In order to travel to Russia, EU citizens require a visa. The visa must be obtained before departure either at the Russian embassy, consulate or a visa application centre in the country of your residence. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for your Russian visa.
1. Determine visa type
First things first, you need to check for which visa you need to apply for. There are 7 different types of Russian visas and each one comes with a different set of requirements. It is, therefore, an imperative to determine your required visa type before applying. In most cases, tourist or business visa is required. We are providing an overview of all different visa types and trip types in our FAQ which you can check for further explanations.
2. Get an invitation
One of the mandatory documents for the Russian visa application is the letter of invitation. Depending on the visa type you are applying for, you will either need to get this invitation from a tourist agency, business partner, university, employer, etc.
(See also: What is a tourist invitation? Do you need it?)
3. Collect visa documents
For your Russian visa, you have to provide a genuine collection of your documents. Each visa type needs specific documents, but usually, the following documents are required:
– Visa form (which you can fill out online on this link);
– Valid passport;
– Letter of invitation;
– Passport picture.
We provide tailored and always up to date overview of the required documents on our website which you can always check and see which documents you need to collect.
4. Prepare for your visit to the consulate
Your next step is scheduling an appointment at the embassy, consulate or visa centre, depending which one is present in your country. In most cases, you cannot send your application by post.
Consulates are advising applicants to come in person and to pick up the passport with issued visa also in person. The waiting times are longer during the holiday seasons, therefore try to apply in advance.
5. Hand in your visa application
You can hand in your visa application no more than 90 days before your travel. Check if you have all the necessary documents. You will also have to pay a fee for consular charges, or even service charges if you are applying with a visa application centre.
6. Pick up your visa
When picking up your passport and visa you will need to show the original receipt you received during your appointment. In case you don’t have the receipt, you will need to present your ID. If you cannot pick the passport yourself, you can send someone on your behalf, but they should also have your original receipt with them.
Please make sure to check the visa for completeness (name, travel dates, etc.)
7. Travel to Russia
Upon arrival, the visa will be voided and it cannot be used for further entries (except double visas). Don’t forget to go through the registration process once you are in Russia.
Applying for a visa requires a lot of time and also a good preparation. You can easily make a mistake or forget something and you might have to repeat the whole process.
You should, therefore, leave the visa applications to the professionals. Apply for your visa online with Viselio. Our intelligent system helps you fill the application form. After payment you will just need to print out the documents, sign them and send them to our visa centre. We will obtain the Russia visa on your behalf. Just a few days later you will have your passport and your processed visa at your door.