Russia – once a huge part of the USSR, it is a country on its own now. Fun fact, it is the largest country in Asia, and on the planet. In this article, we will try and explain the different kinds of Russia visa, and its documents required, why you should visit, etc. Basically everything you need to know if you’re planning on visiting Russia!
Why Should I Visit Russia?
Travelling without an agenda is amazing, but sometimes we need a solid plan to keep us grounded. Russia is full of exciting places to visit, which you can visit if you get a Russia visa online!
Russia is a cultural melting-pot, with many of its prized tourist destinations being part of this category. Its most famous is possibly St. Basil’s Cathedral, a colourful, tall structure that is both beautiful and captivating. Other grandiose architectural wonders include the Moscow Kremlin, Lenin’s Mausoleum and the Bolshoi Theatre. such as the National Museum, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the State Hermitage Museum. These places are so wondrous that you feel as though you are sitting in a different time and space. Time travel feels real; Russia takes you back to the past, but reliving it in the present.
Different Types of Russia Visa
Like any other country, Russia also has a diverse range of visas. Ranging from the Russia working visa to the Russia student visa, there are many options that cater to different needs. Some are permanent whilst others are temporary and short-stay – usually, most people opt for the Russia visitor visa. This can be split into the tourist and business categories, respectively – sightseeing and visiting the country come under this. Parents of those with student visas for Russia will need to apply for a normal tourist visa (a ‘Russia parent visa’)
Both the Russia business visa and the Russia tourist visa can be split into single, double and multiple entry. These permit different frequencies of entry and exit, and are there for different purposes.
One might ask, is there a Russia e-visa? The simple answer to this is yes. However, these visas are only there for certain areas (The Far East, St Petersburg and Leningrad region, and Kaliningrad), and only for tourists. You will only be able to travel within the region for which you have the visa. The duration available to stay is also much lesser, though the e-visa is free. There are only specific air, naval and land ports where you will be allowed to enter from with this e-visa.Another problem is e-visa validity cannot be extended, and if you have problems then you need to take it up with the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Indian Embassy does not issue these, rather, they are issued by the Consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry. Therefore, it is much more advisable to go for a regular tourist visa.
You can still go through the Russia visa application online, as the application form must be filled digitally on the website and later printed out. However, you will need to complete the process in person. You can also go through a travel operator, or a visa company – such as Visa2Fly – the most ‘online’ option.
Documents Required For a Russian Tourist Visa
These are the documents required for a tourist visa to Russia. Usually, these are the only documents required, but this varies case-to-case. Some applicants may be asked for extra documents, however, it is an individual difference and not applicable to all.
- Passport – The original passport of the applicant is needed. This must have at least 2 blank visa-designated pages. It must also be valid for at least 6 months, from the departure date from Russia.
- Visa application form – You must be able to complete the visa form and sign it at the end.
- Photographs – These photographs must be passport-sized, and signed on the back. For more particulars, read below.
- Letter of Confirmation – If you are part of a tour group, or are a cruise passenger, you must submit a letter from said tour company or cruise line that displays the itinerary and particulars. You must include a copy of the confirmation from the authorized Russian travel company which shows the reference number and confirmation number for the visa.
- Hotel Arrangements – The applicant must display a confirmation of hotel arrangements that shows the reference number and confirmation number for the visa. It could be from the official travel company you are going through, or of the actual Russian hotel itself.
- Invitation Letter – You will need an invitation letter from a friend, acquaintance, relative, or establishment. The person issuing the letter could be in Russia, or be verifiable as a travel agency that is authorized to issue invitation letters. This letter includes a Tourist Voucher as well as a confirmation of arrival. It is a tourist service agreement that is made between a foreign citizen and a Russian travel company. If you have more questions about this, you may refer to our website’s fb’s (on Russia Visa page).
- Itinerary – If your travel length is more than 14 days, then a day-to-day itinerary is also required.
There are some photograph requirements for this visa. The photograph must be 3.5×4.5cm. It must also be taken no longer than 6 months prior to submitting the application. On the printed application form, you must date and sign it, and then glue this photograph to it. It should be on a light-coloured background, with a clear image of the applicant directly facing the camera.Please make sure the applicant is not wearing dark/ tinted glasses or any headgear. This comes with the exception of people who wear such headgear due to their ethnic/ religious background. Another exception is if they are seen wearing the same in their passport photo.
Documents Required For A Russian Business Visa
These are the documents you need for a Russia business visa. For more details on the Russia visa fees, stay period and validity, please check out our website at Visa2Fly.com!
- Invitation For Entry – An invitation for entry to the Russian Federation must be provided. The letter can be issued by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation; or the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. These must be originals, unless they are issued electronically – then a copy will suffice. Or, it could be a visa directive sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
- Letter of Invitation – this is a letter from the host company that is inviting you to come to Russia. Russia has some specific requirements for a letter of invitation. Your letter of invitation will have to contain information on the individual applicant, as well as the company. For the individual, their full name, date of birth, sex, citizenship, phone number and passport details must be submitted. Their duration and purpose of visit, number of entries granted by the visa must also be shown. If applicable, the names and dates of birth of minor children accompanying the person invited must also be shown. For the hosting company (who is issuing the invitation), the full name of the organization, its registered and actual addresses, its individual taxpayer identification number and state registration number must be provided. The first name, surname and designation of the person signing the invitation, along with their contact telephone number and the organization’s official seal is also necessary.
- Passport – You must submit your original passport. See that it has at least 2 blank pages for visas. It should also be valid for a period of 6 months after the visa expires. A good quality copy of the page with photo and address page must also be submitted – both these copies must be on one side of an A4 sheet.
- Application Form – The online application form must be completed. Although it is available online, you will need to print and submit it offline. This must be done at the embassy which you put down in the application form itself.
- Photographs – These photographs must be passport-sized, and signed on the back. There are some photograph requirements for this visa. The photograph must be 3.5×4.5cm. It must also be taken no longer than 6 months prior to submitting the application. On the printed application form, you must date and sign it, and then glue this photograph to it. It should be on a light-coloured background, with a clear image of the applicant directly facing the camera.Please make sure the applicant is not wearing dark/ tinted glasses or any headgear. This comes with the exception of people who wear such headgear due to their ethnic/ religious background. Another exception is if they are seen wearing the same in their passport photo.
Sometimes, you may need more documents than these mentioned above. However, those are on a case-by-case basis, and depend on the individual.
Is the Russia visa for Indians different to other kinds?
For some sporting events previously (eg. 2014 Winter Olympics), there was a facility to cross borders without a visa. However, in normal circumstances, there is no visa on arrival facility. Henceforth, the provision for a Russia visa on arrival for Indians is not available.
Russia visa application is similar for most of the countries in the world, and India is part of this. You will usually have to go through the Embassy. For India, there are 4 – Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
There is also no need to get/ show proof of vaccinations, such as the Yellow Fever Vaccine. This vaccine is common for many African countries, but not for the Russia Visa.
If applying for the Russia visa is on your mind, we at Visa2Fly are here to help! And maybe this article made you want to travel in general, and satisfy that wanderlust. If this is you, maybe you’d want to check out our blogs on The Finland Experience, or Danish Delights.