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Russia – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering Russia

  • Tourist Visa: This type of visa is issued for travel purposes for a period of up to 30 days. A tourist visa cannot be extended and a visitor must leave the country before the end of the 30-day period. A tourist visa is usually issued for single or double entry.

  • Business Visa: This type of visa is issued for business purposes for a period of up to one year. A business visa may be extended and a visitor may enter and leave the country multiple times. A business visa is issued for single, double, or multiple entry.

  • Work Visa: This type of visa is issued for those who will be working in Russia for a period of up to one year. A work visa may be extended and a visitor may enter and leave the country multiple times. A work visa is issued for single or multiple entry.

  • Student Visa: This type of visa is issued for those who will be studying in Russia for a period of up to one year. A student visa may be extended and a visitor may enter and leave the country multiple times. A student visa is issued for single or multiple entry.

  • Private Visa: This type of visa is issued for visits to friends or relatives in Russia for a period of up to 90 days. A private visa cannot be extended and a visitor must leave the country before the end of the 90-day period. A private visa is usually issued for single or double entry.

Are there any visa exemptions in Russia?

Citizens of some countries are exempt from the requirement to obtain a visa to enter Russia. These include citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Additionally, citizens of some countries may obtain a visa upon arrival in Russia, including citizens of Japan and South Korea.

What is the relationship between visas and residency status in Russia?

A visitor who holds a visa for a period of up to one year may apply for residency status in Russia. The process of obtaining residency status involves submitting an application to the local immigration authorities and providing various documents, including proof of income and medical insurance.

Where can expats go for reliable information on visas for entry into Russia?


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The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides official information on visas for entry into Russia.

Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United States of America: https://washington.mid.ru/en/visa_services/

Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United Kingdom: https://rusemb.org.uk/ru/visa/

Embassy of the Russian Federation in Australia: https://www.russianembassy.org.au/en/visa/

Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Canada: https://montreal.mid.ru/en/visa_services/

How and When to Apply for a Visa for Entry into Russia

You should apply for a visa for Russia well in advance of your planned trip. The earliest you can apply for a visa is three months before your planned travel date. The Russian Consulate General recommends that you apply for a visa at least four weeks before your planned travel date to ensure that your application is processed on time.

The application process for a visa for Russia is carried out online through the website of the Russian Visa Center. To apply for a visa, you need to create a user account on the Russian Visa Center website and fill out the application form. You will need to provide personal information, travel details, and information about the purpose of your trip to Russia.

After you have completed the application form, you will need to pay the visa fee online. The fee for a tourist visa is 49 US dollars, and the fee for a business visa is 198 US dollars.

Where to Apply for a Visa for Russia

If you are a US or UK expat, you can apply for a visa for Russia at the Russian embassy or consulate in your home country. In the United States, visa applications for Russia are processed by the Russian embassy in Washington D.C. In the United Kingdom, visa applications for Russia are processed by the Russian embassy in London.

If you are not a resident of the US or the UK, you can find information on where to apply for a visa for Russia on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Required Documents for a Visa for Russia

To apply for a visa for Russia, you will need to provide several documents. The required documents vary depending on the purpose of your trip to Russia, the type of visa you are applying for, and your personal circumstances. Here are some of the documents that you may be required to provide:

  • A valid passport or other travel document that is valid for at least six months after your planned stay in Russia
  • A completed visa application form
  • A recent passport-sized photograph
  • A tourist voucher and confirmation from a Russian travel agency, if you are applying for a tourist visa
  • A letter of invitation from a Russian host, if you are applying for a business visa
  • Proof of medical insurance that covers medical expenses up to 30,000 euros
  • A travel itinerary that includes information on your planned activities in Russia
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover your expenses during your stay in Russia

If your documents are not in Russian or English, you may need to provide translations of your documents. The translations must be done by a certified translator.

For more information on the required documents for a visa for Russia, you can visit the website of the Russian Embassy or the Russian Visa Center.

Application Process for Getting a Visa for Russia

The application process for getting a visa for Russia varies depending on the type of visa, the country of application, and the individual case. In general, the processing time for a visa application for Russia is about 20 business days from the date the embassy or consulate receives the application.

However, some visa applications may take longer to process, especially if additional documents or information are required. If your visa application is taking longer than expected, you can contact the embassy or consulate where you submitted your application for an update on the status of your application.

Cost of a Visa for Russia

The cost of a visa for Russia also varies depending on the type of visa, the country of application, and the individual case. Here are some of the common visa fees for Russia:

  • Tourist visa: $160 USD for a single entry, $160 USD for a double entry, $160 USD for a multiple entry
  • Business visa: $160 USD for a single entry, $160 USD for a double entry, $160 USD for a multiple entry
  • Work visa: $160 USD
  • Student visa: $40 USD

There may be additional fees for services such as SMS notifications or courier delivery of the visa. These fees vary depending on the embassy or consulate where you apply for a visa.

It is important to note that the visa fee is non-refundable, even if your visa application is rejected.

In addition to the visa fee, you may also need to pay for other costs associated with your visa application, such as the cost of obtaining required documents, translation services, or travel expenses to the embassy or consulate.

If you are unsure about the cost of a visa for Russia or any associated costs, you can contact the embassy or consulate where you plan to apply for a visa or visit the website of the Russian embassy in your home country.


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