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How to get russian tourist visa

First of all you need to make sure that you do need the visa. Click the link for the information.

On July 21, 2020 regulations on Russian Electronic Visa have been approved. Under the regulations, citizens of 52 countries, including EU member states, China, Japan, India and Turkey, will be able to obtain 16-day, single-entry tourist visas online from Jan. 1, 2021. See the official document.

Please find here electronic visa related regulation. However, as the new e-visa law is not in operation right now, below you will find information on current regulations for getting Russian visa as well as the new regulations that are start to work from Jan. 1, 2021.

To get Russian visa before Jan. 1, 2021

Please follow the three steps if you do need the visa

  1. Prepare the package of documentation
  2. Submit the package of documentation
  3. Get the visa

There are single entry Russian tourist visas and double entry Russian tourist visas with 30 day period of validity.

Documents to prepare

International passport
A valid international passport: diplomatic passport, official passport or regular passport Passport or travel document that is valid at least 6 months after the expiry date of the visa and has at least 2 blank visa pages.

Two complete russian visa form applications
You should input following information in the visa form application: your personal data, the purpose and the destination of a visit, details on the host party.

We recommend you to use official visa form application service (there are tips in 50 different languages):

Two color photos
One recent passport photo should be glued to the application form. Photo requirements: The frame size must be 35 mm X 45 mm. Photo must be made within the last 6 months before the date of application. The photo must be clear, well-defined and taken against a plain white or light-coloured background. Your face must be square to the camera with a neutral expression, neither frowning nor smiling, and with your mouth closed. Sunglasses are not acceptable. The photos must show the full front view of the head, with the face in the middle of the photo, and include the top of the shoulders.

Consular fee payment slip
The cost of the Consular Fee is 35€ regular visa processing times (10 business days) 70€ express visa processing times (3 business days)

Please contact Russian consulate in your country to get more detailed information on the tariffs and payment methods:

A registered travel agency is required to issue tourist visa support letter. Russia Discovery travel agency is one of them. We’ll send you the tourist visa support letter when arranging the tour.

Most Russian consulates do not require originals of the invitation papers: a fax or a scanned copy (sent to you via e-mail) is enough. Only the consulates in Switzerland, Sweden and sometimes in Germany ask for originals.

Document submission

You should submit the package of the documents to the Russian Consulate in your country or hometown. Please see the list:

There are three ways to submit your documents: either you can do it all by yourself (going to the consulate), by post (not all consulates receive applications by post), or through a travel agency in your country (they'll take all your documents, send them to the consulate and charge you an additional fee for that).

In case you don't want to go to the Russian consulate yourself you can use the services of an authorised Russian consulate partner in the country you are applying. If applying in USA, use ILS center, for UK use VFS Global, for France use VHS France, for Germany use VHS Germany, for all other countries check the list of available countries on use ILS center website.

Visa receipt

The regular visa application process time is 10 business days; the express one is 3 business days. As soon as the due date is coming please come to the consulate to get the visa. Consulates in some countries can accept and send visa related documents by regular mail.

Will the money be paid back in case of visa denial?
Visa regime in Russia is quite loyal therefore if you are an average person without “shady past” you’ll certainly get the visa. If you have already done a prepayment for the tour and got denied of visa we’ll refund the money in accordance with refunding policy. We can issue tourist visa support letter before you’ve paid for the tour so that you can feel more comfortable.

How to increase your chances
We recommend you to obtain the appropriate invitation ("visa support" or "tourist confirmation") first and only after that fill in the visa application form and submit all documents. To increase your chances of getting the visa, the data you specify in the visa application form should be the same as in your invitation (e.g. the purpose of the trip, the place of stay, etc.).

To get Russian visa after Jan. 1, 2021

Starting from Jan. 1, 2021 simplified procedure for getting Russian e-visa is to be in effect.

Who will be eligible?

Citizens of 52 countries can obtain tourist e-visas online:

  1. Austria
  2. Andorra
  3. Bahrain
  4. Belgium
  5. Bulgaria
  6. China (including Taiwan)
  7. Croatia
  8. Cyprus
  9. Czech Republic
  10. Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  11. Denmark
  12. Estonia
  13. Finland
  14. France
  15. Germany
  16. Greece
  17. Hungary
  18. India
  19. Indonesia
  20. Iran
  21. Ireland
  22. Iceland
  23. Italy
  24. Japan
  25. Kuwait
  26. Latvia
  27. Lithuania
  28. Liechtenstein
  29. Luxembourg
  30. Malaysia
  31. Malta
  32. Mexico
  33. Monaco
  34. Netherlands
  35. North Macedonia
  36. Norway
  37. Oman
  38. Philippines
  39. Poland
  40. Portugal
  41. Romania
  42. San Marino
  43. Saudi Arabia
  44. Serbia
  45. Singapore
  46. Slovakia
  47. Slovenia
  48. Spain
  49. Sweden
  50. Switzerland
  51. Turkey
  52. Vatican

E-visa validity period and number of entries
E-visa application may be submitted online on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The processing time will be no more than 4 calendar days from the date of application.
Application for a visa in person via embassy or consulate will also be possible.

How much will it cost?
The visa will cost about $50 for adults and will be free for children aged 6 and under.

What about multiple-entry visas?
No official information on this regard is available at the moment.

Stay tuned as more information about the new system is expected to be announced. Please check visa requirements closer to the 2021 launch date.

We are happy to announce that 90% of our trips meet the 16-days staying requirement of Russian electronic visa. Discovering Russia with RussiaDiscovery is getting easier!