Apply for the correct visa type, noting the distinction between various visa types, such as 'tourist' and 'visitor' visas.
Ensure your visa type reflects your intended activities.
The migration card is electronic at most international airports but in smaller airports you will need to complete it manually. Retain the stamped migration card as you'll need to present it when exiting the last of the two countries visited.
If you lose your migration card, a replacement can be requested from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs but this could delay your departure and involve significant costs.
Ensure you register with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs within seven working days of arrival. Most hotels do this on behalf of guests, but you're legally responsible.
Confirm with check-in staff on arrival that you have been registered.
If you transit through Russia on the way to a third country, check transit visa requirements.
If you're travelling between Russia and Belarus, you must obtain visas for both countries.
Make sure you leave Russia before your visa expires.
Some visas, including tourist visas, can't be extended.
With the exception of some commercial cruise ship passengers (see below), Australian citizens must obtain a visa before entering Russia. If you arrive in Russia without a valid visa, you will be detained and deported at your own expense, following the payment of a fine.
You risk extended detention and prosecution by Russian authorities and you could be barred from re-entering Russian territory.
If you're not staying at a hotel, the registration process can be complex.