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Visa to Russia

Visa to Russia (5)

Citizens of most non-CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries must obtain a Russian visa prior to arriving in Russia. Citizens of Croatia (3 months, invitation required), Israel (90 days), Montenegro (90 days), Cuba (30 days), Thailand (30 days), Venezuela (90 days), Argentina (90 days), Hong Kong (14 days), Japan (only for Russian islands in north of Japan) , Serbia (30 days, only biometric passports), Brazil (90 days), Nicaragua (90 days), Turkey (30 days), Uruguay (90 days) do not need a visa.

To get the Russian visa, you need to get an invitation (also called visa support) first. The invitation can be for a tourist or a business Russian visa

Russian tourist visa is usually valid for up to 30 days and can be single- or double-entry (double-entry only valid if you travel to/from CIS countries the second time)

Russian business visa can be valid for up to 1 year and can be multiple entries. You don't need to be in a business to get a business visa, but you should be careful to specify the information consistent with the type of your invitation when you apply for a Russian visa at the Russian consulates (e.g. you can't say you're visiting friends if you're getting a Russian tourist visa or that you're going for sightseeing if you're getting a Russian business visa). A Russian business visa is far more flexible and desirable for an independent traveller than a Russian tourist visa. To obtain a Russian business visa you must have a letter of invitation from a registered Russian company or organization, and a covering letter from your company (or you) stating the purpose of your trip. We will be happy to provide you with more information about Russian business visa - simply tell us your needs and we will advise you the Russian visa that suits your needs in a best way.

Sunday, 01 January 2012 12:13

Business Visa

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Visa Support Document (Business Invitation)

Buisness invitation (letter of invitation) is a visa support document, needed to get  your Russian buisness visa. 

We can offer you 2 types of business invitations: ORIGINAL invitation (paper document) & TELEX (coded invitation).

The ORIGINAL is a paper document printed on the official form of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (MID).

The cost of such invitation is 154 Euro and it is issued within 30 days.

Usually the consulate asks for the original of invitation in case of multiple-entrance visas. For single/double entrance visas a fax or scanned copy is usually acceptable. But, please, check it exactly at your local Russian consulate.

The originals of invitations can be sent to you by courier or courier express delivery service such as FedEx (5-6 working days for delivery) or UPS (2-3 working days for delivery). This delivery will be provided upon your request for extra pay. For this, please,This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TELEX is a set of figures (a kind of personal code) which is sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (MID) directly to the consulate or the embassy where you are going to apply to a Russian visa. It has the same value as the original invitation, but does not require any sending by post. And moreover the process of issuing telex usually takes less time. 

NB! You can not apply for the telex until 45 days before the start date of your visa.

The cost of TELEX invitiation for 1 or 2 entry visa with 1-3 months of stay is 250 Euro and it is isuued withn 3-4 working days.

If you need MULTIPLE entry visa for 6 month up to a year its cost will be 320 Euro and it is issued within 15 working days.

To order the business invitation via our company you need to fill in a booking form. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for it.

Sunday, 18 December 2011 15:49

Visa support request form

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You can request visa support here
Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:16

Visa registration

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Once you're in Russia, you need to register your visa if you're staying longer than 3 working days. This can usually be done at your hotel. If you don't register you may be fined by police and/or have problems leaving the country. . If you have an active itinerary and are not staying in any one place for three days, it is therefore recommended that you register at least once in the first city you visit. If you are staying in a hotel, sanatorium etc., it is their duty to register you for the length of your stay with them, otherwise you can register it at the office of the travel agency that issued your visa support. Once registered, you should receive a separate slip of paper confirming the dates you’ll be staying at that particular hotel. Keep this safe – that’s the document that any police who stop you will need to see.

Thursday, 17 March 2011 15:09

Visa support

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The invitation* (for a tourist or a business visa) can be obtained through a Russian travel agency, a hotel or your local travel agent. If you get it through a hotel you will be bound by a fixed itinerary and will have to stay at this particular hotel. The agencies usually offer more flexible options. You simply receive it by e-mail or fax and then bring it along with other documents needed to the Russian consulate.

Only hotels and travel agencies that have a consular reference, that is  the government registration number with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, can issue the confirmations valid for visa purposes. Travelers who plan to stay in more than one hotel would be best advised to seek an invitation through a travel agency rather than a hotel directly to ensure that the invitation will cover the entire length of such stay.

However, Russian Embassies and Consulates are inconsistent and unreliable. For example, depending on the embassy, they may or may not issue visas by mail or in-person only and may not accept faxed/e-mailed copies of the invitation in lieu of the original. Check with the embassy in beforehand.

A business visa requires an entirely different type of invitation. Business invitations are issued by the government and many Russian consulates require the original hard copy, though some will accept a faxed copy. Again, check with the consulate before applying. Obtaining a business invitation is another time consuming and costly process. It normally takes 4 to 6 weeks to receive one. But travel agencies in Russia can help with obtaining a business invitation.

*Note that if you are flying directly from abroad into any of the following cities, special invitation rules are likely to apply: Barnaul, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Murmansk, Nizhny Novgorod, Omsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Petrozavodsk, Pyatigorsk, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Ufa, Vladivostok and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Thursday, 17 March 2011 14:24

Applying for a Visa

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Once you have the invitation, you need to make sure you have the other documents ready. Usually it's your

  • passport, which should expire not earlier than 6 months after your visa expires

  • 2-4 passport-sized photos

  • visa application form (available at the consulate or on their websites)

If you live in an EU country (except UK) or USA, you will also need insurance. Usually your credit card will have insurance that covers you worldwide -- if that's the case, just print it out and bring it along.

If you're getting a Russian visa for 6 months or longer, you'll also need an HIV test certificate (available at most hospitals).

Once you apply, wait for about 1-2 weeks and your visa will be in your passport. The consulate's fee is usually $50-$100.

We highly recommended applying for your visa in your home country rather than on the road – indeed, the rule is that you’re supposed to do this, although we know from experience that some embassies and consulates can be more flexible than others.

Trans-Mongolian travellers should note that unless you can prove you’re a resident of China or Mongolia, attempting to get visas for Russia in both Beijing and Ulaan Baatar can be a frustrating, costly and ultimately fruitless exercise.