Russia Visa Application - Requirements,Cost,Processing Time & Interview Tips


To travel to Russia you need to get a Russia visa. Getting a Russia visa is an easy process,all you need to do is to provide all the necessary requirement needed for the visa processing. So in this post you will get to  know the necessary Russia visa requirements and the application process.

 

This post is to answer frequently asked questions such as

How to apply for a Russia visa

Requirements to apply for Russia visa

Cost of a Russia visa

Duration to process a Russia visa

Russia visa interview tips

 

People that need a Russian visa to visit Russia
In all cases, a visa will be required to study and visit the Russian Federation.

Documents required to apply for a Russia visa

Documents to apply for a Russia tourist Visa:
To get a Tourist Visa to Russia you should submit the following paperwork to the Consulate:
- Current passport which should be valid for a minimum of six months after visa's expiration date and has at least 2 blank pages.
- Visa application form filled in.
- One recent passport size photo glued to the indicated space on the application form.
- A 'Tourist voucher' and a 'Tourist confirmation' document stamped and signed by authorized person. They can be obtained through your hotel or an approved travel agent who deals with trips to Russia, and should be valid for the entire duration of your trip. The stamp and all details should be clearly readable.
- Tourists on board large cruise Ships have the right to stay in the Russian Federation without a visa for up to 72 hours. They have the right to leave the ship and come back on board the ship only as part of an organized tourist group Tourists who wish to leave the ship on their own or in a group of less than 5 tourists must have a visa.
- Tourists who are self-employed, company directors, working from home or unemployed need to provide bank statements for the last three months which have a current balance of a minimum of 100 Pounds per day for the duration of the visit. Please note that if you wish to provide online banking printouts please make sure they will be certified and stamped by your bank.
- Applicants going for auto tourism should enclose the Registration Certificate of the vehicle they intend to travel by and covering letter mentioning the details of the journey, itinerary and names of the accompanying travelers.

Documents to apply for a Russian private Visa:
- Current passport which should be valid for a minimum of six months after visa's expiration date and has at least 2 blank pages.
- Visa application form filled in.
- One recent passport size photo glued to the indicated space on the application form.
- The original invitation only issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry or its regional representatives or by an appropriate Russian Federation Migration Service branch.
- In case of a visit to the Russian Federation for urgent medical reasons, for urgent treatment, or to visit a seriously ill or a deceased relative, an applicant should present a certificate issued by a medical institution or a death certificate and a document proving the kindred between the applicant and the ill or deceased relative. Passport's validity of the applicant should exceed the visa expiry date.

Documents to apply for a Russia business Visa:
A business visa is required in case you wish to enter Russia on business, to work or study in Russia. The following documents should be submitted to the Consulate:
- Current passport which should be valid for a minimum of six months after visa's expiration date and has at least 2 blank pages.
- Visa application form filled.
- One recent passport size photo glued to the indicated space on the application form.
- Invitation (Приглашение) issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry or its regional representatives or by an appropriate Russian Federation Migration Service branch. The invitation must contain: official seal and legal address of the host institution, document registration number, date of registration, signature and name of the official authorized to invite foreigners to Russia, travel itinerary, dates of stay, names of persons invited. For a multiple entry visa you are required to submit the original invitation; for single and double entry visas copies of invitations in particular cases may be accepted, though the Embassy's immigration officer may ask you to present the original invitation.
- Introductory letter from your company (or from yourself if you are self-employed) giving full details of the traveller, destinations, terms and purpose of the visit.
- Self-employed applicants must show copies of their bank statements for the last three months.
- Applicants who are self-employed, company directors, working from home or unemployed need to provide bank statements for the last three months which have a current balance of a minimum of £100 per day for the duration of the visit. Please note that if you wish to provide online banking printouts please make sure they will be certified and stamped by your bank.

Documents to apply for a Russia transit visa
If you are going to transit via Russia to any other country you need a Transit Visa. However, a Transit Visa is not required if you remain in the transit zone of the airport in order to catch an onward or connecting flight within 24 hours of arrival. Transit visas are normally valid for maximum of 3 days. In order to apply for a Transit visa you will require:
- Current passport which should be valid for a minimum of six months after visa's expiration date and has at least 2 blank pages.
- Visa application form filled in.
- One recent passport size photo glued to the indicated space on the application form.
- Both the original and a photocopy of your confirmed air ticket to and from Russia.
- A valid visa (if required by that country) to the country you want to enter after leaving Russia.

What to know before applying for a Russia visa

1) When planning your trip, do not make the mistake of thinking your travel agent or the airline will be able to tell you if you need a visa. Make sure you find out for yourself. You can find out if you need a visa by going to the U.S. State Department website: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html, there is a lot of terrific information to be found here including notes for Americans on safety and security overseas.

2) Make sure your passport has at least 4-6 blank pages, your visa won't need that many but many of the consulates require at least two blank pages; this is an easy excuse for them to give you a hard time. If you need more pages they're easy to get through the National passport processing office. You can find information the process on the State Department's website.

3) Make sure your passport isn't going to expire for a while. The passport's expiration date must be greater than six months from the date of entry for the visa you are applying for. If your passport does not meet the requirements, you must renew your passport.

4) Your visa application. This is where you really need the assistance of a good travel visa service. You'll find that many of the visa applications are quite confusing. There are language usage differences that may have you scratching your head. If you are not sure, ask, do not guess, errors on forms can be costly.

5) Passport photographs. This is one I had a particularly difficult time getting my boss to do. Go to your post office or perhaps you have a drug store or photo processing store that takes passport photographs, get them, and if you are traveling a lot get a lot of extra photos. Most often you are required to submit two passport photographs with your visa application. You may get away with only providing one, you may get away with submitting a digital you took and printed on photo paper. It's not worth the risk. Get the extra photos.

6) Include your travel itinerary. Most applications require you include your travel plans as proof of entrance and exit dates. This would be the itinerary you get with your tickets or from the airline/travel agent.

7) Make sure you make copies of everything you send the consulate or visa travel service. This doesn't include your passport of course, but it's a good idea to make a copy of the first page in your passport just for your records. You will be sending your passport with your visa application and other paperwork.

8) Include a copy of your driver's license. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but just good policy. A lot of times a country may require this but neglect to mention or they may decide they want more identification information. This is a "Just in Case" preventative measure.

9) Do not forget the fee. If you are using a visa travel service, most likely you can simply provide your credit card number. If you are not, you will most likely have to provide a check for their fee as most of the consulates do not take credit cards.

10) A key challenge is the decision to appear at the embassy or consulate or simply overnight your application and materials to the appropriate place. In many cases, there won't be an option as the embassy or consulate is too far to travel to. If you are doing this on your own and are able, it may be prudent to go to the embassy or consulate yourself. Base your decision dependent on your time and patience level.

11) Finally, hire a travel visa service. These services are reasonable, quick and experienced. You do not save money doing it yourself and you certainly don't save hassle. Your travel visa service is there to help you with everything from completing forms to emergency turn-around times. Don't just go with any service. Investigate. I recommend Visa HQ www.visahq.com, for their experience and customer service

 

Processing time for a Russia visa
Normally visas are issued between 3 and 14 business days. 

 

Cost of a Russia visa


Russia tourist visa For single or double entry visas are: $140 for 4-10 business days processing;
$250 for 3 business days processing;

Russia business visa
For single or double entry visas are: $140 for 4-10 business days processing;
$250 for 3 business days processing;


For multiple entry visas are:
$150 for 4-10 business days processing;
$450 for 3 business days processing;

Russia transit visa
For single or double entry visas are: $140 for 4-10 business days processing;
$250 for 3 business days processing;

Russia home stay visa
For single entry or double entry visas are: $140 for 4-10 business days processing;
$250 for 3 business days processing;

Validity of a Russia visa
Russia tourist visa - Single entry, valid for up to 1 month (30 days)
- Double entry, valid for up to 1 month (30 days)


Russia business visa
(Business visa is required in case you wish to enter Russia for business purposes)
- Single entry, valid for up to 3 months
- Double entry, valid for up to 3 months
- Multiple entries, valid for 1 year


Russia working visa
(Work visa is required in case you wish to enter Russia for employment)
- Single entry, valid for up to 3 months
- Double entry, valid for up to 3 months
- Multiple entries, valid for up to 3 years


Russia humanitarian visa 
(Humanitarian visa is required in case you wish to enter Russia for cultural purposes, science, sports, religion etc)
- Single entry, valid for up to 3 months
- Double entry, valid for up to 3 months
- Multiple entries, valid for 1 year


Russia student visa
(Student visa is required in case you wish to enter Russia to study in any Russian University or attend short term courses)
- Single entry, valid for up to 3 months
- Double entry, valid for up to 3 months


Russia private visa
Valid for up to 3months, based only on private invitation from relatives / friends in Russia .


Russia transit visa
A Transit Visa is not required if you remain in the transit zone of the airport in order to catch an onward or connecting flight within 24 hours of arrival. Transit visas are normally valid for maximum of 3 days if travelling by air and 10 days if travelling by road.

Russia visa interview tips

 

1. Prepare a “grab bag” of documents frequently requested

Get a clearbook to hold all the documents that embassies usually require and make at least five copies of each of these documents. Usually, the embassy will need to look at the original copy for verification purposes and then just keep a photocopy. Make sure that your photocopies are clear. It will save you the trouble of having to photocopy another clearer copy while at the embassy

Documents to include in this clear book are:

·         Birth certificate (must be certified by the National Statistics Office)

·         Marriage certificate* (if annulled, you will probably need a copy of your Marriage Certificate annotated by the NSO certifying that the marriage was declared null and void.

·         Latest Income Tax Return

·         For business owners, include business permits, business license and (audited) financial statements

·         Photocopies of previous visas you have been issued

·         ID pictures: Different embassies will have different size requirements, so when you have your picture taken, have the picture reproduced in different size dimensions. I suggest you get one picture taken in the standard 2x2 white background and one in the US visa size and Schengen size. (Note that for all visa requirements, both ears must be shown and women should not be wearing earrings.)

·         Proof of income and ownership such as land titles and or car registration documents

Keep all your old passports with other visa stamps as reference. It may not fit in the clear book, but it should be made part of your visa app “grab bag.

2. Keep a list of the countries you’ve visited

Update the list of countries you've visited the way you would update your CV. Many embassies require you to list the countries you have visited within a certain number of years. Some embassies will specify a time frame, some will not, so it is best to start from countries you have visited from 5 years back. Keep a soft copy of this list in your computer and update it each time you travel.

3. Make a checklist of the visa application requirements – and triple check that!

When applying for a Schengen visa via the Italian embassy, for example, a checklist of requirements (which you can download along with the visa application form) is mandatory in the list of documents to be presented to the visa processing center. It is not a standard requirement for all countries, but a checklist is definitely a good thing to have on hand. Make one of your own if your destination country does not require it.

Double and triple check each requirement, line by line if you have to. It will be worth the trouble because there are varying specifications for each country.

Look out for fine print like required payment mode: Is a manager’s check required? Can you pay in Philippine pesos, US dollars or Euros? Tip is to pay in US dollars so you will not be subject to currency fluctuations. Remember to check for exact amount, e.g. if it says $58, bring $58 as some embassies will not offer change.

Double check the location of the visa processing centers as their addresses on the application forms may not be updated.

4. Have a standard template for letters of introduction to consuls

Embassies may require you to prepare a letter to the consul to introduce yourself and state your reason for travel. Make a standard template for this letter of introduction, save on your “Travel Docs” folder and just fill in whenever you need to apply for a visa.

This cover letter should have:

·         Header with your name, contact details and if available, your visa application reference number

·         Reason for travel

·         Duration of stay

·         Mention of other countries you have visited

·         How you will fund your trip

·         Day by day travel itinerary as an attachment

5. Make your travel agent your travel buddy

Find a travel agent you can trust and make him or her your travel buddy. She can act as a semi-one-stop shop and help you book tickets and hotels that you won't have to pay for yet (you will want to wait till you get the visa before paying for a ticket or hotel), and facilitate travel insurance.

 

Hope this post was helpful

 

Question tags

How to apply for a Russia visa

Requirements to apply for Russia visa

Cost of a Russia visa

Duration to process a Russia visa

Russia visa interview tips

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