In order to enter Russia the citizens of the EU, the USA, Canada, Australia and of some other countries require visas. To obtain a Russian visa it is necessary to go through quite a few bureaucratic procedures. Firstly, you should find out what type of visa you need, secondly obtain an Invitation to Russia and finally give in the documents to apply for a visa.
The most popular types of visas which are the easiest to obtain for visitors to Russia are the Tourist Visa and the Business Visa. Other types of visas are Student, Work and Private Visas. A Tourist Visa is ideal for those who want to enter Russia once or twice for the period of not more than 30 days. A Business Visa is for those who have to visit the Russian Federation for a period of up to 90 days within any 6 months period in a year. In order to receive a Student Visa to Russia you need to have an educational establishment which can confirm the purpose of your visit. To obtain a Work Visa to Russia you require a Russian employer to deal with your support documents and for a Private Visa a Russian citizen is required to visit all the necessary organizations to get your invitation issued. This is why it is much easier to obtain a Business or a Tourist Visas which may not even reflect the true purpose of your trip.
All foreigners who wish to receive a Russian Visa must have an invitation (or a visa support) from a legal entity officially registered in Russia. It can be an agency or an organization and you may obtain your invitation from our company.
Previously (in the USSR) this order of visa processing was necessary to clarify the purpose of the visit. Nowadays the multistage process of issuing visas clarifies which governmental institution of the Russian Federation will be responsible for the status of a foreigner, his safety and legality of his stay in Russia. Most of invitations are being issued through middlemen and such process can be rather long and complicated. Besides, the type of invitation should match the type of the visa. But if you have an invitation from an agency (or other legal body), it can assist you in registration when you are in Russia or in case of emergency.
More on Invitations to Russia.
As soon as you have your invitation you may go to a Russian consulate. You will also need to bring along with you:
- your passport, valid for 6 months after the expiration of the Russian visa, and which should also have two empty adjacent pages;
- two recent passport sized photos of good quality;
- a completed visa application form;
- an AIDS-test certificate (is required in most consulates);
- the original invitation (though some consulates accept copies);
- other documents (certain consulates may have their own additional requirements so you should check for this on the web site of the relevant consulate);
- the consulate tax (the amount is variable and should be confirmed with the relevant consulate ).
Please note that your stay in the RF will be legal only after your visa is registered at the appointed organization on your arrival.