Why can I be refused a Russian visa?

Not all foreign nationals, who apply for a Russian entry visa, will get approved. There are several factors in determining approval or refusal of a visa application. Russian Consulate authorities may refuse a visa in the following cases:

Incomplete supporting documentation is the most common reason for refusing one a visa. Refusal is also possible if the visa application was not filled out correctly. If the applicant was issued with an entry ban to the Russian Federation, they will be refused an entry visa in the Russian Embassy or Consulate.

Visa refusal due to incomplete supporting documentation 

This means that a foreign national did not submit all required documents to the Russian Embassy when applying for a visa. To avoid this situation, please make sure to thoroughly study the list of all the necessary documentation prior to applying for a visa. These lists may vary depending on the type of visa you are applying for (determined by the purpose of your visit to Russia) and on the country you are a citizen of.

In order to obtain a Russian visa (regardless of visa type),  a foreign national is required to submit the following:

  • A passport (with at least 2 empty pages and an expiration date no less than 6 months prior to  desired visa expiration date);
  • Invitation to Russia (acquired by the hosting party);
  • A filled out application for obtaining a Russian visa.

Additional documents for obtaining a visa that may be required from the applicant by the Russian Embassy/Consulate authorities :

  • HIV test results;
  • Proof of medical insurance, valid through an entire stay in Russia;
  • Plane tickets;
  • Hotel booking confirmation;
  • Bank account statement;
  • Letter of guarantee from a company, which provided the invitation to Russia for the applicant.

To learn more about a list of all required documents for applying for a visa, please enquire for more information at the Consular Division over the phone or visit the official website for the Russian Embassy. 

Read more: Obtaining a Russian visa

Visa refusal due to an incorrectly filled out application 

There is also a strong chance one will be refused a visa if the information they put in their visa application is different from the information in their invitation to Russia. In order to avoid such unfortunate confusion, please pay extremely close attention to every detail when filling out your visa application. 
The most frequent mistakes and/or discrepancies are usually found in these sections of the application:

  • Purpose of visit (it must be exactly the same, and phrased in the same manner, as that listed in the invitation to Russia). If a foreign national is applying for a tourist or a business visa with a purpose to visit their relatives and/or friends, it must be stated in their visa application in the same words as in their invitation (tourism or business). If one’s purpose of visit in the application is different from their purpose of visit in the invitation they present, the applicant will be refused a visa.  
  • A name of the inviting organization/company (the reason for this popular discrepancy is that foreign nationals provide the name and contact information of the company they are travelling to in Russia, not of the company that issued them the invitation). To assure this does not happen, it is very important to thoroughly verify the name of the organization, where the invitation was acquired, prior to filling out your application. If there is a discrepancy of any kind between the information about the inviting organization in the application and in the invitation, the applicant will be refused a visa. 
  • Itinerary information/route of journey (this information must match the information provided in the invitation). For instance, if a foreign national is filling out an application for obtaining a tourist visa, they must submit the information about the hotel, where they made their booking arrangements, including the hotel’s telephone number and full address (they may also be required to provide documentation with booking confirmation). When filling out an application for obtaining a business visa or a private/homestay visa, it is necessary to list the same towns/cities in the “itinerary” column, which were listed in the invitation under “travel itinerary”. If information provided in the application about the applicant’s itinerary and/or lodging information (where applicable) contradicts the information provided in their invitation to Russia, they may be refused a visa.  

Read more: Obtaining a Russian visa

Visa refusal to an entry ban to the Russian Federation 

A foreign national will be refused a Russian visa if they are banned from entering the Russian Federation. This ban may be a result of violating a law of the Russian Federation during their previous visit to Russia.

Other reasons for being refused a Russian entry visa may be:

  • unpaid fees and/or penalties;
  • deportation from the Russian Federation;
  • unlawful behavior during past visits to Russia.

A foreign national may be notified of an existing entry ban to Russia while the inviting party is in the process of acquiring their invitation to the Russian Federation.  For instance, business invitations and private invitations are issued by the local FMS; thus, there is a thorough background check of the foreign national, for whom the invitation is intended; done by the Federal Migration Services authorities. If the foreign national, who is planning to apply for a visa, is banned from entering Russia, their inviting party will be refused an invitation with a written explanation for this decision.  

When applying for a tourist visa, a background check on the foreign national is ran at the Consulate or Embassy of the Russian Federation, where they are applying for a Russian visa. If the applying foreign national is banned from entering the Russian Federation, they will be refuse a visa, regardless of submitting a valid invitation.

A foreign national may also be refused a visa due to other circumstances:

  • their country is currently at war;
  • their country has an epidemic;
  • disruption of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the foreign national’s country.

Read more: Migration risk countries


# Sani Ibrahim 2016-11-04 12:23
After submitting an application what next?
After meeting all the requirements can the ambassador still deny you Russian visa?
# GoingRus Team 2016-12-17 11:54
Quoting Sani Ibrahim:
After submitting an application what next?
After meeting all the requirements can the ambassador still deny you Russian visa?

Dear Sani,

Thank you for your message and request.

Once your order is paid your invitation will be sent to your e-mail directly from our system within 15-25 minutes. If you do not receive it within this time frame please contact us by e-mail.

The decision of issuing visa is up to the consular officer, so yes, the visa application can be rejected but it never happens for no reason.

Sincerely yours
# irshad 2017-07-11 16:10
Hi my russian visa got refused today i don't know the reason how can i know the resion? i asked my travel agency even they dont know the resion they said sometimes it happen I'm really disappointed
# Cathy 2017-07-30 17:20
Quoting irshad:
Hi my russian visa got refused today i don't know the reason how can i know the resion? i asked my travel agency even they dont know the resion they said sometimes it happen I'm really disappointed

This has just happened to me too - Im going to reapply with a visa checking service, but it means I have to pay again. Price of getting visas is doubling the cost of my holiday
# a Kelland 2019-08-17 18:17
anybody know the record of refused visas by the British Embassy Moscow to one person

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