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Business visa is the most sought-after type of Russian visa after the tourist visa. The important advantage of such a visa is permission to enter Russia valid for up to 5 years. When making such a visa it is not necessary to present proof of hotel accommodation.

What is a Russian Business Visa?

A business visa is a document which allows you to stay for a limited period and also to cross the border multiple times. This type of visa may be used for commercial purposes, such as: signing contracts, performing technical maintenance of equipment abroad, speaking at business-related events. See a complete list of purposes below:

  • business contacts with foreign partners, or conducting negotiations with them;
  • extension or conclusion of business agreements
  • marketing research
  • participation in auctions, exhibitions and other similar events
  • installation, maintenance or repair of imported equipment in Russia.

Russian Business Visa - Quick overview:

Period of stay: 30-90 days (up to 5 years)
Entries: Multiple entry
Invitation price: $55 USD - Get Invitation Online

Read more: Advantages of drawing up a business visa compared to work visa

When granted, business visa to Russia (also called commercial visa to Russia) is pasted into the passport. The visa contains information about its expiration date, the number of visits allowed, the purpose of the trip,  the holder's passport data and the inviting party details.

The article explores such issues as:


How to Get Russian Business Visa?

A business visa can be obtained at the consular offices of the Russian Federation. For that, it is necessary to fill in a visa application form, pay the consular fee and submit a business visa invitation letter received from Russia. If the application is made by a person who is a citizen of a high migration risk country, the Consulate officials may require a letter of guarantee from the inviting party.

Russian business visas vary in validity:

  • single-entry visa, which allows to enter Russia once during the period of its validity.
  • double-entry visa, which allows to enter Russia, then exit and enter once again.
  • multiple-entry visa (commonly known as multivisa), which allows an unlimited number of times to enter the Russian Federation throughout the period of its validity.

Commercial visas vary in validity:

  • business visa to Russia for one month, 30 days (single- or double-entry)
  • business visa to Russia for 3 months, 90 days (single-, double- or multiple-entry)
  • business visa to Russia for 1 year, 365-day (multiple-entry)
  • business visa to Russia for 3 years, (multiple-entry, available to citizens of the United States)
  • business visa to Russia for 5 years (multiple-entry, available to citizens of the EU).

According to the law, the foreign citizen's passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the Russian visa expiry date. Therefore, a visa can be issued for 5 months instead of 6, if at the time the visa is issued only 11 months are left until the expiry date. Also be aware that holders of business visa are allowed to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation no longer than 90 days within every 180-days period.

Read more: How to do without a work visa and have the right to stay in Russia continuously

If the validity or conditions of this type of visa do not suit you for some reason, please consider other types of Russian visa.


How to renew a business visa?

Unfortunately, extending a business visa is not a possibility. However, in some exceptional cases, such as emergency treatment or other force majeure situations, the visa can be extended.

Learn more about the general principle of extension of visas: Applying for Russian visa for a foreigner > How to extend a visa to Russia?


What are the common purposes of the trip to Russia?

The purpose of the trip to Russia on a business visa can also vary. A foreign citizen who have obtained a business visa can enter the territory of the Russian Federation with such purposes as:

  • business activities (expansion of business ties, exploring the market for goods and services, participation in negotiations)
  • commercial activities (extension of contracts, conclusion of business agreements, visiting of exhibitions and auctions)
  • equipment maintenance-related activities (assistance and technical advice for mounting, repairing or servicing of imported equipment)
  • as a member of the crew (rail transport, air transport, sea or river vessels)
  • as a driver of the passenger or freight transport
  • as a supervision inspector (overlooking purchasing, selling or receiving equipment, materials or raw materials)
  • as an accompanying family member of a citizen who has a business visa (valid for minors).

Business Visa Invitation to Russia

To get a commercial visa, an invitation to Russia is necessary. Only a legal entity registered on the territory of the Russian Federation and accredited by Department of Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Federal Migration Service can apply for this type of invitation.

Read more: Types of Russian visa invitations

Such an invitation can be issued in the following formats:

Business invitation on letterhead of the FMS is issued by the Office of the Federal Migration Service on the basis of the application and documents submitted by the representative of the host organization. After a business visa invitation is received by the inviting party, the original must be sent to the invited foreigner by express mail service (DHL, EMS, etc.). Some consular offices accept a copy of the invitation, however the Consulate employees have the right to request the original.

Learn more: FMS Form

Permits to stay in Russia for a period of 1 month to 1 year. Citizens of high migration risk countries are advised to allow up to 30 working days for processing of this type of visa invitation. Nationals of other countries can expect to have their application considered within a period of 6 to 12 days. An invitation issued by the FMS must always be presented to the Russian Consulate in the original, i.e. it must be sent by mail. You can find the pricing information on our website.

The business invitation issued on the FMS form contains the following details:

  • passport data of the foreign person
  • purpose and dates of his/her trip to Russia
  • information about the inviting organization
  • destinations the foreign citizen plans to visit (up to 5 locations)
  • individual number of the invitation, its date of issue
  • number of the form
  • signature of the official and stamp of the FMS branch. 

Before issuing the invitation, the foreign citizen's personal data shall be subject to a check of the record of administrative fines, convictions or expulsions from Russia in his past visits. If such facts are discovered, the applicant will receive a written denial letter indicating the reason for the refusal and the signature of the official. 

Only the legal entity accredited by the FMS is entitled to send letters of invitation to foreign citizens. Such an invitation is issued on the letterhead of the inviting organization. It is essentially an application to the consular office of the Russian Federation requesting a visa for a foreign national. This method of issuing visa invitations is only available to nationals of the countries in respect to which a simplified visa policy is applied (these countries include the United States and the EU countries).

Learn more: Letter of invitation on the letterhead of the accredited company

Such invitations can be issued in 1 working day. The cost of this service is quite low. However, in many countries (except those commonly known as developed), the original invitation letter is required, which means it should be sent by mail. Can permit a stay in Russia for a period of 1 month to 3 years (only available to citizens of the EU, except Britain and Denmark). 

Processing your visa application normally takes the consular office not less than 10-12 days. During this period a screening procedure shall be performed to find out if the foreign citizen has a record of fines, convictions or deportations. The information about the inviting organization is also subject to a check.

Read more: Why choose Telex or invitation issued by the FMS if I can use the invitation for an organization

Telex is a directive sent by the Russian Foreign Ministry to a consular office via internal communication channel. In this case, the foreigner does not need a printed invitation. The individual number of the invitation as well as the inviting company's details should be specified in the visa application form. The processing time for this type of visa invitation takes from 6 to 13 working days. See our affordable service rates and obtain a Telex invitation on our website.

Learn more: Telex MID

If you need our help with issuing a business visa invitation, kindly provide the following documents:

  1. completed visa invitation application 
  2. copy of the foreign person's passport
  3. copy of his/her previous Russian visa (if available)
  4. If a foreigner is planning to apply for a Russian visa in a country which is not his home country, it is necessary to provide a copy of the residence permit granted by that country
  5. If a visa invitation is needed for foreigner who travels with a minor child, a copy of his/her birth certificate must be presented.

Learn more: What is the difference between the original invitation and Telex invitation

Issuing a business invitation to visit Russia for foreign nationals in the form of a letter

Get Russian Business Visa Invitation

Issuing a business invitation to visit Russia for foreign nationals on the FMS form

Get Russian Business Visa Invitation

Issuing a business invitation to visit Russia for foreign nationals by Telex

Get Russian Business Visa Invitation

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