How to...

Despite all the challenges involved with giving birth, for foreigners delivering in Russia, the arrival of the baby is only the beginning. Getting a newborn the appropriate documents required to legally reside in Russia requires time, effort and patience. When the mother and baby leave the hospital, they will be presented with a statement of birth, which simply attests to the date of the child's birth. New parents must then take this statement to their local ZAGS, the office that registers all vital statistics, to get an official state birth certificate. After receiving the birth certificate, the parents must then visit their embassy to get the baby a passport. The embassy may require that the birth certificate be translated and/or apostilled. Although the baby is allowed to stay in Russia indefinitely without a visa, when he or she leaves the country for the first time the parents will need to obtain an exit visa. The exit visa must be issued by the agency that issued the parents' visas. In order for the baby to return to Russia, he or she will, like any other individual, require an invitation for a single-entry visa. Once the invitation is issued, the visa can be processed by any Russian Embassy abroad. After entering Russia, this single-entry visa should be exchanged for a multiple-entry visa for an "accompanying family member." This visa will be valid for as long as the parent's visa is valid.