Re-opened to tourism in 1992, Vladivostok is a major Pacific port and also the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Because of its strategic location, Vladivostok is the point of entry of choice for the eastern regions of Russia for many foreigners.
Plenty of international tourists arrive to Vladivostok every year. In order to comply with the Russian entry requirements for the Far East region, they need to:
- Obtain a valid visa for the Far East — this could be a region-specific Russia eVisa or a traditional tourist visa
- Provide border control officers with other relevant documentation, like their passport
- Declare any relevant goods they are importing or exporting.
Entering Vladivostok: Vladivostok Points of Entry and Customs Regulations
Both the Vladivostok port and international airport (VVO) receive plenty of international visitors each year. Also, Vladivostok is the administrative center of Primorsky Krai, a land point of entry from neighboring China and North Korea.
In general, the closest countries to Vladivostok are:
- North Korea
From the above countries, travelers can easily reach Vladivostok and explore the Far East regions, with their world-renowned forests, lakes, and wildlife.
Getting Through Customs at Vladivostok International Airport
Once they arrive at Vladivostok International Airport, international tourists are required to complete a short entry form with basic information like their passport number (this should only take minutes). They will also have to provide the Russian border control authorities with their passport and Russian visa or other travel authorization. Further documentation may be required depending on the traveler’s circumstances.
Passengers who don’t need to declare any goods and have all their travel documents with them can follow the red immigration line and should have a fairly quick experience at passport control.
The following are examples of items that need to be declared at Russian airport customs:
- Amounts higher than $10,000 in cash
- Goods up to the value of $10,000
- Goods heavier than 50 kg
- Artisanal objects such as instruments, coins, jewelry, antiques, antiquarian manuscripts and books (older than 50 years) or art (also older than 50 years).
Travelers who need to declare goods can follow the green line at the airport.
Do You Need a Visa for Vladivostok?
Only visa-exempt citizens can enter Russia without a visa. The majority of foreign travelers will need a visa in order to enter Russia through Vladivostok.
The type of Russia visa you’ll need for Vladivostok depends on your nationality and the length and purpose of your stay in Russia.
Fortunately, citizens of 18 countries can now obtain a visa for Vladivostok online in minutes. That’s because the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs has launched the eVisa for the Far East in August 2017 as part of the national plan to digitize and streamline immigration processes and boost international tourism.
Citizens of the following countries are eligible for the electronic visa for the Far East:
If you come from one of the above countries, you will be able to apply for your eVisa for the Far East from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the internet and a computer. The eVisa application for Vladivostok must be completed at least 4 days prior to departure.
Citizens uneligible for the Far East eVisa will need to obtain a traditional Russian tourist visa if they want to travel to Vladivostok. This visa has stricter requirements than online visas. Applicants need to obtain a Russian letter of invitation and provide details of accommodation bookings for the entirety of their time in Russia. Moreover, they will need to visit a Russian consulate or embassy in person or hire a Russian travel agency in order to submit their visa application.
How to Get a Visa for Vladivostok Online
Those who are not eligible to apply for a Far East eVisa will be surprised to find out how quick and easy the application process is. In order to obtain an eVisa for the Far East regions and travel to Vladivostok, applicants need to:
- Complete the application form online
- Upload supporting documents (such as their passport) online. This can also be done at a later stage
- Pay the eVisa application fee with a credit or debit card
- Submit the completed application and wait to receive their eVisa via email.
The Russian eVisa processing time is usually 2 to 4 business days.