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Foreign passport

A “foreign” (international travel) passport is an identification document to be used by Russian citizens outside Russia. A foreign passport is required for travel outside the Russian Federation, for staying in a foreign country, and for re-entering Russia.


Some of the former Soviet Union (FSU) countries admit Russian citizens across the border without a foreign passport (requiring Russian travelers to present only a domestic passport), but this is more of an exception than the rule. Most of the world’s countries, especially those which require that Russian citizens obtain an entry visa, allow entry only to holders of a foreign passport.


At this point, a Russian citizen can obtain either an “old style” passport or a new biometric (chipped) passport. Biometric passports are issued for up to 10 years.


The personal data recorded on electronic media implanted in a biometric passport include: 

  • the passport number
  • given name and surname, citizenship, date of birth and gender of the passport holder
  • a color photographic image of the passport holder’s face
  • an image of the passport holds fingerprints of two fingers (starting from 1 July 2013)

If we look at the international practice, different countries choose different types of ID and citizenship documents. Some countries do not have a “general citizen’s” (domestic) passport, using an ID card or a driver’s license as domestic form of ID. Other countries issue a single passport which serves as both a domestic ID inside the issuing country and a document for international travel.


Regardless of the difference in approaches to this issue, a passport (“foreign” passport for international travel), as a form of ID and a citizenship document is a common standard used in most countries around the world. 

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