For entrance on territory of the Russian Federation the majority of foreign citizens needs the Russian entry visa.
What is a visa?
The visa is an entry visa to the Russian Federation and transit travel through its territory.
Whatever type of visa you need, all of them are issued by Russian Embassies (Consulates) worldwide upon presenting a set of documents including a proper invitation, issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The visa should contain the following data: a surname, a name (Russian and latin letters), date of birth, sex, citizenship, number of the passport, date of issue of visa, term of stay in Russia, number of the invitation, the purpose of trip, the name of inviting organization, type of the visa.
- Define the required visa type,obtaining the Visa Invitation
- Getting the visa issued by the Russian Consulate
- Registering your visa upon arrival in Russia
Types of Russian Visa:
Visas can be single, double and multiple. The single visa allows you to come to the Russian Federation once. The double visa allows to come to the Russian Federation twice. The Multiple visa authorizes for entrance and departure more than two times.
In accordance with legislation, for entry to Russia foreign citizens can receive different kinds of Russian visas, which depend on entry purpose. It's important to know which visa you need in order to get the correct type of invitation.
1. Tourist visa.
This visa type, which is the cheapest and the easiest to get, is issued to tourists, who have booked accommodation in Russia for non-business reason. It can be used for a short tour for a precise number of days up to maximum of thirty. Extension is not possible! Russian travel visas may be single and double entry. Single entry visa only permits you to enter and exit the country once. If you plan to travel outside of Russia and then to return you will need a double entry Russian travel visa, which is available at some Russian consulates but it costs more and the exact dates of both entries/exits from Russia are stated in it. To get the Tourist Visa, one should order a “tourist invitation" or a "tourist voucher" – free of charge for our guests, which is issued by authorized Russian travel agency. To get a tourist visa, you need either a fax or an original copy of this official invitation.
2. Business visa.
This type of visa implies commercial purpose of visit to Russia. It may be useful for those travelers who visit Russia very often and do not know the exact itinerary. This visa is more flexible in that it may be issued with up to two entries and is valid for up to ninety days. There are also multiple entry business visas, valid for 3, 6 or 12 months with unlimited entries/exits. Visitors applying for business visas have preferences in Russian consulates in comparison with tourist visa applicants. To apply for the Russian Business visa, one should order the Business Invitation letter, which issued by the local department of Federal Migration Service (FMS) by the request of Russian companies accredited with the Consular Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. To get a business visa, you need an original copy of this official invitation.
3. Private Visa.
If you are staying with Russian friends, you'll need an individual visa, which is valid for one entry only for the period from one day to a maximum of three months. Be warned though that this is the most bureaucratically taxing kind of visa to obtain and you'll need the original letter of personal invitation from your Russian host, which your Russian relatives or friends have to obtain from a local Visa and Registration Department of the Ministry of the Interior (OVIR). Though the price of the visa is not high, the whole process can take from 45 days up to three or four months to complete. Please notice that private visas are granted just for single trips to Russia and only to the city where this invitation has been issued. As it is a very long and difficult procedure to get this type of visa (especially for your friends or relatives), we recommend to use tourist or business visa instead of a private one.
4. Transit visa.
A Russian transit visa may be obtained when you are traveling to another country through the Russian territory. For a transit visa, please submit an entry visa of the country of destination and a copy of your transport tickets to your local Russian Embassy or Consulate.
Getting the visa at the Consulate
After obtaining the official invitation letter an applicant should apply to the local Russian Embassy or Consulate, submit all the necessary documents (such as passport and insurance), pay the consular fee and get the visa in 2 weeks’ time maximum. You can find contacts of all Russian Embassies and Consulates on web-page: www.russianembassy.ru
After receiving the invitation, one should contact the Russian Embassy (Consulate) to get the relevant information about the required package of documents, payment of consular fees, filling in the consular questionnaire and other terms of getting the visa. Upon arrival to Russia, foreign visitors are to register their visas in 3 working days..