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Russian Visa Requirements

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An update on rules for visas for EU citizens or US citizens processing visas in Europe

1. According to the new law which became effective on June 1st, 2007, Russian consulates located in Europe started issuing multiple entry visas with a limit on how many days a traveler can remain in Russia. This limit is 90 days total during the period of 180 days. This provision is actually written in the visa itself. While this limitation is officially applicable to EU passport holders only, it may also apply to citizens of other countries who obtain their visas in Europe.

2. Also, according to the same law, a Russian consulate may deny a multiple entry visa even to people who have an official one year invitation if the applicant has not had a Russian visa in the previous year.

3. Starting with June 15, the Russian consulates located in Europe take 3 to 10 business days for the visa processing. We strongly recommend that you get in touch with the consulate and make sure that the visa can be processed in time. In addition, Russian visas issued by the consulates in Europe now have a 5 day "waiting period" on entering Russia, i.e. the person cannot travel to Russia for at least 5 days after the visa is issued. This rule has been applied sporadically and it seems to largely depend on a consulate but it may also affect the plans of those who need to travel urgently.

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