Visa & Invitation - General Information

Russian visa is the permission for foreign visitors to entry and exit Russia (or travel through Russia) within the period of visa validity. Visas are issued by Russian Embassies and Consulates.

Please note: A person may apply for a Russian visa only in the country of his/her permanent residence.

The initial document for obtaining a visa is the letter of invitation. The invitation might be issued by a Russian organisation accredited with a reference number by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) or might be obtained by a Russian company or private person at the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the local department for visas and registrations (UFMS). All of the above are generally referred to as a host.

The visa processing at the consulate might take up to 20 working days starting from the moment of submission of your visa application form and paying the Consulate’s fee. The visa will be attached to one of your passport's pages.

Dear customers! Please note that the above information is of general character. Please refer to the index on your left if you require information relevant to a particular type of visa and invitation.

Consulate Rules

  • Visa processing starts only after you have submitted all necessary documents. Once submitted, no alterations can be made either to the visa-processing period or to the dates of staying in Russia.
  • If you want to make changes in submitted papers before visa is processed, all documentation will be returned to you for resubmission.
  • The fee paid for visa processing is not refundable. In case of re-submission due to any reason (except for computer misprint and/or a mistake of the consulate staff) you will have to re-apply for a new visa.
  • It is not possible to expedite visa processing after the consulate has accepted your documents.
  • The consulate may request additional information.
  • The consulate reserves the right to invite applicants for an interview and ask questions on personal, financial, business or corporate issues as well as on their Russian contacts and/or partners.
  • Visa fees are paid for the consideration of your application. They do not guarantee issue of visa and they are not refundable.
  • After you pick up your visa, check the dates before you leave the consulate! If there are mistakes, do bring it to the attention of the consulate immediately. If the mistake is on their behalf, they should put it right ASAP.
  • Make sure you know the working hours of the visa department of the consulate before you are going to apply for a visa. Russian consulates are closed during Russian holidays (and sometimes also the day after or before), and normally they also do not work on holidays of the host country.

A word to the wise: Embassy rules and requirements might vary in different countries. Please ask your local consulate about the latest changes in the visa legislation. The above are the basic rules only.