Everything you need to know about Russia
All foreign nationals including citizens
of the United Kingdom need a visa to visit Russia. In usual cases, it will take
nearly 20 business days to process the visa applications.
To obtain Russian
visas, the UK citizen should also complete a biometric process (scanning
fingerprints), and this step can be completed by visiting a visa application center
located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Note: Biometric finger printing process is
applicable to citizens of all foreign nationals. However, children under 12
years are exempt from the biometric process. Biometric data is not required for
foreign nationals who visit the country for diplomatic and official purposes.
UK citizens who wish to visit Russia can
either transit through air or by cruise ships. If the traveler is transiting
through cruise ships with the help of officially licensed companies, then passengers
can stay in Russia for 72 hours without a visa. Please find below the cities where
foreign nationals can visit by reaching Russia through cruise ships.
Note: If the foreign national is planning
to continue the journey by air after reaching the country via cruise, he or she
needs an exit visa to leave the country.
Types of Russian visa
As per the requirements of the traveler,
Russian authorities used to issue various types of visas to foreign nationals.
Some of the most common types of Russian visas are mentioned below.
Highly skilled migrant
Russia Tourist visa
If a foreign national is wishing to enter
the country for tourism purposes, then he or she should apply for a Russia
tourist visa. Using a tourist visa, the foreign national can also participate
in exhibitions, auctions, medical consultations and surveys.
traveler is not permitted to engage in any kinds of business activities after
entering the country using a tourist visa.
In usual cases, Russia tourist visas will
be valid for 30 days, and can be issued for both single and double entry. It
should be noted that date of the validity of the visa will correspond with the dates
of your legal invitation.
However, in some cases, the consulate will decide the
validity of visa after thoroughly reviewing the request of the foreign
If the foreign national intends to extend
the stay in Russia, he or she should try for an extension of the visa before it
expires. It should be noted that overstaying in Russia without proper documents
will result in serious legal consequences and the foreign national will be
compelled to face strict actions like deportation, fine, court hearings, and
ban from entering the country again.
Please find below the requirements to
obtain a Russia tourist visa;
foreign national should submit his or her passport, and it should have six
months validity along with two blank pages. If you are a UK citizen who
holds British passport issued since January 2017, you should make sure
that you have signed your passport before the date of travel. There are
several instances where British nationals were denied entry to Russia just
because they did not sign their new passports.
applicant should submit a photograph and it should be taken within the
last three months. The foreign national should make sure that the
photograph is taken against a white background, and printed on a
top-quality paper. The applicant should display a neutral expression in
the photograph, and it should provide the full-frontal view.
is necessary to provide tourist voucher and confirmation to obtain a
Russia tourist visa. The tourist voucher should be signed and stamped by
an authorized official from the Russian foreign ministry.
tourist voucher should also carry the dates of entry and exit, and it
should be the same as the one mentioned in the visa application form.
visa application form should be completed properly, and the applicant
should make sure that there are no errors in it. If you find it difficult
to complete the visa application form correctly, you can always avail the service
of entrusted agencies like Visa Genie. Our professional team will help you
in each steps of visa application, and it will help you to obtain the tourist
visa to Russia without any hassles.
you are unemployed or a self-employed applicant, you should make sure that
you have sufficient balance in your bank account to support you financially
during the Russian visit. In order to prove your financial stability, the UK
citizen should submit his or her last three months bank statement, and it
should show a minimum credit balance of £100.00 for every day of stay in
Russia. Please note that several visa application forms were rejected just
because the applicant did not produce the bank statement to prove his financial
Russian tourist visa for children
If your child is below 18 years, and if
they are sharing your passport while traveling to Russia, there is no need to
obtain a visa for the child. However, if the child’s name is not mentioned in
the passport of their parents, then application should be submitted to obtain a
new visa for the child.
While applying for a child visa, Russian
embassy officials may ask for an authorization if the minor is traveling to the
country with only one parent or alone. If this happens, authorization from
parents should be submitted, and it should be signed in front of the notary.
The importance of signing immigration cards
while visiting Russia
All foreign nationals should sign an immigration
card every time you visit Russia. The immigration card will be given to you at
the passport control. This immigration card has two identical parts, and the
traveler is required to sign both these parts.
One part of this immigration
card will be retained by the authorities, and the remaining part should be kept
safe by the foreign national. Once the foreign national leaves Russia, he or
she should submit this at the passport control.
Special note: It is highly necessary to keep
your immigration card safe while traveling across Russia. Most of the hotels
and tourist houses in Russia will not give rooms to guests who approach them
without an immigration cards citing security reasons.
Special instruction for repeat visitors:
Some UK citizens might have been issued with three Russian tourist visas within
the previous 12 months. These people should submit a personal statement and it
should detail the purpose of these frequent visits.
This letter should justify
the reason for the new visa issuance, and should make sure that the applicant
is signing this statement.
Russia business visa
Business visas are issued to foreign
nationals who wish to enter the country for business-related activities. In
usual cases, business visas will be valid for three months, and it will offer
both single entry and double entry privilege as per the needs of the foreign
In certain cases, after analyzing the requirements of the traveler,
business visas will be issued for twelve months, and the foreign national can
enter Russia multiple times during this time period.
Requirements to obtain a business visa
The foreign national should submit the
below-mentioned documents to obtain a business visa.
foreign national’s actual passport with two blank pages. If the applicant
needs a multiple entry visa, his passport should have two facing blank
applicant should submit his or her photograph along with the completed
visa application form.
copy of Russian invitation should be submitted. It should be noted that
this letter of invitation must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs or by any regional representatives.
should be noted that the letter of invitation should contain the name of
the applicant, purpose of travel, dates of entry and departure along with
other mandatory details.
invitation letter should also bear the signature of the official who is
authorized to invite foreigners to Russia.
Special note: Russian authorities will
deny entry of foreign nationals who reach the country with a valid visa in an
expired passport. To avoid these hassles, the traveler should transfer his or her
visa from cancelled passport to a new one before starting the journey.
Russia work visa
Work visas are issued to foreign nationals
who intend to enter Russia for employment. The validity of work visas will
range from as low as 90 days to as long as three years. Single and double entry
are available for 90 days visa, while visas above this validity period offer
multiple entry privilege.
Apart from providing the basic
documentation requirements like passport, photograph, and the visa application form,
the foreign national should also submit a business introduction letter from the
UK employer, and an invitation letter from the Russian entity. It should be
noted that the letter of invitation should be either approved by the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs or by its regional representatives.
Special note: To obtain a work visa, the
foreign national should also submit a medical certificate taken within three
months of the date of submission of the application. People who apply for work
visas should also hold a negative HIV certificate.
If you already have a valid visa, you
should initially cancel it before applying for a new work visa.
If a foreign national wish to visit their relatives
or friends living in Russia, they can apply for a private visa. In order to
obtain a private visa, the foreign national should submit the below-mentioned documents.
with sufficient validity and blank pages.
color photograph taken within the last three months.
letter of invitation approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in
applicant should submit his bank statements to prove his or her financial
visa application form should be filled correctly. Sometimes, people may find
it difficult to fill the visa application form, and to overcome this
issue, you can seek the help of agencies like Visa Genie.
Note: All documents and supporting
documents should be in English or Russian language only. If you have answered
NO for questions about previous employment and educational institutions, it is
necessary to submit a signed covering letter confirming the same along with
your visa application form.
Russia student visa
Students who have confirmed their
admission in Russian educational institutions can apply for a student visa. It
should be noted that students who reach Russia for short term courses should
also apply for this visa to enter the country.
In order to obtain a Russia student visa,
the applicant should submit his or her passport, visa application form and a
photograph. The foreign national should also provide an original invitation
issued by General Directorate for Migration for the Ministry of Internal
Affairs in Russia. While applying for a student visa, the applicant should also
submit a negative HIV certificate.
For both single and multiple entry visas,
the foreign national should keep the immigration card safe until he or she exits
Russia. In case of loss or damage of the immigration card, the foreign national
should contact the local authorities quickly and should apply for a duplicate
Russia transit visa
UK citizens are visa exempt if they are staying
in Russia for a period for 24 hours. Even though visa exempt, a British citizen
should meet the below-mentioned criteria while staying in the country during
this time period.
valid passport with one blank page.
foreign national should stay within the transit area of the airport.
UK citizen should continue the journey in the same airline without
changing the terminal.
traveler should be transiting any where other than to and from Belarus or
foreign national should have sufficient funds, and should hold all
documents to reach the next destination.
If the foreign national is staying in
Russia for more than 24-hours during the transit, he or she should obtain a
transit visa, and should submit all the documents including passport, visa
application form, photographs, proof of travel arrangements, and proof of
Humanitarian visas are issued to foreign
nationals who visit Russia for various cultural purposes and for events related
to sports, science and religion. The validity of a humanitarian visa ranges
from three months to one year, and it offers single entry, double entry and
multiple entry privilege for the travelers as per his or her needs.
To obtain a humanitarian visa, the foreign
traveler should submit various documents that includes a six-month valid
passport with two blank pages, recently taken photograph and a visa application
Apart from these usual documents, the traveler should also submit an
invitation letter issued by the General Directorate for Migration for the
Ministry of Internal Affairs in Russia. It is also necessary to submit an
introductory letter from the applicant’s UK employer.
Note: The invitation letter should contain
the official seal and legal address of the host institution, and it should also
have all the trip details of the foreign traveler that includes entry dates and
exit dates, purpose of travel etc.
If the foreign applicant is self-employed,
he or she should provide three months bank statement. It should be noted that
the bank statement of the applicant should show a current balance of a minimum
of £100 per day for the duration of the visit.
Russian Highly Skilled Migrant Visa
If a foreign national intends to work as a
highly skilled specialist in Russia, he or she should apply for a highly
skilled migrant visa. Unlike other visas, application form for this visa should
be filled in Russian language. In the application form, the foreign national
should fill the details mentioned below.
visa applicant should fill his or her passport details in Russian.
or she should detail information that affirms skills in a particular area.
the applicant has expert knowledge or qualification in any particular area,
he or she should mention that in the visa application form.
Note: The foreign national should
understand that highly skilled migrant visa and work visa are entirely
different from each other.