Any entry permit to visit Yakutsk and Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russia?

Arctic snowmobile expedition from Karachi to Big Lyakhovsky Island, one of many New Siberian islands. Photo by Roland Georges N, a Swiss guest,
Arctic snowmobile expedition from Kazachie to Big Lyakhovsky Island, one of many New Siberian islands. Photo by Roland Georges N, a Swiss guest,

When travelers plan to come to Yakutsk, the capital city of Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Russia’s Siberia, they often ask one common question:

“Do I need to get a special permit for visiting Yakutsk?”

The answer is simple, “No, you don’t need it, the only thing you need to have is a valid Russian visa.”

A special entry permit for travels across the vast territory of the Sakha Republic (3 million sq. km) is required to obtain, if you would wish to be in the Arctic state border zone. It’s the area, which is located within 100 km along the seashore. Look up on the map and check.

If your final destination is located more than 100 km to the seashore, you don’t need a permit. It’s only a valid visa.

How to get such a permit for visiting the Arctic restricted area?

A traveler needs to submit an application with a set of docs to the Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation directly or with the help of your hosting company/organization, that is going to take all responsibility for your visit in the restricted area.

All FSB’s Border Service contacts you can find on its official website .

For instance, if your purpose is indicated in a Russian visa as science, it is a Russian institution to apply for your entry permit.

If commercial, it’s a company, that is inviting you for doing business together.

If culture, it’s a cultural institution or a company. For instance, you wish to shoot a feature movie in the Arctic. You need to have a partner in our area, i.e. a local production company.

If you represent a media outlet and your visa states media, it’s an organization you feature in your story or you’re about to travel with.

If you are a tourist, it’s definitely a travel company, that arranges a trip across the Russian Arctic for you.

If you’re a backpacker / adventurer / explorer and don’t consider yourself a tourist… you need to take a look at a Russian visa and see what a type of a visa you have in a passport.

Ok. Here’s the main idea:

It should be the Russian organization, which issues an invitation for you to get a Russian visa.

How long does it take to get a permit for the Russian Arctic?

Praise god, since Jan 1st, 2018, the procedure became shorter. On the one hand, it’s good news. Previously, it was 2 months (60 days) for foreigners. Now it is 30 work days.

The trick is the key word “work day”. To 30 work days, you need to add 6 weekends. In total, the period is already extended to 42 days / 1.5 month for authorities to process your entry permit.

Types of entry permits for the Arctic state border zone?

There’re two types:

  • individual (you travel alone);
  • group (you travel as a member of tour or expedition team).

For an individual permit, you need to apply docs directly or through your representative (your inviter) in our area, whom you officially provide with the signed authorization to act from your name.

When it comes to a group permit, everything seems simple. You need to do the only thing – provide the required info to the organization arranging a group trip to the Arctic zone. Your name will be included in the list of trip/expedition members in the annex to the application that a responsible organization will submit from its own name.

Hope the above info will help you to arrange a trip to our area.

Good luck!