Russia is a country that is making significant economic progress and this is reflected in the amount of international businesses that are establishing a presence in the region—especially in Moscow or St Petersburg. If your business is expanding and you see a trip or move to mother Russia in your future there a few things you should know that will make your journey a whole lot easier.
Pharmacies in major Russians cities will generally be stocked with anything you might need, but that won’t be the case everywhere. In some areas you may have a difficult time finding prescription drugs like antidepressants and painkillers. If you’re relocating, you may want to check if your prescription will be available in the area in which you plan to stay. Those expecting to stay for a shorter period of time would do well to take enough of their medication to last them the duration of the trip. Make sure to pack a copy of your prescription to avoid questions during travel.
Though there aren’t any vaccinations required for travel, you may want to make sure you’re up-to-date on your routine vaccinations (when was the last time you got a tetnus shot?), and the CDC recommends a few others:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Japanese Encephalitis (if you plan on hiking or camping, and if your country of residence offers it)
Registration upon arrival
Hopefully your employer took care of your visa, and if you are an employer hopefully you’ve hired someone to take care of it for you, because the process is notoriously headache-worthy. Assuming you get to Russia without any problems, there’s still the matter of registering your visa. It’s to be done within three working days of your arrival, and again within three working days if you relocate within the country. Visa registration can be done at the local UVIR office. Don’t let this responsibility fall to the wayside, it’s practically impossible to extend a visa that hasn’t been properly registered, and trying to get out of Russia with an unregistered visa may incur you a heap of fines.
Spending your rubles
Rubles are the unit of currency in Russia. At one time it was possible to purchase items while out and about in other monetary units, but no more. Traveler’s checks may be difficult to cash outside of major cities, and not everyplace will accept credit cards, so cash is going to be your best bet; Euros and USD can be exchanged almost anywhere in Russia. It may make you hometown bank teller think you are paying off an extortionist, but ask for your money in bills of new or current issue, without rips, tears, markings or folds. You may run into some persnickety, not-so-forgiving Russian bank tellers when trying to exchange your money, and you wouldn’t want to walk away empty handed, now would you?
When in Russia, do as the Russians do
This is the case with any country you might be visiting, especially if that visit is for business. Get to know the culture and make yourself familiar with the Russian language. Learning even just the basics of the language will allow you to communicate more easily and allow you more independence. Want a little help with that? Check out our Enquiry Centre for information on language classes. Or, if you already have some knowledge of Russian but want to learn more, take our Russian Level Test and see how you measure up.
What other things are you doing to prepare for your trip?