Many foreign nationals are required to have entry visas to travel to the Russian Federation (Russia).
Please contact a Russian Consulate in your country in advance to check if you need an entry visa. People from USA, Canada, most European countries and many countries in Asia and Africa need visa.
Russian entry visas can be obtained at local Russian Consulate or Embassy. To apply for a 'tourist' visa one needs proper 'visa support' (also know as 'invitation' or 'cover letter+voucher') from a specially authorized travel agency (host company).
Processing of visa in Consulate after you apply may take from 2 days to 2 weeks depending on country and season and sometimes on service fee.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Visa to the Russian Federation is a document, permitting stay in Russia for a specific period of time. Travel agency makes visa support for some exact period from date to date. You apply for visa with exactly these dates. Your visa lists exact entry/exit dates. You can enter/leave Russia on any date within visa period but overstay is a serious violation and in case of overstay leaving the country could be much more troublesome than entering it.
If one overstay he will be stopped at the passport control gates and will be delayed in Russia for some paperwork (formal extending of visa period) and penalty fees. This may take a week or more.
Russian Consulate also can issue a long multi-entry visa instead of short term one-entry even if one applies with short term invitation. Normally Consulates do this for those people who travel much.
Russian Migration regulation for tourist visa demands that full period of stay is reserved in a hotel/hostel and paid. There must be exact route (cities) and names of hotels in the invitation and information that the reservation is paid. Formally an agency can not make visa support for a period longer than the real service. There will be no any route information on the visa itself then and you can travel in Russia everywhere without restrictions or obligations but for visa obtaining procedure this is important.
We can send visa support for more days than a period of our real service but for not more than 20 nights. If you need longer period please make real reservations in hotels and or address a visa company to purchase proper kind of visa. A sample of visa company: www.visatorussia.com
Requirements for foreign citizens to enter Russia (tourist visa)
- Passport: must be valid 6 months beyond intended stay
- Russian Visa: required
- Vaccination: not required
Requirements for obtaining Russian tourist visa in a Russian Consulate.
- Your original passport with at least 2 blank visa-designated pages (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia).
- Two copies of Russian visa application form (Consulate's Questionnaire), completed and signed.
- One passport-size photo signed on the back.
- Visa support (invitation) from host company or directly from a hotel. ('Voucher' and 'Confirmation' forms)
- Consular fee (different in different countries) must be paid.
We send you visa support (invitation) page.
We will send it as email attachment. That is a page with two forms: "Voucher" and "Confirmation of Hosting". You have to print it out and pass to the Consulate along with other necessary items. There will be some comments sent with visa support. Those comments will help you to fill out the Consulate application form (questionnaire). If you are going to apply for visa not in the country of your citizenship, let us know that country. Some Consulates have their own demands for the visa support edition.
Consulates in some countries require the original page of visa support. This does not depend on nationality of the applicant but only on the place when he applies for visa. We can send visa support page by ordinary post (free but takes much time for delivery) or dispatch it by a courier service such as DHL or FedEx or other. Courier service is fast but costs some money (50-100 USD) depending on the country for delivery.
When you come to Russia you have to complete the 'migration
card'. This is a piece of paper (a form) to fill out and show at Passport
Control gates. Should be offered either at aircraft by stewardess
before landing or is available on the tables before Passport Control
gates. Keep the card in a safe place - this is an
important and essential part of your visa, you will need it
when you fly back.
All Russian Visas should be registered upon arrival to the Russian Federation.
According to Russian law, your Russian visa must be registered within 7 business days upon your arrival. Registration may be made by ANY hotel where you stay. Normally that is hotel duty although many of them do not make registration without special request in order to avoid some extra paperwork and taxes. That is why clearly request registration when you come to hotel. Moreover it may be reasonable to ask if they make registration or not before you take/reserve a room. A small registration fee may be imposed.
Not registering your Russian visa may lead to serious problems. You may be stopped by police, fined, be made non-eligible to get a Russian visa in the future, may be stopped at passport control gates when you depart and miss your flight because of penalty procedures. We strongly advise you to register your Russian visa to avoid possible consequences. It is also very important to register in time.
We make registration in our hotel when you come but you should come not later than within 6 days leaving one day for the registration procedure.
Registration is local procedure. We can not register you distantly. We should meet you in our hotel.
Registration must be made by your local host. If you stay at a hotel, the hotel must register your visa. You will be asked of your visa and passport at the reception desk. A small registration fee may be imposed. Always ask hotel about registration paper. Although registration is their duty their staff may be lazy or untidy especially in hostels.
POSSIBLE DIFFICULTIES WITH OBTAINING VISA
The main feature of tourist visa which brings problem is: Consulates demand that EVERY day of your stay in Russia must be reserved in a hotel/hostel and paid beforehand. One must be ready to prove that if the Consulate asks.
If you reserve (and pay) 30 days in a Moscow hotel and have a voucher from the hotel for 30 day stay - there will be absolutely NO problems with 30 day Russian visa. Problems occur if you have actual reservations for 10 days but wish to have visa period for 20-30 days.
Tourist agency MUST mention the names of hotels where you stay and MUST confirm that you reserved all the days and paid for this reservation. There are exact strings about this in the visa support and Consulates do not accept any other edition. The agency can tell untruth and confirm the longer stay with false hotel reservation but Consulate can check this. Consulate can ask for direct documents from hotels or simply call them. If you can not prove the reservation your visa application will be rejected and tourist agency may have troubles with authorities because of false visa support.
Normally the visa support (invitation) is sufficient document for obtaining visa but Consulate can ask additional papers:
- Direct confirmation of reservation from hotel.
- International and local airtickets which confirm the itinerary.
Consulates normally accept short visa periods (for 10-15 days) without any questions. Longer stay causes more attention and they can ask for additional documents or information. After 20 nights chances to be checked are high. Ask for shorter visa period. Than shorter the period than easier the visa procedure.
If you ask for our visa support we make such visa support with OUR mountain hotel for the whole period. We inform Consulate that you reserved all days in our hotel and paid for them. If Consulate checks our hotel confirms the reservation directly. No other cities/places may be mentioned because if we mention any other place we must put the name of hotel and be ready to prove the reservation if Consulate asks. On the other hand if you really have reservations somewhere we are ready to include these places/hotels in our visa support.
We do not make visa support for more than 20 nights if you have our service for only 7 nights. Longer false period is risky and we do not want problems with Federal Migration department.
If you wish to have longer period of stay or want to travel in Russia we recommend to purchase visa support from specialized visa agency. There are many offers on the Net. A sample of such agency is at the beginning of this web page.