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Guide to Russia > Russian visa file

TYPES OF VISAS ►


Business
Tourist
Others

►BUSINESS VISAS

Details

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).

Requirements

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).

  1. A completed visa application form (one per person) available at the Consulate or travel agencies and visa services.
  2. A valid passport which should have at least two clear visa pages.
  3. 3 passport size photo of the applicant which should be stapled to the marked space of the application form.
  4. An official letter of invitation from your hosting organization registered with either the Russian Ministry of the Interior with its local offices or the Russian Foreign Ministry with its regional representatives. Such invitations can be delivered to us by telex or forwarded to you directly through facsimile transmission. Please note however that we reserve the right to require originals if we deem it necessary.
  5. A cover letter from your company (or from yourself if traveling individually) with information on the traveler, destination, terms and purpose of the trip.
  6. HIV Test (AIDS) Certificate, if you are applying for a visa valid for more than 3 months.
  7. If applying by mail you should enclose a completely addressed and stamped return envelope or prepaid waybill, bearing your account number with the postal service (preferably Federal Express) and showing yourself as both shipper and recipient regardless of delivery address.
  8. A money order or cashier’s check payable to the Russian Embassy for visa processing.
Note: this is just an example – you should check the requirements of the embassy through which you are applying. Please see our list of Russian Consulates Worldwide.

Extra Information

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.


►TOURIST VISAS

Details

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).

Requirements

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).
  1. A completed visa application form (one per person) available at the Consulate or from travel agencies and visa services
  2. A valid passport which should have at least two clear visa pages.
  3. 3 passport size photo of the applicant which should be stapled to the marked space of the application form.
  4. A standard tourist confirmation from a hosting authorized Russian travel agency or a hotel, registered with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a voucher from your hotel or travel agency in Russia.
  5. A cover letter from yourself, containing the following information:
    • applicant’s name or alphabetical list of a group;
    • dates and points of arrival and departure in and from Russia and means of transportation;
    • itinerary in Russia;
  6. If applying by mail (all visa documents should be sent to 2641 Tunlaw rd. N.W., Washington DC, 20007), you should enclose a completely addressed and stamped return envelope or prepaid waybill, bearing your account number with the postal service (preferably Federal Express) and showing yourself as both shipper and recipient regardless of delivery address.
  7. A money order or cashier’s check payable to the Russian Embassy for visa processing.
Note: this is just an example – you should check the requirements of the embassy through which you are applying. Please see our list of Russian Consulates Worldwide.

Extra Information


►OTHER TYPES OF VISAS

Student 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

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.

► RUSSIAN VISA FILE

The vital information all in one place

Types of Visas:

Tourist
Business
Others

Example Visa

Example Invitation

Russian Consulates Worldwide

Example Consulate Fees

Registration

ORDER A RUSSIAN VISA INVITATION


Other documents:

Immigration Card
Customs Declaration

Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Russia


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