Passport, visa and customs control
Passport control checks for flights departing from Sheremetyevo Airport are conducted by the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.
In accordance with Article 6 of the Federal Law 'Concerning the procedure for the exit from the Russian Federation and entry into the Russian Federation', the air carrier is responsible for checking the availability and validity of the documents required for entering the country of destination. If you travel with Aeroflot, your documents may be checked by an authorized representative from the airline at check-in or at the time of your boarding.
The following requirements for entry into some countries are listed for your reference. To check the official entry rules applicable for the date of their flight, passengers should contact the consulate of the entry/transit country.
In accordance with the Rules of Carriage of Passengers and Baggage by Air approved by Aeroflot PJSC (the Rules are an integral part of the Air Carriage Agreement), passengers are responsible for obtaining all necessary documents, visas, permits, etc., as well as for compliance with all applicable laws on exit, entry and transit in the countries of departure, arrival and transit. Aeroflot PJSC shall not be liable to the passenger if the passenger does not obtain such documents or visas or does not comply with the requirements of applicable laws.
- Prior to departure, please make sure that you have signed your passport. In many countries, an unsigned passport is considered to be violation of immigration regulations.
- If you have a multi-entry visa for the Schengen area, you must first enter the country that issued the visa; after this you can enter any Schengen country. If you have a single-entry visa, you can only enter the country that issued the visa. Note to multi-entry visa holders: if your period of stay in Schengen countries within any 180 day period exceeds the allowed period (usually 90 days) as specified in your visa, you may be refused entry.
- Children under 18 years of age departing for the United Kingdom on an 'ACCOMPANIED' visa must be accompanied by the person whose name or passport number is specified in the visa. If the child is accompanied by a different person, the visa will be invalid.
Information for passengers departing from the Sheremetyevo Terminal D International VIP Lounge
From 1 July 2015, Russia's Border Guard Service no longer conducts border checks in the VIP lounges of international airports. Passengers using VIP lounges should now go through a passport control checkpoint in accordance with the standard procedure.
Most countries have visa arrangements with Russia. Nationals of these countries in possession of a passport require a visa, temporary or permanent residence permit in order to travel to Russia. A visa is not required for nationals of most Latin American, CIS and some other countries, or for holders of official or diplomatic passports of many countries. To find out more about visa requirements for travelling to Russia, please visit the website of a Russian embassy or the Russian Foreign Ministry: www.mid.ru.
All passengers requiring a visa must satisfy the following general requirements:
- Passengers requiring a visa who are travelling to/from Minsk (Belarus) in transit via Sheremetyevo must hold a Russian transit visa. Passengers travelling Moscow - Minsk - Moscow require a double transit visa.
- Flights from Moscow to Simferopol are domestic. Visa passengers need to obtain a Russian visa.
- It is not possible to travel with a double transit through the Russian Federation without a Russian visa.
You must have a valid passport to enter the Russian Federation.
The passport or equivalent identity document must be valid at the time of arrival in the Russian Federation.
An e-visa for the Russian Federation (for visiting the free port of Vladivostok)
Starting from August 1, 2017, foreign nationals may enter the Russian Federation through border checkpoints across the state border in the territory of the free port of Vladivostok using an electronic visa obtained from the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation http://evisa.kdmid.ru.
To verify that the electronic visa presented by a foreign national to representatives of the transport company is valid and that its details are correct, go to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: http://evisacheck.kdmid.ru or http://evisa.kdmid.ru.
For more information, visit the website of the Federal Air Transport Agency: http://favt.ru.
Persons with dual nationality enter and exit the Russian Federation using the same document.
It is not permitted to exit the Russian Federation using an expired passport.
For holders of a Latvian Republic non-national identity document or an Estonian Republic alien passport and their minor children:
As of 5 April 2017, holders of a Latvian Republic non-national identity document or an Estonian Republic alien passport do not require a visa to enter the Russian Federation. Minor children of the above persons may enter the Russian Federation without a visa if they hold a Latvian Republic non-national identity document or an Estonian Republic alien passport.
the Republic of Belarus
As of 15 May 2017, all flights to (from) the Republic of Belarus have been re-assigned to the international terminals of Russian airports. Separate border control corridors have been provided for nationals of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. Nationals of the above countries must present an identity document as well as their boarding pass confirming their arrival or departure from (to) the Republic of Belarus on the corresponding flight.
Nationals of countries that have visa arrangements with Russia who are travelling to or from Minsk in transit via Sheremetyevo must hold a Russian visa or some other document entitling them to enter the Russian Federation.
Passengers requiring a visa who are travelling to/from Minsk (Belarus) in transit via Sheremetyevo must hold a Russian transit visa. Passengers travelling Moscow - Minsk - Moscow require a double transit visa.
Since January 2017, nationals of 80 countries may enter Belarus without a visa for up to 5 days, except when entering Belarus from Russia. Foreign nationals flying to Minsk from the Russian Federation (in particular, Sheremetyevo Airport) must obtain a Belarusian visa in addition to a Russian transit visa before entering the country.
Nationals of the following countries may enter Belarus from Russia without a visa:
- Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine.
In addition, as of March 7, 2018, nationals of the following countries, which have signed mutual intergovernmental travel agreements with the Republic of Belarus, may enter without a visa:
- Argentina (up to 90 days), Brazil (up to 90 days), Venezuela (up to 90 days), Hong Kong (up to 14 days), Israel (up to 90 days), Qatar (up to 30 days), Cuba (30 days), Macau (up to 30 days), Macedonia (if an invitation, a referral or invitation to treatment from a medical establishment, or a request from a travel agency is provided, or if the purpose of travel is to visit burial sites), Mongolia (up to 90 days), UAE (up to 90 days), Serbia (up to 30 days), Turkey (up to 30 days), Montenegro (up to 30 days, if an invitation or a request from a travel agency is provided), Ecuador (up to 30 days).
Holders of an onward ticket have the right to visa-free transit for up to 24 hours.
- Transit without visa does not apply to travellers to/from Belarus.
- Transit without visa does not extend to passengers travelling to airports in the Crimean Peninsula. They are subject to immigration and customs inspection.
- Passengers not holding a return/onward ticket may be denied entry. Nationals of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan are exempt from this.
- Holders of valid visas are exempt.
to European countries
An amendment to the regulations for entering European countries came into force on 19 July 2013. In accordance with this amendment, nationals of all non-Schengen countries upon entry into the country must have a passport whose expiry date is at least three months beyond the planned end date of the trip.
German immigration requirements to be met by passengers
1. Passengers travelling to Germany must have a valid passport signed by the holder.
2. Nationals of countries that have visa arrangements with Germany may only enter the country on a single visa issued by a German embassy. Entering Germany on a single Schengen visa issued by a different Schengen state is not automatically forbidden. However, if the German federal police discover during a border check that the destination of the trip is not the country of issue, but Germany, the traveller may be denied entry, since in this case the visa should have been applied for through a German embassy. Each incident is handled on a case by case basis. If you have a multi-entry visa the first entry must be in the country of issue. After that passengers with a multi-entry visa may enter any Schengen country.
The carrier retains the right to deny carriage of the passenger if the latter fails to meet the above requirements.
These provisions apply to entry into a country, i.e. apply to passengers holding tickets for Russia-Germany-Russia, a visa issued by a consulate of a country other than Germany, and without a document confirming their transit through the territory of Germany. The information does not cover passengers in transit travelling through German checkpoints to other European countries.
Passengers can enter Bulgaria and Latvia with a Schengen visa in a full passport (with no blank pages for visas and stamps), provided the passenger holds a new, valid passport. The full passport must still be valid. Otherwise, the visa in the 'old' passport will be deemed invalid.
To protect the luggage of passengers flying on PJSC Aeroflot flights from locations in Greece, oil exceeding 1 litre may only be carried in the luggage if appropriately packaged, i.e. in an additional special hard container (not carton).
To enter the Republic of Cyprus, nationals of Russia and Ukraine only need to present a valid passport, a Cyprian visa or pro-visa valid for a single entry (available from the Embassy's website).
Third country citizens holding valid double-entry or multi-entry type C Schengen visas may enter and stay in the Republic of Cyprus without a national visa for a term equal to the remaining duration of stay allowed by the visa but not exceeding the validity period of the visa.
In compliance with the legislation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (article 4, section 2 of the Aliens Act 2000) it is permitted to take a photo or video of the travel documents of passengers departing for Amsterdam.
to the United Kingdom
New rules for passengers in transit through the United Kingdom entered into force on 1 December 2014:
- Citizens of the Russian Federation and other countries that have visa arrangements with the United Kingdom travelling to Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (Common Travel Area) go through immigration control and leave the airport. They must have a UK transit visa.
- Airside transit without transfer to another airport or leaving the airport is only possible for all passengers in transit until 23:59 of the same day. Citizens of the Russian Federation in airside transit do not require a visa.
- Nationals requiring a visa, including Russian nationals, may leave the airport while in transit until 23:59 of the following day, provided that they have a UK transit visa, with the exception of holders of one of the following documents:
- a valid visa for Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States, even if they are not part of the passenger's itinerary;
- valid residence permit of Australia, New Zealand or Canada (issued after 28 June 2002);
- US permanent resident card issued after 21 April 1998:
- current permanent resident card I-551(ADIT stamp not accepted);
- expired permanent resident card I-551 if also in possession of Notice of Action (Form I-797) that extends its validity;
- immigrant visa (form 155A/155B) in a sealed envelope;
- resident card of a European Economic Area state or Switzerland;
- category D visa issued by a European Economic Area state or Switzerland;
- biometric Irish BC or BIVS visa (permits passing in transit to another country outside the Common Travel Area);
- Schengen ADS visa, if the passenger is travelling to the country of issue;
- air ticket for departure out of the Schengen Area if the holder can prove his or her arrival on an ADS visa not more than 30 days ago.
Children under 18 years of age departing for the United Kingdom on an 'ACCOMPANIED' visa must be accompanied by the person whose name or passport number is specified in the visa. If the child is accompanied by a different person, the visa will be invalid.
Passport validity requirements for passengers departing for Turkey changed on 1 January 2015:
- The passports of Russian Federation nationals who are entitled to visit Turkey without a visa for a 60 day stay must be valid for a minimum of 120 days from the time of arrival in the Republic of Turkey.
- The passports of Belarus nationals who are entitled to visit Turkey without a visa to stay for a 30 day stay must be valid for a minimum of 90 days from the date of their arrival in the Republic of Turkey.
- The passport validity period for nationals of all countries (except for Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, France and Switzerland) is calculated using the formula: the maximum permitted stay without visa or visa expiration date plus 60 days.
- Nationals of Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, France and Switzerland may enter with expired passports.
- Passengers with a Turkish resident card must have documents that are valid at the time of entry into the country.
the United States
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that you provide the following personal details: your full name, date of birth and sex, for subsequent processing of passenger lists in accordance with US legislation. You can also provide details on previous checks – Redress Number (if available).
Failure to provide your full name, date of birth and sex may result in denial of carriage or denial of entry into the boarding area. The TSA has the right at its own discretion to share this information with other U.S. authorities. For more information, visit the TSA website at www.tsa.gov.
Passengers travelling to the United States for tourism or business purposes for a stay of up to 90 days do not require a visa if they are nationals of Visa Waiver Program member countries. Prior to travelling to the United States, these passengers should register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA rules state that nationals of these countries are required to apply for an electronic entry permit on the website of the United States Department of Homeland Security at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/.
Nationals of Visa Waiver Program member countries who have not obtained a US entry permit through the ESTA system will be not be allowed to board aircraft heading for the United States.
If you intend to carry firearms in your checked baggage, you are not allowed to print out and attach labels to your baggage. Instead, you should contact a check-in agent to help you follow the appropriate customs clearance procedure.
to the United Arab Emirates
An e-visa for the United Arab Emirates can be obtained before departure at: www.ednrd.ae.
Passengers must be ready to present a printed e-visa confirmation.
To prevent terrorist threats, the Ministry of Justice of Japan amended the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act in November 2007.
Since this law came into effect, all foreign nationals entering Japan have had to agree to being fingerprinted and photographed (full face) during the immigration control check at the airport of destination.
Passengers may also be subjected to a short interview. Foreign nationals failing to consent to the above procedures will be refused entry into Japan.
The entry requirements do not apply to children under 16 years of age, permanent residents of Japan, persons in the process of obtaining a permanent resident card, as well as diplomats and government representatives from other countries arriving on official visits.
In accordance with the regulations of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) of the Government of India, foreign nationals may only import and use Inmarsat satphones (excluding BGAN systems) with the permission of the DoT.
Satellite phones carried in the baggage or carry-on of a passenger not in possession of the appropriate permit from the Department of Telecommunications will be confiscated until such a permit has been presented.
Any person importing goods into India, must fill in a declaration form with a detailed description of the imported items and present it to the Customs officials at the first point of entry.
to the Republic of Korea
Due to an increased numbers of passengers trying to enter the country to work illegally being refused entry into South Korea, it is recommended that citizens of the Russian Federation travelling to the Republic of Korea for tourism should have the following supporting documents:
- return ticket
- hotel voucher
- funds for the period of stay
- approximate itinerary
- contact details of the inviting party
Aeroflot flies to three airports in China: Beijing (PEK), Shanghai Pudong (PVG) and Guangzhou (CAN).
The general rule states that a 24-hour visa-free transit is allowed for those passengers who have a confirmed ticket for continuing their travel by air, by sea or by rail to any third country (including Hong Kong and Macau). During this 24-hour period, it is permitted travel to any other location in China and then fly from there to a third country. Guangzhou is an exception: rules for the 24-hour visa-free transit through several destinations in China, including Guangzhou, are applicable when Beijing is the first transit airport (for example, SVO-PEK-CAN-SYD).
It is forbidden to return to the country of initial departure.
In addition, citizens of the following 53 countries are allowed to use certain airports for 72- and 144-hour visa-free transit:
- 39 European countries: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
- 8 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Oceania: Brunei*, Japan*, Qatar, Singapore*, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Australia and New Zealand.
- 6 American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico and the United States.
*There are special conditions for entry and transit for citizens of Brunei, Singapore and Japan.
The 72-hour visa-free transit period in Guangzhou and the 144-hour visa-free transit period in Shanghai and Beijing start from 00.01 of the day following the day of arrival; and the 72-hour visa-free transit period in Beijing starts from the time of arrival at the airport.
72-hour visa-free transit for this category of passengers also applies to Guangzhou (CAN) and Beijing (PEK) airports. However, it is necessary to fly to a third country from the airport of arrival.
144-hour visa-free transit is allowed through Shanghai Pudong (PVG) airport. Passengers can fly to a third country from the following airports: Hangzhou Xiaoshan (HGH), Nanjing Lukou (NKG), Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA) and Shanghai Pudong (PVG). In addition, arrival and departure is possible to/from the international sea terminals and Shanghai Railway Station. In this case, passengers should have tickets for the plane / train / cruise to a third country.
144-hour visa-free transit is allowed through Beijing (PEK) airport. Passengers can fly to a third country from the following airports: Beijing (PEK), Tianjin (TSN), Shijiazhuang (SJW). In addition, arrival and departure is possible to/from the Tianjin and Qinhuangdao international sea terminals and Shanghai Railway Station. Upon arrival in Beijing, such passengers should fill in the corresponding questionnaire at the border control point and present a valid air ticket to a third country / train ticket to a third country / cruise ship ticket (paper or electronic).
At the same time, such passengers still have the option of a 72-hour transit through Beijing subject to departure from the same airport.
A number of China's airports do not allow visa-free transit.
There is no visa-free transit through the following international airports in China: Fuzhou (FOC), Huangshan (TXN), Mudanjiang (MDG), Shenzhen (SZX) and Yanji (YNJ). Nationals of countries that have visa arrangements with China should have at least a Chinese transit visa to transit through these airports, even if such citizens are formally eligible for visa-free transit. This requirement also applies to passengers who are in transit through several airports in China, for example, on the following route: Moscow-Beijing-Shenzhen-Sydney. If such passengers do not have Chinese transit visas, then they shall not be allowed to travel.
Visa-free transit is not applicable to the following categories of passengers:
- Syrian citizens transiting through Guangzhou;
- passengers with a British National (Overseas) passport who require a Mainland travel permit for Hong Kong and Macao residents and a Hong Kong ID card;
- passengers with passports from the Republic Of China Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau;
- passengers transiting through Urumqi (URC) who are nationals of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, UAE and Yemen, as well as holders of British National (Overseas) passports and Taiwan passports.
To shorten the time for customs formalities, you are advised to print out the
Passenger Customs Declaration Form and complete it in advance.
How to fill in the passenger customs declaration form (PDF, 111 Kb)
For more information please visit the website of
the Federal Customs Service