Russia is a huge country that gives a lot of opportunities for business, making friends, studies, and employment. The country is also interesting for casual travelers. Its culture, architecture, literature, history, nature attract tourists from all over the world.
Tourist visa types
This is why people often ask how to get a Russian visa, which papers you need for that, where to do the paperwork quickly, efficiently, and for a reasonable price, and what is the price of an entry permit for foreign nationals. Is it possible to obtain a group visa? What do you need to know and how not to make mistakes?
We’ll try to answer all those questions.
A tourist visa is a special document that entitles an foreign national to stay in Russia for a relatively short time. This entry permit may only be valid for up to 30 days. It is primarily intended for those who want to learn the historical heritage, to attend cultural or sports events, exhibitions, and premier performances.
There are multiple subtypes:
single-entry entitles you to a single border-crossing, i.e. one entry and one leave;
double-entry entitles you to leave Russia and come back once so that you depart it permanently when the visa expires;
multiple-entry visa entitles you to cross the border as many times as you want during its validity period. This document requires a permit from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A tourist visa can only be single- or double-entry.
How to obtain a tourist visa
Now that you know what a tourist visa is, the next very important question is: How do you obtain this document quickly and flawlessly? Is it possible to do that without spending too much money and time? In this situation, the best option is to consult our experts, but let’s not push things on too early.
Just like any Russian visa, a tourist visa requires a letter of invitation to the country. This document is also referred to as a tourist voucher. It consists of two sections: a confirmation of willingness to host a traveler; and the description of services they have paid for and to be provided. It also specifies the visitor’s entire route, places of stay, passport and personal details, period of stay in Russia, visa type and the number of entries it entitles to.
The most convenient way to obtain such a voucher is to call us and order it. It takes about a day or two to produce this paper; the price depends on your duration of stay, the number of entries you want, as well as your exact route of travel. We can also do the paperwork to invite groups of tourists.
When you have your letter of invitation, visit a Russian consulate in your country and bring the following documents:
a voucher (a tourist letter of invitation). First find out which specific format is required. A scanned copy will do in most cases; however, sometimes you might be required to bring the original;
your personal ID, which is in this case is your travel passport that should be valid for at least 180 days after you come home;
a filled-in new-type application form with your signature;
your photograph. Consult the consulate’s website beforehand to find about size-related and other requirements;
This is a generic list of papers you are expected to bring when applying for a visa. There might be some case-specific nuances, so before you go to a consulate, visit the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website and find out the full list of papers and paper-related requirements.
As for the consular fee for your tourist visa, it depends on the country and the processing time. A European Union citizen pays €35 for an ordinary visa or €70 for an expedited one. For a US, UK, or Canadian citizen, an ordinary visa costs $140 and takes up to 10 business days to process, whereas an expedited visa costs $250 and is granted in three business days.
Tourist visa for foreign nationals
Traveling to another country is a common leisure activity. It helps you learn another culture, another language, another way of life, etc. Neighbor states often have relaxed border-crossing requirements, but that’s not always the case.
If there’s no visa-free travel agreement with your country of residence, you first have to obtain a letter of invitation from a private individual (for guest or private visas) or a legal entity. After you have it, prepare to apply for the visa itself.
You can apply for a Russian visa in many ways:
visit a Swiss embassy. In some countries, there are no Russian consulates, and Russia is instead represented by the Swiss embassy. Before going there, call them and clarify all the points of controversy so as to do the paperwork flawlessly;
employ the service of specialized visa centers or travel companies that will do all the paperwork for you—for an added price.
Every person can get a Russian entry permit; it only takes some willingness and a right approach.
Tourist visa maximum validity period
Before paperwork commences, many tourists ask how for how long their tourist visa will be valid.
This type of visa is often referred to as a short-term visa as it can only be valid for up to 30 days. When applying for it and specifying a desired validity period in excess of 14 days, don’t be surprised if decide to check your hotel bookings, route, and purpose of visit.
Unlike other visas, a tourist visa is subject to no extension. The only exception is an emergency, e.g. an urgent hospitalization.
If you need a Russian visa for a longer stay, i.e. five years, we’ll help you obtain a letter of invitation for a business visa. Paperwork and application do not take a lot of time and can be done online. An e-letter of invitation well be emailed to you in one or two business days, whereas an FMS form will be issued within a week.