Here you can find answers for the following questions:

What is a Russian visa?

Russian visa is a document, which allows foreign nationals to travel to Russia and stay there for a certain period of time. Visa contains the following information:

  • Foreign national’s passport information;
  • Visa expiration date;
  • Contact information (name, phone number and address) of the inviting party.

To view all type of Russian visas, go to Types of Russian visas.

Losing the entry visa or staying past its expiration date may cause serious problems for the foreign national, while they reside on the Russian Federation territory.

Do i need a visa? Who needs a visa to Russia?

Citizens of most countries will need to obtain an entry visa to travel to Russia. Wherein, citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States countries, except for Georgia and Turkmenistan, can travel visa-free with only a valid passport required. 

For a full list of countries that require a Russian entry visa, go to List of countries with or without a visa-free regime with Russia.

What is the difference between a tourist visa and a business visa to Russia?

Tourist visas cannot be valid for longer than 30 days, whilst business visas can be valid for up to a year. A tourist invitation, which is required for obtaining a tourist visa, can be acquired in just one day.

Read more: Tourist visa to Russia for foreign nationals.

A business invitation will take 3-25 business days to get ready.

 Read more: Business visa to Russia for foreign nationals.

Can I travel independently on a travel visa?

Yes. Travel visa allows its holder to make personal trips. Just be ready to show proof of all your hotel reservations for each day of your visit in Russia (upon request by consular authorities).

Can I acquire a private visa invitation through your company?

You can acquire a tourist invitation or a business invitation on our website. A private invitation can be acquired by your friends or relatives by applying at their local Department of Passport and Visa Services and then mailing you the invitation after it is issued. However, obtaining a private visa is a time consuming and complicated process. Thus, it is recommended to acquire an invitation for a tourist or a business visa instead.

Read more: Guest invitation

Warning! We do not recommend using a private visa!
Why not? Learn more: Why is a private visa not our best choice?

Do I need a transit visa if I have a flight transfer in Moscow?

You will only need to obtain a transit visa if you intend to go beyond the transit zone of the airport.  To get this visa, you need to submit all the required documents at the Russian Consulate, including your round-trip tickets to Moscow. Your visa will be issued, based on these tickets.  Transit visa is valid for 72 hours. If this does not seem enough, you should consider applying for a tourist visa to Russia. 

How long does it take to obtain a business visa? How much will it cost? 

We will prepare a business invitation for you. You will then submit it to the Russian Consulate, along with other supporting documentation. For a full list of documents, required for obtaining a visa, and consular fee amounts, please contact the Consulate or refer to their official website.

 Read more: Business visa to Russia.

Is it necessary to provide exact travel dates on the tourist invitation application or are approximate dates good enough?

You can specify your travel time frame, which may not exceed 30 days. Therefore, if you have already bought your tickets, go ahead and provide exact dates. However, if the purchase is still to be made, provide approximate time frame. Just keep those dates in mind when ordering tickets.

Read more: Tourist invitation for a foreign national

To view a sample form of a tourist invitation, go to Sample forms of documents.

Can I change information on my invitation application? 

If you made a mistake when entering your information, or if you missed something, please contact us immediately via email or over the phone, which are provided in Contacts.

I live in the USA, but I am a Russia citizen. Do I need to obtain a Russian visa?

If you are a Russian citizen and have a valid Russian passport, you do not need to obtain a visa to travel to the Russian Federation. 

Is it necessary to obtain a visa for ac child?

If your child’s information is entered in your passport, you can acquire invitation for two for a business visa. Just provide all the necessary information about your child, when applying for an invitation. If your child has their own passport, they will need a separate invitation.  If you are a Russian citizen and you have a valid Russian passport, but your child is a citizen of a different country, you can get them a tourist visa.   To learn more about when to apply for a Russian visa for a child, go to Special visa regime.

How can I find the closest Russian Consulate?

To find your closest Russian Consulate, please go to “Russian Consulates and Embassies”.

What documents must be submitted to the Consulate of the Russian Federation in order to obtain a visa? 

When applying for a Russian visa, you will need to submit your original invitation, your passport, 3 photos (3x4) and proof of medical insurance. You will also need to pay the consular fee. To obtain a multiple entry visa, you will be required to submit a recent HIV test results, issued no earlier than 3 months prior to applying for the visa.

 Read more: Obtaining a Russian visa.

I currently reside in the USA, even though I am not a US citizen. Can I apply for a Russian visa from the Consulate, located in the USA? Or do I have to go back to my home country and apply from there?

You can obtain a Russian entry visa at the Russian Consulate, located in your country. However, if you live in a different country as a permanent legal resident and are officially authorized to work there, or if you have a Green Card, then you can apply for a Russian visa from your closest Russian Consulate. For a full list of Russian Consulates with their contact information, go to “Russian Consulates and Embassies”.

Is it necessary to register the visa?

It is mandatory for the visa to be registered within 7 business days upon arrival to the Russian Federation. If you fail to register your visa, you might acquire certain problems, like getting arrested or being issued a fine. Upon completing the registration process, you will be issued a notification with the inviting party’s signature or the hotel’s stamp. Visa registration procedures may differ in certain cities.

Read more: Procedure of obtaining a Russian visa at the Russian Consulate.

Where can a visa be registered?

If you intend to stay in a hotel upon your arrival to Russia, the hotel’s representative will register your visa on your behalf. You will need to provide your passport, visa and migration card. If you will be staying at a private residence instead, your host will be able to help you with registering your visa, following all appropriate laws and regulations.

I do not intend on staying in Russia for longer than 7 days. Do I still need to register my visa? 

If you intend to stay in Russia for less than 7 business days (weekends and holidays not included), you are not required to register your visa.

I am staying in Saint Petersburg on a tourist visa and would like to stay here longer. How can I extend my tourist visa and for how long? 

Unless there are justifiable circumstances, you are not allowed to extend a tourist visa. Nonetheless, you can get an extension if you missed your flight, in the event of a serious illness or if you had an open departure date and there were not enough seats on the flight. You will be required to submit supporting documentation for proof. Obtaining an exit visa will cost you about 150-300 dollars.   

What should I do if my visa gets lost or stolen? 

If your visa is lost or stolen, you need to obtain an exit visa. First, you need to go to the police and report your loss. If you want the process to go faster and smoother, you may not want to report this as theft. Then, you need to go to your country’s Embassy or Consulate, so they can issue you a new passport. And last but not least, you have to apply for an exit visa (please note the application takes about 5 days to process). Our company can assist you in transferring your previously issued visa into your new passport.

Can I extend my multiple entry Russian visa without leaving Russia?

A multiple entry visa cannot be extended. If your multiple entry visa has expired, you must obtain a new one. Invitation application for your new visa can be submitted while your current visa is still valid. You will be required to depart from the Russian Federation and go through the entire process of obtaining the visa from your country again.

What is a visa support letter?

A visa support letter is another name for the invitation, which is required for applying for a visa to Russia. An invitation can be acquired by an individual or by an organization, as long as they are in Russia. You can also use our company’s services when applying for a tourist or a business invitation.  

I booked a hotel room in Russia. Can I obtain a Russian visa based on this fact?

You will need to submit a certain amount of supporting documentation when applying for a visa; one of those documents is a booking confirmation, provided by a hotel in Russia, where you made a reservation. However, if you do not have a proper invitation to Russia, obtained by an individual or a certified organization, your application will not be accepted by the Russian Consulate authorities. Keep in mind that some major brand hotels, such as Sheraton and Marriott, can issue their clients with visa support letters. To learn more about this option, you will need to contact the hotel directly.

Can I travel to Russia with just my invitation, without obtaining  a visa?

Unfortunately, no. Unless your country is in a visa-free regime with Russia, you are required to obtain an entry visa in order to travel to the Russian Federation. Nonetheless, once you receive your original invitation, you can apply for a Russian visa. To view a full list of countries that are in the visa-free regime with Russia, go to  Who needs a visa to Russia.

I submitted all the required documentation, but my visa application did not get approved. Why?

There are several possible explanations. The most common reason for visa denial would be an incorrectly filled out visa application. To minimize the risk of not being issued a visa, make sure to pay attention to every detail when filling out your application and when collecting all the necessary documents for the Consulate.  Read more: Russian visa refusal.

What must be done after the visa is received?

Make sure to thoroughly check for any typographical errors, such as misspelling of your personal information, your passport information and your travel dates. If you do detect any mistakes, immediately go to the Consulate so the issues may be resolved in a timely manner.

Do I have to register my visa in every town on my itinerary?

You must register your visa within 7 business days upon arriving to Russia. If you have already registered it and gone to another town, you are not required to re-register your visa, unless you will be staying there for over 7 business days. If you do stay anywhere longer than that, you must register your visa again. 

What will happen if I do not register my visa within 7 days upon arrival to the Russian Federation?

If you do not intend to stay longer than 7 days, there will be no consequences. However, if you stay over 7 business days and fail to register your visa in a timely fashion, you may be issued with a fine and blacklisted with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. As a result, your future Russian visa application may get disapproved.

Is it possible to obtain a new entry visa to Russia without leaving the Russian Federation? 

Russian entry visas may only be issued by the Russian Consulates or Embassies in other countries. No legal entity in the Russian Federation has the authority to issue entry visas to foreign nationals.

What should I do if the Russian police officer wants to check my documents?

This is not unusual at all. Just make sure to have your passport and proof of registration with you at all times. Simply show these to authorities upon request. 

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