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Important Visa Information - Changes to Russian Visa Application Forms
Posted by Dominic Quiney on 18 July 2017 05:07 PM



Russian Visa Application Forms for Russian visas have changed


We were informed on the 17th July that effective immediately the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has amended the Visa Application Form for all UK nationals applying for a Russian visa. Moving forward, the application form will be longer, and more in depth. This has been done on a reciprocal basis, bringing the application process for Russian visas for UK citizens into line with the UK visa application process for Russian nationals (please see this link to the Russian Embassy’s official announcement on this matter:


What does this mean?


You will still be able to apply for your Russian visas through as usual. Please be aware, though, that as we update our systems in accordance with the amendments made by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there will be a slight delay in all visa processing times. Please take this into account when making your application.  We will endeavour to return to normal service as soon as possible.


In the meantime, if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact our visa team on +44 (0) 207 100 7370, or via our contact page.  We will keep you updated on our website as we receive further information.

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Important Visa Registration Rule Changes


Following the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, on 12th July 2017, the Russian migration services have reverted the rules regarding registration of visas in Russia to their original status.


What Does This Mean?


This means that, from 12th July 2017 onwards, all Russian visas must be registered with the Russian migration services within seven working days of arrival in any Russian city.  Further information on these requirements, and how we can register your visa for you if you are arriving in Moscow or St. Petersburg, can be found here:


N.B.:  If you wish to travel to Russia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the Russian authorities have confirmed that from 25th May 2018 until 25th July 2018 inclusive, stricter visa registration rules will be in place (link, in Russian, to the relevant article:  https://77.мвд.рф/documents/указы-президента-рф/item/10485987).  We will continue to keep you informed of this situation on our website as we near the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


If you have any further questions, please contact our visa team on +44 (0) 207 100 7370 or, and they will be glad to help.

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You can now buy rail tickets in Euros and US Dollars!
Posted by Andrew Glenister on 06 July 2017 11:56 AM

Buying rail tickets through Russia, and across the Trans-Siberian rail network, can be a daunting process, with so many options for train types, ticket types and so on. Real Russia understand that once you have made these decisions, you want to be able to pay easily, quickly and securely.

With this in mind, we are happy to announce an upgrade to our rail ticket payment system, so that it is now possible to pay online, and over the phone to our London office, in Euros (€) and US Dollars ($), in addition to British Pounds (£).

Available immediately, payment for all rail tickets can be made in a range of currencies, helping to alleviate the burden of bank charges for currency conversion; meaning that the price you see online, really is the price you will pay.

Real Russia are not stopping there. Over the coming months more upgrades will be made to our online rail payment system, including support for more currencies, and more payment types, including Pay Pal and Union Pay.

And that’s not all! Real Russia will be extending this support for multiple currencies, and new payment types, to all travel services that are available on, including visa support, accommodation, excursions, tours and transfers, in the next few months.

For more information on the available payment methods for Real Russia travel services, visit our dedicated payment information page.

To keep up to date on everything Real Russia, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Advice on overland travel between Europe and Russia, via Belarus
Posted by Aleksandra Kasaeva on 04 July 2017 01:22 PM


The Belarusian authorities have, this month, established a focus group to assess the border dispute with Russia, which must present its findings by 1st November 2017 (please follow this link to the original article, which is in English).

This focus group will address issues such as the technical requirements of mutual visa recognition by the Russian and Belarusian authorities. It is hoped that this will ease the path towards an agreement between the Belarusian and Russian authorities to once again make crossing the Belarus-Russia border a smooth process.

As always, Real Russia will continue to keep abreast of this situation, and update this article along with our social media channels accordingly.

If you are thinking of visiting Belarus and would like to know how to take advantage of Belarus' visa-free regime to stay in Belarus for up to five days without a visa, please follow this link. If you would like to book trains into Russia, we recommend speaking to our travel specialists. If you have any questions regarding visas, please contact our visa team.


There is currently a dispute between Russia and Belarus about third country nationals crossing the border between the two countries. The dispute was initially only directed at certain road crossings, and specifically excluded third country nationals crossing the border by international train.

However, Real Russia have received feedback from a number of our clients who have attempted to cross the Russia-Belarus border by international train (with the correct visas) and been turned away, with some being fined for attempting to make an ‘illegal’ border crossing.

It is worth noting that over the last few weeks we have also had a number of customers who have crossed over the border with no issues.Therefore, there is a little uncertainty as to whether it is, or isn’t, possible to cross the Russia-Belarus border by train.

Real Russia are currently working alongside the consulates, relevant border authorities and our local partners to clarify this situation.

In the meantime, Real Russia recommends caution when trying to travel between Europe and Russia, via Belarus. It is still possible to buy tickets that cross the Russia-Belarus border, but there is no guarantee that once at the border, regardless of having the correct visas, you will be allowed to cross.

There are a number of alternative routes available, avoiding the Russia-Belarus border; the most popular of which is to the north of Belarus, via Riga (Latvia). Via the south it is possible to travel via Kiev (Ukraine).

  • One train travels each day in each direction between Moscow and Riga, departing in the evening and arriving the following morning.
  • Up to six trains that travel between Kiev and Moscow each day, with flexible departure times, taking 12 to 13 hours to make the journey.

All of these trains can be booked via our online rail booking system. If you would like to book trains within Europe to, or from, either Riga or Kiev, we would recommend speaking to our travel specialists to ensure you choose the best route for your travel needs.

Check back to or our social media channels for updates.

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Vietnam Visa-Free Regime to be Extended Until 30.06.2018
Posted by Aleksandra Kasaeva on 22 June 2017 10:26 AM

We have good news for travellers planning to visit Vietnam!  The Vietnamese government have confirmed that they will renew the current visa-free regime for citizens of the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain until 30th June 2018. This visa-free regime allows citizens of those countries to stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa, for the purpose of tourism.  Furthermore, this visa-free regime will be extended to include citizens of the Czech Republic.

Anybody who is not a national of one of those countries, and anybody who is a national of these countries but is planning to stay in Vietnam for more than 15 days, must get a visa to Vietnam.

If you do require a visa, please do not hesitate to contact our visa team, who will be happy to help.

Are you thinking of extending your Trans-Siberian Railway adventure to include Vietnam?  Click here for train timetables from Beijing to Hanoi, and to book your tickets now!

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