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Visas in Russia

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Do I need a visa to travel to Russia? What are the entry requirements? Find the answers to your queries in this article.

Like most sovereign countries, Russia has particular laws regarding immigration. Hence, foreign nationals are generally required to apply for a visa to travel to Russia. There are different types of visas in Russia, namely the tourist visa, the business visa, the humanitarian visa, the private visa, the work visa, the student visa, the transit visa and the temporary resident visa. Note that your visa has to be attached to your passport in all cases.

You can apply for the appropriate visa at the Russian Consulate or Embassy in your home country.

 Good to know:

To be eligible for a visa in Russia, you must be able to prove that you have an invitation which has been issued by a hotel, a tourism agency or a Russian company. According to amended laws, foreigners will not be allowed into the country upon a family invitation.

 Warning:

You will have to go HIV tests 1 and 2 if you wish to move to Russia for more than three months. The tests' results will have to be produced to Russian authorities on your arrival in the country.

Visas based on the number of entries

Single entry visa: You are allowed to enter and leave the country only.

Double entry visa: You are allowed to enter and leave the country twice.

Multiple-entry visa: This visa allows you to enter and leave the country more than twice. In general, European Union citizens are authorized to make a maximum of 90 consecutive or cumulative days stay in Russia over a period of 180 days. However, any infringement to these regulations may be liable to prohibition from entering the country.

Tourist visa

The tourist visa entitled you to a maximum of 30 days stay in Russia. Documents to be produced to apply for a tourist visa are the following:

  • a tourist voucher and confirmation issued by a registered tour operator
  • a valid passport with at least two blank pages (valid for at least 6 months following the visa expiry date)
  • a duly filled and signed visa application form which you can obtain at visa.kdmid.ru, print and sign
  • a 3.5 x 4.5 cm color photograph of on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or tinted glasses and without headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport)
  • a medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements).

Business visa

To obtain a single or double entry visa which is valid for a maximum of 90 days period or with multiple-entries for one year, the following documents are required:

  • an invitation to visit Russia which has been established by the Russian Federal Migration Service
  • the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to issue a visa or an official written document issued by a Russian host organization
  • a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for the visa stamps (it should be valid for at least 6 months following the visa expiry date)
  • a duly filled and signed visa application form which is available at visa.kdmid.ru
  • a 3.5 x 4.5 cm color photograph of on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or tinted glasses and without headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport)
  • a medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements).

In the case of a single or double entry business visa, you will also need the following:

Private visa

To apply for a private single or double entry visa which has a maximum of 90 days validity, you have to produce the following:

  • an invitation to visit Russia, established by the Russian Federal Migration Service
  • a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for the visa stamps (it should be valid for at least 6 months following the visa expiry date)
  • a duly filled and signed visa application form which is available at visa.kdmid.ru
  • a 3.5 x 4.5 cm color photograph of on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or tinted glasses and without headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport)
  • a medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements).

Work visas

If you wish to obtain a single entry work visa which will be valid for a maximum of 90 days, you will need the following documents:

  • an invitation to visit Russia, established by the Russian Federal Migration Service
  • a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for the visa stamps (it should be valid for at least 6 months following the visa expiry date)
  • a duly filled and signed visa application form which is available at visa.kdmid.ru
  • a 3.5 x 4.5 cm color photograph of on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or tinted glasses and without headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport)
  • a medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements)
  • an AIDS screening certificate if you wish to stay for more than 3 months.

Study visa

The study visa is may allow single or double entry for a maximum 90 days period. To apply for a study visa, you will require the following:

  • an invitation to visit Russia which has been established by the Russian Federal Migration Service
  • the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to issue a visa or an official written document issued by a Russian host organization
  • a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for the visa stamps (it should be valid for at least 6 months following the visa expiry date)
  • a duly filled and signed visa application form which is available at visa.kdmid.ru
  • a 3.5 x 4.5 cm color photograph of on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or tinted glasses and without headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport)
  • a medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements)
  • an AIDS screening certificate if you wish to stay for more than 3 months.

Transit visa

The transit visa has a maximum of 10 days validity if you are traveling to Russia by land or a maximum of 3 days if you are traveling by air. To apply for the transit visa, you will have to produce the following:

  • a tourist voucher and proof of a Russian certified and registered tour operator
  • a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for the visa stamps (it should be valid for at least 6 months following the visa expiry date)
  • a duly filled and signed visa application form which is available at visa.kdmid.ru
  • a 3.5 x 4.5 cm color photograph of on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or tinted glasses and without headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport)
  • a medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements).

Temporary resident visa

The temporary resident visa is a single entry visa whose duration may vary according to different nationalities. To apply for a temporary resident visa, you have to produce the following:

  • an authorization from a Federal Migration Service territorial organization
  • a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for the visa stamps (it should be valid for at least 6 months following the visa expiry date)
  • a duly filled and signed visa application form which is available at visa.kdmid.ru
  • a 3.5 x 4.5 cm color photograph of on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or tinted glasses and without headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport)
  • a medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements)
  • an AIDS screening certificate if you wish to stay for more than 3 months.

Medical insurance

In general, your medical insurance policy should contain the following:

  • the contract signing date and an official stamp
  • the policy number
  • your name and surname
  • the insurance company's details
  • the insurance validity period as it should cover the whole duration of your stay in the country, whether you have been issued a single, double or multiple-entry visa (the duration of the previous trip should be mentioned).
  • the list of medical services and medical transportation required, including repatriation.

 Good to know:

The minimum coverage should amount to at least 30,000 euros. Moreover, the insurance should offer worldwide coverage, including Russia.

Note that incomplete insurance documents will be rejected by Russian authorities.

 Useful links:

Expat.com - Russia Forum
Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation visa.kdmid.ru
Russian Embassy – Embassy locator worldwide www.russianembassy.net

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