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Visas for Russia

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Russia has particular laws regarding immigration. Hence, foreign nationals are generally required to apply for a visa to travel to Russia. This excludes nationals from countries under a visa free regime with Russia. Nationals from other countries are required to apply for a tourist, business, humanitarian, private, work, student, or transit 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.

Nationals from the following countries can travel to Russia without a visa: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. Nationals from these countries can visit Russia without a visa between 14 and 90 days depending on the country and for tourism only.

 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.

 Important:

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.

Tourist visa

To apply for a single or double entry tourist visa valid for a thirty days period, the following documents are required: 

  • 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;
  • 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); and
  • medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia.

Humanitarian visa

To apply for a single or double entry humanitarian visa valid for a ninety days period or with multiple entry for one year, the following documents are required:

  • An invitation to visit Russia 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 organisation;
  • a valid passport with at least two blank pages for the visa stamps (it should be valid for at least six 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 on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport; and
  • medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia.

Business visa

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

  • an invitation to visit Russia 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 organisation;
  • 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); and
  • medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia.

Private visa

To apply for a single or double entry private visa which is valid for 90 days, 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); and
  • medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements).

Work visa

To apply for single, double or multiple entry work visa valid for a ninety days period, the following documents are required :

  • 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);
  • medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements); and
  • an AIDS screening certificate if you wish to stay for more than 3 months.

Study visa

To apply for a single entry study visa valid for a ninety days period and extendable for a multiple entry visa valid for one year once you are in Russia, 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 organisation;
  • 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);
  • medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements); and
  • an AIDS screening certificate if you wish to stay for more than 3 months.

Transit visa

To apply for a transit visa valid for ten days if you are traveling on land, three days if you are traveling by air and a month if you need to transit twice, the following documents are required:

  • a tourist issued by 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); and
  • medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia (except in cases of reciprocity agreements).

Medical insurance

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

  • the date the contract was signed and an official stamp;
  • the policy number;
  • your name and surname;
  • the insurance company's details;
  • the insurance validity period to prove you will be covered for the whole duration of your stay in the country, whether you have been issued a single, double or multiple-entry visa; and
  • 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.

 Attention:

Incomplete insurance documents will be rejected by Russian authorities.

 Useful links:

Russian Embassy – Embassy locator worldwide

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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