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Russian visa is an authorization document which allows foreign citizens or stateless persons to stay on the territory of Russia for a fixed period. Russian visas are issued in the Consulates of the Russian Federation abroad. An invitation to Russia serves as the basis for issuing a Russian visa. It can be obtained in different ways.

Citizens of many countries are required to get a visa to enter Russia. Find out how to obtain a visa to Russia. The process of visa issuance begins after a foreign citizen files an application at the Russian consular office. For that, he/she must submit the completed visa application form and present a letter of invitation to Russia, sent by the inviting party, to the consular office. In some cases, employees of the Consulate may demand other documents, such as medical insurance, a letter of guarantee from the inviting party and confirmation of hotel booking.

Main issues: 


How to apply Russian visa?

A complete list of the documents necessary to obtain a visa to Russia can be found at the website of the Consulate, where you plan to apply for a visa, or at the office. Depending on the Consulate the list of documents may vary. However, the main document is the invitation to Russia, serving as a proof of the purpose of the trip and the availability of the inviting party. Therefore, prior to applying for a visa to Russia, a foreigner must receive an invitation, in which the purpose of his/her trip, the number of entries allowed and travel dates must be indicated. The visa application will be considered based on this information.

Find out more: Getting a Russian Visa in Practice

There are several options for receiving an invitation to Russia


Tourist visa invitation

If a foreign citizen intends to visit Russia for tourism purposes, he/she needs tourist invitation. Such an invitation can be obtained in 1 day, as it is printed on the travel agency's letterhead. The company does not perform any checks in this case. If you want to go to Russia to meet with friends, we also recommend that you choose tourist visa, as this will save you from unnecessary hassle!

Find out more: Russian Tourist Visa

If a simplified visa policy is applied to the foreign person's home country, the invitation can be issued on the form of the inviting organization (such countries include the United States and the EU countries). This type of invitation can be issued within 1 day.

Our company is an accredited tour operator and is entitled to invite foreign tourists to Russia.

Get Russian Visa Invitation


Business Visa Invitation

If a foreign citizen intends to visit Russia for commercial purposes, for example to participate in a trade fair, sign contracts, perform technical maintenance under a contract with a foreign company and so on, a business visa is required. In order to apply for a business visa it is necessary to have a support letter available. Typically, the same companies that are engaged in issuing tourist invitations can also help arrange business invitations.

Find out more: Russian Business Visa

In the same way as for the tourist visa invitation, you can apply for a business visa invitation online if the simplified visa policy is applicable. The process will take 1 working day. Simplified visa policy is available for citizens of the EU countries, the United States, Japan and China.

Get Russian Visa Invitation


Private Visa Invitation

Invitation is issued on the application submitted by the inviting party located on the territory of the Russian Federation. Adult citizens of Russia or foreign nationals having permanent residence as well as legal entities which are Russian-based organizations, accredited by FMS or the Russian Foreign Ministry may act as inviting party. When applying for an invitation, the inviting party is expected to submit a package of documents to the Office of the Federal Migration Service and pay a State fee, charged for processing of the application.

If the inviting party is an individual, it is also mandatory to provide the following documents at the office of FMS when making an application:

  • the inviting person's passport
  • copy of the foreign person's passport
  • the letter of guarantee, where the inviting party assumes responsibility for providing shelter and medical assistance to the foreign citizen and, if necessary, the costs of his/her deportation from Russia
  • proof of income
  • confirmation of payment of the State fee

A private visa issued following this procedure may be valid for up to 90 days.

Find out more: Russian Private Visa

Please note! We do not recommend applying for a private visa!
Why not? Find out more: Why shouldn't I apply for a private visa?

If the inviting party is a legal person, his/her representative should make an application for a visa at the local FMS office, as well as a copy of the passport of the invited foreigner and information about the inviting organization; it is also necessary to indicate the dates of the trip and the number of entries desired. A visa valid for up to 1 year may be granted following an application with an invitation issued by a legal person attached.


What is the next step after the invitation is issued?

Following a visa application, a background check will be performed to investigate into possible violations of the law of the Russian Federation during the previous visits. As a result, a letter of invitation will be issued to the inviting person or representative of the hosting company. After that, the original invitation should be sent by mail to invited foreigner. If the foreigner violated the laws of the Russian Federation or did not travel outside the country until the end of the validity period of his/her visa and was deported in past visits, he/she will be denied the visa.

Find out more: Getting a Russian Visa in Practice


Our experts will assist in obtaining an invitation for Russian visa. To do this, we kindly ask you to:

  • fill in the application form;
  • provide a copy of the passport of the foreign citizen for whom an invitation should be issued
  • provide a copy of his/her previous Russian visa (if available).

Please contact our online assistant to learn about the time required to issue the invitation and the cost of services offered by our company.

Get Russian Visa Invitation

Apply for a Visa Invitation


How to renew a Russian visa?

Generally, Russian visa renewal is not a viable option. However, in some exceptional cases this can be done.

Extension of a visa to Russia is not generally available, however in some exceptional cases it's possible to extend a Russian visa.
A temporary visa valid for 4 months shall be issued to citizens of foreign states who have been granted permission to enter the Russian Federation. This type of visa can be extended at an office of the Federal Migration Service at the place where the foreign citizen has been registered with the migration authorities.

Provided that the foreign citizen stays on the territory of Russia not more than 90 days in each 180-day period, his/her temporary visa can be extended for up to 10 days.

The visa in-hand can also be extended if the holder requires immediate medical treatment or in the case of his/her close relative's death. This rule also applies to the cases of emergency. In such situations, the temporary visa shall be extended for a period equal to the time necessary to resolve the circumstances and depart from Russia.

Foreign citizens who stay on the territory of Russia holding a 1-year multiple-entry work or study visa are allowed to stay in the Russian Federation continuously during the entire period of their visa validity.

To extend the period of stay in Russia, a foreign national must apply for visa extension at the offices of migration service authorities.
In addition to the application, it is necessary to provide a request from the host, as well two photos (sized 3 x 4 cm), the detachable part of a notification paper and a state fee payment receipt.

Depending on the type of visa, the extension fee is currently 300–400 rubles. In accordance with existing international treaties, some categories of foreign nationals are not required to pay the fee. In particular, citizens of the European Union are exempt from payment of the fee. 

Visa extension application shall be considered within 20 days.

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