Visa to Russia from Australia – How to get it cheap in 2022?

Who can travel to Russia in 2022?

In accordance with Annex №1 of the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №635-R of March 16, tourists from the following countries may come to Russia:

Citizens of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Ukraine residing in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are also allowed to visit Russia.

There are 2 main rules for travellers who are going to visit Russia:

— You must be a citizen of these countries or have a residence permit (or any other document proving the right of permanent residence).

— You have to enter Russia by plane and only from the territory of your country.

As for other countries, there are certain categories of citizens that can enter Russia. See the full list on the Federal Security Service website (available in Russian).

These categories are:

— diplomats and their family members;

— drivers, captains and pilots of international flights;

— foreign nationals who are family members of Russian citizens

— citizens who need to take care for their closest relatives (e.g. husbands, wives, children, mothers and fathers);

— citizens who have a residence permit for Russia;

— migrants who participate in the governmental programme;

— citizens who come for medical treatment (the documents should be issued by the Ministry of Health);

— citizens entering due to death of a close relative (death certificate and a document confirming the degree of kinship are required);

— highly qualified specialists. See the instructions for such specialists on the Federal Agency for Tourism website (available in Russian);

— residents of Baikonur and employees of companies working in the space industry.

What documents are needed for entry to Russia?

Negative COVID-19 PCR test — provide it at the customs. You must make it no earlier than 72 hours before departure.
You do not need to stay in quarantine if you have a negative test result.

A passport valid for 6 months from the date of travel.

Application form for those who are on flights to the Russian Federation for border crossing. It is to be completed prior to arrival in Russia.

Visa (citizens of 58 states are eligible for visa-free travel. See the list of these countries at the Federal Agency for Tourism website).
You must apply for it at the nearest visa application centre of your country: electronic visas to Russia are temporarily suspended.

Visa application form.
Sample for British nationals.
Sample for citizens of other countries.

Medical Insurance (Russian abbreviation: DMS). It must be valid across the whole territory of Russia and cover possible COVID-19 infection.

Proof of accommodation. Required for citizens who are nor eligible for visa-free travel to Russia.

Things you need to foresee before travelling to Russia

You need to be tested for COVID-19 in 72 hours before your arrival. The fastest way to get a test result is to do express tests. Keep in mind that they might be more expensive. The certificate must be in English or Russian. You may request a Russian translation at the clinic.

If you will show signs of fever or any other symptoms of an illness, you may be asked to re-do the test upon arrival. Set aside some cash on that — on average, the test costs 3,000 rubles (approximately 34 EUR). If the result is positive, you will have to stay for treatment.

Rules and recommendations you should follow while travelling in Russia

— be sure to wear gloves and a medical mask in public places: shops, transport, public institutions and museums;

— maintain at least 1,5 meters between yourself and people around;

— avoid crowded places;

— take a taxi instead of public transport.

How not to get COVID-19 — basic rules

Precautions The World Health Organization advises to follow:

— wash your hands thoroughly with soap, use alcohol-based hand rubs;

— wear a mask and gloves in public places. The mask must cover your nose and mouth;

— cover your mouth with a tissue if you feel like sneezing or coughing. After that, dispose the tissue immediately;

— avoid touching your face.

Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, call 103 immediately.

Visa to Russia from Australia

Do Australians need Visa to Russia?

Yes, in order to visit Russia citizens of Australia have to obtain a visa. They can do this at the embassy or a consulate of the Russian Federation which are located in Australia.

How to Get Russian Visa from Australia?

In order to obtain a visa the Australians must receive an invitation from Russia. This document depends on a type of a visa which in its turn depends on the purpose of a visit declared by an Australian citizen as the main.

There are following types of visas (depending on the purpose of a trip):

  • Tourist visa is intended for those who travel for tourism and wish to see sights.
  • Electronic visa – for example: short-term trips;
  • Private visa is good for visitors who would like to meet Russian friends (however, it is recommended to apply for the tourist visa instead as it is a more easy and reliable way to take a trip to Russia).
  • Business visa suits the foreign applicants who are concerned in exploring business opportunities of Russia.
  • Work visa is necessary for the citizens of foreign countries who seek to endeavour in career and professional development in Russian enterprises.
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Where to apply for a Russian visa in Australia ?

You can obtain a visa to Russia in any of the Consulates of the Russian Federation located in Australia . See the list of Russian Consulates in Australia, along with their phone numbers and location indicated on this page below.

Russian visas quick comparison

Type of Visa Duration Purpose
Tourist visa 1-30 days Sightseeing, visiting friends in Russia
Electronic visa 8 days Trips for a short period of time
Business visa 30-90 days (up to 1 year) Search of business partners, attending conferences, long trips, long-term visits of friends in Russia
Private visa 30-90 days Official visits to meet with friends in Russia (Not recommended! See why)
Work visa 1-3 years Employment in Russia or permanent residence

Russian Tourist Visa from Australia

Tourist visa can be obtained by citizens of Australia the quickest, as the issuing of the invitation will take not more than one day. This type of invitation to visit Russia for Australians can be made by a travel company that is officially registered with the Register of Russian tour operators and has its own reference number.

Such invitations are issued by tour companies on their own letterheads as the outward appearance of the invitation required to obtain a tourist visa is not fixed by law. The invitation usually consists of a voucher and a confirmation on receiving a tourist. There should be indicated the name of a tourist company, its reference-number, passport information of the tourist, the itinerary of the trip and the hotels he/she will stay at, dates of the arrival and departure, multiplicity of the visa itself.

It should be noted that the existence of a tourist invitation cannot guarantee the obtaining of a Russian visa. When checking the documents given in to obtain a tourist visa a citizen of Australia will be inspected on having any deportations from the Russian Federation during his/her previous visits, as well as any criminal records for having broken the laws of the Russian Federation or any unpaid fines for the administrative violations.

One can be asked at the consulate to submit the airplane tickets, a medical insurance and confirmation of a hotel booking. The payment of the consular fee is necessary (notwithstanding whether the visa will be obtained or not).

Usually Australian citizens obtain tourist visas to Russia easily. A visa can be obtained for a period of up to 30 days. It can have either one or two entries.

Get a Tourist Invitation to Russia from Australia

Russian Private Visa for Australian citizens

In order to obtain a private visa one has to spend much more time than when applying for a tourist visa. It is required to apply for this visa in case an Australian citizen wants to come to the Russian Federation to visit his/her friends or relatives. Most people prefer to apply for tourist visas in this case.

A private invitation can be issued by a citizen of Russia or a legal entity. In order to do this it is necessary to apply at the local department of the Federal Migration Service (the FMS) at the place of residence for an individual or at the place of registration for a legal entity.

The department of the FMS issues a private invitation after receiving an application with appended information for the person invited, a copy of his/her passport, the information on the inviting party, the duration of stay in Russia, multiplicity of a visa. The issuing period for the invitation to obtain a single visa is 12 working days and 17 days for a double entry visa. During this time a citizen of Australia will be checked on having any unpaid fines or deportations in the past. The department of the FMS may refuse to issue a private invitation with indicating a reason for this in writing. In case everything is fine, an inviting party obtains a private invitation on a state standard form and sends it to Australia by the express-mail.

After obtaining an invitation a private visa is issued for a period of 90 days. It may be single or double entry.

Get of a Private (Visitor) Invitation to Russia for Australian citizens

Russian Business Visa from Australia

In order to come to Russia to participate in an auction, to hold negotiations or sign the contract an Australian citizen has to obtain a business visa. The invitation to obtain this visa is also issued by the inviting party located in Russia and sent afterwards by express-mail.

The business visa invitation letter can be obtained by either of these ways:

Invitation as a letter is in fact a request to the Russian consular body to give a visa to a certain citizen of Australia. Not all legal entities can issue invitations but only those companies which were duly accredited for this. It usually takes only 1 day to issue this invitation. When issuing it the law abidance of a foreign citizen would not be checked. That is why afterwards he/she can be denied in a visa at the embassy or a consulate of the RF, if it is turned up that there were any criminal records during his/her previous visits.

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On a special FMS form (a state standard form) an invitation is issued when an inviting party has applied for it with an appropriate application. In this case a citizen of Australia is checked on having any criminal records during his/her previous visits to the RF. This type of a business invitation has to be waited for 12-17 working days.

If a letter of invitation or an invitation on a special state standard form should be sent to Australia by express-mail, an invitation by telex is just a number which is given to a foreigner by the inviting party. This invitation is a direction from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the RF to the embassy of the RF to give a visa to a certain citizen.

A business visa may be obtained by a citizen of Australia for a period of up to 5 years. It can be single, double or multiple entry.

Get a Russian Business Invitation from Australia on the letterhead of an accredited company

Issuing of a Business Invitation to Russia for Australian citizens on the FMS form

Get a Business Invitation to Russia for Australian citizens by a Telex

Work visa for Australian citizens

If a citizen of Australia finds an employer in the Russian Federation who will take the responsibility to provide a work permit and a work invitation for him/her then he/she would be able to work in Russia. The advantage of a work visa is that it can be extended for a year without leaving the country.

Work visa is initially issued for a period of 3 months and extended afterwards for a whole period of a work permit.

Get Work Visa to Russia for Australian citizens

Russian Electronic Visa from Australia

An electronic visa (hereinafter referred to as “e-visa”) is a new type of a visa document. A visa invitation to Russia is not required for obtaining an e-visa. To obtain an e-visa to Russia use our “E-visa to Russia” service.

An e-visa can be only single-entry. The permitted stay in Russia on an e-visa is up to 8 days from the date of entry within its validity period.

The validity period and/ or permitted stay on an e-visa cannot be extended. To obtain an e-visa a foreign citizen needs a digital passport photo and a completed application form containing full and valid data at the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

At present citizens of Australia are not eligible for obtaining an e-visa to Russia. According to the Government of the Russian Federation, e-visa processing for the citizens of Australia shall become available starting January 1st, 2022.

We recommend citizens of Australia obtaining a common tourist visa for a stay up to 30 days.

Russian consulate in Australia:

Australian citizens may obtain Russian visa in these Consular centers of the Russian Federation:

    The Consular Department of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Australia (Consular Section – Northern Territory and Capital Territory) (show image)

  • Address :78 Canberra Avenue, Griffith, ACT 2603, Australia
  • Phone :(8-10-61-2) 6295-94-74
  • Fax :(8-10-61-2) 6295-10-01
  • E-mail:russianconsul@hotmail.com
  • Web:www.sydneyrussianconsulate.com
  • Working hours : Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday — from 09.00 to 12.30.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main types of Russian visas?
  • Tourist Visa – e.g.: tourism, sightseeing;
  • Business Visa – e.g.: conferences, business negotiations;
  • E-Visa – e.g.: short-term visits;
  • Work Visa – e.g.: employment in a Russian company;
  • Private Visa – e.g.: visiting friends in Russia (though a tourist visa is cheaper and more effecient??).
How can I get a visa to Russia?

To obtain a Russian visa you need:

  1. Fill in our online order form and get a Visa invitation to Russia
  2. Refer to our Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Russian Visa Application, use your personal data and information from the Invitation to Russia

How to get Visa to russia from Australia in 2022

Is it necessary to have visa to Russia for citizens of Australia?

Yes, citizens of Australia have to get visa if they want to visit Russia.
Visa is a document for foreigners which allows to cross the border of Russia legally.
For getting visa to Russia you need to get an invitation for visa and health insurance. These documents must be submitted to the Russian Consulate abroad.

Information on this website is available in the following languages:
Russian, English.

For getting visa an Australia citizen should know:

Australia (the official name is the Australian Union) is a developed state, which is the sixth largest in the world in size and thirteenth largest economy. The population is about 24.8 million people. The Russian diaspora lives in Australia, numbering (according to various sources) from 60 to 90 thousand people. Thousand tourists from Australia visit Russia annually.

Short list of steps-to-do for Australian:

  1. To have valid passport
  2. To get an invitation to Russia
  3. To get a medical insurance
  4. Fill in the form on visa.kdmid.ru and print it
  5. Paste your photo 3,5х4,5 cm in form
  6. Pay consular (visa) fee ≈ 80$ (120 australian dollars)
  7. Bring or send documents to the Russian Consulate (passport, invitation, insurance, application form, receipt)
  8. Wait for 1 to 20 calendar days and get a passport with visa
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You can get a visa at Russian consulates in Australia or at any Russian consulate abroad. Before visiting the Consulate, you need to get an invitation, medical insurance for a visa and complete the online form on the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

There are the following types of visas and purpose of visiting Russia:

  • tourist visa – tourism, sightseeing;
  • business visa – conferences, business meetings;
  • private visa – meeting with relatives and friends (more practical and cheaper to use a tourist visa);
  • work visa – work in a Russian company.

Comparison of length of stay and price of visa:

Duration of stay and visa prices for Australia citizens
Type of visa Length of stay Full processing price
Tourist from 1 to 30 days ≈125$
Business from 30 days to 1 year * from 200$
Private from 30 to 90 days ≈205$
Work from 1 to 3 years from 1220$
Electronic from 1 to 8 days ≈17$

* – visa can be valid up to 1 year, but it is possible to stay in Russia continuously for no more than 90 of 180 days

Cost example of visa for an Australian

Cost example of single tourist visa to Russia for 14 days (2 weeks) for Australia citizen:

The cost of visa is always calculated individually. Using this example, you can calculate the cost of your visa.

Invitation to Russia 15$ (≈22 australian dollars)
Medical insurance ≈1,5$ per day * 14 days ≈ 17$ (≈24 australian dollars)
Photo 3.5 x 4.5 cm 8$ (≈11 australian dollars)
Consular fee 80$ (≈120 australian dollars)
Postal services (optional) 5$ (≈7 australian dollars)
Total: 125$ (≈194 australian dollars)

Consular fee for tourist visa
(the main expense)

The visa fee has a fixed value and depends only on the multiplicity of the visa issued.

The size of the consular fee depends on the multiplicity of the issued visa to Russia:

Visa fee for citizens of Australia in 2022 (check on the website of the Consulate)
Ordinary * Urgent **
Single 80$ (120 australian dollars) 160$ (240 australian dollars)
Double entry 128$ (192 australian dollars) 256$ (284 australian dollars)
Multi-entry 240$ (360 australian dollars) 480$ (720 australian dollars)

* Normal processing time – from 4 to 20 working days

** Urgent processing time – from 1 to 3 working days

Tourist visa to Russia for Australian citizens

Issuing a tourist visa to Russia is the easiest option, because it will take no more than 5 minutes to get an invitation for this visa with online registration.

The invitation to Russia for Australians is easiest to get in a travel company, which is registered in the Unified Register of Tour Operators and has its own reference number. The appearance of such invitations is not regulated and each travel company prints tourist invitations on its own forms. Each invitation consists of two parts:

  1. Tourist voucher indicating that you have bought a tourist ticket to Russia.
  2. Confirmation of tourist admission — the Consulate is requested to issue a visa to a foreign citizen.

The invitation issued by the travel company indicates the name and reference number of the company, the passport details of the tourist, the planned dates of entry and exit, the route of the trip provided for the accommodation of the tourist hotels, the number of visas.

Receiving a tourist invitation to Russia is not a guarantee that he will be issued a visa. After submitting documents to the Russian consulate, an inspection is carried out to determine whether an Australian citizen has had deportation from Russia in the past, as well as unpaid fines. In addition, the consulate may ask to present documents confirming the tourist purpose of the visit to Russia, as well as medical insurance. Often Australian citizens easily get tourist visas to Russia. They are issued for up to 30 days. Tourist visas are single and double entry.

Business visa to Russia for Australian citizens

If an Australian citizen wants to visit Russian Federation to negotiate with business partners, participate in an auction or for another business purpose, he needs to get a business visa.

In addition to business travel, this visa is attractive for a longer (up to 90 days) continuous stay in Russia. A business visa avoids problems of private visas and make possible to stay 3 times more on the territory of Russia than with a tourist visa.

A business visa to Russia can be issued to a foreign citizen up to 5 years. It can be single, double or multiple. An invitation to get this type visa must also be issued by a person (physical or legal) located in Russia.

Business visa required a business invitation to Russia. For Australians, there are different types of business invitations, each have their own pluses and minuses:

The form of Ministry of Internal Affairs

For issuing an invitation on the form of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, inviting party must apply with a corresponding application. At the same time, the employees of the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs will check whether the foreign citizen violated the laws of the Russian Federation in his previous visits and whether the fines imposed on him remained unpaid. If such facts are not revealed, then a business invitation on a state form will be issued to the inviting party. Registration takes from 7 to 21 business days.

Electronic invitation from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Telex)

An electronic invitation is a number that you need to tell to Australian who wants to come to Russia with business visit. Business invitation issued by order from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to the corresponding embassy of the Russian Federation. When Telex is issuing, there is the same checks as for issuing an invitation from the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Registration takes from 7 to 21 business days. The benefit of this invitations is they don’t need original documents to be mailed.

Private visa to Russia for Australian citizens

Applying for a private visa to Russia will spend much more time for Australian citizen. This type of visa is needed if a foreign citizen wants to visit his Russian relatives or friends. Many people avoid issuing private visas, because tourist visas are easy.

To get a private visa required a private invitation. Registration of them in Russia must be done by an individual. For doing this needs to contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation at his place of residence with a statement on the issuance of a private invitation with a copy of the passport attached to it and additional information. To issue a private invitation required to obtain a private visa to Russia, you will have to wait up to 20 business days. At the same time, after this period, employees of the Main Department the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation may refuse to issue an invitation, indicating the reason. If there are no reasons for refusal, a private invitation will be issued on a state form, certified by appropriate seals and signatures.

This document will need to be forwarded to the Australian, who is going to come to Russia by express mail. Private visa to Russia can be issued up to 90 days. It can be single or double.

Work visa to Russia for Australian citizens

To get a work visa to Russia Australian citizen must first find an employer in the Russian Federation who will be interested in helping to make all the necessary documents (Russian work permit and a work invitation). For doing this, he can use a tourist visa. Work visa has a huge advantage over other visas: it can be extended for a year without leaving the country. Initially, work visa issued for 3 months, and after the arrival of a foreigner to Russia is extended for the duration of the work permit.

Only a company that plans to hire a specific foreigner can apply for work invitation. If he wants to change his employer, after receiving a work visa he has to apply for a work visa to Russia again. Remember that work invitations are not for sale!

E-visa to Russia for Australian citizens

Electronic visa is a new visa format that has been introduced as experimental. You don’t need an invitation and you can apply for it through the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Electronic visa is a single entry and cannot be extended. With it you can stay in Russia up to eight days, and for its making you need a digital photo and a completed application form.

It is important that getting of electronic visa is available only to citizens of some countries. Australian citizens cannot get an electronic visa to Russia. A complete list of countries with which Russia has an agreement on electronic visas is available on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Russian consulates in Australia

Russian consulates in Australia are located in the following cities:

From April 8, 2019 acceptance of visa documents at the Embassy is stopped. Documents must be submitted to the visa center.

Address 78 Canberra Avenue, Griffith, ACT 2603, Australia
Telephone (8-10-61-2) 6295-94-74
Fax (8-10-61-2) 6295-10-01
E-mail consul.australia@mid.ru
Web australia.mid.ru
Business hours Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 12.30.

Address 7-9 Fullerton Str., Woollahra, NSW 2025, Australia
Telephone (8-10-61-2) 9326-18-66, 9326-17-02, 8355-54-04, 8355-54-05
Fax (8-10-61-2) 9327-50-65
E-mail sydney@mid.ru, visa.sydney@mid.ru – visa department
Web sydney.mid.ru
Business hours Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 12.30 and you need to make an appointment
Emergency telephone number +61-2-8813-23-23 (SMS only)

If you have any questions ask them in the comments to this article. I will try to answer them all.

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Who needs a visa to Russia?

  • For African citizens
  • For Australian citizens
  • For Austrian citizens
  • For Belgium citizens
  • For Bulgarian citizens
  • For Canadian citizens
  • For CIS citizens
  • For Chinese citizens
  • For European Union citizens
  • For German citizens
  • For Hungary citizens
  • For French citizens
  • For Indian citizens
  • For Italian citizens
  • For Spanish citizens
  • For Stateless
  • For US citizens
  • For United Kingdom citizens


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Who can travel to Russia in 2022?

International tourism is currently going through difficult times, but the borders are gradually opening with certain restrictions. Russia is resuming air traffic with many countries and is beginning to issue tourist visas again.

Who can enter Russia?

Denis Grishkin/Moskva Agency

The main document that regulates entry to Russia during the pandemic is the Government Decree No. 635-r (March 16, 2022) that is regularly upgraded.

According to this document, only certain categories of foreigners can visit Russia, regardless of citizenship: diplomats, pilots, Russians’ family members, athletes to participate in competitions and specialists by invitation and foreigners with a residence permit in Russia. They can enter with any kind of transport.

Residents of the partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia can also enter Russia via land and railway checkpoints, regardless of the trip purpose. The main thing is that the entry must be from these republics.

Andrei Nikerichev/Moskva Agency

However, no restrictions apply to Russian citizens: holders of Russian passports can freely return to the Motherland. Before registering for a flight, they need to fill out a special electronic form and upon arrival in Russia, they need to pass a PCR test for COVID-19 within three days and upload the results to the state services website. If they have a certificate of vaccination with a Russian vaccine, then the test is not needed. Note that foreign vaccines are not yet recognized in Russia.

Can a tourist visit Russia?

Denis Grishkin/Moskva Agency

According to the abovementioned decree, foreigners can come to Russia from those countries with which Russia has resumed regular flights, including for tourist purposes. It is important to come from that country where the visitor has citizenship or a residence permit. That is, a Turkish citizen must fly from Turkey, while a UK citizen – only from the UK. It’s forbidden to enter Russia via land or sea borders (with the exception of Belarus: citizens of this state can also enter by train).

As of July 2022, the countries from which a tourist can fly directly are: Austria, Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, UK, Hungary, Venezuela, Vietnam, Germany, Greece, Egypt, India, Iceland, Jordan, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Cuba, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Maldives, Malta, Morocco, Mexico, UAE, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, North Macedonia, Seychelles, Serbia, Singapore, Syria, the U.S., Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Japan.

To board the plane, you must provide a negative PCR test for COVID-19 (in English or Russian), made no earlier than 72 hours before entering Russia. Children under the age of two do not need to pass a test. There is no quarantine for holders of such certificates (anyway, you won’t be allowed on a flight without them). Also, those arriving need to fill out a special form (sample) and have a policy covering medical expenses in the case of COVID-19.

Citizens of the Eurasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan) (and from September 1, 2022, all CIS citizens) must install the mobile app called ‘Traveling without COVID-19’ to enter Russia (Google Play and App Store) and enter the test results in the application.

In Russia, it is still necessary to wear a mask in public places, including on any form of public transport and shopping malls. You are not required to wear one outside.

Visa issues

Russia has its own visa rules for each country, which can be found on the website of the Russian Embassy or the visa center of your country. If you already have a visa to Russia and you are included in the list of countries whose citizens are allowed to enter, then you can enter with this visa. If you need a new visa, then you need to apply for it at the visa center or the embassy in your country. Russia is once again issuing tourist, business and other types of visas, for countries with which it has resumed air traffic.

Note, a tourist visa will be given for up to six months, if a confirmed hotel booking is provided (the document is in Russian).

Meanwhile, citizens of 52 countries, including the EU, Japan and China, will be able to enter the country with an electronic visa, which can be issued in just four days, without the need for any documents confirming the purpose of the trip. Additionally, 72-hour visa-free entry to Russia for cruise ship passengers will, once again, come into force.

Important! In many countries, there are still restrictions on LEAVING for the purpose of tourism, so having a Russian visa does not even guarantee that you will get permission to leave your country. This should be clarified before making any trips.

All information is current as of July 23, 2022.

If using any of Russia Beyond’s content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

Visa to Russia from USA

Invitations and visas to Russia from USA in 2022.

It was not any problem to get Russian invitation and visa for American citizens till March month of 2022 when global pandemic officially started and borders was closed.

From summer of 2022 visa restrictions in Russia for foreigners was a bit lift down but some difficults with Russian visas from USA are still actual.

Good news that Russian consulate working now in US as before from autumn 2022. So you can get your visa if you get invitation from Russia.

Lets take a look what visas now can be obtained in US to visit Russia in the beginning of 2022.

You can get private visa to Russia now if you have close relative in Russia.

Travel visas to Russia not available now.

Business visas from USA to Russia not available also.

Working visa is possible to get if your Russian job giver company can supply you with working invitation and ready to help to arrange work permit in Russia also to pay salary and pay taxes for you. So as to take all legal responsibility for foreign worker. It’s a good way to go Russia now in legal and proper way.

Technical support visa to Russia also good way now. It is like business visa, but process time to get it ready is about 2 month and even more now. Its very popular visa now.

Student visa to Russia now impossible to arrange.

Visa to pilots for international air companies also possible to get now if applicant have pilot documents.

If you have Russian visa and plan to go Russia now in 2022 you must know that crossing Russian border is very hard and complicated issue. You must be ready to answer a lot of questions and your inviting Russian company also must be ready to help you to confirm your aim of visit. Otherwise you can be not allowed to come to Russia. Its very important point now!

If US citizen like to stay in Russia for long time the best way is to get permit to live here.

The main documents to start process for permit to live in Russia are:

Criminal background letter form FBI with apostile.

Medical documents.

Russian diploma or Russian language certificate.

Local Russian registration.

Legal base for TRP. It can be quota or wedlock.

You can get all documents for TRP directly from Russia if you follow this simple steps.

1) Do fingerprints. As far as I know the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Moscow is the only organization that can do this. It looks like their office recently moved to 4, Stasovoy street. You need to make an appointment in advance and they only do fingerprints one day per week. To save time you should also print and fill out an FD-258 fingerprint card and take two copies with you to your fingerprint appointment, link below.

2) Send your completed fingerprint cards to Accurate Biometrics in USA (their address is in the link below) via DHL or other international shipping service from Moscow. On Accurate Biometric’s website, print and fill out an Applicant Information Form, credit card payment form and checklist (see link below). Assuming the application form hasn’t changed, select Option 3: two-day priority service and indicate where you would like the FBI report to be mailed (NOTE: you need the actual original paper report, not the web report!). Note that it needs to be mailed within the US, I had it mailed to a friend who agreed to help me.

3) Once your friend/relative in the US receives the original FBI report, have them send it to FBI Apostle Services in Washington DC to process the apostle, see web link below. You should fill out the service order form and credit card authorization form on their website and email these files to your friend/relative for them to print and include in the mailing to FBI Apostle Services, together with the FBI report. You will need to call FBI Apostle Services to tell them you want the FBI report and completed apostle sent back to you in Moscow and ask them which courier service to use and which Moscow address to indicate, and include the address in the documents return address information section on the service order form. Their customer service is excellent.

If you need russian visa or permit to live in Russia you can contact out Moscow tel or WA + 7 985 220-82-81 and we would be glad to help

How to get a Russian Visa

On the background of the modern tendency for globalization, traveling abroad appears to play more and more essential role in our life. No matter who you are – a business professional, a tourist, or a Very Important Person. Notwithstanding the purposes, an arriving foreigner wants visa receipt procedure to be transparent enough. The given article covers questions most frequently asked by those who are going to visit Russia.

How to issue a letter of invitation to Russia

Invitation letter, also known as visa support, is a document issued by an individual or a company (travel, hosting, employer, etc.) which verifies the visit purpose. Namely the latter determines a specific type of invitation (see below); but in general, it has to include the following information:

Surname, name, patronymic as given in the passport (so its photocopy is needed)

Type of visa and invitation

Numbers of entries granted by the visa (single/double/multiple) and its expiry date

Purpose of the trip

Data on the inviting party: registered name, contacts, reference number

Number of invitation

Tourist visa invitation necessary to apply for a tourist visa

Typical validity of Russian visa obtained with a support in hand reaches thirty days. The inviting party in the given hand is represented by a tour operator obliged to possess a unique reference number. In addition to a tourist acceptance confirmation described above, a legislative invitation of this type needs to contain a tourist voucher. This document confirms previously done payments for tourist services as well as inviting party’s responsibility for the visitor during their stay in the country. Although an acceptance and a voucher may be issued by different travel agencies (and thus have different design), they normally share the same A4 paper sheet (see Picture 1). Current price for tourist visa support equals $15, processing time is up to 10 minutes.

Business visa invitation necessary to apply for a business visa

Unlike tourist one, business visa enables entering Russia for 90 days uninterruptedly and can be multiple. To get it, a businessperson will need to pay at least 55 dollars. As for processing timescales, those differ depending on such factors as visitor’s citizenship, intended length of stay on Russian soil, exact amount of entries and invitation subtypes that are examined below. Mind that business visa is not affiliated with work! In other words, its holder cannot be recruited or employed under a contract; it only enables business activity.

In case the inviting party is an organization involved into simplified visa agreements between Russia and the European Union or the United States, it is enough for the letter to be printed on a legal entity’s letterhead. This procedure hardly ever takes longer than a day. In Picture 2, there is a sample.

Not with standing simplicity, the above subtype is not the most common one. Vast majority of business trips to Russia are arranged via Federal Migration Service (FMS) to whose office the inviting party, whether a legal body or an individual, is to apply. The service is going to thoroughly check the arriving foreigner’s biography, in particular penalty history and deportations. Detecting any breach is a doubtless reason for refusal of the application. As the given process requires a while, the final date of invitation receipt is likely to be up to 3 weeks since applying. The procedure itself is however far from difficult. It lies in completing the form and transferring money (currently $105) from a credit card or via PayPal having done which the only thing is to wait. In order to accelerate visa obtain, any type of support may be issued electronically. It is necessary to mention that FMS must also be involved into issuing work, private and study visa invitations.

Another institution allowed to invite foreign visitors is Foreign Ministry. Actually, they send a message or, more to the point, an enciphered signal to a certain Consular or Embassy via TELEX channel. This kind of invitation is really convenient: the candidate receives the TELEX number and all details of the inviting party and displays those in a visa application form. On the other hand, cost of such an invitation letter reaches $125.

Private visa invitation necessary to apply for private visa

A private visa sometimes referred to as a visitor visa provides its holder with a right to stay in Russia for no more than ninety days continuously within the responsibility of friends or relatives living on the local territory. Necessity to prove that the potential arriver is not a random person with possibly offensive intentions makes the process of arranging such a visa support the most complicated and subsequently expensive, first of all for the inviter. Most notably, it presupposes:

So-called letter of guarantee where the host undertakes to care about residence as well as financial and medical security for the visitor

Paying additional sum of money commonly known as a state fee

In certain scenarios, for instance in the event of inviting a migration risk country citizen – interview by an FMS representative.

So, taking all the aforesaid into consideration, we do not really recommend arranging a private visa invitation letter. A tourist of business one (if possible) shows itself far less time consuming and stressful.

How to obtain a Russian visa

An invitation letter is obviously far not the only document necessary for visa receipt. The first step, however paradoxical this may sound, lies in making sure that you need a visa, since a range of countries under Federal visa-free regime is fairly wide.

In case you still do, there are several algorithms you may follow. To save a certain sum of money, go to Consular Department of the Russian Federation Embassy in your country. As long as this institution does not appeal to any intermediaries, the entire visa obtain procedure appears cheaper compared to organizations which have no direct bind with the Embassy. In addition, Consulate’s employers are expected to be fully knowledgeable about fullest and newest information on actual visa obtain rules. On the other hand, their business hours are bitterly limited, and not only by weekdays and daylight, but also Russian federal holidays. In addition, it is rarely possible to consult a representative unless previously appointed.

The above disadvantages are less obvious when collaborating with Visa application centers (VACs) where you do not need any booking and frequently even attendance as documents may be couriered. What is more, you are allowed to apply for several visas on a single occasion.

That is still not the best variant to save the maximum of your time, however. Those for whom this is main priority are free to execute a visa via a travel agency. The only thing you are to do personally in this case is to provide the agency with a document package. The evident disadvantage is price – sometimes up to $150 higher versus dealing with everything yourself.

Whatever strategy you choose and wherever you come from, entering the country can only be legal after filing a set of documents, in case of Russia the following ones:

  1. Visa application form which is most commonly filled out online and then printed. In addition to all the information required, it must bear an applicant’s signature and standardized photo (recent, colorful, face, without any sunglasses or headwear)
  2. The original of a foreign passport whose expiry date is not within half a year after your exit date. Neither copies nor ID cards are valid since a visa needs to be present in the passport itself
  3. Visa invitation letter
  4. Medical insurance policy valid for the entire period of stay (also possible to execute online; see a sample in Picture 3)

The lists of data and additional documents required for arranging an invitation letter have been presented above.

How to register a foreign citizen with the Russian Migration Service

Having answered a variety of visa-related questions, it would be relevant to say a word about migration policy. In accordance with currently valid rules (since 2006), Russian migration registration includes that from the place of residence or at the place of stay. The former needs an appeal to the community-based unit of the Internal Affairs Ministry. As for the latter, it covers foreign citizens who have been attending the given place for seven workdays since arrival, unless they:

Stay at an institution which provides hotel services

Stay at in institution which implements an administrative penalty

Stay at an institution which practices social rehabilitation

Work on a rotational basis

To be registered from the place of residence, a citizen provides any testimonial, a residence permit and documents which confirm the right to occupy living quarters. The first one is not necessary for the stateless; but everybody has to pay a state fee of 350₽ (at present approximately six dollars). As for place of state registration, it is fully operated by the inviting party.

A guide to Russian visas

To move to Russia you are likely to need to complete a Russian visa application form. This guide will provide you with advice on which Russian visa to apply for, how to complete the application forms, and the costs you can expect to pay.

Russian visa policy is complex, with stricter controls for issues such as illegal employment and criminality. There are different regulations depending on where you are from, procedures foreigners must carry out, and some areas visitors cannot travel to.

This guide to Russian visas and permits includes the following topics:

Who needs a Russian visa or permit?

Citizens of most countries need a visa to travel to Russia. You must get this before arriving in Russia. Although a European country, Russia is not part of the EU/EFTA; it does not grant visa-free travel to countries within the EU/EFTA other than Croatia and Iceland for stays of up to 90 days.

Russia allows visa-free travel to member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (several countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union) plus Cuba. Citizens of the following countries can travel to Russia without a visa: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Citizens of the following countries can enter Russia without a Russian visa but can only stay for periods of between 14-90 days and for certain purposes – Argentina, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Macedonia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama, Paraguay, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Further details on the length of stay and conditions are available here.

Citizens of all other countries will require a Russian visa in order to enter Russia.

Types of Russian visas

All Russian visas are issued by the General Directorate for Migration Affairs (GUVM). There are various types of Russian visa issued, depending on the purpose and length of visit. The visa length is usually between 30-90 days although many can be extended. The below types of visa are referred to as Russian entry visas.

Russian visa: Tourist

  • This is the standard visa that allows entry as a tourist. It is valid for 30 days and cannot be renewed. To obtain a tourist visa, you must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of your stay in Russia.

Russian visa: Business

  • This is a visa for those visiting the country on official or private business. The standard business visa is valid for 90 days. There is also a Multi Russian Business visa which is valid for a year and allows multiple entries into Russia. Business visas are eligible for renewal upon expiration, but this must be via the organization that provided the invitation for your business visa. Business visas can also be used for commercial visits such as attending events such as auctions.

Russian visa: Private

  • This is a Russian visa valid for up to 90 days based on a private invitation from friends or relatives who live in Russia.

Russian visa: Humanitarian

  • This is a visa valid for up to a year with multiple entries for those entering Russia for any of the following purposes:
    • Cultural purposes
    • Purposes related to science
    • Political purposes
    • Sporting purposes
    • Religious purposes
    • Charitable purposes
    • Delivery of humanitarian aid

Russian visa: Work/Employment

  • This is a Russian visa valid for 90 days with the possibility of extension, based only on a work invitation from a Russian company

Russian visa: Student

  • This is a Russian visa valid for 90 days with the possibility of extension, based only on a student invitation from a Russian college or university.

Russian Highly Skilled Migrant Visa

  • This is a special visa for those in skilled professions who gain employment with a salary of over R1 million. This visa is valid for three years, enables the holder to bypass the temporary residence permit requirement and entitles relatives including spouses, children and parents to a visa.

Family Member of Russian Citizen Visa

  • This is a Russian visa for spouses, children under 18 and incapacitated children who are family members of Russian citizens are entitled to a Family Member visa if the relative who is a Russian citizen signs a visa request form. This visa is valid for 3 months.

Russian Transit Visa

  • A Russian transit visa is necessary if you are traveling to somewhere via a Russian airport(s) or through Russia by train. Transit visas are normally valid for a maximum of three days for air travel and 10 days for train travel.
  • A Russian transit visa is not usually necessary if you stay in an airport transit zone in order to board a connecting flight within 24 hours of arrival. Check with your airline to see if you require a transit visa.

Russian Special Purpose Visa

  • This is a visa valid for up to 30 days allowing you to attend special events taking place inside Russia.

Areas with restricted access in Russia

There are currently 18 regions in Russia that contain areas with limited entry for foreign nationals. These are:

  1. Kamchatka region
  2. Primor
  3. Krasnoryarsk region
  4. Orenburg region
  5. Nizhny Novgorod region (permission to travel in transit)
  6. Republic of Mordovia
  7. Murmansk region and Karelia
  8. Arkhangelsk and Komi Republic
  9. Sverdlovsk region
  10. Chelyabinsk region
  11. Leningrad region
  12. Moscow region
  13. Kaliningrad region
  14. Volgograd region
  15. Astrakhan region
  16. Chukotka Autonomous District
  17. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area
  18. Republic of North Ossetia

See here for more detailed information.

Applying for a Russian entry visa

You must apply for a visa through the Russian embassy or consulate in your home country. A list of embassies and consulates worldwide is available here. It isn’t possible to apply for a visa inside Russia or at the Russian border.

Excluding the Tourist Visa and the Transit Visa, all visa types require an invitation from the GUVM branch in the area where you are staying. This is available via your visa sponsor (resident organization or individual who is inviting you to Russia). Your sponsor is probably best placed to sort this out, but a list of local GUVM offices can be found here.

For a tourist visa, you must provide a stamped tourist confirmation document from your travel agent or hotel. This confirms you have accommodation for the duration of your trip.

To apply for your visa, fill out a visa application form either online or at the Russian embassy. An English version of the form is available here.

You must also submit the following:

  • copy of your passport
  • a passport-size photograph not older than six months
  • visa fees
  • invitation from the appropriate GUVM branch (if applicable)
  • medical insurance
  • a certificate confirming the absence of HIV infection (if staying longer than 90 days)
  • you may also be asked to provide bank statements to show proof of funds for the duration of the visit

You can find out full details of visa requirements from different countries, along with further information on how to get a visa here.

Some countries now require applicants to attend the Russian embassy in person for biometric scanning.

The processing time for a Russian visa is not long and can be as short as two days, although it is wise to apply a few weeks in advance.

Russian visa costs

Visa costs vary from country to country and depending on what visa type you opt for. In the UK, you can choose between a standard service (seven days) or a more expensive express service (two days). Russian visa costs in the UK start at £165.

Rules to remember regarding your visa

Registration requirements

  • All foreign visitors to Russia are required to register their stay at the local GUVM branch within 7 days of arrival. This will often be done by the organisation or individual who is sponsoring/inviting the visitor but it’s worth checking to ensure this is done. Failure to register with the GUVM can result in a fine and in some cases expulsion from Russia.

Migration card

  • The migration card is the identity document issued to all foreign nationals in Russia at the border and must be presented along with the passport whenever an identity check is required by Russian officials. If you lose your migration card, you need to report it to the nearest GUVM office and you will have to pay for a replacement.

Exiting Russia

  • In addition to allowing entry into the country, your entry visa also serves as your exit visa. You need to specify the exact day that you will be leaving the country and if you miss this date, leaving Russia could be problematic.
  • Visitors who overstay their visa by more than three days will need to apply for an exit visa to leave Russia, which can take up to 20 days to be issued. This can only be overturned if a valid reason (e.g., illness, stolen visa) is presented.

Visa application for a Russian residence permit

If you are moving to Russia, you will need to apply for a Russian residence permit at the local GUVM office either when you arrive in Russia or before your visa expires. All foreigners wanting to live in Russia, other than those from Belarus, refugees arriving from Turkmenistan and those arriving on a Highly Skilled Migrant visa, need to initially apply for a temporary residence permit, which is valid for three years (although it needs to be re-stamped by the GUVM every year).

Anyone who has legally entered Russia is entitled to apply for a temporary Russian residence permit. The Russian government operates on migration quotas and will prioritise applicants who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • born in Russia
  • citizens of a former USSR country
  • have a family member or partner who is a Russian citizen
  • made a certain amount of investments in Russia (determined by federal law)
  • served in the Russian military
  • have had a child born in Russia

If you are working or studying in Russia for longer than three months, you will also have a strong case for being granted a temporary residence permit if you can present a letter of support from your employer/college to the GUVM.

Holders of a temporary residence permit cannot be absent from Russia for longer than three months and have to apply for an exit visa and a re-entry visa to travel away from the country.

Documents that need to be provided in order to obtain a Russian residence permit include:

  • passport
  • criminal record certificate
  • two passport photos
  • valid entry visa (if necessary)
  • health certificate confirming absence of infectious diseases
  • document confirming basic knowledge of Russian language, history and culture

Working with a Russian visa

It is possible to work in Russia if you have obtained a work permit through a Russian employer along with a valid work visa. This is valid for 90 days although it is possible to extend it for up to three years and get a temporary residence permit. See our article on Russian work visas and permits for even more information.

Studying with a Russian visa

You can come to Russia to study if you have obtained a study placement offer from a Russian college or university along with a Russian study visa. This is valid for 90 days although it is possible to extend it and get a temporary residence permit. See our guide to studying in Russia for even more information.

Getting a Russian visa to join a relative or partner

You can apply to join family or a partner in Russia on a Russian Private Visa if the family member invites you. Certain family members are eligible to apply for long-term residence under Russia’s family reunion laws. See our guide on Joining a relative or partner in Russia for more information.

Applying for a visa for citizenship or permanent residence purposes

You can apply for permanent residence in Russia after one year of temporary residence and for full citizenship after five years. See our guide to Russian citizenship and permanent residence for more information.

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