What is a Russia Tourist Visa?
A Russian tourist visa is a permit for travelers to enter and experience the Russian Federation. It has several differences with the other Russia visas as:
- The documents required.
- The visa costs/fees.
- Application processing time.
- The permitted period of stay.
- The permitted number of entries.
- The scope of permitted activities to be performed under this visa, etc.
Who Needs a Russia Tourist Visa?
According to the Russian visa policy, most citizens of most countries will need a tourist visa for Russia. However, there are several countries the nationals of which are excluded from this requirement. In addition, several categories are exempt or can enter with an e-visa. These categories are:
- Nationals of countries that can get an e-visa to enter Russia for tourism purposes.
- Groups of people exempt from the visa requirement.
- Travelers on a cruise or ship that wish to enter and stay Russia for up to 72h.
- Holders of diplomatic, service, official, and special passports from several countries, exempt from the requirement.
- Businesspersons from a few countries, holding an APEC Business Travel Card, exempt from the requirement.
How to Apply for a Russia Tourist Visa?
The process to apply for a Russian tourist visa consists of a few steps, which you need to follow in the given order. Here’s how to apply for a Russian Tourist Visa:
- Check if you need a Tourist visa for Russia according to your nationality and purpose of entry. If you do, proceed with the other steps.
- 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). This is where you start your application. You should get this letter in two ways. First, from the tour company or cruise line with which you are traveling to Russia. Second, from the hotel where you will stay.
- Complete the online Russian Tourist Visa application form. The form is available online, and you can complete it for free. It contains questions on your identity and your intended trip to Russia.
- Collect the required documents for a Russian Tourist Visa. You can find a list of these documents below in this article.
- Submit your completed application. Submit the documents you have collected at a Russian Consulate or Russian Visa Processing Center. You should submit these documents in person. Depending on your home country, you may have to make an appointment prior to that.
- Pay the Russia Tourist visa fees. In most countries, you will have to pay the fees when you submit your application. Payment with a bank card is required in most countries, rather than in cash.
- Wait for an answer to your application.
After you arrive in Russia
You will be able to travel to Russia within the given dates of the validity of your visa. However, there are additional things you need to do 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 seven days 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.
Required Documents for Russia Tourist Visa
Collecting the required documents is the most important part of a Russian tourist visa application. Based on the documents that you submit to apply for a Russian tourist visa, the Russian authorities take a decision on your application.
Besides the standard requirements for a Russian visa, the requirements for a Russia tourist visa application are:
- Visa support for tourism. Visa support or invitation is among the most important documents required. You should submit one of the following documents, to prove you intend to travel to Russia for tourism:
- Letter from the tour company or cruise line. The letter must confirm the itinerary and include a copy of the confirmation from an authorized Russian travel company. It must show the reference number and confirmation number for the visa.
- Confirmation of hotel arrangements. A Russian travel company or the hotel in Russia where you will stay should issue you this confirmation. It must contain the reference number and confirmation number for the visa.
- Vehicle Registration Certificate. When 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.
Russia Tourist Visa Fee
The costs of a visa for Russia application depend on several factors, as the applicant’s nationality, type of visa and number of intended entries. The costs for a Russia tourist visa are as listed below:
- The cost of a Russian tourist visa fee for citizens of the European Union, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland is 35 EUR.
- The cost of a Russian tourist visa fee for citizens of Japan is 32.8 EUR.
- The cost of a Russian tourist visa for citizens of Angola, Cambodia, India and Vietnam are as follows:
- Single entry visa – 37.6 EUR
- Double-entry visa – 60.2 EUR
- Multiple entry visa – 112.8 EUR
- The cost of a Russian tourist visa for citizens of China are as follows:
- Single entry visa – 47 EUR
- Double-entry visa – 94 EUR
- Multiple entry visa – 141 EUR
- The costs of a Russian tourist visa for citizens of North Macedonia are as follows:
- Single entry visa – 47 EUR
- Double-entry visa – 75.2 EUR
- Multiple entry visa – 141.1 EUR
- The cost of a Russian tourist visa for citizens of all other countries are as follows:
- Single entry visa – 75.2 EUR
- Double-entry visa – 120.3 EUR
- Multiple entry visa – 225.7 EUR
How Long Does It Take to Get a Russia Tourist Visa?
The processing time for a Russian tourist visa application is as follows:
- For citizens of the European Union, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland – 7 to 20 working days.
- For citizens of Angola, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, North Macedonia and Vietnam – seven calendar days.
- For citizens of all other countries – 7 to 20 working days.