A very high number of British citizens travel to Russia each year. According to Russia statistics, in 2016 alone, 177,000 British citizens traveled to Russia. However, Britons cannot just pick up their passports and travel there, as they can for many other world countries. A Russia visa is required for every purpose of entry, even for transiting and tourism.
The Russian authorities have a unique visa application system, which is not as difficult as it may sound. In this article, you may find everything you need to know about applying for a Russia visa in UK. It includes the application process, the required documents and the costs of a Russia visa from UK.
Do UK Nationals Need a Visa for Russia?
Yes, UK passport holders need a visa to travel to Russia. Every British national will be asked to present a visa at the Russian port of entry. A visa is required even for transiting.
Exempt from the Russian visa application are only those flying with an international airline and changing flights in the Russian Federation. A visa will not be required in such case, under the condition that the airport where the landing takes place has a transit area.
Whereas, those holding dual citizenship, UK citizenship and the citizenship of a country that is exempt from the Russia visa requirements, are also waived from the visa requirement.
How to Apply for a Russia Visa in the UK?
The application process for a visa to Russia from UK consists of some quick steps. Every applicant must complete these procedures.
If you are UK resident applying for a Russia visa in UK, follow the application process explained below:
- Get an Invitation to Russia. This document is also called visa support. You should get it in cooperation with the person that has invited you to Russia. If you want to visit Russia for tourism purposes, then your travel agency or the hotel where you will be staying is responsible to get it for you.
- Fill-in the Russia visa application form. All persons applying for a Russia visa in the UK should complete the application form at kdmid.ru. This is the official website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Make sure you fill in every question with correct information.
- Gather the requirements for a Russia visa. Collect the rest of the documents required for applying for a Russia visa in the UK. You can find a list of these documents below in this article.
- Apply at a Russian Visa Processing Center in UK. You will need to submit all these documents at the Russian visa center in either London or Edinburgh.
- Pay the Russia visa fees in the UK. When you submit your documents, you also need to pay the fees for a visa application. The fees for a Russia visa depend on several factors, as your nationality, the visa type, etc.
- Wait for an answer on your application. After that, you will need to wait for the Russian embassy to process your application. If the embassy grants you with a visa, you will have it in the form of a sticker on your passport.
After you arrive in Russia from UK
The application process for a Russia visa from UK is over. You can freely travel from the UK to Russia. Yet, there are a few things you need to do upon your arrival in Russia.
- Complete the immigration card. As soon as you reach the Russian port of entry, you will be presented with an immigration card. This is a document that consists of two identical parts. It contains some simple questions on you and your trip. Complete both parts, and take one with you. The border police will keep the other part of the card. Later, you will need to return this card to the border police, when you leave Russia.
- Register your Russian visa. After you enter Russia, you have 7 working days for visa registration. You will need your immigration card and passport to do so. There are two ways to register a visa.
- At the hotel where you are staying.
- Through the property owner of the apartment you have rented for your stay, or where your friends reside (who have invited your over).
Russia Visa Required Documents for UK Passport Holders
An important part of the application process is collecting the required documents for a Russia visa from UK. The embassy gives specific explanation on the criteria each document needs to meet. Make sure your documents comply with these criteria.
The required documents for applying for a Russia visa in Edinburgh or London are grouped in two. The standard requirements, required for every visa type and the visa specific requirements.
The standard required documents for applying for a visa to Russia from UK are as follows:
- Russia Visa Application Form. Fill in the form electronically on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) website kdmid.ru, giving in all of the required information. Make sure your answers are correct and then print the form.
- Valid Passport. Your passport must have a minimum of six-month validity after the expiration of the visa you are applying for. In addition, it must have at least two blank pages.
- A recent passport size photo. Stick this photo to the indicated space in the printed application form. Do not staple it.
- Proof of residence. Required only if you are not a UK national, but a UK resident only. Submit proof of the period of your residence in the UK.
- Letter of Invitation. This is an invitation to travel to Russia. It may be an invitation issued by a hotel, friends, a business, etc., depending on the purpose of your trip.
You also need to submit documents to prove your purpose of applying for a Russia visa in UK. These documents are:
- The documents required for a Russian Tourist Visa application in the UK.
- The documents required for a Russian Business Visa application in the UK.
- The documents required for a Russian Student Visa application in the UK.
- The documents required for a Russian Private Visa application in the UK.
- The documents required for a Russian Transit Visa application in the UK.
- The documents required for a Russia Work Visa application in the UK.
- The documents required for a Russian Highly Skilled Migrant Visa application in the UK.
- The documents required for a Russian Humanitarian Visa application in the UK.
Russia Visa Costs for UK Citizens
Russia applies different visa fees to applicants according to their nationality. All Russia visa types for UK nationals cost 150.4 EUR.
Where to Apply for a Russian Visa from UK?
UK citizens need to submit their Russia visa application at the Russian visa service in the UK.
Applying for a Russia visa in London
CIBT Global Visa:
Address: CIBT, PO Box 61745, London, SW1V 1UT, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 844 736 0211
Services: Regular and Express service for obtaining Russian Tourist and Business Visas
Address: 23 Pembridge Square, London W2 4DR, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 792 1155
Fax: +44 (0) 207 727 2848
Applying for a Russia visa in Edinburg
Address: 64 Albion Road (back entrance), Edinburgh, EH7 5QZ
Email: [email protected]
Applying for a Russia visa in Manchester
Address: 53 Fountain Street (Regus Business Centre), Manchester, M2 2AN
Email: [email protected]
*If you are applying in Manchester, please ensure to select ‘London Visa Centre’ as the location while completing the online application form.
Russia Visa Application Processing in the UK
The average processing time for a Russia Visa in the UK is 10 days. Some applications may take less and others longer. The processing can take from seven to 20 working days.
If you want to get your visa for a shorter time, you can apply for expedited processing. It takes only three working days. You will need to pay a higher fee for this type of service.