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Applying for a Russian Visa

When obtaining a Russian visa, you may either apply yourself directly to the Consulate, or apply through Real Russia's professional visa services.

What is the Real Russia Visa Service?

Applying for a Russian visa with Real Russia is easy, we do all the hard work for you, raising the necessary visa support documents, completing the appropriate forms and managing your application directly and in person with the Consulate on your behalf and finally, delivering your visa to you when it is ready.

What do I have to do?

  • When you select the service you want for either a Tourist Visa or Business Visa, we will ask you to fill in a simple online form with details about yourself, your trip and finally you will have the option to pay using your credit or debit card through our secure servers.
  • We will then email, fax or post (depending on your preference) your visa application form to you.
  • You sign the visa application form and send this, along with your passport and a single colour passport photograph to us.

    That's it, that's all you have to do!
  • We will generate your visa support documents, complete all the necessary forms and submit your completed visa application to the Russian Consulate. During the processing of your application, we will be on hand to answer any queries the Consulate may have and to ensure that your application is dealt with in a timely and efficient manner.
  • The day your visa is ready we will collect it in person and return this to you using Royal Mail special delivery so you will have it the next business day before 1pm or hold it at our office for your collection.

When you have placed an order with us, you can follow its progress through our online order tracking system which will detail the steps taken and the steps remaining to obtain your visa. You will not be left in the dark as to what is happening!

When you are in Russia, if you need assistance, you will not be left on your own, you have the support of our partner offices in over 50 cites and major towns including Moscow and St. Petersburg who will be happy to help.

To get your visa we do not ask you to:

  • Book any other travel services with us (unless you wish to)

  • Sign a waiver or authorisation form for the Consulate (we are accredited agents)

  • Fill in your own application forms (we do it for you)

  • Pay for visa support documents / letters of invitation (its all in our price)

  • Send stamps, return envelopes or pay for application forms (its all in our price)

  • Go to the Consulate in person (we do this for you)

  • Be an expert in Russian Visa and Immigration Law (that's what we do)

We make it easy so you can concentrate on your trip, not worry about your visa.

How do I apply for a Russian Visa myself?

If you choose to apply for your visa directly, rather than obtaining either a Real Russian Tourist Visa or Business visa then you will need to consider the following information.

Visa Information

For more information on the different types of visa, visa requirements and how to apply please see our frequently asked questions section, or contact us directly. We will be happy to help.

For all Visas

  • A letter of invitation, letter of support, hotel voucher/booking and other such documents alone are no longer sufficient to enter Russia. You must apply to the Russian consulate for a visa.

  • You can usually take your visa application and the associated documents to the Consulate directly, or send it by post. Please note, some Consulates have now outsourced acceptance of documents to a Visa Application Centre, so you should apply to them (not the Consulate directly) where applicable.

  • If applying by post, please be aware that the minimum turn-around time for returning your visa is usually three weeks, the Consulates do not handle urgent requests by post, only in person. Always send your passport by a secure postal method such as Royal Mail special delivery.

  • You, or someone acting for you, must complete the visa application form however, if someone completes it for you, you must check the details are correct and sign it yourself.

  • The Russian Consulate will only issue you a visa if all the documents they require are completed correctly and submitted together. They do not provide any help in acquiring any documents you may need, or in completing the application form itself.

  • You will need to pay the necessary consular tariff for the service you require (and any service fees for the Visa Application Centre if applicable). Please note that the Consulates/Visa Application Centres generally only accepts cleared funds.

  • Certain nationals may have additional tariffs or requirements to fulfil, such as proof of insurance during their trip, so please check with the consulate/visa application centre before applying.

  • Details of the current tariffs and common rules for visa application in the UK can be found on the Russian Visa Application website. If you are applying to a Consulate outside of the UK, please check with them directly for any local rules.

  • You should be in the country where your visa application is made as in some cases the Consulate may request that you attend an interview.

  • The Russian Consulate reserves the right to vary visa processing times and charges without notice.

  • When you get your visa, please check that all details are correct, including your dates of validity as airlines and other commercial carriers are obliged by law to ensure that your visa is valid before they will transport you.

  • And finally, when you arrive in Russia, if you are staying for more than three working days, don't forget to register your visa.

Tourist Visas

The tourist visa allows for a single visit for a maximum stay of 30 days. This is the most cost effective visa for a single trip even if you are visiting friends, family or on a business trip.

If you intended to stay for more than 30 days, or want to visit more than once within a 12 month period then it may be more convenient and cost effective to consider a business visa.

Application Documents for a Tourist Visa

1. Visa application Form Visa application forms are freely available either from the Russian Consulate or a Russian Visa Application Centre.
Ensure that you fill the form in as accurately as you can and that you sign and date it. Note: The form must be printed and not hand written or the consulate will not accept it.
2. Passport You must present your original passport as the visa will be fixed inside on a blank page. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your planned date of departure from Russia and have at least one blank visa page.
3. Photograph One recent passport size photograph, stuck to the required place on the Visa Application Form.
4. Travel Voucher This is a document confirming your itinerary, hotel and travel bookings in Russia. It is issued by a licensed UK or Russian travel company. The Tourist Invitation and the Travel Voucher should carry the same reference number. If necessary then Real Russia will issue you with this document, see visa support.
4. Tourist Invitation This is an Official document issued by a company specially licensed by the Russian Ministry of internal affairs. This document details the tourist reference number given by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. Real Russia will issue you with this document if you require visa support.
5. Additional documents The above are the basic documents required for a tourist visa. Certain nationals or people applying outside of their home country may have additional documents to provide with their applications.
You can check the requirements for applying in the UK on our tourist visa page in the "What documents do I need to provide" section, or on the appropriate Russian consulate/visa application centre website.

Once you have all of the necessary documents and completed your application, you should take or send these to the Russian Consulate of your choice. Please note that some Consulates have now outsourced to a Visa Application Centre so please double check with your local Consulate.

Business and Multiple Entry Visas

There are many types of business visa that allow for a single, double or multiple visits and are valid for between one and twelve months. A business visa allows you to travel when you wish, stay where you wish and be in the country up to three months at a time (within the validity of the visa).

If you are only considering a single trip of less than 30 days within a twelve month period, it may be more cost effective to consider a tourist visa. There is a type of tourist visa called "business tourist" for people travelling to Russia for business purposes such as meetings, attending conferences, signing contracts and other general business activities. You should be staying in a hotel, know the exact dates you are going to visit Russia and may not generally request this type of visa for visits of more than 15 days.

The documents listed below are the general ones required for a business visa, other purposes of visit, such as cultural, family member, commercial driver and so on may require specific types of visa support. Please contact us for more information.

Application Documents for a Business or Multiple Entry Visa

1. Visa application Form

Visa application forms are freely available either from the Russian Consulate or a Russian Visa Application Centre.

Ensure that you fill the form in as accurately as you can and that you sign and date it. Note: The form must be printed and not hand written or the consulate will not accept it.

2. Passport

You must present your original passport as the visa will be fixed inside on a blank page. Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your planned date of departure from Russia and have at least one blank visa page.

3. Photograph

One recent passport size photograph, stuck to the required place on the Visa Application Form.

4. Business Invitation

Also known as a letter of invitation, this is an official document issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, their representative offices or the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Please note that the Russian Consulate reserves the right to request the original of this document.

5. Introductory letter

An introductory letter from your company specifying the purpose the visit, itinerary and the names of organisations to be visited.

6. HIV Certificate

If you are applying for a visa with a validity of more than 6 months with multiple entry (or certain 3 month visas), you may need to supply a current HIV certificate.

7. Additional documents

The above are the basic documents required for a business visa. Certain nationals or people applying outside of their home country may have additional documents to provide with their applications.

You can check the requirements for applying in the UK on our business visa page in the "What documents do I need to provide" section, or on the appropriate Russian consulate/visa application centre website.

Once you have all of the necessary documents and completed your application, you should take or send these to the Russian Consulate of your choice. Please note that some Consulates have now outsourced to a Visa Application Centre so please double check with your local Consulate.