Planning to Russia? Check out the most types of visas to Russia.
Well, Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of area. Moscow, the capital city of Russia happens to be one of the biggest cities in the world.
This is a transcontinental nation that lies within the Eastern part of Europe and the Northern part of Asia. More than 3 quarters of the population (around 77%) of Russia lives within the European part.
Known for its unique and awe-inspiring architecture, below-freezing temperatures, glorious literature, and beautiful nature the country of Russia is quite popular among tourists, lovers of history and literature, nature lovers, and photographers.
This nation is also famous for its top-class academic studies, research, and teaching and training. Russia is home to some of the top-ranked universities in the world including the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The number of international students drawn to this amazing nation continues to grow year after year.
Why Choose Russia
Like any other country in the world, you require a visa to travel to this amazing nation. The visa policy of this country is quite strict. There are a few countries in the world that comes under the Russian visa-free regime which means you can travel to Russia without a visa if you belong to one of those nations.
However, if you are from a country that does not fall into Russia’s visa-free category you require a visa to travel to this country.
Visa-free entry to this country for a maximum of 72 hours is also permitted to ferry passengers and cruise ships through specific ports. A transit visa is not mandatory for international travellers transiting through several airports in Russia. Diplomatic visa holders of specific nations are also exempted from the requirement of a visa to travel to this country.
Types Of Visas To Russia You Can Avail
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular types of visas to Russia.
The validity of visas is for a fixed period which mostly depends on the invitation received or the duration of travel/stay/work/course of study. Depending on the requirements of the applicant the authorities could grant the person a single-entry/ double-entry/ multiple-entry visa. The different types of visas to Russia are broadly classified into three.
- Ordinary Visas to Russia
- Diplomatic Visa to Russia
- Service Visa to Russia
Depending on the number of times you intend to enter the country you’ll be granted a:
- Single-entry visa
- Double-entry visa
- Multiple-entry visa
Types Of Visas To Russia – Ordinary Visas
The following are some of the ordinary visas, one of the sought after types of visas to Russia.
Private Visa/ Visitor’s Visa
The Visitor’s Visa/ Private Visas are issued to foreign nationals who intend to visit their relatives/friends in Russia.
- Validity could be anywhere between 1 to 3 months
- One-time entry
- You must have a certificate of a personal invitation to apply from a Russian resident
- This certificate should be issued by the Department of Passport and Visa Services (Ministry of Internal Affairs)
- A minimum of 45 days and a maximum of 90 days to get this visa
- You’ll receive the original visa through mail
Business Visa To Russia
Foreigners who intend to travel to Russia for business require a business visa to do so. This visa may be used for the following purposes.
- For business
- Meetings with business partners
- For signing a contract
- For conducting negotiations
However, you cannot use this visa to be officially employed in Russia.
- Business visa invitations are processed by authorized persons from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Russia
- This visa may be a single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry visa depending on the applicant’s requirement
- The Single-entry visa and double entry visa may be valid for 1 month or up to 3 months
- The Multiple-entry visa could be valid for 3 months, 6 months, or up to 12 months
- Business visas may also be used for a purpose other than business
- This visa would be suitable if you have to be in Russia one or more times for a specific period
Tourist Visa To Russia
Foreigners who wish to travel to Russia as a tourist require a tourist visa to do so. Obviously, this is one of the most popular types of visas to Russia.
- This is the most popular of all types of visas to Russia
- This is the cheapest visa and also the easiest one to get
- The visa will be issued only if you have an invitation letter from a legal tour operator in Russia.
- The tour operator must be registered under the Department of Consular Services (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russia)
- You also need to produce proof of confirmed accommodation
- The maximum time allowed under this visa is 30 days
- This visa permits either a single-entry and exit or double-entry and exit
- You cannot extend tourist visas to Russia
Student Visa To Russia
International students who wish to pursue a degree or diploma in Russia require a student visa to do so.
- To apply for this visa you require a letter of invitation from an authorized University/college/school in Russia
- This is a single-entry visa
- The duration of the visa will be based on the duration of the particular course you’ve chosen
Work Visa To Russia
Foreigners who wish to move to Russia for employment for a certain period require a work visa to do so.
- This visa is quite complex and the most expensive of all visas
- This is mandatory for all foreign nationals who wish to be employed permanently in Russia
- There are mainly two types of work visas: Single-entry visa and multiple-entry visa
- The Single-Entry visa issued by the Russian consulate and is valid for a maximum of 90 days
- You require a Work Visa Invitation to apply for a Single-Entry visa
- The Multiple Entry visa is issued based on your Single-Entry visa
- The maximum validity of this visa will be 1 year
- This visa is issued by the Russian Migration Police local office
- A new type of work visa to Russia was introduced in 2010: Work Visa for Highly Qualified Specialists
- This visa is valid for a maximum of 3 years
- However, the salary of these specialists in Russia should be above 2 million rubles per annum
- A work visa may be issued in 100 days (As a rule)
- The average cost of a work visa will be around 80000 ruble
- You can extend your work visa while still in Russia
- You can get it by producing your legal work permit for the new term at the local office of the Migration police
Russian Humanitarian Visas are granted to foreign nationals who intend to travel to Russia for specific reasons including the following.
- Cultural event
- Political event
- Sports meet
- Scientific event
- Charitable activities
- Religious events and communication
- Humanitarian causes
- Delivering aid
Transit Visa To Russia
Foreigners who wish to transit through Russia to reach their desired destination require a Transit visa to do so. You do not require a transit visa in case your layover is less than 24 hours and you stay within the premises of the international airport.
- For travelers who are traveling through Russia to another country
- The visa is valid for a maximum of 72 hours
- This can be a single-entry/double-entry visa
- This is a low-cost visa that’s quite easy to get
- Will be issued by the Consulate on presenting valid travel documents
Visa For Cruise Passengers
Passengers on a cruise ship are entitled to a visa-waiver scheme if their stop in one of the ports in Russia does not exceed 72 hours. Their overnight stay should be on the cruise ship.
Cruise ship passengers do not require a visa to disembark their ship if they are a part of a tour group organized by a legal tour company. I case the foreign national is not a part of such a tour group she/he will need to get a Russian tourist visa beforehand from their native country/ country of residence. You won’t be issued a visa in Russia.
Types Of Visas To Russia – e-Visas
Russia e-Visas are issued to foreign nationals belonging to specific nations. The nations are:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
People from these nations can only visit the Russian Far East regions using this visa. The validity of this visa is for 7 days.
Foreign nationals whose visa expires before leaving Russia must apply for a Russia Exit Visa. Only then will they be permitted to leave the country. An exit visa is granted in the following situations.
- You’ve lost your passport
- Your visa has expired
To get this visa you need to approach your native country’s embassy in Russia. The maximum time taken to obtain this visa is 20 days.
Types Of Visas To Russia – Diplomatic Visa
A Diplomatic Visa is issued to foreign nationals who hold a diplomatic passport. This includes the following.
- Heads of the Nation
- Heads of the government
- Heads of the State
- Official delegates
Types Of Visas To Russia – Service Visa To Russia
The Service Visa to Russia is issued to those foreign nationals who hold a special/ official/consular/ passport. This visa is issued to:
- Personnel of diplomatic missions (technical/service/administrative)
- Members belonging to official delegations
Given below are some of the general steps that you need to follow while applying for a visa to Russia.
- Obtain an Invitation
- Apply in person at the Russian Visa Processing Centre/ Russian Consulate in your country
- Duly fill and submit your visa application online
- Attach all the necessary supporting documents
- Pay the requires visa fee
- Register your Visa within 7 days of arriving in Russia
- Get Your Immigration Card (If migrating to Russia)
The following are some of the documents that are required while applying for a visa to Russia.
- A valid passport
- Application form for the specific visa
- Proof of residence (When you are not applying from your native country)
- Recent photographs
- Invitation letter (Visa Support)
- Proof of financial stability (A valid bank statement)
- Medical/health certificates
- Health insurance
- Employer’s letter
- Copies of return tickets
On average a minimum of 10 days is required to process visa applications to Russia. However, the processing time could be anywhere between 7 to 20 working days. In case you are in a hurry to get a visa you can choose to apply for expedited processing and you’ll get your visa within 3 working days.
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