Do I need a visa to Russia?

Foreign nationals of most states need to obtain a visa to visit Russia. All citizens of EU, the United States, Japan, the countries of Africa and Asia, etc. are required to apply for visa to come to Russia. Contact the Russian Consulate in the country of reception of the visa to confirm you need a visa to enter Russia.

A foreign national may obtain a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the Russian Federation in the country whose citizen he is, or in the country where he has a permit for temporary stay for a period of not less than 6 months. To obtain a visa to Russia a visa invitation is necessary.

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Full step-by-step guide to obtain Russian visa

Depending on the purpose of the trip, you are expected to obtain a certain type of visa and, accordingly, a specific type of visa invitation in order to come to Russia.

Visas and visa invitations to Russia are divided into the following types:

  • Tourist visa. For example: tourism, sightseeing.
  • Private visa. For example: meeting with friends in Russia (however, tourist visa is the type you should rather consider as it is easier and cheaper to obtain).
  • Business visa. For example:  for business-related activities abroad.
  • Work visa. For example: for becoming employed in a Russian company.

Russian tourist visa

This visa is issued for a period of not more than 30 days (except nationals of the United States who can get it for up to 3 years).It requires travel visa invitation. This type of visa is quick and cheap to obtain.

Read more: Russian tourist visa

You can obtain a tourist visa invitation to Russia on our website online in a few minutes. You will receive an invitation to your email. After that, you should print it and present it to the nearest Russian consulate. Original invitation is not required in most countries, except countries in Africa and Asia. The mere issuance of tourist visa to Russia with an invitation issued by our company takes no more than 1 week but most Consulates offer expedited clearance mode (some as fast as 1 working day).

Customers from countries around the world draw up invitations to visit Russia on our website because they appreciate our cheap, fast and reliable services. Purchasing invitations from agencies in the countries of their residence is usually much more expensive, as foreign mediators always buy invitations from Russian companies and resell them to their clients with a large margin.

Group tourist invitation may be issued in support of group tourist visas for a group of tourists of at least 7 people, who travel to Russia for the same period intending to follow the same route and obtaining a visa in the same Consulate office. Getting group visa is cheaper than an individual visa.

Apply for the Russian tourist visa invitation

Russian business visa

Business visa validity ranges from 1 month to 1 year (up to 3 years for citizens of EU, except Great Britain and Denmark). Business visa allows to stay for a period not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period, including those valid for 365 days and more.A 6-month (or a longer period) visa allows unlimited number of entries to Russia during the period specified in the visa. 1- or 3-month isas enable a single or double entry.

Note that a business visa does not entitle you to work in Russia under an employment contract . With this type of visa, you are only permitted to engage in cooperation with a Russian company without receiving wages or to seek markets for their products and customers for themselves or their company. Commercial visa as well as «cultural ties» visa is granted to those who travels to Russia with the corresponding purposes. However, both of these subtypes go under the business visa general type.

Read more: Russian business visa

Invitations for business visas to Russia come in several types, unlike tourist invitations:

Russian business visa invitation letter from an organization

It is issued by companies or organizations that have the right to invite the foreign citizens for cooperation. You can obtain such invitation online on our website and it will take only 10 minutes. The cost is quite low. This invitation is perfect for any country of the EU, China, the USA, India because the original invitation does not required. As for other countries ,the original of such invitation is required there and it means that there is a need to send it by mail service. Such invitation allows to stay in Russia for a period of 1 month to 1 year (for some countries for up to 5 years).

Issue business visa invitation from an organization

Russian business visa invitation issued by the FMS

It is issued by the Office of the Federal Migration Service. It allows to stay in Russia for a period of 1 month to 1 year.

Such invitations are processed within 6 to 12 working days for low migration risk countries or 30 days for those countries included in the list of high migration risk countries. An invitation from the FMS must always be presented  to the Russian Consulate in the original, i.e. it must be sent by mail.

Issue a business invitation on the FMS letterhead

TELEX invitation for the Russian business visa

This is a special type of invitation issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry. TELEX is an encrypted signal sent by the Russian Ministry of foreign affairs to the Russian Embassy or Consulate commanding to grant a visa to a specified foreign citizen. The key advantage of this type of invitation is that it is directly and instantly forwarded to the Consulate and there is no need to send it by mail.. TELEX invitation is issued in 6 to 13 working days..

Issue an invitation through TELEX

Russian private visa

Issued by FMS at the place of residence of the Russian citizen, who invites you to visit Russia. We do not recommend, nor do we assist in obtaining this type of visa to Russia. Getting a private visa requires a lot of time, because the citizen of the Russian Federation, inviting you to visit Russia is required to attend the FMS office in person. He/she will have to wait in line and pay the State fees in the bank. Also the original invitation should be sent by mail to you by a person who invites you to Russia.

Read more: Russian private visa

Please note! We do not recommend the use of a private visa!
Why? Learn more: Why the private visa is not a preferable choice?

Private visa is issued for a period of not more than 30 days.

Special for you we have prepared complete step-by-step guide to obtain Russian visa

Russian work visa

Work visa is issued by the employer with whom the foreign national entered into a contract of employment or plans to do so. Our company does not offer assistance in obtaining work visa to Russia because you need a company which will actually hire you.

Read more: Russian work visa

We recommend a tourist visa for 30 days or a business visa for 90 days in case of looking for a employer in the Russia.

Why Russian visa is necessary?

Previously (in the time of Soviet Union) such procedure of visa issuance was necessary to find out a purpose of visit. Now the multistage of this process helps to determine which public authority of the Russian Federation will be responsible for the status of a foreign citizen, for his safety and legality of staing at the Russian territory. Most of invitations are issued through mediators. The process of such issuance can be long and confusing and a type of an invitation must match with a visa type. But, if you have an invitation from some agency (or another legal entity), this agency can assist you in the registration or in any emergency situation after your arrival to Russia.

Which documents is required to obtain a Russian visa?

  • passport which is valid for at least 6 month after Russian visa expires, besides that, it must have 2 empty nearby pages;
  • 2 recent high quality photos (photo size – is the same as in the passport);
  • filled in visa application form;
  • certificate of the HIV test (it is required in most consulates);
  • the original invitation letter (it is optional, some consulates require just a copy);
  • health insurance for a visa, which is valid in the Russia during the whole period of staying.
  • other documents (different consulates may have their own requirements,that is why it is better to see the list of necessary documents on a website of a certain consulate);
  • funds for the consulate fee (see a consulate's website to find out how much is the consulate fee).
If you already have all these documents, you can use our complete step-by-step guide to obtain a Russian visa

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