Sunday April 30, 2017. 14:00
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Guide to Russia > Russian visa file
TYPES OF VISAS ►
Single-entry and double-entry business visas are issued for no longer than 90 days.
Multiple-entry business visas are issued for a period of either 6 or 12 months and must be approved by either the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Should I get one of these?
While intended for people coming to Russia on business, many tourists wanting greater flexibility (for example to enter and leave Russia more than once) also choose to get a business visa. You will pay more for a business visa than for a tourist one (see example consulate fees).
In order to receive a Russian business visa you need an invitation from a Russian firm, which can usually be arranged through a visa support agency.
Here is the list of the current requirements of the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. as it appears on their site (www.russianembassy.org).
Holders of one-year business visas are not allowed to stay in Russia for a continuous period of more than six months. This means that after six months (or preferably just before the six months are up) you should leave the country, if only for a day. You don’t need to do anything – your passport will be stamped coming in and out of the country. As Russian business visas can only be registered for a maximum of six months, you should get your visa re-registered when you come back.
Russian tourist visas are issued for 30 days and can be single or double entry.
Should I get one of these?
Due to the short duration of tourist visas, they are best for those taking a vacation in Russia. If you want to stay longer, even if you will still be a tourist, get a business visa, as tourist visas cannot be extended. They are cheaper than business visas (see example consulate fees).
In order to receive a Russian tourist visa you need an invitation from a Russian travel or visa support agency. Here is the list of the current requirements of the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C. as it appears on their site (www.russianembassy.org).
►OTHER TYPES OF VISAS
Student visas are an excellent deal: they are flexible, lengthy, and entitle you to Russian prices for trains, planes, the theater, etc. The only catch is that you have to prove enrollment at a Russian institution. If you are planning to enroll in a Russian university, the school authorities can probably help you arrange the visa.
Transit visas can be a cheap option for travelers headed for China or Central Asia, but it's often hard to make it in and out of the country in your allotted window of time (usually a maximum 72 hours).
Private Visas (also called Homestay Visas)
These are issued for up to three months and are single-entry only. They are for people wanting to visit relatives and friends in Russia, but by all accounts the mountains of paperwork and waiting involved for your inviter means that they may well decide that you’re not such a great relative/friend after all. Consult a Russian consulate for more information.