By Andrea Rodrigo BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 06/14/2016

Russia is the world’s largest country in terms of extension, as well as the 9th most populated. It is known for being a transcontinental country: even though the vast majority of its territory belongs to the Asian continent, at an economic, historial, and population level it is located within Europe.

Russia’s capital city is Moscow, although other cities such as San Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, or Krasnoyarsk are often among the most touristic places across the country.

The nearly 130 fertility clinics that can be found there, along with the particular characteristics of the Russian law on assisted human reproduction make Russia an attractive country not only because of its cultural wealth and landscapes, but also because of the broad range of reproductive options available.

Gamete donation in Russia

The Federal Law on Public Health Protection is the one setting the basis of fertility care within the Russian Federation. This legal framework allows for up to four types of sperm and egg donation procedures:

  • Altruistic donation
  • Paid or commercial donation
  • Anonymous donation
  • Non-anonymous donation (the sperm or egg donor must be a close friend or a relative)

Taking into account that all these options are permitted by law, it is only logical that a big number of foreign patients find in Russia the most suitable conditions for them to start a fertility treatment there. This is the reason why the Russian Federation is one of the main destinations for cross-border reproductive care.

In addition to egg and sperm donation, the Russian Law allows the performance of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) that are forbidden in other countries, such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or surrogacy.

Russian Visa before traveling

In order for a foreign citizen to travel to Russia, he or she must have a specific Russian Visa valid for a definite period of time. It is a document used for indicating the entry/exit dates into/from the country, as well as the passport data of the person concerned.

It should be taken into account this visa is required for both entering and leaving the country. Thus, if this travel document is lost while your are still in the middle of the journey, or if you need to extend the date of exit, you may experience trouble leaving the country.

Should something similar occur to you, consulting your home country’s Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible is strongly advisable, as they may provide you rapid assistance to help you solve the problem, and remove any mishap that could prevent you from leaving the Russian Federation when expected.

Every foreign citizen who is about to enter Russian territory must provide the following documents:

  • A passport valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date
  • Travel tickets and documents of entry or continuation of one’s journey
  • A Russian Visa with entry/exit dates
  • Vaccinations are neither necessary nor required

A fertility treatment is not a mechanical procedure, but a human one, and even though many of its phases can be scheduled, mishaps that may force us to extend our intended departure date are likely to arise. In such cases, applying for a modification of our visa according to this new situation, as well as having a passport that remains valid for a long period of time, is strongly recommendable.

Regardless, setting the dates for each step involved in our fertility cycle together with the clinic is essential, since it allows us to establish an accurate timetable, always following professional counseling in order to avoid unforeseen issues.

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Authors and contributors

 Andrea Rodrigo
BSc, MSc
Bachelor's Degree in Biotechnology from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the University of Valencia along with the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Postgraduate course in Medical Genetics. More information
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One comment

    1. butterfly87

      Wowww! Russia is the perfect place for egg donation… The only problem is the Visa authorization, which is a quite complicated one to get… But once you manage, entering the country is quite easy. I myself adopted an embryo from a Russian couple in a clinic located in Moscow… During the time we were there, we enjoyed many tourist attractions, which made us forget about infertility, money, etc. and I got pregnant in the end so you see what a wonderful experience it was!! I’d come back if I were to have a 2nd baby… 😉