6 steps to your Russian visa application
These are the steps you need to follow for your Russian visa application:
- Make sure your passport is ready
- Find out what type of visa you need
- Get an invitation (visa support letter)
- Get your declaration of health insurance
- Fill in the visa application form
- Apply for your visa!
Taking a trip to Russia can be a glorious experience if planned correctly. However, you will need a Russian visa. There are steps to follow when applying, that can ensure an enjoyable experience. Whether you have a set itinerary or want to see Russia on your own, planning from the very beginning will make your trip hassle-free.
What are the passport requirements for a Russian visa?
Make sure your passport is up to date. Your passport must be valid for six months after the visa expires, there must be two blank pages in the passport as well.
What type of visa do you need for your trip?
- This type of Visa is the quickest and cheapest visa available and most widely used. If you plan a stay of a month or longer, this one is for you. Follow this link for more info!
- You work for a contractor or got a job offer in Russia? Then you will need a work visa. This paperwork is usually arranged by the company in advance.Follow this link for more info!
- Are you planning a business trip to Russia? Then you will need this visa. Be aware that you might also use a tourist visa for short business trips!Follow this link for more info!
- If you are studying at a university or institution in Russia, this is the visa you will need. Follow this link for more info!
- If you are organising a sports event or cooperate with a humanitarian organisation, this is the visa you need.Follow this link for more info!
- This visa is designed for layovers or making short stops. Follow this link for more info!
- This visa is for private visits to Russia, by invitation from one of its citizens. These can be expensive though. Follow this link for more info!
Order the right invitation (visa support letter)
The visa invitation for your trip to Russia is one of the most important of all the documents you will need. There are two parts to the document. The voucher and confirmation, the voucher depends on the type of visa you applied for and is valid for 30 days. The reference number will be issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia.
The visa support letter needs to be issued by a Russian citizen, institution, hotel, or business that has invited you to visit. Most convenient way to apply for a visa support letter is to do it online! You will receive your invitation within just a few minutes
Ask your health insurance for a declaration of coverage
You will need a declaration of health insurance coverage from your insurance company. Make sure your certificate covers the entire territory of the Russian Federation. It must also include repatriation for all medical expenses.
Your health insurance company doesn’t cover Russia?
In case your health insurance company does not cover Russia, you can always get an insurance, just for the time you will be spending there. There are plenty of companies that issue policies online. Be sure to ask the right questions and check the coverage details.
How to fill in the Russian visa form
Fill out all the fields on the application form. You can also save the form and continue later, if needed. The form is straightforward, with slots for a name, address and date of birth for example. Use capital letters with no extraneous marks or squiggly lines. Don’t forget to specify your route your traveling It is ver important that it matches your visa Invitation itinerary exactly.
Important points of attention
- Make sure the information you enter matches exactly the information from the invitation (visa support letter). The number of entries into and out of the country, dates should all match.
- One of the last questions will be where to apply for Your VISA, refer to this list for a Visa Center or Russian Embassy near you.
- When you are satisfied that all information is correct, download the form in .pdf format. Print it out, sign and put the date you completed the application. You must attach an original passport size photo. NO Copies. The photo must be recent, colored with no headgear at all. Just follow the same guidelines as for your passport photo and it should all be alright!
Then finally, hand in your visa application form
By far the easiest way to apply for a visa is at a visa centre, a courier service can be used to deliver documents if you don’t have time to travel to the consulate. However you do it, applying to a consulate must be done in person. Once you have applied and all the documentation is in place, it will take about 10 working days to get your visa.
Where and how to apply for the visa?
Consulate of the Russian Federation
The advantage of going to the consulate directly is saving a little money. The Consulate will have up to date information on all visa rules. The problem, you have to apply in person. Also, you shouldn’t expect support there for filling out the forms correctly, because the consulate won’t consult on how to go through the steps. You need to figure it out all by yourself.
Travel agency or visa service
The second and most convenient option is by travel agency. The agency or visa service will fill in the forms and then deliver them to the Russian consulate. This is the best option if you want to be sure that your forms are filled out correctly. You also won’t get a headache over the bureaucracy of going through all these steps yourself!
To recap, here is exactly what you need for your visa:
- Visa application, filled out completely.
- Original passport.
- Invitation to Russia (visa support)
- Travel insurance for the full term of your trip
Enjoy your trip to Russia, there are wondrous sites to see!