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Russia Visa

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

Russia is the largest country in the world by area and ninth largest by the number of population. It is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. About 77% of the Russian population lives in the western, European part of the country. Its capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world.

Russia is known for its cold climate, vodka, great literature, unique architecture, beautiful nature, and bears. That is why the number of foreign tourists in Russia is increasing each year. In 2017, 24.5 million foreign tourists made trips across the Russian Federation. Most of them had to obtain a visa to Russia before making their trip.



What is a Russian Visa?

A Russian visa is a permission in the form of a sticker affixed in a travelers passport. It allows its holder to enter, stay, and leave Russia within a specified period of time. It contains the following information:

  • the entry and exit dates

  • vital information,

  • passport details

  • information about the person or party that sends you (the visa holder) the invitation.

Do I Need a Visa to go to Russia?

Russia has a very strict visa policy. Most of the world countries will need to get a visa to Russia, even for tourism. Several others fall under the Russian visa-free regime. This means the nationals of these countries do not need a visa when traveling to Russia.

In addition, Russia has made possible visa-free visits for up to 72 hours for a cruise ship and ferry passengers, via several ports. Transiting without a visa is possible through several airports. Holders of diplomatic from several countries are exempt from the visa requirement in a few cases as well.


Russian Visa Types

Depending on one’s purpose for traveling to Russia, there are several Russian visa types. Each of them has its own requirements, application process and specifications.

The Russian visa types are as follows:

  • Russia Diplomatic visa. This is a visa issued to a foreign citizen holding a diplomatic passport. I.e. heads of state, heads of government, members of an official delegation etc.

  • Russia Service visa. This is a visa issued to a foreign citizen having service (consular, official, special) passport. I.e. members of official delegations, administrative and technical and service personnel of diplomatic missions, etc.

  • Russia Ordinary visas.

    • Russian Private Visa. This visa is issued to persons traveling to Russia for a short visit on the basis of an invitation letter.

    • Russian Business Visa. This visa is issued to people traveling to Russia for business.

    • Russian Tourist Visa. This visa is issued to travelers if holding an invitation letter by a Russian tour operator.

    • Russian Student visa. This visa is issued to those traveling to Russia for study purposes.

    • Work Visa. This visa is granted to foreigners wishing to travel to Russia for employment for a specific period.

    • Russian Humanitarian Visa. This visa is granted to foreign citizens visiting Russia for a scientific, cultural, political or a sports visit. Also for religious communication and contacts, pilgrimage, charity or delivery of humanitarian aid.



  • Russian Transit Visa. This visa is issued to those that need to transit through the territory of Russia in order to reach their destination country.

  • Russia Exit Visa. Foreigners in the territory of Russia, whose visa expires before they leave, shall apply for an Exit Visa in order to be able to leave.

  • Russia eVisa. This visa is available for nationals of Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, China, India, Iran, Japan, North Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. It is only valid to visit the regions in the Russian Far East for less than 8 days.

On the other hand, depending on the number of times one wants to enter Russia with one single visa, there are the following visa types:

  • Single entry

  • Double entry

  • Multiple-entry

How to Apply Visa for Russia?

The application process for a Russian Visa is as follows:

  1. Get the Invitation (Visa Support). This is the first step you should make to get a visa to Russia. If you are planning to travel to Russia for tourism purposes, you can get your invitation from a travel agency or a hotel. If you are traveling for other purposes, your inviter should get the invitation from the General Directorate for Migration for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.

  2. Complete the online application form. The application form for a visa for Russia is available at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) website visa.kdmid.ru. Give in all of the required information, with correct and honest information.

  3. Collect the required documents. Proceed with collecting the required documents for a Russian visa. Note that the required documents differ from one country to the other. The documents also depend on the visa type you are applying for. You should obtain a list of the required documents from the Russian embassy/consulate or the visa center representing Russia in your country of residence.

  4. Apply in Person at a Russian Consulate / Russian Visa Processing Center. You will need to show up with all these documents at the Russian consulate or Russian the visa center. There is no need for a prior appointment since walk-in applications are accepted. You will also have to pay the fees for a visa application when you submit your documents.

  5. Get the immigration card. After you get your visa for Russia, you can freely travel to the country. However, there are still some tasks you need to complete. As soon as you enter Russia, during the passport control, you will have to fill out the immigration card. The card consists of two identical parts, both of which you need to fill in. The border police will keep one part of the card. You should take the other one with you. Later, you will need to return this card to the border police, when you leave the country.

  6. Register your visa. Upon arrival in Russia, you have 7 working days to register your visa. There are two ways to register a visa. First, at the hotel where you are staying. Second, through the property owner of the apartment you have rented for your stay, or where your friends reside (who have invited your over). You will need your immigration card and passport to register your visa.

For a detailed description of each of the steps for a Russian visa application, visit the article.

Russian Visa Requirements

When you apply for a visa for Russia, you will have to submit several documents as a part of your application. Based on these documents the Russian Embassy in your country of residence will take a decision on your case. You should pay special attention to these documents and submit all of them as required.

Note that the list of the required documents for a Russian visa differs based on your nationality and the visa type you are applying for.

The standard required documents for a visa to Russia are as follows:

  • Visa Application Form. Fill in the form electronically on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) website kdmid.ru, giving in all of the required information. Make sure your answers are correct and then print the form.

  • Valid Passport. Your passport must have a minimum of six months of validity after the expiration of the visa you are applying for. In addition, it must have at least two blank pages, which do not have to be consecutive.

  • A recent Russian visa photograph. Glue this photo to the indicated space in the printed application form.

  • Proof of residence. If you are not applying from your home country, but rather from a country where you are residing, you should submit proof of residence in that particular country for the last 90 days.

  • Visa support. This is an invitation to travel to Russia. It may be an invitation issued by a hotel, friends, a business etc., depending on the purpose of your trip.

Depending on your country of residence and the visa type you are applying for, you may also be required to submit the following documents for a Russia Visa.

  • Bank Statements. If you are self-employed, a company director, working from home, or unemployed, you will need to submit bank statements for the last three months. These bank statements must prove that you have a minimum of €115 for each day you plan to stay in Russia.

  • Health Insurance. Submit a confirmation that you have purchased health insurance in Russia. It should show the validity for the duration of the journey as well as indicate the geographical area coverage.

  • Letters of Employer. You should submit a letter written and signed by your employer. It should give full details on you, your destinations, dates, and purpose of the visit. It should as well state the name of the inviting organization and contact details of the responsible person in Russia. The letter must also explain who will take financial responsibility for the trip.

  • Vehicle Registration Certificate. If you are traveling to Russia for auto tourism, you should submit a Registration Certificate of the vehicle. A cover letter with the details on the journey, itinerary and the other travelers accompanying you, will also be required in this case.

  • Copy of the tickets to and from Russia.

  • HIV Test (AIDS) Certificate. This test is required only for a Russian student visa and  Russian works visa, and it must be taken within the last three months before application.

Russia Visa Fees

The costs of a visa application for Russia depend on several factors, which are:

  • Applicant’s nationality

  • Type of visa

  • Number of intended entries

  • The length of the intended period of stay

  • Processing time

Russia Visa Application Processing

The average processing time for a Russia Visa is 10 days. However, the processing can take from 7 to 20 working days. Those in a hurry can apply for expedited processing, which takes three working days. Applicants that want to benefit from the expedited visa application processing will need to pay a higher fee.

Russia Exit Visa

Unlike most countries in which you will be deported if your visa expires, in Russia, you need to get an Exit Visa to be able to leave. A Russia exit visa is granted to foreign nationals in two cases:

  • If your current visa has expired

  • If you have lost your passport

For a Russian exit visa, you should contact the embassy of your home country in Russia. Obtaining an exit visa can take up to twenty days.


Who Needs a Russian Visa?

To many, Russia may seem an unreachable and isolated country due to its politics. Despite the strict and complicated visa policies, many people can actually travel to Russia without a visa.

If you are wondering, “Do I need a visa for Russia?” following in this article you will find the answer to your question.

Following, find a list of the nationals that do not need to apply for any type of Russian visa, and the situations in which nationals of the rest of the world countries can be exempt from this requirement.


Do I Need a visa for Russia?

When it comes to the nationals of world countries that can enter Russia visa-free, the rules are not the same for all of them. These rules determine the period of stay and the scope of activities that can be performed during the visa-free stay, which differ. Russian authorities have categorized countries based on these rules, in several groups.

Group I: Unlimited Visa-Free Stay in Russia

Nationals of Belarus and South Ossetia can enter Russia and remain there for an unlimited time.

Group II: Up to 90-Days Visa-Free Stay

Nationals of the following countries can enter Russia and remain for up to 90 days, without the need of obtaining a visa prior to their trip:

  • Abkhazia

  • Argentina*

  • Armenia

  • Azerbaijan

  • Bolivia*

  • Brazil*

  • Chile*

  • Colombia*

  • Cuba*

  • Dominica*

  • Ecuador*

  • El Salvador*

  • Estonia (holders of an alien passport)

  • Fiji*

  • Grenada*

  • Guatemala*

  • Guyana*

  • Honduras*

  • Israel*

  • Jamaica*

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Latvia (holders of a non-citizen passport)

  • Moldova

  • Nicaragua*

  • Panama*

  • Paraguay*

  • Peru*

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis*

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines*

  • South Africa*

  • Tajikistan

  • Ukraine

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Uruguay*

  • Uzbekistan

  • Vanuatu*

  • Venezuela*

*Nationals of these countries can enter Russia without a visa only for non-commercial purposes.

Group III: Up to 60-Days Visa-Free Stay for Non-Commercial Purposes

Nationals of the following countries can enter Russia for non-commercial purposes without a visa, and remain here for up to 60 days:

  • Mauritius

  • Samoa

  • South Korea


Group IV: Up to 30-Days Visa-Free Stay for Non-Commercial Purposes

Nationals of the following countries can enter Russia for non-commercial purposes without a visa, and remain here for up to 30 days:

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Laos

  • Macao (Persons holding a Macau Special Administrative Region passport)

  • Mongolia

  • Montenegro

  • North Macedonia*

  • Palau

  • Serbia

  • Seychelles

  • Thailand

*A letter of guarantee/invitation and a tourist voucher are compulsory for citizens of North Macedonia in order to be permitted to enter Russia.

Group V: Up to 14-Days Visa-Free Stay for Non-Commercial Purposes

Nationals of the following countries can enter Russia for non-commercial purposes without a visa, and remain here for up to 14 days:

  • Brunei

  • Hong Kong (Persons holding a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport)

  • Nauru

Group VI: Travelers in Possession of a Belarus Visa

Due to the Belarus-Russia visa recognition agreement, which is expected to come into force after May 2019, travelers in possession of a Belarus visa will be able to enter Russia without another visa.

Group VII: UP to 15 Days Visa-Free Entry for Chinese Citizens Part of a Tour Group

Chinese nationals can enter Russia without a visa and stay here for up to 15 days. The sole condition is that they must be traveling as part of a tour group (from 5 to 50 persons) that is accompanied by a representative of a tour operator registered in both countries.

72h Visa-Free Entry for Cruise Ship and Ferry Passengers

Russia has made possible visa-free visits for up to 72 hours for cruise ship and ferry passengers, via several ports. The travelers must spend the night on-board or in accommodation specifically approved by the travel agency, in order to be eligible for this type of visa-free entry.

Visa-free visits for up to 72 hours for cruise ship and ferry passengers is possible only for those entering Russia through the ports of:

  • Anadyr

  • Kaliningrad

  • Korsakov

  • Novorossiysk

  • Murmansk

  • Sevastopol

  • Sochi

  • Saint Petersburg (Big port Saint Petersburg and Passenger Port of St. Petersburg)

  • Vladivostok

  • Vyborg

  • Zarubino


Russia Visa-Free Transit

Although there is a Russia Transit Visa, several categories of travelers are exempt from the obligation to obtain one. Passengers that need to stop at one of the Russian airports in order to get a plane to their destination country are permitted to remain in the international transit area for 24h without a visa.

However, you will need a visa when transiting through Russian airports that do not have an international transit area. These airports are as follows:

  • Irkutsk Airport (IKT)

  • Kaliningad Airport (KGD)

  • Khabarovsk Airport (KHV)

  • Krasnodar Airport (KRR)

  • Mineralnye Vody Airport (MRV)

  • Rostov Airport (ROV)

  • Sochi Airport (AER)

  • Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport (UUS)

  • Zhukovsky Airport (ZIA)

A Transit Visa is not required for those passing through the Russian part of the Saimaa canal without leaving the vessel. The traveler will still go through passport controls at the border of the canal.

Visa-Free Entry to Russia with APEC Business Travel Card

Nationals of some countries that hold an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) containing the “RUS” code on the reverse, valid for travel to Russia, can enter the country visa-free.  They are permitted to enter only for business trips for up to 90 days within any 180-day period.

These countries are:

  • Australia

  • Brunei

  • Chile

  • China

  • Hong Kong

  • Indonesia

  • Japan

  • South Korea

  • Malaysia

  • Mexico

  • New Zealand

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Peru

  • Philippines

  • Singapore

  • Taiwan

  • Thailand

  • Vietnam

Visa-Free Entry for Holders of Diplomatic and Service Passports

Russia has reached reciprocal agreements with a number of countries, for exemption from the visa requirement for holders of diplomatic passports. Various categories of service passports have also been exempt from the requirement.

Holders of diplomatic passports from the following countries:

  • European Union

  • Armenia

  • Iceland

  • Liechtenstein

  • Mauritius

  • Monaco

  • Norway

  • Qatar

  • Switzerland

  • Turkey

  • Uzbekistan

  • Vatican

*Diplomatic and service passports for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.

Holders of diplomatic and service passports from the following countries

  • Abkhazia

  • Albania

  • Algeria (from 6 Feb 2019)

  • Angola

  • Azerbaijan

  • Belarus

  • Benin

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • Burkina Faso

  • Burundi

  • Cape Verde

  • Cambodia

  • Chile

  • Costa Rica

  • Cuba

  • Dominica

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ethiopia

  • Gabon

  • Gambia

  • Guinea

  • Guyana

  • Indonesia

  • Iran

  • Jamaica

  • Kazakhstan

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Laos

  • North Macedonia

  • Mali

  • Moldova

  • Mongolia

  • Montenegro

  • Morocco

  • Mozambique

  • Nepal

  • North Korea

  • Pakistan

  • Palau

  • Senegal

  • Serbia

  • South Ossetia

  • Tajikistan

  • Thailand

  • Turkmenistan

  • Ukraine

  • Vanuatu

  • Venezuela

  • Vietnam

  • Zimbabwe

Holders of diplomatic and official passports from the following countries:

  • Bangladesh

  • Brunei

  • Colombia

  • El Salvador

  • Grenada

  • Honduras

  • Nauru

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  • Samoa

  • Seychelles

  • Uruguay

Holders of diplomatic, service and official passports from the following countries:

  • Argentina 2 D S O

  • Bolivia

  • Congo

  • Ecuador

  • India

  • Mexico

  • Myanmar

  • Nicaragua

  • Philippines

  • Singapore

  • South Africa

  • South Korea

  • Sri Lanka

Holders of diplomatic, service and special passports from the following countries:

  • Bahrain

  • China

  • Egypt

  • Jordan

  • Oman

  • Peru

  • Syria

  • Tunisia

Holders of diplomatic and special passports from the following countries:

  • Fiji

  • Kuwait

  • United Arab Emirates

Holders of diplomatic, official and consular passports from Guatemala.

Holders of diplomatic, service, official, special passports from Paraguay.

Holders of diplomatic, service, official, special and consular passports from Panama.


Russian Visa Requirements

The Russian embassy in your home country will decide if it should issue you a visa, based on them. That is why you should pay full attention to these documents. Note that the required documents differ based on your nationality. According to the visa type you are applying for, you will need to submit extra documents as well.


Russian Visa Requirements

There are documents that every Russian visa applicant has to submit. They are required regardless of the applicant’s nationality or purpose of the trip to Russia. These documents, known as the Standard Requirements for a Russian Visa, are as follows:

  • Visa Application Form. Make sure your answers are correct and then print the form.

  • Valid Passport. There are some criteria that your passport must meet in order for your application to be valid. These criteria are:

    • Your passport must be valid for at least six more months after the expiration of the visa you are applying for.

    • Your passport must have at least two blank pages, which do not have to be consecutive.


  • A recent passport size photo. Make sure this photo complies with the requirements for a Russia Visa photo. Glue this photo to the indicated space in the printed application form.

  • Proof of residence. If you are not applying from your home country, but rather from a country where you are residing, you should submit proof of residence in that particular country for the last 90 days. Date on proof of residence should be no older than one month. This document could be any of the following:

    • A valid visa in your passport issued by the country where you are residing.

    • Utility bills with your name and address.

    • Letter from employer specifying the start date of your employment.

    • Letter from university/college/school specifying the date of enrollment. The letter must provide further course details.


  • Visa support. This is an invitation to travel to Russia. Without it, you cannot start your application for a Russian Visa. Below you can find more information on visa support, and what this document means for each visa type.

  • Bank Statements for the last three months. Required only if you are self-employed, a company director, working from home, or unemployed. These bank statements must prove you have at least €115 for each day you plan to stay in Russia.


Russia Visa Requirements Based on Visa Type

According to the Russian visa type that you are applying for, you will need to submit extra documents in addition to the ones listed above. Here is a list of Russian visa types to find the specific required documents for each type.


Russia Visa Requirements Based on Applicant’s Nationality

If you are a citizen of the EU countries, Denmark, Iran, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, and Switzerland, applying for a Russian visa will need to submit:

  • Health insurance policy document. This document must be issued by a foreign insurance company or a Russian insurance company and contain:

    • Your full name.

    • The date when the agreement was signed.

    • The policy number and full details of the insurer.

    • The dates of validity. Note that for single entry and double entry visas the policy must cover the entire period of stay in Russia. On the other hand, for multiple-entry visas, it must cover the duration of the first trip.

    • The list of medical services that the insurance covers, including repatriation in case of death.

    • The geographical area coverage the insurance covers. It must include Russia.


  • Invitation issued by the company in Russia. It must contain the Individual Tax Number according to the Agreement between Russia and the EU on 25.05.2006. A written request from a legal person, company, organization, enterprise, institution, or their branches, state and local authorities, organizing committees, of the Russian Federation.

If you are a citizen of Australia traveling to Russia for business purposes, you are required to submit a detailed autobiography in the Russian language to ensure a principle of reciprocity.





Russia Visa Photo Requirements


Following, find the Russian visa photo requirements, as set by the Russian authorities:

Russian visa photograph size:

  • The photo must be 4 cm height, 3.5 cm width, 3 cm space for the face.

Russian visa photo specifications:

  • The photo must be in color.

  • No older than six months.

  • It must have clear quality.

  • Your face must be on focus.

  • Your face expression must be neutral, not smiling, and not nervous.

  • Do not wear any sunglasses, hats, caps or other head coverings, unless it is of religious belief or ethnic background.

  • Side or angled views are not accepted.


How to Apply for Russian Visa?

Getting a visa to Russia is not a piece of cake. There are documents you need to gather and a strict process you need to follow. Yet, it is not as hard as it may seem, when you have the right information. Once you start the Russian Visa application process, you will notice that it is not harder than getting a visa to i.e. Europe.

If you are wondering how to get a Russian visa, following in this article you may find all the procedures.


Russian Visa Application

To apply for Russian Visa you should follow these simple steps:

Get the Invitation to Russia (Russian Visa Support)

Start your Russia visa application by getting the invitation to travel to Russia. The invitation is the basement of your Russian visa application. It is also known as the visa support document. The type of invitation and its issuer differ according to the purpose of your trip to Russia.

Following find a list of all Russia visa invitation types, with explanations on each:

  • Visa support for tourism. This could be any of the following:

    • Letter from the tour company or cruise line. If you are traveling to Russia for tourism with a tour company or cruise line, you should obtain this letter from them. The letter must confirm the itinerary and include a copy of the confirmation from an authorized Russian travel company. It must show the reference number and confirmation number for the visa.

    • Confirmation of hotel arrangements. Contact your travel company or the Russian hotel where you will be staying. They will issue you a confirmation of hotel arrangements that serves as visa support. The document must show the reference number and confirmation number for the visa.


  • Visa Support for a private visit. This could be any of the following:

    • An invitation from the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation. Your Russian host should get this kind of invitation at the ministry in Russia.

    • An inviting letter of a Russian citizen to enter Russia with their non-Russian family members. If you are traveling to Russia with a Russian family member, then the relative of yours should take care of the letter of invitation. He or she should direct the letter to the Ambassador of Russia in your home country.


  • Visa Support for students. This could be any of the following:

    • An invitation from the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation. Your Russian university should take care to obtain this invitation from the Ministry.

    • A telex invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Your Russian university should request this letter at the Ministry. The ministry will then pass the invitation to the Russian embassy in your home country.

    • A copy of a direct inviting letter of your Russian university. This kind of invitation is valid for short-term study only, without prolongation. The Rector of the university or the Head of the International Department should stamp and sign the letter.


  • Visa Support for humanitarian visits. This could be any of the following:

    • An invitation from the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation. Your Russian host is in charge of obtaining this letter from the Ministry. He or she should then pass to you the original or scanned version of the letter.

    • An invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Your Russian host should request this type of invitation at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry will then pass the invitation to the embassy in your country.


  • Visa Support for business visits. This could be any of the following:

    • An invitation from the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation. You should ask your Russian business partner for this kind of invitation.

    • An invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Your Russian business partner should request this type of invitation at the Ministry. The ministry will then pass the invitation to the embassy in your country.

    • An inviting letter from an organization based in Russia. The organization in Russia will issue this letter to you. The requirement is valid only for countries that signed visa facilitation agreements with Russia.


  • Visa invitation for employment. The Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation is responsible for issuing this visa to your Russian employer. The employer should then send the invitation to you in an original format, in either paper or electronic form.

  • The invitation issued by a company in Russia for EU nationals. EU travelers applying for a Russia business visa should obtain this letter. The letter must contain the Individual Tax Number according to the Russia-EU Agreement on 25.05.2006.


Complete the Russian Visa online application form

After getting your Russian visa support, you can proceed with the other steps. The next step is completing the online Russian visa application form. It is available at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) website visa.kdmid.ru. The application form contains several questions on you and your trip.

Follow the tips given below to complete the Russian visa online application form:

  1. Go to visa.kdmid.ru

  2. Select the name of the country from the drop menu titled “Country“, from where you intend to apply for a Russia visa.

  3. Choose your hints and help language from the drop menu titled “Hints and help language“.

  4. Press “Complete new application” to proceed. If you want to continue completing an application that you have started previously press: “Open previously completed application”. Press the same button for editing, viewing or printing of a previously completed application.

  5. Save the number of the application form, which you can see at the top right-hand corner. You will need this number to continue the application completion if your session times out. In order to save a draft of your application, use the “Save draft” option.

  6. Each page has clear instructions on the application. Pay attention to them.

  7. Fields marked with a “*” symbol are compulsory.

  8. Print your visa application form.

  9. Stick a passport size photograph with glue on the form. The photo must be no older than 6 months; date and sign the form into the application.

Collect the Russian Visa required documents

Continue the Russia visa application by collecting the required documents for a Russian visa. The standard documents required for every visa are:

  • Printed application form.

  • Your valid passport.

  • A recent Russian visa photo. Glued to the application form.

  • Proof of residence. If you are applying from a country where you have been residing for at least 90 days, which is not your home country.

  • Bank statements for the last three months.

  • Visa support (Invitation). As explained above in this article.

  • Health Insurance. Required only from the citizens of the EU countries, Iran, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, and Switzerland.

You will also need to submit additional documents according to the purpose of your trip. Note that according to your nationality, you may have to submit extra documents as well.

Apply in Person at Russian Consulate/Russian Visa Processing Center

You will need to submit the required documents at the Russian consulate or the visa center representing Russia for visa admission. If you will be submitting your application at the Consular section of the Russian Embassy, you should make a prior appointment. On the other hand, application centers accept walk-in applications. So, an appointment is not compulsory.

Most of the applicants are not required to attend an interview. Still, if the embassy estimates it is necessary, you may be invited for an interview upon the submission of your application.

Pay the Russian visa fee

You will need to pay the fee for your visa at the consular sections. Most of the embassies accept only payments by bank cards. However, some others accept cash as well. You should check for this with the Russian embassy in your home country.

Note that the fees are non-refundable. You can check here for the Russian visa costs!

Collect your Russian visa

You will get a notification on your case after the Russian embassy takes a decision on your application. If they grant you a visa, there will be a visa sticker in your passport. The sticker contains information on you, your visa, the period of permitted stay and the inviter.

Get the Russian immigration card

With the visa sticker in your passport, you can freely travel to Russia. Still, there remain some procedures you need to complete.

Upon arrival at the Russian port of entry, the border police will issue you an immigration card. The card consists of two identical parts, both of which you need to fill in. The border police keep one part of the card. You should take the other one with you. Later, you will need to return this card to the border police, when you leave.

Register your Russian visa

If you will be staying in Russia for 7 days or more, you will need to register your visa. You have 7 working days to register your visa, upon arrival in Russia. There are two ways to register a visa:

  • Through the hotel where you are staying. If you are staying at a hotel, the hotel itself will register your visa.

  • Through the owner of a private house. If you are staying at a private house, then the Russian host is the one required to register you at a police station or at the post office. Your host will need a copy of the first page of the passport, the visa, and the immigration card to do so.

Note that you may have to pay a small fee for this procedure.


How to Apply for a Russian Visa in USA

United States citizens are among the top twenty most frequent visitors to Russia. In 2018, 337,395 Americans traveled to Russia marking an increase of 15% from the previous year.

However, traveling to Russia from the US is not an easy thing to do. Due to the political relations between the US and Russia, both countries have introduced many restrictions for travelers from the other country.

Following in this article, you can learn anything you need to know about the procedures of traveling from the United States to Russia.

Do US Nationals Need a Visa for Russia?

US passport holders do need a visa to enter Russia. A visa to Russia is required from US citizens for every purpose of entry, including transiting through land or sea.

You will be exempt from the Russia visa requirement only in two cases:

  • You are flying with an international airline and changing flights in the Russian Federation. There is one sole condition that this airport has a transit area.

  • You hold dual citizenship. US citizenship and the citizenship of a country that is exempt from the Russia visa requirements.




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