Do South African need Visa to Russia?
Yes, the citizens of the Republic of South Africa must have a Russian visa stamp in order to be allowed entry in Russia. The process of obtaining a visa involves someone (person or organization) offering an invitation, preparing a letter of invitation and sending it to the South Africa.
How to Get Russian Visa from South Africa?
The citizen of the Republic of South Africa has to come to the Embassy of the Russian Federation with an invitation letter and passport in hand. He/she will be offered to fill out an visa application. It is mandatory to pay the consular fee. In addition to that, the Embassy officer may ask to provide other documents, such as: accommodation reservation letter, boarding pass, health insurance policy.
Visa duration, number of entries allowed and, in the first place, the prospect of obtaining it largely depend on the letter of invitation. The format of the letter varies based on the reason for the travel the citizen of the RSA has.
Foreign citizens most frequently apply for these types of visa, depending on the general purpose of the journey:
- Tourist visa is intended for those who travel for tourism and wish to see sights.
- Electronic visa - for example: short-term trips;
- Private visa is good for visitors who would like to meet Russian friends (however, it is recommended to apply for the tourist visa instead as it is a more easy and reliable way to take a trip to Russia).
- Business visa suits the foreign applicants who are concerned in exploring business opportunities of Russia.
- Work visa is necessary for the citizens of foreign countries who seek to endeavour in career and professional development in Russian enterprises.
Where to apply for a Russian visa in South Africa?
You can obtain a visa to Russia in any of the Consulates of the Russian Federation located in South Africa. See the list of Russian Consulates in South Africa, along with their phone numbers and location indicated on this page below.
Russian visas quick comparison
|Type of Visa||Duration||Purpose|
|Tourist visa||1-30 days||Sightseeing, visiting friends in Russia|
|Business visa||30-90 days (up to 5 years)||Search of business partners, attending conferences, long trips, long-term visits of friends in Russia|
|Electronic visa||8 days||Trips for a short period of time|
|Private visa||30-90 days||Official visits to meet with friends in Russia (Not recommended! See why)|
|Work visa||1-3 years||Employment in Russia or permanent residence|
To obtain a tourist visa, a South African national must pay the consular fee and provide the full package of documents at the Russian Embassy. It is mandatory that it should include a tourist invitation issued by a tourist company registered in the registry of Russian tour operators.
Read more: Russian Tourist Visa
This type of invitation to visit Russia for South African can be made within 1 working day. It should be printed on the headed paper of the travel agency. The letter must consist of a tourist voucher and a confirmation of reception of the tourist . The invitation must indicate the reference number of the inviting company, its name and legal address, passport data of the tourist, the route of his/her travel in Russia, number of entries and validity period requested.
Availability of the letter is a requirement, however it does not guarantee the visa will be granted. In case of the positive decision, a tourist visa for a period of 30 days will be issued.
Get a Tourist Invitation to Russia from South Africa
Go to Issuing a Tourist Invitation Price $15.00
Citizens of the Republic of South Africa who wish to visit their Russian friends or relatives, who are residents of the Russian Federation, or seek medical help on the territory of Russia must obtain a private visa. Individuals or legal entities offering invitation to the foreign person are responsible for handling the process of obtaining a visitor visa invitation letter.
Find out why: Why not apply for a private visa?
Read more: Russian Private Visa
In order to do that, the individual should apply at the office of the FMS at the place of his/her residence (or place of the company’s registration) requesting that a letter of invitation in support of visitor visa be issued. Also, a copy of passport of the foreign citizen must be provided and the receipt for payment of the state duty.
For consideration of the application from a private individual the law stipulates a period of 30 days while the application from legal entities can take up to 12 (in case single entry visitor visa is requested) or 17 business days (for a double-entry visa). The procedure involves a check to reveal whether the foreign citizen has been deported from Russia during his/her prior stays following his/her violating the law. In case such records are found, the invitation application will be refused.
Visitor visa may be issued for up to 90 days.
Get of a Private (Visitor) Invitation to Russia for South African citizens
In order to obtain a business visa, a citizen of the RSA must present a letter of invitation at the Embassy. Preparation of the letter is a responsibility of the hosting party. It can be business partners, a commercial firm or a company that holds a conference or workshop.
Read more: Russian Business Visa
The business visa invitation letter can be obtained by either of these ways:
- Russian Business Invitation Letter from organization (possible to get Online);
- Russian Invitation Letter from FMS;
- Telex Russian Invitation;
Only those organizations that are accredited at the FMS are eligible to issue business invitations on their headed papers. This way is the fastest one as it only takes 1 day to complete.
The hosting party can issue a letter of invitation for business visa on the government-authorized form. Reviewing the application for that type of invitation may take up to 12 working days (for a single-entry visa) or 17 working days (for a dual-entry visa). During that time, the foreign citizen will be subject to a background check to determine whether he/she has a history of criminal convictions on the territory of the Russian Federation or whether he/she has been deported from the country during his/her previous visits. These findings as well as unpaid fines will result in refusal.
After the business invitation is issued, it should be mailed by express delivery service to the Republic of South Africa. In case the Telex invitation is the option of choiсe, the foreign citizen can visit the Embassy with the package of documents in hand the next day after the hosting party provides him/her the Telex number.
The single-entry business visa may allow staying in Russia for several days, while the multiple-entry one may be valid for 6 or 12 months.
Get a Russian Business Invitation from South Africa on the letterhead of an accredited company
Issuing of a Business Invitation to Russia for South African citizens on the FMS form
Get a Business Invitation to Russia for South African citizens by a Telex
The citizen of the Republic of South Africa has the right to engage in labor activities in Russia only having a visa which he/she has obtained in a proper manner in accordance with the rules of Russian immigration law. The foreign work visa holder may be accompanied by his/her family members when moving to Russia. The visa will indicate that they accompany the foreign worker on his trip to the Russian Federation.
Read more: Russian Work Visa
It is necessary to obtain a work permit allowing to work in Russia and a job offer from one of the companies operating in Russia. The employing company is obliged to handle the paperwork. It can take up to 1.5 months.
Upon receiving the work visa, the citizen of the Republic of South Africa should enter Russia and register with the immigration authorities. Initially, a 90 days work visa will be given. After the worker arrives in Russia, the company must assist renewal of the visa for the duration of his/her work permit. The visa can be extended for a period not longer than one year. It is not necessary to leave the country in order to extend the work visa. It is allowed to renew the work visa unlimited number of times.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the foreign worker extends his/her visa in due time and follows regulations of the Russian immigration law (notifies the authorities). The paperwork required to obtain a work visa is a time-consuming process.
Get Work Visa to Russia for South African citizens
An electronic visa (hereinafter referred to as "e-visa") is a new type of a visa document. A visa invitation to Russia is not required for obtaining an e-visa. To obtain an e-visa to Russia use our “E-visa to Russia” service.
An e-visa can be only single-entry. The permitted stay in Russia on an e-visa is up to 8 days from the date of entry within its validity period.
The validity period and/ or permitted stay on an e-visa cannot be extended. To obtain an e-visa a foreign citizen needs a digital passport photo and a completed application form containing full and valid data at the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
In compliance with the Russian Government Regulation, South Africa is currently not listed among the foreign states eligible for an e-visa.
South African citizens may obtain Russian visa in these Consular centers of the Russian Federation: