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Quick Russian Visa Guide

Russian visa
All foreigners (except citizens of some former Soviet republics) visiting Russia need a visa. In order to get one, travelers need an invitation from a Russian citizen or a company, which is then taken to a Russian embassy or consulate, where the actual visa is issued. Within three business days of arrival in Russia, the visa needs to be registered by the person/organization that issued the invitation. If you don't make it through this bureaucratic loop, you may have problems leaving the country. Price for invitation - 30 euro. For getting invitation for Russian visa please fill the form.

What is a Russian Visa?

All foreign citizens visiting Russia, need to have a valid Russian visa to enter and/or leave the country, except nationals of CIS countries (former USSR without Baltic States). A Russian visa is a special document either stamped to your passport or issued on a separate paper, that grants you a permit to enter and to leave the Russian Federation during a specified period of time.

There are six types of Russian visas:
  • a tourist visa,
  • a business visa,
  • a student visa,
  • a guest visa,
  • a transit visa.

Each visa type corresponds to the purpose of your visit. However, this is not followed very strictly and many people come for a short business trip with tourist visas, while others people come to visit their friends with business visas.You can get a Russian visa in a Russian consulate at the country you are currently in. Not sure how to find your Russian Consulate? Check out our Russian Embassies list.

To apply for a Russian visa, you will need to submit certain documents to a Russian consulate, depending on the type of visa you require. One of the most important documents that you will need for any type of visa is an invitation (or visa support). The invitation (visa support) is a special document issued by the party that invites you to Russia. The invitation is required by a Russian consulate to process your visa. For every type of visa, there is a different type of invitation (tourist, business, private, student). The invitation can be issued by a Russian travel agency or by a company or organization authorized by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Children apply for separate visas if they travel on their own passports. Non-traveling parents must confirm in an affidavit their consent for their children's travel. The validity and type of visa should be strictly adhered to. When in Russia, you cannot change your visa status (i.e. from tourist to business or from business to student and vice versa). To do that, you have to leave the country and return on a different visa.

How to Get a Russian Visa

Although it is possible to arrange your own Russian visa, most travelers choose to hire a visa service to do the work. Russian consulates have many options for visa processing, from a regular 2-week (cheapest)processing, to a very fast (and terribly expensive) same-day processing. If you live in a city with a Russian consulate,you may save some money by going and applying on your own. Beware, that most Russian consulates only accept paperwork earlyin the morning.

But if you want to make sure you get your visa on time and without losing any sleepover it, hiring an experienced visa-expediting agency is the way to go. Since Russian visa also involves getting a Russian invitation, you want to deal only with those agencies that can assist you in both.Arent offer you full processing (invitation, taking visa to a consulate andsending it back to you). We will take care of registering the visa when you arrive in Russia. Given that each Russian consulate and embassy has different tastes and temperaments, it's usually best to have somebody who knows the ropes do the dirty work.

Russian Tourist Visa

This type of visa is issued for the travelers who come to Russia for tourism purposes. This visa is easiest to get and the least expensive of all visas, so it's idealfor tourists. A tourist Russian visa is single-entry only and can be valid for the period up to one month.

ARENT assists the guests of St. Petersburg with the tourist visa and registration upon arrival. We could provide you with Russian tourist visa support documents, which are accommodation guarantee voucher and visa support letter.

Registration upon Arrival

According to Russian immigration legislation, every foreigner who comes to Russia should have his Russian visa registered within 72 hours upon arrival, excluding holidays and weekends. When ordered separately, the cost of this service is 30 EUR.
To arrange Russian tourist visa support documents, please e-mail to us the following information:

scanned copy of passport (should incl. name, gender, date and place of birth, country of residence, citizenship, date of issue andexpiration, place of passport issue) Attention! The copy of passport has to be submitted in jpg format of good quality;

filled in form questionnaire  (place and address of job and position; address in the country of residence; date of arrival to Russia and date of departure from Russia; cities of Russia the client is going to visit (not more than 5); country/city where the client will apply for a visa and etc.)

Additional visa-related information

  1. Always keep your passport with your visa on you while in Russia.
  2. Make two sets of copies of your passport, visa and other travel papers and keep them separately – one in your luggage and another in your office or with your family and friends.
  3. When planning to stay in Russia for over 90 days make sure to obtain an HIV test certificate. You may be asked to display it to medical officer at a Russian border checkpoint. Such certificate is not necessary when traveling for a lesser period of time.
  4. When traveling with your pet, you’re required to obtain an international health certificate from a local certified veterinary doctor.
  5. It is advisable to have medical insurance coverage valid in Russia. Check your medical plan and request such coverage if you do not have it. On the basis of reciprocity, citizens of Estonia, Israel, Finland, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain are required to have mandatory medical insurance.
  6. Medical drugs can be brought to Russia in quantities sufficient for personal consumption during your stay.
  7. Military-type firearms, narcotic drugs, explosives, radioactive, poisonous and other dangerous substances are prohibited to import to Russia.
  8. Travelers carrying sport-guns or shotguns in their luggage must receive special permits through their Russian agents to take them in and out of the country.
  9. Foreign travelers can bring to Russia their photo and video cameras, binoculars, laptop computers, etc. tax free if these are to be taken out of the country upon departure. Just mention them in your customs declaration or ask a customs officer.
  10. Travelers over 16 years of age can take to Russia tobacco products (1000 cigarettes or equivalent), wines & liquors (2 liters) tax free.
  11. There is no limitation on the amount of foreign currency to be taken to Russia. Just mention in your customs declaration all your currency over $500 and other valuables, including objects of art, which you take into the country. Keep declaration to present it to a customs officer upon departure.
  12. If you are traveling on a double or multiple entry visas, prepare a copy of your visa before departure from Russia – a copy of your visa will be asked of you by the passport control officer.
  13. Your Russian visa must be registered in the first 3 calendar days after your arrival to Russia. If staying at a hotel, your hotel will register your visa, if staying with friends or relatives – our Russian offices will be happy to assist with your visa registration on the spot. Please check with us for details or read our welcome letter.
  14. Prior to your departure for the airport to fly to Russia, please, check your passport, visa and other papers again. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call us. When calling, have last name of the travelers and their birth dates ready.
  15. The Consulate of Russian Federation and our agency cannot be held responsible for any errors in visas not brought to our attention before your departure for Russia.
Attention! Express mail expenses are paid separately!
The fax will be sent you within 2 working days. Our office is open from 10 am to 8 pm Moscow time. < Supporting documents
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