Today I want to explain to you how to apply for a Russian visa.
But before let us see which countries can enter visa free to Russia. It is a lot more than you might expect!
(By Albatalab – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24214471)
Following countries don’t need a visa to enter Russia:
- South Ossetia
90 days non-commercial purpose:
60 days non-commercial purpose:
- South Korea
30 days non-commercial purpose:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 days for tourist groups only
- China (from 5 to 50 people with an accredited tourist agency)
14 days non-commercial purpose:
- Hong Kong
Most common types of visa:
- An ordinary private visa is issued for a period of up to three months or on the basis of the principle of reciprocity for a period of up to one year to foreign citizens traveling to the Russian Federation for a short visit on the basis of an invitation letter.
- An ordinary business visa is issued for a period of up to one year to foreign citizens traveling to the Russian Federation for a business trip.
- An ordinary tourist visa is issued for a period of up to one month or on the basis of the principle of reciprocity for a period of up to six months to foreign citizens traveling to the Russian Federation as tourists, if holding an invitation letter by a Russian tour operator.
- A Transit visa is issued for a period of up to ten days to the foreign citizen for transit through the territory of the Russian Federation.
Applying for a visa:
In order to get a Russian visa, you need to send your documents to a Russian embassy, consulate or visa centres.
Following documents are typically needed:
- Original passport
- one passport photo
- The official application form (can be found online at the embassy website)
- An invitation (issued by the inviting travel agency, hotel, privat person or company)
- Often also proof of travel insurance
- Often also proof of return, such as working contract, bank account statement, student ID etc.
If all documents filled correct, it usually only takes maximum 1-2 weeks and you get your passport back with the full page visa in it.
Special rules can apply for some countries, so it is better to check with the local rules before sending the visa application.
Costs can vary.
Transit in Russian airports
Currently, the following airports offer international to international transfers without the need of getting a transit visa:
- Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) – terminals D, E and F
- Moscow Domodedovo International Airport (DME)
- Moscow Vnukovo International Airport (VKO) – terminal A
- Saint Petersburg Pulkovo Airport (LED) – terminal 1
- Yekaterinburg Koltsovo International Airport (SVX) – international terminal.
All in all, it is not complicated to apply for a Russian visa and to fill out the documents completely worth to visit such culture rich country!