How to get a Russian visa?

To enter the territory of the Russian Federation, foreign citizens must obtain a Russian visa. The exception is citizens of states with which the Russian Federation has concluded a visa-free regime agreement.

A Russian visa is a document that is pasted into your passport and allows you to stay in Russia for a certain period of time. The visa reflects the dates of entry and exit, travel information and passport data of the citizen. In some cases, a photo of a citizen is also attached. The visa is issued by Embassies or/and Consulates of Russia.

To obtain a Russian visa, you need a Visa invitation (or Visa support). The invitation may be issued by a Russian organization with a special identification number accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Full information about the documents required to obtain a Russian visa is provided by the Consulate of the Russian Federation in your country (the list of required documents may vary in different countries). List Consulates Of the Russian Federation.

Types of Russian visa

To choose the appropriate type of Russian visa, it is necessary to determine the duration of your stay in Russia and the purpose of your visit. If you plan to leave the territory of Russia and return back during the validity period of your visa, this also affects the choice of the appropriate type of visa. Below are the descriptions and conditions for obtaining the main types of Russian visa and the rules for applying for their registration. .

  • Tourist visa

A tourist visa is the easiest to get, and its registration is the cheapest. This visa gives the right to one entry or two entries into the territory of Russia and allows you to stay in the country for a certain period of up to 30 days, a single or double tourist visa for up to 3 months (90 days) or a multiple tourist visa for up to 6 months (180 days) can also be issued to a foreign citizen. A tourist visa is issued on the basis of confirmation of the organization’s admission (Official confirmation and Voucher), information about which is contained in the unified federal register of tour operators. Documents for a Tourist visa (Official confirmation and Voucher) are accepted by fax or in the form of scans by most consular departments of Russia. However, citizens of some countries or when applying to some Consulates require original invitations. Specify the conditions for submitting documents at the nearest Consulate or Embassy of Russia.

We provide a full package of documents for applying for a Tourist visa.

  • Private visa


The validity period of a private visa is 90 days. This type of visa is suitable for those who want to visit relatives or friends living in Russia. Invitations for issuing visas of this type are usually issued by private individuals without the participation of intermediaries. An official invitation for a Private visa is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia or its regional offices. Migration Service. The original of the invitation is submitted together with the application for a Private visa.

  • Business visa


The validity period of a business (commercial) visa is 90 days, six months or one year. The visa gives the right to conduct business in Russia without hiring full-time employees. A business visa may give the right to single, double or multiple entry into the territory of Russia. However, foreigners who enter the country on a business visa can stay in Russia for no more than 90 days during each period of 6 months. Thus, if you are planning to get a full-time job, you need to make sure that your employers have a license to issue a work visa.

When applying for a Business visa, you will most likely need to present the original invitation. In some cases, the invitation may be transmitted by telex to the department of the Consulate to which you have applied. You need to clarify the information about this at the nearest Consulate or Embassy of Russia.

We provide a full package of documents for applying for a Business visa.

  • Transit visa
    A transit visa is issued when traveling to a third country through the territory of the Russian Federation. If you are flying by plane, spend less than 24 hours in Russia and do not plan to leave the airport, you do not need a Russian visa. In all other cases, you need to apply for a Transit visa. As a rule, a transit visa is issued for three days when traveling by plane and for ten days when traveling by train.
Visa-free regime with Russia

The countries whose citizens have the right to enter the territory of Russia without a visa are divided into four groups. Each of the groups has different requirements and restrictions on the duration of stay in Russia. Even if you do not need to apply for a visa to enter Russia, you will in any case need a passport, the validity of which should expire no earlier than six months after the date of your intended departure. You may also need other official documents. Please note that despite the fact that you do not need a visa to enter the territory of Russia, you still have to register with the Federal Migration Service upon arrival.


Group 1


Citizens of the CIS countries (Commonwealth of Independent States) have the right to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation for up to 90 days without a visa.

States: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine.

Group 2


Citizens of these countries have the right to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation without a visa for up to 90 days during each 180-day period, provided that during their stay in Russia they will not participate in any commercial activity or be employed.

States: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Israel, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela.

Group 3


Citizens of these countries have the right to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation without a visa for up to 30 days. They have no right to work on the territory of Russia.

Countries: Cuba, Montenegro, Serbia (with a biometric passport), Thailand, Hong Kong (up to 14 days).

Group 4


Citizens of these countries of the Balkan Peninsula can also stay in Russia without a visa for up to 30 days. At the same time, they must have travel documents (Official confirmation and Voucher) or an official invitation from the migration service.

States: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia.

If you are going to St. Petersburg on a cruise ship for up to 72 hours, as well as on ferries from Stockholm, Helsinki and Tallinn, you do not need to apply for a visa (provided that you spend the night on the ship and are accompanied by a professional guide).

Migration card

When entering the territory of the Russian Federation, you need to fill out a migration card. If you have a visa, the information about the visa is indicated in the migration card. Upon arrival at the destination on the territory of the Russian Federation, the migration card is presented to the receiving person (the administrator at the hotel, the owner of a private apartment, etc.) responsible for registration.

It is necessary to submit a notification of the arrival of foreign citizens on the territory of the Russian Federation to the local department of the Federal Migration Service within seven working days after arrival. These actions are carried out by the Host party (the hotel, the owner of a private apartment, etc.).

Visa registration

All foreign citizens staying on the territory of the Russian Federation must be registered with the Federal Migration Service of the city or region in which they reside within seven days after arrival.

If you are traveling on a tourist visa and staying at a hotel, registration is usually carried out at the hotel reception on the first day. You only need to provide a passport and a migration card. The same rules apply when renting an apartment through an agency. If you are traveling on a business visa, the organization that issued you the invitation is responsible for your registration. If you are traveling on a private visa, you must be registered by a Russian citizen who issued you an invitation. Registration can be carried out at local departments of the Federal Migration Service or at any post office. To register as a Russian citizen, your passport and migration card are also required.