Russian Visa Requirements: Frequently Asked Questions
Please note that this page is intended to provide an overview of Russian visa requirements only and is not comprehensive. While we strive to provide accurate information, this page is not updated regularly and may contain outdated or incomplete information. Before applying for a Russian visa, we encourage you to check with a visa service provider or your local Russian consulate to ensure you have all the information and documents you need.
When is a visa required? Are there exceptions?
Generally, all visitors to Russia are required to have a visa, obtained from the Russian consulate, regardless the length of the visit.
Exceptions are made for citizens of some countries, having no-visa agreements with Russia. Please check with the Russian consulate in your country if you are eligible for short term entry without a visa.
How long can I stay in Russia with a tourist visa?
Usually, a tourist visa to Russia is issued for 30 days stay. The maximum duration of your possible stay in Russia will be indicated in your visa.
How do I apply for a tourist visa for Russia?
Below is the general process of getting a Russian visa. As the process may change at any time, we recommend that you check with a visa support service provider or your local Russian consulate to ensure you have all the information and documents you need:
- In order to apply for a tourist visa, you first need an invitation (visa support letter). There are a number of online providers who provide visa support services and issue such a visa support letter (upon payment of a fee). One of these providers is Airbnb’s trusted partner click2russia.com.
- Once you have your visa support letter, you can fill out the Russian Visa Application Form online and print it out from the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Once you have printed out the completed Russian Visa Application Form, you can apply for a tourist visa at a local Russian consulate or an authorized visa center in your home country by bringing along or sending in the following documents:
- The visa support letter
- The completed Russian visa application form
- Passport - Your passport needs to be valid at least 6 months after your visa expiration date and have at least two empty pages.
- Two recent standard passport-sized photographs of good quality
- In most cases confirmation of travel health insurance for your stay in Russia.
When applying for a visa you will be required to pay a consular fee, which depends on the type of visa, the country where you apply, and your citizenship.
How do I apply for a business visa for Russia?
The process for applying for a business visa is very similar to the process for a tourist visa. A business visa can be issued for stays of up to 12 months and multiple entries into Russia. Some consulates may require a letter from your employer confirming you work for the company and travel to Russia for business purposes.
We recommend that you check with a visa service provider or your local Russian consulate to ensure you have all the information and documents you need.
How far in advance should I apply for a tourist visa?
You can apply for a tourist visa at a Russian consulate not earlier than 90 days before your requested visa start date. It is not recommended to apply more than 6 months in advance, as some consulates may have issues with visa support letters which are older than 6 months.
How long does it take for the consulate to issue a tourist visa?
Usually, it will take between 5-14 days for the consulate to issue a tourist visa.
What is the visa registration in Russia within 7 days?
Russian law requires that a foreigner who is staying in the country for more than 7 days should be registered with local authorities by sending special notification to the authorities via mail.
Generally, your Host is responsible for your registration. Alternatively, the agency that issued your visa support documents can provide the registration for you (usually for an additional fee). If you need this service, just ask them to provide it to you when you order your visa support.
What happens in case of a change of plans during the visit?
If you change your place of stay and plan to stay at a new place for more than 7 days, your new place of stay should be registered again.
You cannot extend your stay over the maximum duration of your stay indicated in your visa. Exceptions are: emergency medical conditions and other force major situations.
Do I need separate visa invitations for every member of a party?
In general, you need separate visa invitations for every member of the party. There may be exceptions for members of your family. Please check with the visa service provider.
Can I enter Russia multiple times with my Visa?
Check your visa type: single entry, double entry or multiple entry if you plan to visit neighboring countries and get back to Russia. There could be no border control between Russia and Belarus, but re-entry to Russia with a single-entry visa will be a serious violation.
Make sure that you do not visit cities and territories in Russia which are restricted for foreigners (your tourist visa is not sufficient for such visits).