How to Get a Russian Visa

Whether for traveling for work, family or vacation, preparing to travel to Russia can be a daunting task. Knowing how to get a Russian visa should be one of the first items to check off your list, though, because it is an integral part of your journey.


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    Decide on the type of Russian visa that you need.
    • Your options include tourist visas, private visas, business visas and transit visas.
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    Secure an invitation for the visa type that you require.
    • You can obtain a tourist visa through a travel agency that is registered with the Department of Consular Service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or on the basis of your hotel confirmation. These visas are good for up to 30 days.
    • To obtain a business visa, you need an official invitation from a Russian business firm. This type of visa will allow you to travel to Russia for up to 12 months by way of single-entry, double-entry or entering the country multiple times.
    • Private visas can be secured through invitation of family or friends in Russia.
    • The maximum time period of a travel visa is 10 days, and this type of visa is issued if you are traveling to a third country by way of Russia. Your visa to your destination country and/or a copy of your travel documents will help you secure a travel visa.
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    Choose a well-known organization to help you secure your visa invitation. A list of possible groups can be found online.
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    Have your paperwork ready. This will include your passport that should be valid for at least three months after the expiration of your visa and have at least one clear page, a passport-sized picture, your consulate application form and consulate-specific documents necessary for entry.
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    Fill out any necessary paperwork for your visa application process. You may also need to fill out online information in addition to or instead of traditional paperwork.
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    Make any necessary payments for your visa, the least expensive of which is the transit visa.
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    Wait for your visa to arrive, which can take three to 10 business days.
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    Review your visa upon its arrival to ensure that it has been filled out correctly. Contact your ordering institution if there are any issues.


  • Russian visas that are issued by European consulates now have a five-day waiting period after the visa has been issued. So if you have a time-sensitive travel need, contact the Russian embassy directly to obtain your visa and make the necessary arrangements to be able to travel on time.

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Categories: Russia | Official Travel Documentation