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Russia information

Russia information

All foreign citizens visiting Russia must have a valid visa to enter and/or leave the country, except for nationals of CIS countries (the former USSR excluding the Baltic States). You cannot obtain an entry visa upon arrival, so you must apply for your visa well in advance.

What is a Russian Visa?

A Russian entry/exit visa has two dates: the first date shows the earliest date a traveller may enter Russia; the second date shows the date by which a traveller must leave Russia. A Russian visa is only valid for those exact dates and cannot be extended after the traveller has arrived in the country, except in the case of a medical emergency.

To apply for a Russian visa, you will need to submit certain documents to a Russian consulate, depending on the type of visa you require. One of the most important documents that you will need for any type of visa is an official invitation (or visa support).

The official invitation (visa support) is a document issued by the entity that inviting you to Russia. The invitation is required by a Russian consulate to process your visa. For every type of visa, there is a different type of invitation for tourist visas the invitation can be issued by a Russian travel agency or hotel, for business visas by a company or organisation authorised by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

The validity and type of visa should be strictly adhered to. When in Russia, you cannot change your visa status (i.e. from tourist to business). To do that, you have to leave the country and return on a different visa.

Russian Tourist Visa

Russian tourist visas are generally used by people who travel to Russia for tourism, leisure or short business meetings, allowing for either a single or double visit and may be valid for a maximum period of 30 days.

A tourist visa will be issued for the exact dates you request, or as specified on the invitation if you are providing this yourself.

This is the most cost-effective visa for short trips and if you know when and where you will be going in other cases you should consider applying for a business visa.

If you have already booked a hotel in Russia, please contact them to obtain tourist visa support documents (hotel voucher and confirmation).

If you haven't yet booked a hotel and would like to apply for tourist visa support documents you can do it now (select the option "Russian Tourist Invitation"). Once we receive your payment, we will prepare the documents and send them to you by post, fax or email. Please note that a tourist voucher and acceptance confirmation can not show a private address.

Russian Business Visa

Russian business visas allow for single, double or multiple visits and may be valid from one to twelve months.

These are generally used by people who travel to Russia on official or private business and allow you to travel when you please and stay where you wish (within the validity of the visa).

A business visa may be issued for various reasons including cultural relations, accompanying family members and commercial driving. Please let us know if you have specific requirements.

While a tourist visa cannot be extended, business visa extensions can be arranged through the organisation providing the invitation for the existing business visa.
If you would like to apply for a business invitation you can do it now (select the option "Russian Business Invitation").  After we receive your payment we will prepare the documents and send them to you by post, fax or email.

Visa Registration: the seven working day rule

It is obligatory to register a foreign national’s entry into the Russian Federation within seven working days of arrival. However, if the duration of the total visit is less than seven working days it is not necessary to register the visa.

If you are staying in a hotel the registration is fully taken care of by the hotel. Please request a copy of the registration at reception.

If you are staying in a private apartment the visa whether tourist or business must be registered by the landlord. The landlord must register your visa at the local post office, police station (in Moscow) or department of Federal Migration Service (commonly known as OVIR) in other cities. The landlord will need to fill out a notification form and include a copy of your passport (pages with photo and visa) and migration card. The landlord must be a Russian citizen officially registered at the same apartment.