of all, you can be stopped by a policeman for checking out if you obey the migration rules. But there is a small possibility it happens. Few Russian policemen are able to speak a couple of phrases in English, let alone other languages (but… tshshshsh…. we didn’t tell you it). Should you fail to escape being unmasked, you can be required to pay a fee of 5,000 rubles.
If you go further to another city and are going to stay there at a hotel, you can have problems with check-in as hotel employees may be afraid of dealing with a person who violated the migration rules. Though, you can say that you had been travelling by buses (or whatever else) and no registration was thus needed.
Other consequences are hard to imagine unless you come across a very scrupulous Russian frontier official when leaving Russia. You can be asked about where you had been staying during your visit to the country, and if it is revealed that you lived at private apartments and were not officially registered, there can be some inquiries and investigations (though, again, with the possibility close to zero). Just answer that you stayed nowhere as had been constantly travelling. For example, by hitchhiking. How to check it? We don’t think anyone will bother to do it with this hustle and bustle going on here right now.
So after all, would we recommend you to get preoccupied with all these issues in case you don’t stay at hotels in your subsequent cities? No, we would not recommend.
But read further.
The biggest migration problem you can face in Russia during the WC is not these tightened registration requirements, but the loss of your migration card. Earlier, that was not such a great headache as it is now due to heightened security measures. When checking-in a hotel, you can be denied an accommodation without the card. Most hoteliers have enough visitors now and don’t want to have problems with you getting registered as it’s impossible without a migration card.
So just keep it safe.