Russian Brides Cyber Guide
Visa to the Russian Federation is a document, permitting you to stay in Russia for a specific period of time. The visa is stamped in your passport.
Generally, there are 2 types of visas one can obtain in order to visit Russia:
There won't be any problem with receiving a Russian visa of both types; the only thing you must take in consideration is time. Your passport must be valid 3 months beyond intended stay; vaccinations are not required.
Standard time for processing your application is 10 working days; lets say it's two weeks. If any of your papers are incorrect, you may need additional time to obtain the right one. If you submitted your documents 9 working days in advance or less, you will have to pay double fee. Yes, Russians are capable of doing the paper work faster, if you pay.
Russian visas cannot be obtained at the airport on arrival; I have heard about cases when men were hoping to get a transit visa on their arrival to Moscow, and were mercilessly deported.
This is applicable for all types of visas. Particulars on the different types of visas see below.
Write a cover letter, and include a prepaid self addressed envelope if you want the consulate to send you the visa by mail.
If you apply for a visa in person, you will be issued a slip with a number. When you come to pick up your visa, please do not forget this slip. They do require it.
On your arrival your passport must be registered and stamped by a visas' department at every single city where are you staying during the visit. You must register within 3 days from your arrival. If you stay in a hotel, administration will do it for you. But don't be concerned if you must do it yourself: it takes 2 minutes and your personal presence in the visas department is not required, anyone can bring your passport and fill out the form. It is a very formal procedure that is a survivor of socialist times.
When you leave Russia, they will collect the visa on the border, so save your tickets if you ever need to prove you have been in Russia (tickets are also needed for the purposes of fiancee visa application).
This is the most common type of visa that foreigners use to visit Russia.
In addition to the papers mentioned, this requires:
1) A letter from your travel agent in your country, containing the following information:
2) A "tourist voucher".
Tourist voucher is a confirmation from a Russian tour operator, that you have booked a hotel and they are responsible for your staying.
Why they call it "voucher"? Nobody knows, but in addition to normal confirmation from hotel that is required by most embassies, the Russian consulate has some rules who can issue such a document. The tour operator must be a registered tourist company that has been assigned a special index in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. This index and a tour reference number must be indicated in the confirmation (copy of a fax message).
Most Russian hotels will issue the voucher for you when you book accommodation there.
For business visas tourist voucher is not required but you need an invitation from a Russian company.
The invitation must be issued by an organization that is registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. In order to obtain a multi-entry visa, the hosting organization must apply to the Russian Foreign Ministry for authorization.
If you visit Russia on the business visa, you can stay wherever you want, at hotel or private apartments, and you don't have to book in advance that is very convenient. You can ask a person you visit to buy get you a business invitation. There are some organizations that do it for a fee, and their names and addresses usually may be obtained from the visas department (in Russian they spell it as "OVIR" - the place where they issue "foreign passports", special documents for traveling abroad). Just ask the person who you visit to find out at OVIR where she can get a business invitation for her foreign friend. The fee that companies charge for business invitations may be anything from 5 to 80 dollars, depending on the city; in big cities like Moscow fees are higher.
You can also visit Russia with a private invitation, too.
A person must apply to a district police office ("rayonniy otdel vnutrennikh del") that will send request to the visas department. She must fill out a special form that can be obtained from the police office, and include a receipt on transferring the corresponding fee and proof of residence (a document from the government communal service that is in charge of the area where she is staying - "domoupravlenie"). Usually processing of the application takes anything from 2 to 4 months, and one cannot receive any information when her application will be processed. If you wish to visit Russia on a private invitation, take the time matters in consideration. The rest is the same as for business visas.
When my family and me visited Russia last time, we decided to get a business invitation for my husband (only because of the time matters). Business invitation normally costs about $50, and it will save lots of time and energy for your hosts.
The Consulate says it reserves the right to invite any applicant for an interview, but I did not hear about such cases.
USA consulate is particularly overworking so they have special requirements on how the documents should be submitted.
They reserve the right to return the documents if they are submitted in a different manner.
Do not forget to carefully check your visa when receive it. If there is any misspelling or mistake, you will be refused in entering Russia. If there is some, return the visa to the embassy for corrections. This is another reason why you should take care of your visa well in advance. If you send documents by mail, add some time for delivery.
There are also companies providing help in receiving Russian visas hassle-free. We recommend Russia-Visa, which is fast, reliable and reasonably priced. They offer tourist and business visas invitations and full visa processing service.
For single entry visas are:
For double entry visas are:
Visa processing fees are non-refundable.
The official site of Russian Embassy in the USA is http://www.russianembassy.org , you can also download the forms there.
List of Russian Embassies and Russian Consulates
Embassy of Russian Federation in Australia
Botschaft der Russischen Foderation in
Generalkonsulat in Salzburg
Embassy of Russian Federation in
Embassy of Russia in Canada
Embassy of Russian Federation in Republic of Cyprus
Embassy of Russian Federation in
Embassy of Russian Federation in Finland
Consulate General in Turku
Consulate General in Marseille
Consulate General in Strasbourg
Consulate General in Leipzig
Consulate General in Rostock
Consulate General in Munchen
Consulate General in Hamburg
Embassy of Russian Federation in Italy
Consulate General in Milano
Embassy of Russian Federation in Japan
Embassy of the Russian Federation in
Embassy of Russian Federation in Netherlands
Embassy of Russian Federation in New Zealand
Embassy of Russian Federation in South Africa
Consulate General in Pretoria
Embassy of Russian Federation in Spain
Embassy of Russian Federation in Sweden
Embassy of Russian Federation in Switzeland
Embassy of Russian Federation in the United Kingdom
Consulate General in Edinburgh
Embassy of Russia in the United States
Consulate General in New York
Consulate General in San Francisco
Consulate General in Seattle
Please let me know if any of the addresses above has changed. Thank you in advance!
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