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Updated 2 September 2021
Russia offers a broad array of travel experiences, from its marvelous architecture and breathtaking scenery to its historical sites and cultural activities. Russia is a unique combination of cultures and influences.
Here’s everything you need to know about applying for a tourist visa to Russia.
Table of Contents
What is the Russian tourist/visitor visa?
The Russian tourist visa is an entry authorization document allowing foreign nationals to enter and travel within the Russian Federation for mostly non-essential purposes. A visa lists entry/exit dates, your vital information, passport details and some information about the inviting party.
Do I need a tourist visa to enter Russia?
Travellers from most countries will need a tourist visa to enter Russia. However, there are several countries excluded from this requirement.
- Nationals of countries that can get an e-visa to enter Russia for tourism purposes.
- Nationals of countries exempt from the visa requirement.
- Travelers on a cruise or ship entering Russia through the ports of Anadyr, Kaliningrad, Korsakov, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Sevastopol, Sochi, Saint Petersburg (Big port Saint Petersburg and Passenger Port of St. Petersburg), Vladivostok, Vyborg & Zarubino will be allowed Visa-free visits for up to 72 hours. in order to be eligible for this type of visa-free entry, travellers must spend the night on-board or in accommodation specifically approved by the travel agency.
How do I apply for the Russia tourist visa?
- Verify if you need a tourist visa for Russia according to your nationality and purpose of entry.
- Check your passport’s validity. If your passport is valid for less than six months on the day you plan to leave Russia, you will not be able to apply for a Russian tourist visa.
- Get the invitation (visa support), first from the tour company or cruise line with which you are traveling to Russia. Then, from the hotel where you will stay.
- If you’re part of tour group or cruise passenger: Letter from tour company or cruise line confirming itinerary and including a copy of the confirmation from authorized Russian travel company which shows the reference number and confirmation number for the visa.
- If individual travel: Confirmation of hotel arrangements from authorized Russian travel company, or directly from the Russian hotel, showing reference number and confirmation number for the visa. To obtain assistance for quick Russian Tourist Visa Invitations see Russian Visa Support Authorizations.
- Complete the online application form for the Russian tourist visa.
- Collect the required documents for a Russian tourist visa
- Your original passport with at least 2 blank pages for your visa (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia).
- Two copies of Russian visa application form, signed & completed.
- Two passport-size photos signed on the back.
- Submit your completed application to the Russian consulate or Russian visa processing center in person. You may have to make a prior appointment.
- Pay the fees.
- Wait for your visa to get processed.
Vehicle registration certificate
If you’re traveling to Russia for auto tourism, submit a Car Registration Certificate. A cover letter with the details on the journey and itinerary will be required. Submit a list of the names of other travelers accompanying you, as well.
The following documents should be submitted to the Russian Embassy or Consulate to obtain a Tourist Visa to enter Russia:
Other things to consider after you arrive in Russia
- Get the immigration card. When you arrive at the Russian port of entry, the border police will give you an immigration card. The card consists of two identical parts, which you should fill in with your information. The border police keep one part of the card, and the other one is for you.
- Register your visa. If you will be staying more than one week in Russia, you will need to register your visa. If you are planning to stay at a hotel, the hotel is responsible to register your visa. If you intend to stay at a private house, your host/the property owner is responsible to do it. They will need a copy of your passport, visa and immigration card for the registration process.
How long does it take to process a Russia visa application?
The processing time for a Russian tourist visa application is as follows can range anywhere between 7 to 20 working days.
Is the Russia tourist visa extendable?
No, a tourist visa cannot be extended. Your visa will be issued for the period of time covered by your invitation. You cannot enter earlier or overstay your visa but you can enter the country later or/and leave it earlier than originally planned.
Generally, a tourist visa is valid for up to 30 days. However, there are exceptions in some cases like European consulates, who only provide a tourist visa for up to 14 days. If you plan to obtain a long-term tourist visa, your application may be checked thoroughly and you may be asked for a hotel payment confirmation along with an invitation.
What is the fee for the Russia tourist visa?
The visa fees vary depending on the consulate location, applicant’s citizenship and processing time. Please contact the Russian consulate in order to obtain the latest information.
Citizens of the European Union, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland
The cost of a Russian tourist visa fee is 35 EUR (3,026.72 RUB)
Citizens of Japan
The cost of a Russian tourist visa fee is 32.8 EUR (2,836.57 RUB)
Citizens of Angola, Cambodia, India and Vietnam
- Single entry visa – 37.6 EUR (3,251.40 RUB)
- Double-entry visa – 60.2 EUR (5,205.24 RUB)
- Multiple entry visa – 112.8 EUR (9,753.61 RUB)
Citizens of China
- Single entry visa – 47 EUR (4,063.74 RUB)
- Double-entry visa – 94 EUR (8,127.48 RUB)
- Multiple entry visa – 141 EUR (12,191.22 RUB)
Citizens of North Macedonia
- Single entry visa – 47 EUR (4,063.74 RUB)
- Double-entry visa – 75.2 EUR (6,502.27 RUB)
- Multiple entry visa – 141.1 EUR (12,200.41 RUB)
All other countries
- Single entry visa – 75.2 EUR (6,502.27 RUB)
- Double-entry visa – 120.3 EUR (10,401.58 RUB)
- Multiple entry visa – 225.7 EUR (19,516.59 RUB)