All foreign travelers staying in the Russian Federation must be registered with the Federal Migration Service in the city or region where they are staying within seven days of their arrival. The responsibility for registration lies with the "receiving party" - in other words your accommodation provider or the organization or individual who issued your visa invitation.
If you are travelling on a tourist visa and staying in a hotel, the registration process is normally completed by reception staff on the first day of your stay, and all that you will need to do is provide them with your passport and migration card. The same should be true if you are renting an apartment through an agency. If you have obtained visa support through an agency that is not providing you with accommodation, you should check with the agency to ascertain who will register you in St. Petersburg. If you are traveling on a business visa, the company inviting you is responsible for registering you, while if you have a private visa, then the Russian citizen who invited you will need to register you. Registration can be completed by them at local branches of the Federal Migration Service or any post office, and again they will need your passport and migration card to complete the process.
If, for whatever reason, your accommodation provider is unwilling to register you (despite their legal obligation) there are always agencies in large cities that will register you for a fee.
Once you have been registered, you will be issued by the receiving party with part of the registration form. This form must be submitted by you at passport control when you leave the Russian Federation. Failure to do this can lead to significant fines. If you lose the form during your stay, you will need to go in person to a local branch of the Federal Migration Service to report the loss.
For the vast majority of travelers, registration is a painless formality. However, there can be problems if you are travelling outside the main urban centers, or if you are travelling to a number of different locations in Russia. As a general rule, you should register as early and as often as possible when changing location/accommodation in Russia, but for more detailed advice on trips to different locations, please contact us.