How To Apply for a Russian Visa

The process of getting a Russian visa can be quite a hassle, especially for people who are not familiar with all visa procedures. This is really important to have in mind because the Russian Federation is one of the stricter countries when it comes to visa regulations.

Therefore we created this in-depth guide and in it, you will find everything you need to know about Russian visas and how to apply.

Check if you need a visa for Russia

Russian visa is an official document, issued by the Russian Consulate/Visa Application Center. This document allows you to stay in the Russian Federation for a specific period of time. It is required for every traveler in the world, except if:

    1. you are from a country that has a visa waiver policy in cooperation with Russia;
    2. you are a citizen of China and you are traveling in a group of more than 5 people;
    3. you are a passenger on a cruise ship or a ferry (72 hours visa-free stay);
    4. you are visiting certain visa-free zones and you are of specific nationality (e.g. citizens of Alaska can visit Chukotka Autonomous Region without a visa in case they have relatives living there);
    5. you are a crew member from a country that has a visa-free agreement with Russia;
    6. you are in transit on an international airport;
    7. you are a holder of the APEC Business Travel Card

 

If none of these exceptions apply to you, you will need a visa to travel to Russia. If still not sure, you can check your travel requirements by using Viselio Entry Monitor. You can also get informed about the latest Russia COVID-19 entry regulations.

Russian visa types

There are 6 main types of Russian visas:

  1. Russian tourist visa – the simplest visa to obtain. It can be single or double. However, you need an invitation before applying for this visa type. The validity of this visa is up to 30 days from the date of issue.
  2. Russian business visa – like its name suggests this visa is for business purposes. It can be single, double, or multiple. For this visa, a business invitation is mandatory; validity is up to 90 days from the date of issue.
  3. Russian private (homestay) visa – you can opt for this visa in case you wish to stay with your family or friends who are living in Russia. The validity of this visa is up 30-90 days from the date of issue.
  4. Russian transit visa – for transit purposes through Russia without staying. The duration of stay this visa offer depends on your transportation vehicle. The validity of this visa is up to 3 days if traveling by air, or 10 days if traveling by car.
  5. Russian student visa – issued to individuals who are studying in Russia and who possess a document that indicates they are enrolled in an academic institution. The validity of this visa is 90 days from the date of issue but can be extended to a year.
  6. Russian work/employment visa – as the name suggests, this visa is for individuals who are employees of the Russian company and who have a contract as proof of their hiring or an issued work permit. The validity of this visa is 6-12 months from the date of issue.

                                                                    

There are also so-called “special types of visas” (exceptions to the listing above) that can be issued in express time. Those visas can be granted in special cases such as diplomatic or refugee visas, for citizens who travel to Russia for the funeral of their close relatives, etc.  Also, if you’re only planning on only visiting St. Petersburg and Leningrad region you can obtain a free e-Visa.

When making a decision on what visa you should apply for to travel to Russia, consider the following:

  • Purpose of your trip – if you’re planning for a vacation, apply for a tourist visa. If you’re going to Russia for work, apply for a business visa. Make sure to be transparent in your travel intentions because, as we pointed out before, Russia is one of the stricter countries when it comes to visa regulations.
  • Visa price – make sure you know the real cost of the visa you want to apply for and if it fits your budget.
  • Visa processing time – it’s great that you’re excited about your trip and you want to get your visa ASAP, but there are certain processing time protocols. Make sure you check what processing time works for you the best.
  • Period of stay the visa allows – deportation and travel bans are not pleasant experiences, so make sure you acquire the proper information on how long you can stay in Russia with a travel visa of your choice.   
  • Number of entries the visa allows – this is important to know regarding the number of times you will be permitted to enter Russia within your visa’s validity.

Russia visa requirements

There are specific requirements for each type of Russian visa, however, the following items are required in most cases:

  1. a valid passport that has at least six months of remaining validity after the visa expires. Your passport also needs to have at least two blank pages, one for the visa and the other one for entry and exit stamps.
  2. correctly filled visa application form, containing your signature.
  3. your photo, which needs to be of dimensions 3.5 x 4.5 cm, also has to be in color and with a light background. Your whole face needs to be visible and not obscured by sunglasses, hats, or any other headwear (for better explanation see the image below). Exceptions are only made if any of these garments are worn for religious reasons. 

  1. hotel confirmation
  2. health insurance confirmation
  3. negative COVID-19 (coronavirus) test results
  4. If you are applying for a tourist visa you will need a Russian tourist invitation. This document needs to be issued by a registered Russian tour operator as a guarantee that you are staying there. If you are applying for a business visa, you will need a Russian business invitation. In case you are not a resident of the country from which you are applying, you will need to include a residence permit.

How to apply for a Russian visa in Switzerland

All Swiss citizens require a visa to travel to Russia. They must apply for a visa directly in the Russian Visa Centres in Bern or Geneva or directly through the Russian Consulate before traveling. No visas can be issued at the border.  

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

  1. You must locate the closest Russian Visa Center
  2. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
  3. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation
  4. You need to fill out the visa application form directly on their website
  5. You need to print out all documentation and provide a signature where indicated
  6. You need to pay a visa fee (and provide a printed proof of your payment)
  7. You need to book an appointment at the Russian Consulate
  8. You need to go to the consulate and submit your visa documentation in-person 
  9. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go to the visa center again to pick up your passport
 
 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle, especially if you are not from Bern or Geneva areas. Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the collection of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.eir

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR RUSSIAN VISA!

An easier way to apply for your Russia visa in Switzerland is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about visiting the embassy or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Russian visa in Germany

All German citizens require a visa to travel to Russia. They must apply for their travel visa directly in the Russian Visa Centre. No visas can be issued at the border.  

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

  1. You must locate the closest Russian Visa Center
  2. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
  3. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation 
  4. You need to book an appointment in the visa center
  5. You need to pay a visa fee 
  6. You need to print out the documentation and fill it out by hand
  7. You need to go to the visa center and submit your documentation in-person
  8. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go to the visa center again to pick up your passport


As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle… Collecting documentation, filing out of form, visa center visits during the workdays, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the collection of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR RUSSIAN VISA!

An easier way for you to apply for your Russia visa in Germany is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about visiting the embassy or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Russian visa in Austria

All Austrian citizens require a visa to travel to Russia. They must apply for their travel visa directly in the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Vienna. No visas can be issued at the border.  

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

  1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing the embassy’s website or via phone call)
  2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation 
  3. You need to book an appointment in the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Vienna
  4. You need to pay a visa fee 
  5. You need to print out the documentation and sign it where indicated
  6. You need to go to the embassy and submit your documentation in-person
  7. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go to the embassy again to pick up your passport

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle, especially if you are not from Vienna. Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the collection of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR RUSSIAN VISA!

An easier way to apply for your Russia visa in Austria is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about visiting the embassy or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Russian visa in France

All French citizens require a visa to travel to Russia. They must apply for their travel visa directly in the Russian Visa Centre. No visas can be issued at the border.  

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

  1. You must locate the closest Russian Visa Center (Paris, Strasbourg, Marseille)
  2. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
  3. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation 
  4. You need to book an appointment in the Russian consular office
  5. You need to print out the documentation and sign where indicated
  6. You need to pay a visa fee
  7. You need to go to the embassy and submit your documentation in-person
  8. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go to the embassy again to pick up your passport

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle…Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the collection of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR RUSSIAN VISA!

An easier way to apply for your Russia visa in France is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about visiting the embassy or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Russian visa in UK

All UK citizens require a visa to travel to Russia. They must apply for their travel visa directly in the Russian Visa Centre. No visas can be issued at the border.  

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

  1. You must locate the closest Russian Visa Center (London, Edinburgh, Manchester)
  2. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing their website or via phone call)
  3. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation 
  4. You need to book an appointment at the visa center
  5. You need to print out the documentation and sign where indicated
  6. You need to pay a visa fee
  7. You need to go to the embassy and submit your documentation in-person
  8. You need to provide your biometrics in person
  9. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go to the embassy again to pick up your passport

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle…Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the collection of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR RUSSIAN VISA!

An easier way to apply for your Russia visa in the UK is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about visiting the embassy or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Russian visa in Sweden

All citizens of Sweden require a visa to travel to Russia. They must apply for their travel visa directly at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Sweden in Stockholm. No visas can be issued at the border.  

If you want to do it on your own, the visa application process goes as follow:

  1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing the embassy’s website or via phone call)
  2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation 
  3. You need to book an appointment at the Russian Embassy in Stockholm
  4. You need to print out the documentation and sign where indicated
  5. You need to pay a visa fee
  6. You need to go to the embassy and submit your documentation in-person
  7. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go to the embassy again to pick up your passport



As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle, especially if you’re not from the Stockholm area. Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy visits during the workdays, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the collection of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR RUSSIAN VISA!

An easier way to apply for your Russia visa in Sweden is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about visiting the embassy or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

How to apply for a Russian visa in Netherlands

All citizens of the Netherland require a visa to travel to Russia. No visas can be issued at the border.  

If you want to do it on your own, there are four places in the Netherlands where you may apply for a Russian visa:

  1. The Consular Section of the Russian Embassy, Den Haag
  2. The Russian visa application center, Den Haag
  3. The Russian visa application center, Rotterdam
  4. The Russian visa application center, Amsterdam

 

The visa application process goes as follow:

  1. You need to gather the right information on what documentation you need (by browsing the embassy/visa center’s website or via phone call)
  2. You need to collect physically all the necessary documentation 
  3. You need to book an appointment at the Russian embassy/visa center
  4. You need to print out the documentation and sign where indicated
  5. You need to pay a visa fee
  6. You need to go to the embassy and submit your documentation in-person
  7. After your visa is approved (or denied), you need to go to the embassy again to pick up your passport

 

As you can see, the whole process is quite a hassle…Collecting documentation, filing out of form, embassy trip during the workdays, etc. – all this can take a lot of your time and money. And even then there is a high possibility of omission during the collection of documentation, which can lead to your visa being denied.

APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR RUSSIAN VISA!

An easier way to apply for your Russia visa in the Netherlands is by using Viselio online visa application form. 

The whole visa application process is automated and fully secured! It will take a couple of minutes of your time, and you don’t have to worry about visiting the embassy or passport pickup – your visa will be delivered to your home address.

APPLY NOW

Why use Viselio online visa application form

Visas are a necessary part of the international traveling process. 

But unfortunately, applying for a travel visa can be extremely stressful and sometimes, even an obstacle to your upcoming trip. Many people have a lot of problems with their visa applications, and very frequently they end up having to delay or even worse, cancel their planned trip.

Viselio prevents all possible visa application lapses and documentation oversights – just ask our customers!  We take great pride in the fact that 99,7% of people successfully acquired their travel visas by using our online visa application form.

Because we understand that time is a very precious thing, we have created a visa application system where there is:

  • No waiting in long lines in front of the embassy 
  • No time-consuming paperwork collecting
  • No need for you to physically do anything, except to fill out our online form

The risk of being rejected for your travel visa is reduced with Viselio because we have the experience and knowledge on what documents exactly need to be submitted. Our team of Visa Specialists will double-check for you all your data, to make sure all information is filled out properly.

Besides providing a fully automated visa application service, there are many other benefits that Viselio can provide to each and every client. We also offer COVID-19 testing services for travelers, invitations letters, and other necessary travel documentation. You can read more about our additional services here. Fast, easy, and secure service is of utmost importance to us!

Take the hassle out of bureaucratic application forms and endless visits to embassies. Apply online for your visa with Viselio.

More information

Below you can find helpful answers to the most frequently asked questions about Viselio services. For anything else, our Customer Service Agents are available to you Monday – Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm. You can communicate with them in English, German, or French via email, telephone call, or website chat. 

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