Russian Transit Visa needed to fly through Moscow or if flight includes Moscow and Belarus?

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biketrek
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Russian Transit Visa needed to fly through Moscow or if flight includes Moscow and Belarus?

Postby biketrek » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:21 pm

I have been getting mixed messages on whether I need a Russian Transit visa for either of these situations:

I am a US citizen. I'm only concerned about the Russian Visa situation.

Because of the timing of the trip and the fact that I don't live near a consulate, if a visa is required, the trip cannot happen or I'll have to book a flight at twice the cost.

Dusseldorf ---> Moscow DME (5 hour layover) ---> Osh.

Return: Dushanbe ---> Moscow---> Minsk ---> Paris.

Is the first flight okay without a visa because I am transiting? Is the return flight a problem because I fly to Minsk?

I have read one source that says as long as I am transiting, I don't need a visa. Wikipedia and this Russian Dutch Embassy website seem to say that I need a visa:

Please note that if a foreign citizen travels across the territory of Russia to the countries of the Customs Union (Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan) he is required to apply for a transit visa, unless he’s a citizen of countries eligible for visa-free travel to Russia in accordance with bilateral agreements.


The Russian US embassy says I only need a transit visa if travelling to Belarus or changing airports. What if I am only travelling though Belarus?

Transit visa is required if the period of stay in Russia exceeds 24 hours or a traveler needs to change the airport.

To apply for a transit visa, an applicant should submit to the Consular Division a completed visa application form, national passport, one standard picture, Money Order (see points 1-4 of General Information), as well as:

Visa of the destination country;
Tickets for the whole itinerary.
Passengers travelling to the Republic of Belarus or the Republic of Kazakhstan via the Russian Federation must obtain Russian Transit Visas.


Does anyone have experience or knowledge about this?
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thl989
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Re: Russian Transit Visa needed to fly through Moscow or if flight includes Moscow and Belarus?

Postby thl989 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:11 am

I can only share some anecdotes and some things to look into.

Belavia Airlines to my knowledge led the government to allow transit passengers through Minsk. So their flights should be fine. However when I transited through Minsk with them this month, I exited Russia with a stamp and ended up inside Belarus (e.g. the airport doors right in front of me, I could go to the city). I had to go through passport control again only to exit. I can't tell you what would have happened because I had a Fan ID (World Cup visa) which actually worked as a visa for Belarus also at that time, but I can't imagine they wouldn't just let you get on your next flight. The officer asked for my boarding passes. She seemed to be processing me before I offered her my Fan ID.

I had a friend transit through Russia from Kazakhstan and get through fine without a visa.

One thing you might want to look into is the terminal where your flight lands, and the layout of the airport. If it lands you inside passport control, you might be fine. If not, that might be a problem.

Actually best to just call the airline and see if they let you board
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Jealgu
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Re: Russian Transit Visa needed to fly through Moscow or if flight includes Moscow and Belarus?

Postby Jealgu » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:22 am

First flight shouldn't be a problem. I did ams, moscow, pek in april without visa. You could check whether everything is in the same terminal, if these are different there might be a problem. But I don't expect it to be.

No idea about Belarus.
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Hazel
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Russian transit visa needed?

Postby Hazel » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:32 am

I am due to fly from Tashkent to London via Domodedovo next week (S7 airways from Tashkent to Domodedovo, then BA from Domodedovo to London). I am trying to find out whether I will be able to check my bags through, and therefore travel without a transit visa. I asked S7, and they said I would have to ask at check-in, which seems a bit late to me!! Anyone have experience of this and can advise?
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edblax
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Re: Russian Transit Visa needed to fly through Moscow or if flight includes Moscow and Belarus?

Postby edblax » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:07 am

Is your flight on one ticket? If so, hopefully you can check bags through. If not, you'll be in trouble unless you can get down to just carry on.

Google the 'vodka dodge' for the most comprehensive info you'll find on this question.

I'm also curious about what happened with the belarus flights above!
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Dracid
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Re: Russian Transit Visa needed to fly through Moscow or if flight includes Moscow and Belarus?

Postby Dracid » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:53 am

I wouldn't try the return flight through Belarus.

I was once flying from Bishkek to Warsaw with a stop-over in Moscow and Minsk. In Moscow I arrived in the international terminal and the departure was also from the same terminal but despite that I was directed to the passport control where my Russian visa was checked and stamped (I have multiple entry Russian visa). I also received the immigration card. Then I walked out from the arrival section and went to the departure section. There my passport was stamped again (with exit stamp) but they didn't take the immigration card.

After this I boarded the plane. In Minsk there was no passport control after arrival but there was one before my departure to Warsaw. And there my Belarussian visa was checked and stamped (I have multiple entry Belarussian transit visa) with exit stamp.

My conclusion: if you fly from Moscow to Paris through Minsk, you definitely have to have Russian and Belarussian visas.

I might be wrong but I had a very similar trip last year so I am just sharing my experience.
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edblax
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Re: Russian Transit Visa needed to fly through Moscow or if flight includes Moscow and Belarus?

Postby edblax » Thu Oct 04, 2018 12:43 pm

Belarus post was months ago. Would love to know what they ended up doing.
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