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A step-by-step guide to getting a russian visa

  1. Choose the type of Russian visa you need, or if you’re from a visa-exempt country, travel without a visa.

Russian Visas are classified according to:

  1. Number of entries: A single-entry; A double-entry; A multiple-entry .

2)Purpose of travel: Tourist visa, Business visa, Private or homestay visa, Transit visa, Student visa, Employment visa and Other types.

All visitors to Russia need an entry visa, except for:

1)Nationals of the following countries:

  • Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine (CIS countries).
  • Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Macedonia (With official invitation, tourist voucher and passport stamp "poslovno").
  • Croatia, Israel, Venesuela, Angola, Abkhazia, Angola, Albania, Bolivia, Brasilia, Syria, Chile, Philippines, Turkey, Thailand, Argentina, Guatemala (For the stay of maximum 90 days).
  • China (Tourist groups of 5 pax and more with official representative of the autorised tourist company).
  • Cuba (For the stay of maximum 30 days).
  • Mongolia (With official invitation or tourist voucher).

2)Cruise Passengers

  • Cruise ship passengers do not need a Russian visa, if the stop in the port of call does not exceed 72 hours and if the tourists stay overnight on board.
  • Cruise passengers may disembark from the ship without a tourist visa only for tours organised by cruise or other authorised tourist companies whose responsibilty is to inform Russian migraion services 72 hours before passengers’ arrival.
  • Passengers will not be permitted ashore if they present an invalid passport (even for pre-arranged tour).
  • Passengers who do not take part in organised tours to disembark will need to obtain a Russian tourist visa that cannot be granted once in Russia. Russian visas are issued only in the country of residence before departure.

3)Children under the age of 16, enlisted in their parents’ passport

NB Children travelling with their own passport must have separate Russian visa and register it upon arrival.

  1. Obtain an invitation to Russia (This must be drawn up by a registered travel agent or the PVU [Passport and Visa Service] of the Ministry of Internal Affairs).

Invitation to Russia

All applications for Russian visas (with the exception of a transit visa) require a specific visa support document – a visa invitation. This is often called ‘visa support’ or ‘invitation letter’, and must be issued by the party inviting you to Russia, whether a tour company, employing company, educational institution, relative, or a friend.

It is vital to bear in mind that the validity and type of Russian visa you are issued should be strictly adhered to. Once you are in Russia, you can neither change your visa status (e.g. from tourist to business, business to educational, or vice versa), nor extend the validity of your visa (except in an emergency). In order to do so, you will have to leave the country and apply for a new visa.

Our company can provide you with a single or double entry tourist invitation within 1 hour. Our rates are among the lowest offered online. We offer a 50% discount on tourist visa support for every client booking accommodation in one of our hotels (Greenwich, Silver Age, and Abat-jour), hostels (Friends hostels), or apartments.


  1. Contact your local Russian embassy/consulate to find out their official requirements for obtaining a visa, as they differ from area to area (http://www.russian-visas.net/russian_consulate/russian_consulates_worldwide/)..
  2. Prepare the required documents. Apply for the visa at the Russian embassy/consulate in your chosen country.

The documents a consular official will want to see will depend on the type of visa you are applying for. Visa processing only starts after the embassy/consulate has received all the necessary documents. See more: http://www.russian-visas.net/russian_consulate/required_documents/

  1. Fill in a Russian visa application form and pay the consular fee.
  2. Once ready, collect your visa and check it carefully, or find out the reasons given for a visa refusal.
  3. Learn what the entry requirements to Russia are, and discover what to do when arriving and departing
  4. Be sure to register your visa within 7 days of your arrival in Russia. If there is anything you still do not understand, read more about the Russian laws governing visa policy and contact our staff with any further questions.

Don’t forget:

• The validity and type of visa should be strictly adhered to. Once in Russia, you cannot change your visa status (i.e. from tourist to business, from business to educational,or vice versa). The only to do so is by leaving the country and applying for a different visa.
• If the visa type is non-extendable, you must also leave the country within the expiry date specified in order to apply for a new Russian visa, which can be of the same type or different from your original visa.

See all information here: http://www.russian-visas.net/