What is the Russian visa?

Visa to Russia — is a permissive document which allows foreign citizens and stateless persons to stay on the Russian territory for a fixed term. Russian visa is issued in the Russian Consular section abroad. The basis of visa issuance is an invitation letter to Russia which you can obtain in various ways.

There are following types of Russian visas issued to foreigners to travel in Russia:

How to obtain visa to Russia?

Issuance procedures of different types of visas are very similar but there are some nuances in the issuance of every single visa type.

Full step-by-step guide to obtain Russian visa

Regular Visa

Regular visas may vary depending on the primary purpose of the trip indicated by the foreign citizen. Regular visas are subdivided into 2 main types: Tourist visa and Business visa.  The following purposes can be indicated in order to apply for a regular visa:

  • For the tourist visa (Read more: Russian tourist visa)
    • tourism
    • travelling by car\motorbike
    • target tourism
  • For the Business visa (Read more: Russian business visa )
    • business
    • negotiations
    • maintenance
    • crew member
    • scientifically technical relations
    • cultural relations
    • sports relations
    • (and others)

The period for which a regular visa can be issued depends on the purpose of the trip:

  • For the tourist visa it is up to 30 days.
  • For the business visa it is from 30 days to 5 years.

Diplomatic visa

Those persons who have a diplomatic passport, should apply for a diplomatic visa. Such persons include:

  1. the Heads of foreign states, Heads of governments, as well as members of foreign official delegations;
  2. consular officials, agents and employees of diplomatic missions and representatives of international organizations;
  3. foreign diplomatic and consular couriers;
  4. members of their families.   

In addition, diplomatic visa may be issued to a foreign citizen who does not have a diplomatic passport but is in possession of a diplomatic status recognized by the Russian Federation. Diplomatic visa is issued for a period of up to 3 months.

Service visa

For citizens of foreign countries who have official passports an official visa shall be issued. Such persons include:

  1. members of official foreign delegations;
  2. staff of consular offices, diplomatic missions and offices of international organizations located in the Russian Federation;
  3. members of their families;
  4. members of the armed forces of foreign states who enter Russia following a decision by the public authorities of the Russian Federation or within the framework of international treaties.

Service visa valid for up to 3 months is issued to members of official delegations and employees of foreign embassies and consulates. Military personnel is entitled to visas valid for up to 1 year. Also, it is permitted to issue diplomatic visas to foreign nationals who have no service passports, but who have received an official status recognized by the Russian Federation.

Temporary Resident Visa

Temporary resident visa is granted to a foreign citizen who has obtained a permit to enter Russia for temporary residence. If the foreigner was unable to enter the Russian Federation within the established deadlines, given the grounds for his getting the visa still remain, he/she may be granted another visa with a validity of 2 months on the basis of a written application.

The foreigner can renew it, if he/she obtains a permission for temporary residence in Russia in accordance with the law. Should it not be obtained by the foreign citizen due to circumstances beyond his/her control, the visa validity can be extended upon his/her application. 

The following types of visas are considered as a Temporary Resident visa:

Transit Visa

Foreign citizens, who plan to cross the territory of the Russian Federation, heading to another state, may apply for a transit visa. The duration of such a visa does not exceed 10 days.

This type of visa is necessary to obtain only if you are going to enter the territory of Russia. If you have a connecting flight from the same airport, you don't need to obtain such type of visa but you may need it if you are arriving to the one of the Moscow's airports and after you are going to depart from another one.

Read more: Transit visa for foreign citizens

Humanitarian visa

Citizens of foreign countries, whose purpose of visiting Russia are creative or science activity, charity or a religious pilgrimages to the Holy places and also if they have religious or cultural relations on the territory of the Russian Federation, can apply for humanitarian visa. This type of visa is also issued for foreigners visiting Russia as a part of charitable and humanitarian missions.

Humanitarian visa is for single, double or multiple entries. The maximum validity of double entry visa is 3 months, while the multiple one is issued for the period up to 1 year. Herewith a foreigner with a multiple humanitarian visa is under the 90/180 rule

In fact, humanitarian visa doesn't differ from the business visa, it just has another purpose.

Read more: Russian business visa

Electronic visa to Russia

E-visa allows a short-term visit to Russia on a tourist, business or humanitarian purpose.

The validity period of an e-visa is up to 30 days, the permitted stay in Russia on an e-visa is up to 8 days from the date of entry within its validity period

There can be the following types of e-visa:

  • tourist;
  • cultural relations;
  • sports relations;
  • scientific-technical relations;
  • business.

An e-visa to Russia is a new type of a visa document that takes less time to obtain. Only citizens of the states listed by the Government of the Russian Federation are eligible to apply for an electronic visa. An e-visa can only be used to enter Saint Petersburg and Leningrad oblast, Kaliningrad region, and Far Eastern Federal District.

Read more: Electronic visa to Russia for foreigners


# Mohammad Tawfiq Wahi 2017-01-16 13:30
Hello i want to ask about student visa it is not include in the types of Russia visas because already i apply for a university in krasnoyarsk Of Russia at Siberian Fedral university now how i can apply for student visa?
# GoingRUS Team 2017-02-03 07:29
Quoting Mohammad Tawfiq Wahi:
Hello i want to ask about student visa it is not include in the types of Russia visas because already i apply for a university in krasnoyarsk Of Russia at Siberian Fedral university now how i can apply for student visa?

Dear Mohammad,

Thank you for your interest in our company and your comment on our website.

Unfortunately, we cannot help you with student visa and student invitations.
You should ask the Institute/University to issue such an invitation for you.

Best regards,
GoingRUS Team

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