How to obtain a visa to Russia.

In fact, it’s quite easy to obtain a visa to Russia, if you follow the steps and do everything carefully.

First of all, you should become familiar with the following list of countries, the citizens of which are allowed to travel to Russia without a visa.

Cuba

Serbia

Thailand

Montenegro

Azerbaijan

Armenia

Belarus

Venezuela

Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

Moldova

Tajikistan

Uzbekistan

Ukraine

Argentina

Brazil

Guatemala

Israel

Colombia

Nicaragua

Peru

Uruguay

Chile

Ecuador

Macedonia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

However, this only extends to citizens who are traveling to the country for tourism, private purposes, or at the invitation of a resident.

If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed above – you are welcome in Russia! In order to enter Russia, you will only need a passport. The length of your stay can last up to 90 days.

If you didn’t find the name of your country on the list, then you will have to apply for a visa, no matter what the purposes of your visit are.

The purpose of your visit determines how long you can stay in Russia, and the required documentation for getting a visa.

 

Tourist visas are for travelers and are valid for 30 days.

Private visas are for those who are coming to Russia at the invitation of a Russian citizen. It is good for up to 90 days.

Work visas are for those who are coming to Russia to work for a one-year period, but you can extend the visa without leaving the country.

Student visas are for those who come to study in Russia for a one-year period, but you can extend the visa.

Business visas are used for commercial purposes, e.g. for negotiating, contracting and visiting conferences. This visa is valid for a period from 30 days to 5 years. The complete term of stay in Russia on a business visa should not exceed 90 days within each 180 days.

Transit visas are appropriate for foreigners intending to travel through Russia en route to a third country.

All of the mentioned types of visas require an invitation letter (except for the transit visa which does not require invitation).

An invitation to Russia is provided by an inviting party in Russia. This includes individuals (adult Russian citizens and foreign holders of Russian permanent residence), and legal Russian entities (inviting company, educational institution, etc.) that take on responsibility for the invited foreigner.

Let us take a look at the process of applying for each type of visa.

These can be single entry or double entry.

You can apply for this visa in the Consular Affairs Office of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, in the Russian Visa Application Center, or through a travel agency.

Required documents:

  1. Passport

 

The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the expiration date of the Russian visa.

 

  1. Visa invitation

 

Invitations are provided by travel agencies or hotels through whom you have booked.

 

Hotels will offer you an invitation free of charge after you pay the full cost of your stay there.

 

You can also order an invitation through some reliable online sources. Such an invitation usually costs 900 rubles.

 

  1. Medical insurance

 

You can order this online along with the invitation or separately. An online order will cost approximately 1000 rubles for a ten-day trip.

 

You can also purchase it in the Russian Visa Application Center, which will cost 1300 rubles.

 

  1. Consular questionnaire (filled and signed by you) along with one or two passport size photos (35 x 45 mm).

 

You can find and fill a consular questionnaire directly at the consulate (or the Russian Visa Application Center) or on the website of the Russian MFA.

 

After you fill the questionnaire, you will have to print it, sign it, and attach your photo.

 

  1.  Confirmation of the payment of the consular fee

 

The consular fee depends on the country from which you are traveling. For example, for citizens of European countries the fee is 2200 rubles.

 

You can get the confirmation at a consulate, or pay the fee online through the Russian Embassy website, and print it.

 

  1. 1 or 2 passport-sized photos.

 

Getting a visa takes about 14 days, and the Consulate takes 10 of those days to make the visa. If you are going to get your visa via a visa application center, you should apply for it 6 months before the trip.

 

Once you arrive in Russia, you should register at the Migration Service within the first 7 days of your stay. You can do this at the hotel where you are staying, or in the local department of the Federal Migration Service.

 

While in Russia, you should always carry your passport with you along with your migration card (the latter is filled in at the airport or during customs when crossing the border) and the confirmation of the registration at the Migration Service. Police officers have the right to demand the production of these documents anytime, anywhere.

These can be single entry or double entry.

Private visas can be valid for 30 days or for 90 days.

You can apply for this visa in the Consular Affairs Office of the Embassy of Russian Federation or in the Russian Visa Application Center.

Required documents:

  1. Passport

 

The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the expiration date of the Russian visa.

 

  1. Visa invitation

 

Invitations can be issued upon the request of citizens of Russia, foreign holders of a Russian permanent residence, or legal Russian entities.

 

To make a request an inviting party should go to the local Migration police department with the following documents:

 

  1. A copy of the passport of the visitor

 

  1. An application for invitation for a private visa

 

  1. A letter of guarantee confirming the consent of the individual to provide the foreign visitor with material and medical security, accommodation, and bear financial liability for the forcible deportation of the foreign visitor if he violates Russian law

 

  1. An income certificate (confirming financial liability)

 

  1. A confirmation of the payment of the state fee for the consideration of the application for an invitation

 

If the visitor is the citizen of the country that is on the list of the migratory-dangerous countries, the inviting party will have to have an interview with the leadership of the Department of Internal Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.

 

A private invitation can be issued in no less than 30 days starting from the day of the submission of the required documents.

 

  1. Medical insurance valid during the period of travel

 

You can apply for medical insurance online at a cost of 65 rubles per day, i.e. if the visa is valid for 10 days then the cost will be 650 rubles. You can also apply for insurance at the Russian Visa Application Center at a cost of 1300 rubles.

 

  1. Consular questionnaire (filled out and signed by you) along with 1 or 2 passport-sized photos

 

You can find and fill out a Consular questionnaire directly at the Consulate (or the Russian Visa Application Center), or on the website of the Russian MFA.

 

After you fill out the questionnaire, you will have to print it, sign it and attach your photo.

 

  1.  Confirmation of the payment of the Consular fee

 

The Consular fee depends on the country you come from. For example, for the citizens of European countries it is 2200 rubles.

 

You can get the confirmation at a Consulate, or pay the fee online through the Russian Embassy website, and print it.

 

  1. 1 passport-sized photo.

Private visas can be issued in about 10 days after the submission of all the required documentation.

Once you arrive in Russia, you should register at the Migration Service within the first 7 days of your stay. You can do this at the hotel where you are staying, or at the local department of the Federal Migration Service.

 

While in Russia, you should always carry your passport with you along with the migration card (the latter is filled in at the airport or during customs when crossing the borders) and the confirmation of registration at the Migration Service. Police officers have the right to demand the production of these documents anytime, anywhere.

You can apply for this visa in the Consular Affairs Office of the Embassy of the Russian Federation or in the Russian Visa Application Center.

Required documents:

  1. An original or a copy of your passport;

 

The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the expiration date of the Russian visa.

 

  1. Visa invitation

 

An invitation can be issued upon request of a Company-Employer registered in the Russian Federation. The invitation is issued by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation.

 

  1. Work permit card which is issued by an employer
  2. HIV-free certificate which can be obtained at a local hospital. It is valid for 3 months

 

  1. Medical insurance valid during the period of travel

 

You can apply for this online at a cost of 65 rubles per day; the total cost depends on the period of the visa’s validity. You can also apply for the insurance at the Russian Visa Application Center, but it will be more expensive.

 

  1. Consular questionnaire in printed form with 1 passport-sized photo

 

You can find and fill out a Consular questionnaire directly at the Consulate (or the Russian Visa Application Center), or on the website of the Russian MFA.

 

After you fill out the questionnaire, you will have to print it, sign it and attach your photo.

 

  1. Confirmation of the payment of the Consular fee

 

The consular fee depends on the country you come from. For example, for citizens of European countries it is 2200 rubles.

 

You can get the confirmation at a Consulate, or pay the fee online through the Russian Embassy website and print it.

 

  1. 1 passport-sized photo.

The advantage of the work visa is that foreigners can repeatedly leave Russia during their stay there. The work visa can be also extended without leaving Russia.

Another peculiarity is that if a foreigner has a family, then every member of the family has the right to obtain a multiple entry visa, which allows them to enter and exit the Russian Federation during the period of the validity of this visa.

Two stages to getting a visa:

First stage: Applying for a short-term work visa for a period of 90 days.

Second stage: The extension of the work visa upon your arrival to Russia for a period indicated in the work permit issued by the employer. In order to get this extension, you will have to register a place of permanent residence during the first 7 days. Then you can submit the documents for a multiple work visa. A single entry work visa can be issued within a period of 2 to 14 days.

Once you have come to Russia, you should register at the Migration Service during the first 7 days. You can do this at the hotel where you are staying, or in the local department of the Federal Migration Service.

 

While in Russia, you should always carry your passport with you along with the migration card (the latter is filled in at the airport or during customs when crossing the border) and the confirmation of the registration at the Migration Service. Police officers have the right to demand the production of these documents anytime, anywhere.

You can apply for this visa in the Consular Affairs Office of the Embassy of Russian Federation or in the Russian Visa Application Center.

Required documents:

  1. An original or a copy of your passport;

 

The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the expiration date of the Russian visa.

 

  1. Visa invitation

 

An invitation can be issued upon a request by a state educational institution (university) registered in the Russian Federation.

 

  1. HIV-free certificate which can be obtained at a local hospital (this is necessary if the student is going to live in Russia for more than 3 months). It is valid for 3 months.

 

  1. Medical insurance valid during the period of travel

 

You can apply for this online at the cost of 65 rubles per day; the total cost depends on the period of the visa’s validity. You can also apply for insurance at the Russian Visa Application Center, but it will be more expensive.

 

  1. Consular questionnaire in printed form with 1 passport-sized photo

 

You can find and fill out a Consular questionnaire directly at the Consulate (or the Russian Visa Application Center), or on the website of the Russian MFA.

 

After you fill out the questionnaire, you will have to print it, sign it and attach your photo.

 

  1. Confirmation of the payment of the Consular fee

 

The Consular fee depends on the country you come from. For example, for the citizens of European countries it is 2200 rubles.

 

You can get the confirmation at a Consulate, or pay the fee online through the Russian Embassy website, and print it.

 

  1. 1 passport-sized photo (35 x 45 mm).

 

A study visa can be issued within a period of 2 to 14 days.

Once you arrive in Russia, you should register at the Migration Service during the first 7 days. You can do this at the university where you will study, or in the local department of the Federal Migration Service. If you are planning to live in the dormitory, then you will have the opportunity to register at the Migration Service there.

 

While in Russia, you should always carry your passport with you along with the migration card (the latter is filled in at the airport or during customs when crossing the border) and the confirmation of the registration at the Migration Service. Police officers have the right to demand the production of these documents anytime, anywhere.

You can apply for this visa in the Consular Affairs Office of the Embassy of Russian Federation or in the Russian Visa Application Center.

Required documents:

  1. An original or a copy of your passport

 

The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the expiration date of the Russian visa.

 

  1. Visa invitation

 

An invitation can be issued upon a request of any organization registered in Russia and accredited by the Federal Migration Service under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

 

  1. Medical insurance valid during the period of travel.

 

You can apply for it online at the cost of 65 rubles per day; the total cost depends on the period of visa’s validity. You can also apply for the insurance at the Russian Visa Application Center, but it will be more expensive.

 

  1. Consular questionnaire in printed form with 1 passport-sized photo

 

You can find and fill out a Consular questionnaire directly at the Consulate (or the Russian Visa Application Center), or on the website of the Russian MFA.

 

After you fill out the questionnaire, you will have to print it, sign it and attach your photo.

 

  1. Confirmation of the payment of the Consular fee

 

The Consular fee depends on the country you come from. For example, for citizens of European countries it is 2200 rubles.

 

You can get the confirmation at a Consulate, or pay the fee online through the Russian Embassy website, and print it.

 

  1. 1 passport-sized photo (35 x 45 mm).

The peculiarity of the business visa is that it allows the foreigner to repeatedly enter and leave Russia (if the visa is for multiple entries). The period of the visa’s validity can range from 30 days to 5 years. The complete term of stay in Russia on a business visa should not exceed 90 days within each 180 days.

 

Once you have arrived in Russia, you should register at the Migration Service during the first 7 days. You can do this at the hotel where you are staying, or in the local department of the Federal Migration Service.

 

While in Russia, you should always carry your passport with you along with the migration card (the latter is filled in at the airport or during customs when crossing the border) and the confirmation of the registration at the Migration Service. Police officers have the right to demand the production of these documents anytime, anywhere.

In order to get the transit visa, you should submit the following documents to the Consulate of the Russian Federation:

  1. Passport (along with the visa for the country of destination if necessary)

 

  1. Consular questionnaire in printed form with 1 passport-sized photo

 

You can find and fill out a Consular questionnaire directly at the Consulate (or the Russian Visa Application Center), or on the website of the Russian MFA.

 

After you fill out the questionnaire, you will have to print it, sign it and attach your photo.

 

  1. 3 photos

 

  1. Travel documents (tickets) with the date of entry on them

 

  1. Medical insurance

 

Please note that the transit visa is not required if you remain in the transit zone of the airport in order to catch an onward or connecting flight within 24 hours of arrival, or more in case of a forced stop.

A transit visa can be issued within about 10 days.