Visa TypesAll foreigners visiting Russia need a visa. Among citizens of former Soviet Republics only citizens of Georgia and Turkmenistan need a visa to enter Russia.
In order to get a visa, travelers need an invitation from a Russian citizen or company, which is taken to a Russian embassy or consulate, where the actual visa is issued.
Within three working days of arrival to Russia, the visa needs to be registered with the help of the person/organization that issued the invitation. The visa is registered at the Department of Visas and Registration (UVIR). For more information on visa registration please see our Section While in Russia.
Prices for processing Russian visas and the processing periods vary according to the applicant’s citizenship and the embassy/consulate applied to.
There are many types of Russian visas, but most travelers get one of the following ones:
Tourist visa can be obtained on the basis of an invitation from a tourist agency, registered with the Department of Consular Service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs according to the Russian law, or on the basis of a hotel confirmation. Tourist visas are issued for a period for up to 30 days, and usually up to 14 days, and usually have just one entry. [ more >> ]
These are the most popular ones among business people. Officially business visas are intended for foreign citizens who travel to Russia to meet their business partners, take part in negotiations, sign a contract, visit an exhibition, etc. You do not need to plan hotel reservation or an itinerary to get a business visa. These visas do not imply official employment in Russia (for this purpose a work visa should be obtained). [ more >> ]
These visas are for those foreigners who have relatives or friends in Russia able to get a private invitation. The period of validity is from one to three months, and the visas have one entry only. [ more >> ]
This visa is for foreigners, who travel to a third country via Russia. Prices for transit visas are usually low, and it is not very difficult to obtain it. [ more >> ]
Visas for Members of Family
If you travel with your close relatives, they may apply for the so-called “Family Member Visa”, issued on the basis of your invitation and visa. Children up to 16 may be mentioned in your own invitation, while for elder relatives it will be necessary to get a separate invitation (the purpose of visit in the invitation will be “Family Member”). Usually Family Member visas are given to relatives of a foreigner, who stays in Russia for a long period on a business or work visa.
Period of stay in Russia on a Family Member visa can be similar or shorter (not longer) than that for the “head of the family”.
Terms and prices: usually the consulate/embassy issues the visa itself within the same period as for the “head of the family”, and the consular fee is usually lower.
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