Immigration. Travel. Living.

The process of getting a Russian visa

To obtain a permit of living and working in Russia, some legal procedures must be made. This includes obtaining a visa. Even for travelers that desire to go to Russia for entertainment purposes, the visa has to be obtained.

There are many types of visas to get in Russia, for example:

  • Russian Tourist Visa;
  • Russian Private Visa;
  • Russian Business Visa;
  • Russian Transit Visa;
  • Russian Visa for Highly Qualified Specialist.


Getting the visa is a procedure that takes time, certain documents and authority involvement.


The time period of Russian visa acquisition procedure and costs

Russian street

Each visa type requires different time to acquire it. Therefore, you should plan trips ahead. Travelers should take into account the time that is spent processing the visa.

For example, Russian Tourist Visa acquiring procedure period takes about 30 days. The cost of the visa process is 150 EUR maximum. Price can vary as there are different service aspects available. The period of Russian Private Visa is a minimum of 60 days and the cost is approximately 100 EUR.

For Russian Business Visa the average period of obtaining a business visa is up to 30 days and costs up to 350 EUR which also depends on what type of visa it is. Russian Visa for Highly Qualified Specialist takes up to 20 days to set up and obtain. An invitation to this visa is required.

After the visa is obtained, a person can stay in Russia for up to 3 years. The visa is made on the basis of Work Permit that is issued by Russian Migration organizations.


Documents needed for visa acquisition

Documents that are physical proof of identity, the purpose of visit and transparency is really important when it comes to visiting any country. There are certain documents and paperwork that has to be done when applying for a visa to go to the Russian Federation.

The person that desires to get a tourist visa has to have a passport that has at least two blank visa pages. To apply, a Russian visa application form has to be filled and after that, two copies submitted. Another requirement is the photo of a person submitting the application for a visa with his or her signature on the other side. As for proof of staying in-country, the papers of hotel reservations also have to be submitted.

For Russian Private Visa, another document has to be submitted – visa entitlement certificate. Your host in Russia must obtain it and send a copy for you as well.

 Another way to get this visa is by writing a notarized request of a European Union citizen that lives legally in the Russian Federation.

When acquiring the Russian Business Visa, there has to be an official invite from an organization or business that has been approved to invite visitors to Russia. Also for the business trips that take more than 3 months, a multi-entry visa is a great option and an HIV test must be done.

Russian Transit Visa could be for single-entry or double entry and grants up to 3 days traveling in the air and 10 days by car.


Where to apply for a Russian visa

When a person has to get a visa to go to Russia, they have to search the Russian Embassy, the Russian Consulate or Visa Processing Center to apply for a visa there. The procedure starts even before going to authorities as mentioned in the paragraph that describes documents needed for visa application. There are some documents that take time to prepare so the visit is quicker and more efficient.

Another way that is easier is to get a local travel agent that will deal with visa related tasks that will make the planning easier. The travel agents usually charge a sum of money to benefit from the interaction. The fee of a travel agent can vary from 50 to 100 US dollars.


Registering visa 

One of the last steps of acquiring a visa to go to the Russian Federation is registering the visa in seven business days that is ordered by regulation that is valid from the year 2015. The aim of visa registration is to notify Russian authorities of a non-citizen on their grounds.

Registration can look like a stamp in the passport of a separate paper sheet that is filled by authorities on the border. If a person doesn’t register they risk being denied to come to Russia for a maximum of five years. The accommodating side that lives in Russia and is a citizen there should make sure the traveler has registered the visa as that is also the hosts or inviters’ responsibility.

Those, interested in acquiring Russian citizenship, can check out the benefits of being a Russian resident.

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