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Visa To Russia

There are 12 different Russian visa types depending on the purpose of your visit:

Diplomatic visa
Government Business visa
Transit visa
Temporary Stay visa
Private Visit visa
Business visa
Tourist visa
Study visa
Work visa
Humanitarian visa
Refugee visa
Visa for citizenship application

Despite this variety more than three-quarters of all issued visas, fall under tourist and business visas.

According to the Russian Legislation all kinds of visas are limited, i.e, they permit the holder to stay in Russia for no more than 90 days per period of 180 days. The only exceptions are work and study visas. They can be extended respectively depending on the duration of the employment contract or period of your study in Russia.
The visa that already exist can be extend in case of emergency treatment of the foreign citizen, serious illness or death of a close relative living in Russia.

Tourist visa

Tourist visa is the cheapest and the easiest to obtain. It is the best choice when you know exactly how long and where you will be staying without diverting from your planned itinerary. Because for a tourist visa you must have confirmed accommodations or transit information for every night of your stay in Russia.

Tourist visa is often recommended instead of a private visa, which is much more difficult to obtain. Tourist visa is non-extendable, so in order to prolong your stay in Russia you have to leave the country and obtain a new visa.

Purpose: Tourism, short business visits or short-term language courses.

Number of Entries and Validity Period: Single or doubly entry during a validity period of 30 days. Double-entry tourist visas are granted only if you are planning to visit some neighbouring countries of Russia during your stay in Russia and the purpose of travel to these country is tourism.

Please note! Tourist visa is non-extendable. Therefore, if you wish to prolong your stay in Russia, you must leave the country and obtain a new visa.

Visa Invitation: It consists of two parts: a tourist Confirmation issued by any authorized hotel or travel agency in Russia that have a tourist reference number at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and a tourist voucher issued by the same travel agency or hotel, showing that your tourist services have been paid or booked using a credit card.

Please note! Hotels issue invitations only for the pre-booked period.  

Please note! If you are planning to stay for several nights in a hotel in Moscow and then some nights in a hotel in other city, you will need invitations from both in order to apply for your visa.

Please note! Tourist visa is not issued on the basis of a confirmation of hotel reservation, unless the hotel has its own reference number.

Required Documents:

– Basic documents: passport, completed visa application, two photos, visa fee. 

– Tourist Confirmation and Voucher

Business visa

Business visa is intended for those who come to Russia for business purposes (to meet business partners, sign a contract, take part in negotiations, visit an exhibition, etc). However, since Business visa allows multiple entries, longer stays, and other benefits, it can also be used by ordinary travelers, who need more flexibility, because applicant do not need to prepare hotel reservation or an itinerary to get a business visa. So this type of visa is ideal for tourist, who are traveling in Russia for longer than 1 month or (and) need multiple entry. Besides that, a business visa might be used for cultural relationships, accompanying family members, etc.

Please note! Be careful to specify information consistent with the type of your invitation when you apply for a business visa (you can’t say that you’re going for sightseeing if you’re getting a business visa).

Purpose: Business visits or travel for prolonged times

Number of Entries and Validity Period:

– Single entry visa valid for 90 days

– Double entry visa valid for 90 days

– Multiple entry visa valid for 12 months

Please note! According to the Russian Law multiple-entry visa permits the holder to stay in Russia no more than 90 days per period of 180 days.

Business invitations are issued through the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or its regional representatives, or an appropriate branch of the Federal Migration Service of Russia.

The Consular Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues telexes instead of paper invitation letters. The visa supports can be obtained on the basis of request from officially accredited Russian company to the above mentioned government authorities.

Required Documents:

– Basic documents: passport, completed visa application, two photos, visa fee. 

– An invitation issued at a division of the Federal Migration Service of Russia or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Please note! that business visa does not imply a work authorization. You need to seek Work visa to get employment permit.

Private visa (Homestay visa)

Private visa is required in case you wish to visit friends or relatives in Russia and you are planning to stay at their place. This visa might take you several months to obtain (three months for the invitation only).  So you need plenty of time in advance to get all the documents together before you can apply for a private visa. Despite the lengthy process of obtaining, this kind of visa is cheaper than any other. Given the difficulties involved, it is easier to visit your friends and relatives using a tourist visa.

Purpose: A personal visit

Number of Entries and Validity Period: Single or doubly entry during a validity period of 90 days.

Private visa might be extended. If you want to extend it you should apply to the local Office of the Federal Migration Service in the area of your residence in Russia.

Visa Invitation: you need to get a personal invitation certificate or “izveshchenie» (the original only) issued by the Federal Migration Service of Russia. Russian citizen inviting you to visit the country must come in person to the Local Office of the Federal Migration Service to apply for the invitation. The process of obtaining personal invitation is complicated, and takes plenty of time. However, price of visa Invitation is not high in comparison with a business visa.

Required Documents:

– Basic documents: passport, completed visa application, two photos, visa fee. 

– Original copy of the invitation issued at a division of the Federal Migration Service of Russia.

Please note! Foreign citizen can receive a private visa due to the necessity of entering the Russian Federation for urgent medical treatment, the serious illness or death of a close relative. An applicant should present a certificate issued by a medical organization or a death certificate and a document proving the kindred between the applicant and the ill or deceased relative. In this case the passport validity period shall not expire before the end of the visa validity term.

Transit visa

Transit visa is required if you are travelling via Russia to another destination. And you are going to spend in Russia less than 24 hours and aren’t going to leave the airport transit area.

Purpose: Travelling through the Russian Federation to an onward destination.

Number of Entries and Validity Period:

– Up to 3 days if you travel by air

– Up to 10 days if you use other means of transportation

– If you travel by car, the exact validity of visa is defined of the shortest possible transit distance and mileage of 500 km/day.

Single or doubly entry

Visa Invitation: Not required

Required Documents:

– Basic documents: passport, completed visa application, two photos, visa fee. See the detailed information in the Basic Document ssection.

– Travel tickets valid for departure from the Russian Federation.

– Visa for entry into the respective country bordering the Russian Federation, or visa of the country of destination, or passport of such country.

Please note! Check with your airline whether you will be staying in the same terminal/transit area in order to catch a connecting flight before you decide whether transit visa is required or not.

Please note! Passengers travelling to/from Belarus/Kazakhstan via Russia must obtain a transit Russian visa irrespectively of their length of stay in the airport. 

Please note! If you have difficulties obtaining a transit visa then you can to apply for a tourist visa.

Study visa

If you are planning to study in Russia longer than one month, you need a student visa. Usually, the issuance of student visas is done with the help of the institute/school authorities.

It’s the most flexible Russian visa.

Purpose: Study in Russia

Number of Entries and Validity Period: Single entry visa is for a period of 3 months to 1 year.

Visa can be extended depending on the period of study. After 3 months of the student’s arrival in Russia it may be converted into a multiple-entry visa.

Visa Invitation: You need a letter of Invitation issued from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or its Regional Office. It will be issued after getting admission to a Russian educational institution.

Required Documents:

– Basic documents: passport, completed visa application, two photos, visa fee.

– Original copy of the invitation issued from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or its Regional Office;

– Certificate of absence of HIV infection , if you are going to stay more than 3 months in Russia.

Please note! This certificate is valid for 3 month only (HIV blood test should be taken not earlier than 3 months before applying for a visa).

Please note! When applying for a study visa, the passport shall be valid for no less than eighteen months!

Work visa

If you would like to travel to Russia with the purpose of employment you should apply for a work visa. The employer company must have the right to employ foreigners. After signing of your official employment contract you can start your Russian work visa application.

Purpose: Work in Russia

Number of Entries and Validity Period: Work visa can be single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry.

Single entry visa is for a period of 3 months to 1 year.

Visa can be extended depending on the duration of the employment contract. After 3 months of the employee’s arrival in Russia it may be converted into a multiple-entry visa.

A multiple entry visa with a three-years validity can be issued For Highly Qualified Specialists. According to the Russian legislation such specialist must have experience, skills or achievements in a particular field of activity and his salary in Russia should amount to more than 2 million rubles per year.

Visa Invitation: You need a letter of Invitation issued from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or its Regional Office. This type of invitation can be obtained by your Russian employer.

Required Documents:

– Basic documents: passport, completed visa application, two photos, visa fee.

– Original copy of the invitation issued from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or its Regional Office;

– Certificate of absence of HIV infection.

Please note! This certificate is valid for 3 month only (HIV blood test should be taken not earlier than 3 months before applying for a visa).

Please note! When applying for a work visa, the passport shall be valid for no less than eighteen months!

 

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