TYPES OF RUSSIAN VISA

 

 There are several types of Russian visas depending on the aim of your trip, the amount of times you will enter the country and the duration of stay in the country. The list of documents required, the duration of the process and the consulate fee all depend on the type of visa.


  

RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA 

(max stay 30 days - one-two entries)

A tourist visa is the easiest visa to get and the cheapest. It is intended to be used by foreign tourists wishing to come to Russia on holiday for a short period of time. Despite being designated for tourists, business people often use this type of visa when they need to visit Russia for a single short business trip.

FEATURES

A tourist visa is the easiest visa to get and the cheapest. It is intended to be used by foreign tourists wishing to come to Russia on holiday for a short period of time. Despite being designated for tourists, business people often use this type of visa when they need to visit Russia for a single short business trip.

Usually a tourist visa will allow you to enter Russia just once (ie it is single-entry) and remain there for up to a month. It is the cheapest and easiest to Russian visa to get.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

To apply for a tourist visa, you will need what is called an 'invitation' from the Russian side which consists of two official supporting documents - a confirmation and a voucher. These documents can sometimes be issued jointly as one document, but can only be issued by an officially registered a tour operator or hotel. A simple confirmation from a hotel does not constitute a supporting document for obtaining a visa. The documents should contain the tour operator’s reference number and a confirmation (voucher) number and you will need these numbers in order to fill in a visa application. If you are planning to spend more than 14 days in Russia, the consulate often asks for an itinerary of your trip which should also be issued by an authorised company.

  TOURIST RUSSIAN VISA CHECKLIST 

  1. Valid Passport

A passport with at least two blank pages which do not need to be consecutive, valid for at least six months after the visa's expiration date - for example if you travel to Russia from 10 June to 22 June your passport should be valid until at least 22 December.

  2. Visa Application Form

This form should be filled in on-line on the site - https://visa.kdmid.ru and printed out and submitted with other support documents to the consulate.

  3. Passport Photo

One recent passport size photo glued to the visa application form in the special field.

  4. Official Supporting Documents

Documents provided by a Russian side - tourist voucher and tourist confirmation. These two documents are basic, they are proof the aim of the trip and dates. The documents should be stamped and signed by an authorised person - normally a general director of the company. By signing these documents, a company takes limited responsibility for your stay in Russia - mainly regarding the purpose of your stay. The dates of the trip mentioned in the tourist voucher and tourist confirmation should correspond to the ones on the visa application form.

These documents are normally printed on one page, but can be printed on two - there is no specific template. Faxed or scanned copies of these documents are accepted in most Russian consulates, but some can demand original documents. In this case you should ask your travel or visa agency to send the original documents by any post services.

  5. Other Requirements of Specific Countries

UK CITIZEN REQUIREMENT - Applicants who are self-employed, company directors, working from home or unemployed need to provide bank statements for the last three months which have a current balance of a minimum of £100 per day for the duration of the visit (not required for housewives, students and retired applicants). Online banking printouts should be certified and stamped by your bank.

  Advice

If you plan to stay somewhere which cannot provide an invitation you can buy an invitation for a tourist visa from one of many authorised agencies who make a business selling invitations. In this case you must fill in the visa application form according to the information provided on the invitation and follow the advice of the agency. If you are planning to visit friends in Russia do not mention this on an application for a tourist visa, as the consulate may refuse to issue a tourist visa and make you apply for a private visa instead.

Most consulates should accept copies (including scanned or faxed copies) of the supporting documents for tourist visas.

 

RUSSIAN BUSINESS VISA 

(validity period of 30, 90, 180 or 365, but with a max length of stay 30 or 90 days)

The idea behind business visas is for business people, who are employed abroad but come to Russia on several business trips. Foreign people visiting Russian on business visas are not permitted to work and receive payments in Russia. Business visas take longer to get than tourist visas and are also more expensive.

FEATURES

A business visa can be valid for three months, six months or one year. However even if your visa is valid for a year, you are not permitted to spend more than 90 days in Russia within a 180 day period. Such visas can be single-entry (allowing you to enter and leave the country once, for three-month visas), dual-entry (allowing you to enter and leave the country twice) or multi-entry (allowing you to enter and leave the country as many times as possible, usually only for year-long visas).

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Some consulates require the originals of supporting documents for business visas. There are two type of invitation for this type of visa - Form and Telex.

  • Form - this type of Invitation letter for Russian business visas is issued on special paper from the Federal Migration Service at the request of a Russian company. To get Russian visa with this type of invitation, you need to get it and submit this original form to the embassy. This type of invitation letter is made within 7 or 14 business days for single or double entry and 14 or 18 business days for multi-entry. You can apply for a business visa using a form invitation no earlier than in 3 months before your trip to Russia.
  • Telex - an invitation for a Russian business visa sent by telex from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The invitation is sent to a Russian Embassy by a special telex service. To get your visa, you only need to know the telex information, which the visa agency should send you by email. The telex is prepared within 7 to 10 business days for single and double entry visas, and within 14 to 18 business days for multi-entry visas. You can apply for a business visa with a telex invitation no earlier than in 45 days before your trip to Russia.

 BUSINESS RUSSIAN VISA CHECKLIST

 1. Valid Passport

A passport with at least two blank pages which do not need to be consecutive, valid for at least six months after the visa's expiration date.

 2. Visa Application Form

This form should be filed in on-line on the site - https://visa.kdmid.ru and printed out and submitted with other supporting documents to the consulate.

 3. Passport Photo

One recent passport size photo glued to the visa application form in the special field.

 4. Official Supporting Documents

An official invitation (Form or Telex) from an authorised organisation.

To get a business visa for longer than three months you need to undergo a medical test (including a HIV test certificate) which is to be submitted with your support documents More details can be given by the agency you use to obtain this type of visa.

 ADVICE

Business visas are sometimes used by people who wish to visit Russia often or for longer than the month permitted by tourist visa. It is also relatively common practice for people to come to Russia on a three-month visa and then leave the country upon its expiry and return on another three-month visa, thereby getting around the maximum length of stay.

However this option might not be possible for everybody, depending on how far you live from Russia as some Russian consulates will refuse to process a visa for you if you are not a resident or citizen of the country where the consulate is located. Citizens of the EU though should be able to apply at any Russian consulate within the EU. Also bear in mind that this is not the intended use of business visas and one day the Russian authorities make crack down on this practice.

RUSSIAN TRANSIT VISA

(max stay 72 hours one entry)

If you travel via Russia to a third country and would like to explore the city during the stopover you can get a Russian transit visa.

FEATURE

The duration of this visa cannot be longer than 72 hours and it cannot be extended. Determination of the time required for transit using vehicles is made by dividing the distance between the entry and exit points by a daily nominal value of 500 kilometres.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

You should present either the original copy or photocopies of your air, rail, or bus tickets showing that you will not be in the Russian Federation for longer than 72 hours.

 TRANSIT RUSSIAN VISA CHECKLIST

 1. Valid Passport

A passport with at least two blank pages which do not need to be consecutive, valid for at least six months after visa's expiration date.

 2. Visa Application Form

This form should be filed in on-line on the site - https://visa.kdmid.ru and printed out and submitted with other support documents to the consulate.

 3. Passport Photo

One recent passport size photo glued to the visa application form in the special field.

 4. Travel Documents for Third country

You need to submit a ticket for your onward travel and a visa for the country you are travelling to (if required).

 

OTHER TYPES OF RUSSIAN VISA.

There are a few other types of Russian visa which we briefly describe although they are not really applicable for tourism.


RUSSIAN STUDENT VISA

Student Visa - issued for a period of one year to a foreign citizen entering the Russian Federation for the purpose of studying at an educational institution. At first the visa is issued for up to three months with an option to extend it by the Federal Migration Service at the place of registration of a foreign citizen for the duration of the contract of studying, but not more than one year for each subsequent visa. When the visa been extended the foreign citizen is issued a multiple entry visa. Extensions are only granted for the same course of study.


RUSSIAN PRIVATE (GUEST) VISA

Private (Guest) Visa - this type of visa is issued for foreigners arriving in Russia to visit a Russian citizen. A private visa to Russia is issued on the basis of an invitation issued by the

Russian Federal Migration Service ("FMS"), using a form of the FMS upon the request of an adult citizen of Russia at the FMS local authorities at the place of residence (registration). The Russian citizen must apply in person and be able to provide evidence that the foreign citizen will enjoy normal living conditions for the duration of his/her stay in Russia and guarantee the foreign visitor will leave Russia in time.

It can take up to 90 days to consider to such an application. If approved, the inviting citizen is issued a visa invitation official form, which should be sent to the invited foreigner and the foreigner should present this invitation at the Russian consulate when applying for Russian visa.

A private visa cannot exceed 90 days and it is only single entry. Another downside is that Russian Private visa does not allow the foreigner guest to travel outside the region of residency of the hosting person. The foreign guest is expect to live in private accommodation and the inviting citizen is obliged to register the foreigner and will face a fine for failing to do so.


RUSSIAN WORK VISA

Work Visa - A work visa is the only visa which allows foreigners to work in Russia. Unlike a business visa, a work visa for Russia allows you not only to repeatedly enter and leave the country, but also allows you to stay in the territory of the Russian Federation for the whole duration of the visa.

Upon the expiry of the visa, an extension work visa is possible without needing to leave the country, but it is necessary to issue a new work permit.

A work visa may only be issued by an accredited company that has valid permission to employ foreign workers. It is received in two stages: the initial entry into Russia on short-term work visa (90 days), and then arrival on an extended work visa until the end of the work permit.

Practicalities  Russian Visa  Types of Russian visa