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The border service recommended contacting the Ministry of Internal Affairs in case of doubt about the validity of the passport

The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs today commented on publications about tourists’ complaints about errors in international passports. How wrote in my tg channel official representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Irina Volk, information about “allegedly widespread facts when Russian citizens were unable to travel to foreign countries due to the presence of errors in their foreign passports, including in the machine-readable entry field,” does not correspond to reality.

“This information is not true. The migration departments of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs have not recorded a sharp increase in the number of citizens’ requests for replacement of foreign passports.”

However, the department forgot to clarify whether a font other than that specified in the regulations (in Order of the Ministry of Internal Affairs dated March 31, 2021 No. 186) OCR-B is acceptable in a machine-readable record (MCR), and whether documents with such a font will be valid.

Meanwhile, travel agents and tourists insist that there is a problem: due to a technical glitch in some five-year foreigners issued in 2023 and this year, the font in the machine-readable entry is non-standard. Visually it can be identified, in particular, by writing the numbers 1 and 7.

The very fact of a technical failure was recognized in some MFCs. Opinions differed in different MFCs about whether such a passport should be replaced. In one of the districts of Moscow, they advised me to go to the office where the passport was issued and ask whether it needs to be changed. Others claim that the document is valid.

Subscribers of “Roof TourDom”, in turn, confirm that they are applying to replace their passports due to the above error.


Tourists believe that explanations from the Ministry of Internal Affairs are not enough and border guards should speak out on this topic – after all, it is their employees who decide whether the passport is valid or not at the stage of crossing the border. The editorial correspondent called the border service of Zhukovsky airport and asked whether citizens with a foreign passport with a non-standard font would be allowed through the Ministry of Emergency Situations. It turned out that service employees have been receiving similar questions frequently lately. “There are a lot of calls, so we have already heard a lot about this topic. Perhaps there was some kind of technical error, we don’t know.”

The airport explained that so far they have not had passengers with the wrong code or font in their passport: “So we don’t know what to do with them yet. This issue will be decided by management.” To resolve doubts about the validity of your international passport, the department recommended that you contact the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs where it was issued: they will look at it and decide whether it needs to be replaced.

Subscribers of “Roof of TourDom” received answers from other Moscow airports: “At Sheremetyevo, the Security Council said that a non-standard font is not a reason for refusal. But they can say anything.” Despite the not optimistic answer, the tourist still plans to get a new document: “Still, the passport actually does not comply with the regulations and, therefore, is invalid.”

At the Vnukovo airport information desk, the travel agent was informed that “there are frequent cancellations and non-admission of passengers to flights”: “They told me to contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the regional center. We called there and they said to change it. Tomorrow my clients are going for a replacement. The execution time is 7 days.”

There are other opinions. “A paper passport in hand is simply an extract of a real document from a database,” the tourist is sure. – Therefore, the main thing is not what’s in your statement, but what’s in the database. And if the border guard has opened your profile on his account, then he doesn’t care what fonts or typos you have. He still looks at his database and, based on this information, decides whether to let you through or not.”

Let us remind you that so far there have been no cases of denial of admission to a flight abroad due to a non-standard font in a machine-readable line. The only incident known to the editors was related to an error in this entry: the gender of the passenger was not indicated there.

Source: Tourdom



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