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Russian visa for foreign nationals

Work, tourist, guest, or any other visa legally entitles a foreign national to cross the borders of the Russian Federation and to stay in the country abiding by its law. To obtain any visa document, foreigners have to clearly specify the purpose of their visit (business, studies, tourism, or just visiting their friends and relatives), indicate reasonable time of the visit as well as a letter of invitation to the country.

As a visa support company, we are frequently asked whether it is difficult to obtain a work or a student visa, how to quickly get one for a foreign guest, how long it takes to get such a paper, how much it costs, which kind of visa you need to come to Russia for an extended stay, which kind of visa policy changes have been implemented in 2018, as well as how to fill in applications properly.

Our advisors can answer those questions and tell you how to quickly obtain a visa of the type you need.

How a foreign national can get a visa

The foreigner’s country of residence does not matter. The Pakistanis can get a visa to travel to Russia under the same procedure as the Chinese, the Australians, the Algerians, and people from any other country that doesn’t have a visa-free entry agreement with Russia.

The most important paper you need to visit this country is a letter of invitation. The Russian party should make this document on their own or they can request assistance from properly accredited companies such as ours.

When filling in an invitation application, you have to specify the foreigner’s following details:

passport details (check the travel passport validity period, as it should be at least 180 days after the foreigner’s date of arrival in the home country);

type of visa and the number of visits;

visa validity period and border-crossing dates;

if the foreigner travels in the company of minors, specify their details as well.

Things are simple for people from countries Russia has visa-free entry agreements with, like Serbia. They don’t need any additional papers to visit Russia for up to 30 days provided that they have a biometric passport issued in 2008 or later.

Russian visa types

To visit Russia, many foreign nationals have to obtain a visa. Depending on the validity period and purpose of travel, the following visa types are distinguished:

business visa is for negotiations, partner meetings and other business activities;

  • private or guest visa is for visiting your relatives or friends;
  • student visa is for studying at a Russian university;
  • transit visa is for travels via Russia;
  • tourist visa is for attending cultural or sports events;
  • humanitarian visa is for people engaged in charitable and other activities or in strengthening cultural bonds;
  • work visa is for payable employment in Russia.

All these types fall into the following subtypes:

  • single-entry visa does not allow you to leave the country and come back during your stay in Russia;
  • double-entry visa allows you to leave Russia and come back once during its validity period;
  • multiple-entry visa allows you to leave the country and come back as many times as you want during the validity period.

Based on the application processing time, visas can be expedited (processed within 3 business days or less) or ordinary (processed within 20 business days).

Price of Russian visas for foreign nationals

Many foreigners are concerned about the price of obtaining a visa. Let’s analyze what the visa price consists of. The total price includes:

  • costs of the letter of invitation that has to be issued before you are allowed to enter Russia;
  • hard copy delivery price if the original document has to be sent to a foreign national before the latter can visit a Russian consulate;
  • consular fee chargeable by consulates for visa issuance services.

The consular fee depends on your country of residence and any agreements that may exist between it and Russia. For Europeans except British, Danish, and Irish citizens, ordinary visa (takes up to 14 days) costs €35 as of 2018 whereas urgent-issuance visa costs €75.

Note that the price of a work or a tourist visa is higher than that of some other visas.

Foreigner’s visa extension in Russia

Sometimes, you can extend your visa provided that you have a serious reason to do so, e.g. if a close relative of yours is ill or has died. You are legally entitled to extend your visit to Russia by 10 days, however, your stay shall not exceed 90 days per 6 months.

Russian visa for foreign nationals and paperwork required

You need to do some paperwork to be allowed entry. To obtain a visa quickly, prepare your documents in advance. Below is the list of papers you need:

  • ID (passport);
  • Foreigner’s photographs;
  • visa application (personal details form);
  • HIV test results;
  • visa support, i.e. your letter of invitation (original or copied, depending on what the consulates in the foreigner’s country accept);
  • health insurance policy valid throughout the country and the stay;
  • money to pay for consular services.

Remember that the list of documents for business and work visas may vary. Before visiting a visa center, check their website. The second option to do all the paperwork properly is to seek our specialists’ advice and assistance at all stages. Contact us by email or phone you can find on our homepage.

Multiple-entry one-year Russian visa

The document that entitles you to multiple visits to Russia for one year is called ‘multiple-entry visa’. It is mostly obtained for business purposes and thus referred to as business visa or multiple-entry business visa. This document entitles you to as many business-related departures from Russia as you might need, but the total duration of your stays in the country shall not exceed 180 days.

Use our website to order a letter of invitation for this multiple-entry document. Ask our online advisors to get more details on how to obtain a multiple-entry Russian visa.