First of all, you should find out if you need visa to visit Russia. There are special rules for citizens of specific countries and if you are not a citizen of these countries you must obtain Russian visa. You can see Russian visa policy on the picture below.
Also you can stay in Russia visa free if you are:
- a cruise passenger and have a city tour within an organized group of tourists (you are allowed to stay up to 72 hours);
- a passenger with Russian airliner (you are allowed to stay up to 72 hours). Please, see some restrictions.
So what should you know if you need Russian visa?
Types of Russian visa:
- travel (tourist);
- homestay (private);
- other specific types.
Tourist visa is issued to those who travel Russia as an individual tourist or as a member of tourist group and have formal contract with authorized travel agency and confirmation of hotel arrangements from that company. Tourist visa can last up to 1 month.
Business visa is issued to those who visit Russia on business. Ordinary Business visa can last up to 1 month.
Homestay visa is issued to those who stay in Russia on a private visit and have a formal invitation from Russian citizen. Homestay visa can lasts up to 3 month.
What should you do to obtain Russian visa?
You should submit next documents to the nearest Russian Embassy Consulate:
- Original passport (copies are not allowed)
- Russian Consulate application form (two copies)
- One photo (passport size, color, signed on back)
- Official invitation
- Consular fee (non-refundable)
- Medical insurance certificate
- HIV test (if re-entry visa)
There are two requirements for your passport: at least 6 month validity from the date of exit and 2 blank pages for visa.
Russian visa application form must be completed (in English) and signed (only by the applicant). It’s required to submit two copies. You can receive visa application form at the nearest Russian consulate. Please, make sure that all information in application form matches with information in your invitation.
To obtain Russian visa you must to have an official invitation. If tourist visa: formal contract with authorized travel agency and confirmation of reception of tourist and register number from the Uniform Federal Register of the Tour Operators of the Federal Tourism Agency. If business visa: official invitation from the host organization authorized to invite business visitors (must contain official seal and legal address of the organization). If homestay (private) visa: original visa entitlement certificate which host must obtain from the local FMS in Russia.
Please, contact your local Russian consulate for the details and the latest update.
Congratulations! You obtain Russian Visa.
When enter Russia you must fill MIGRATION CARD. This card can be obtained at a Border Control Office. Please, make sure you are keeping this card along with your passport while you are staying in Russia. You must present it to the Russian Border Control officer when departure from the country.
When you are arrived to Russia your visa must be registered within 7 working days. It can be fully taken care of by your hotel reception. If you are at your private journey than your host needs to submit notification form (two copies), copy of your passport and visa and copy of your migration card to local police station or any post office (there your host can ask notification form). You don’t have to register your visa if you are arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs invitation. If you don’t register your visa, you may be fined as well as deported (although the latter is very unlikely) and denied from entering Russia again.
That’s all you have to know. Have a save journey and enjoy your staying in Russia!