Visa to Russia


The information in this section is completely revised according to the laws on the status of foreign citizens in Russia.


Step 1:  What Is a Russian Visa: 
A Russian visa is a special document attached to your passport, that grants you a permit to enter and to leave the Russian Federation during a period of time specified in the visa. Every foreign citizen needs a Russian visa to enter / leave Russia , except nationals of some CIS countries (former USSR without Baltic States ). 
A Russian visa looks like this: 




Generally, there are six types of Russian visas : 1) a tourist visa, 2) a business visa, 3) a student visa, 4) a personal (private) visa, 5) a transit visa, 6) a short 72-hour visa. Each visa type corresponds to the purpose of your visit. 
However, many people come for a short business trip with tourist visas, or to visit their friends with business visas. So, when choosing the type of visa, the only consideration should be — price / speed of processing / period of stay / the number of entries, and not the formal name of the visa.
Generally, the best options in terms of price, processing speed and flexibility are tourist and business visas. Its better to get a tourist visa if you plan to stay in Russia no longer than one month, and need a single- or a double-entry only. Its better to get a business visa if you plan to stay in Russia longer than 1 month and / or need a multiple-entry visa. 

It is easier to obtain a tourist visa, because a business visa costs more, and takes longer to process, although it may save you time and money if you are going to visit Russia several times during 1 year. 


Step 2: How and Where to Get a Russian Visa: 
You can get a Russian visa in a Russian consulate at the country youre currently in. To apply for a Russian visa, you need to submit to a Russian consulate certain documents , depending on the type of visa you require. 
For example, to apply for a tourist visa, you need to submit: a) your passport , b) three passport-size photos , c) a visa application formand d) an invitation from Russia (the type of the invitation depends on the visa you wish to get -- tourist, business or private The originals of the visa support (invitation) documents are only required if youre applying for a multiple-entry or if youre applying in one of the following countries: Switzerland, Sweden, and sometimes Australia, Japan, and Germany. 
To process your visa, the consulate will charge you a certain visa processing fee depending on the type of your visa and the speed of processing (the more you pay, the faster your request is processed). 


Step 3: What is the Invitation and How to Get It: 
All the required documents that are listed above are easy to get and you should already have them available. The only document that you dont already have is the invitation. 
The invitation (also called visa support or tourist confirmation and tourist voucher) is a special document issued by the party that invites you to Russia . The invitation is required by a Russian consulate to be able to process your visa. For every type of visa, there exists a different type of invitation (tourist, business, private, student). For example, to apply for a tourist visa, youll need a tourist invitation (a tourist visa support). 
The invitation (visa support) can be issued by a Russian travel agency or by a company or organisation authorized by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). Our company will do it for you. Please fill in the application form. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us.


After you receive the invitation, you can bring it along with the other documents needed to the consulate and apply for your Russian visa. 
tourist invitation is needed to get a tourist visa. The tourist invitation comprises two papers: tourist confirmation and tourist voucher.

If you got your visa support documents through a local travel agency (in your country), the Russian consulate may require a cover letter containing your name, dates and points of arrival / departure in Russia, your itinerary, travel agency reference number -- that is the same information as in the invitation. This letter will NOT be required if you get your visa support through a Russian travel agency, including our company. 
The consulates in Japan and Australia may still require the cover letter, in this case it should be provided to you for free. However, you should try to apply first without it and only get the letter if the consulate asks you to provide it. 
We hope this information made a good introduction into what Russian visa is and how it works.