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Russian visa Information. Russian entry requirements

All foreign nationals wishing to visit Russia need to have a visa in order to enter the Russian Federation. There are different types of visa depending on the purpose of your visit. It is not possible to obtain a visa at the airport or boarder, when entering Russia. Visas are issued by Russian Embassies/Consulates upon presenting the invitation and paying the consular fee.
You can stay in Russia for the period of time stated on your visa. If you want to stay in Russia longer you must leave Russia and apply for the visa again. Official invitations or so-called visa-support letters are required for all types of visas. It is the first thing you need to get before applying for Russian visa.

Requirements For Foreign Citizens To Enter Russia

Tourist Travel to Russia
Your passport must have validity extending the period of your stay in Russia for at least 6 months Two-way tickets and documents for your trip Russian Visa
No vaccination is required

Business Travel to Russia
Your passport must have validity extending the period of your stay in Russia for at least 6 months Two-way tickets and documents for your trip Russian Visa
No vaccination is required

Russian Visa Requirements
To obtain visa to enter Russia you should submit the following documents at the Russian Embassy or Consulate
NEW REGULATIONS ON VISA OBTAINING PROCEDURE IN EU COUNTRIES
According to the new regulation, starting with June 15, visa processing in Russian consulates located in Europe takes 3 to 10 working days. «Waiting period» for Russian visas issued in European consulates from now on makes 5 days, which means the person can not enter Russia for at least 5 days after getting his or her visa. This is not a regular rule and, supposedly, to a large extent depends on the consulate you apply to. If your trip to Russia is urgent it is strongly recommended that you contact your local Russian consulate beforehandly and make sure your visa will be ready in time

Russian Tourist Visa
Your passport (not a copy of it) must have at least 2 blank pages designated for visas (the period within which your passport is valid must extend the period of your stay in Russia for at least 6 months).
Two completed copies of Russian visa application form with your signature. ONE passport-size photo (2x2) with your signature on the back. Homemade Digital Photographs are not accepted. For Tour Group or Cruise Passenger: your tour company must confirm your itinerary with a letter including a copy of confirmation from authorized Russian travel company. The letter must include refrence number and confirmation number for your visa.
Note: Effective April 15 1999 all tourist visa support should be presented on the new Russian Visa Support Confirmation Form.

Russian Business Single, Double and Multiple-Entry Visa
Your passport (not a copy of it) must have at least 2 blank pages designated for visas (the period within which your passport is valid must extend the period of your stay in Russia for at least 6 months).our original passport with at least 2 blank visa-designated pages (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia).
Two completed copies of Russian visa application form with your signature. ONE passport-size photo (2x2) with your signature on the back. Homemade Digital Photographs are not accepted. HIV test for multi entry visa or if you plan to stay in Russia for more than 3 months.
Official invitation from any organization entitled to invite business visitors to Russia. The Invitation to Russia can be done by Russian Foreign Ministry or its regional representatives; The Ministry of the Interior or its local offices; or other authorized Russian Agencies. The letter must contain: official seal and legal address of the agency, signature and name of the official entitled to invite foreigners to Russia.

Russian Private or Homestay Visa
Your passport (not a copy of it) must have at least 2 blank pages designated for visas (the period within which your passport is valid must extend the period of your stay in Russia for at least 6 months).our original passport with at least 2 blank visa-designated pages (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia). Two completed copies of Russian visa application form with your signature.
ONE passport-size photo (2x2) with your signature on the back. Homemade Digital Photographs are not accepted. Visa entitlement certificate (IZVESHENIYE) from the local OVIR in Russia. Your host must get this certificate and send the original to you. Your host will need to know: The cost of OVIR application is about USD35. OVIR's approval can take 4-6 weeks).

NEW! FOR US CITIZENS ONLY
According to the new law introduced on April 1, 2004, US citizens who apply for Russian visas should use new application form applying for Russian Visa. The new form combines old standard Application and Supplemental Forms. Choose Your Visa Type and fill in Visa Support Application Form below to obtain Russian Business Visa Support Authorization (Official Visa Invitation from Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs).

NEW REGULATIONS ON VISA OBTAINING PROCEDURE IN EU COUNTRIES
According to the new law, which came into operation on June 1st, 2007, Russian consulates located in Europe issue multiple entry visas with a limit on how many days a traveler can stay in Russia. This limit is not more than 90 days during the period of 180 days. Officially this limitation is valid for EU passport holders only; however, those citizens of other countries who obtain their visas in Europe are also subjected to this rule. Please contact the consulate where you are going to get your visa and find out the latest information.
Moreover, according to the same law, even though the person might have an official one year invitation, Russian consulate may deny a multiple entry visa if the applicant did not have Russian visa for the previous year.
For residents of USA or EU countries it is enough to indicate a state or region of birth. For people born in the former USSR or any other country it is necessary to indicate the actual city of birth.
To process business visa support we need a scanned copy of your passport. If any family member is going with you, it is requested to add a copy of birth certificate (for a child) and a marriage license for an accompanying spouse. If you cannot scan your passport you can take a photo copy and fax it to 7.495.956 2244. A clear shot of your passport can also be sent as an attachment to visa@intelservice.ru
Unfortunately, we cannot process your application before the passport copy is sent. Please note that we must have a copy of your previous Russian visa to process a multiple entry visa invitation. If this is supposed to be your first trip to Russia, please choose a telex option since a proof of previous visit to Russia is not required for telexes.
Children accompanying you and registered for your name: Children are included in the parent's visa support document for extra charge ($10). If the child is old enough to have his/her own passport you should fill in a separate application form both here and at the Consulate.

What should you do with the visa Once in Russia, Please, Make Sure That You Register Your Visa
So you are in Russia, after all travel arrangements are completed. You are given three working days to register your visa (as it was already mentioned, excluding weekends and holidays).

Russian visa registration laws
The new Russian visa registration law on the status of foreigners in Russia is active since November,1 2002. Special regulations for Moscow are active since September 2004. This law claims that "A foreign citizen, once entered the Russian Federation, must register during the first three working days after his arrival, at the order provided by this law and other federal laws". Children under 18, who entered Russian Federation with their parents, or with one of the parents, should be registered together with the parent.
A foreign citizen should register at the place of arrival in Russian Federation even if he/she plans to go somewhere else in few days. If a foreign citizen changes the place of stay, he/she should register in the new place during the first three working days after arrival. (e.g. if you came to Moscow for 4 days, and then plan to stay in St.Petersburg for another 5 days, you will have to register twice - once in St. Petersburg, then in Moscow.) If a foreign citizen lost his/her documents while staying in Russia, he/she is not obliged to register. In this case he should leave Russia within ten days (including holidays) after he/she obtained temporary documents.
Foreigners who enter Russian Federation with diplomatic purpose are registered by the Russian Ministry of Foreign affairs. The process is different, thus if this is your case, please, contact the inviting organization to learn about this type of registration in detail.
The documents needed for registration are 1) a migration card with a stamp of passport control; 2) passport (as long as your visa is in your passport). If you stay in a hotel, the hotel must register you and forward all the information to the Russian immigration officials. When you leave the hotel, the hotel forwards the date of your leaving to immigration officials again.
There are several categories of foreigners who should not be registered: 1) president of a state, head of international delegation, members of foreign government organisations, and members of their families; 2) (sic) foreign citizens, who arrived to Russia for the period not longer than 3 days, excluding those who stay in a hotel (in this case, the hotel will register this person anyway); 3) sailors, pilots.
Please, note, that if you were fined twice for breaching the Russian registration rules by the authorities, there is a chance that you won't be given Russian visa for 5 years.

What is registration?


Before you register your visa, your train, bus or plain ticket with which you entered Russia is the document that confirms how long you have been staying in Russia. You have 72 hours to register your visa.
Registration of your visa in a travel agency may take about 3 days, thus it is better not to linger with it. In the process of registration they will make a small stamp in your passport on a visa-designated page or/and on a migration card if it was given to you.
Usually the company that issued your invitation or the hotel where you stay in deal with this problem. The registration stamp may look slightly different depending on the place where you register your visa. The easiest visa to register is tourist visa. There are some restrictions with registration of business or private visa. If staying in a private appartment, you should ask your landlord to write a special letter to the company where you are going to register your visa. Your landlord should write that he/she agrees to accommodate you during your stay in Russia.

Where to Register Your Russian Visa.
If you're staying in a hotel, the hotel will register the visa for you. If you're staying in a hostel and make your visa through the hostel, you will have to stay there at least for one night, otherwise they won't register your visa. For this reason, if you want to be more flexible in choosing the place where to stay, don't count on hostels. The thing is hostels in Russia are not entitled to issue invitation and have to apply to some travel agencies.
If you're staying with friends or renting an apartment, the registration procedure depends on the type of your visa. If you have a tourist visa and you stay in Moscow, you will need to contact the travel agency that issued your visa support, get all necessary documents from then and then go to the so-called Passport Department. The agency will provide further help with that.
If you have a tourist visa and stay in any other city, mostlikely, the agency will register your visa for you within 1-3 days and you won't have to go to OVIR yourself. In other case they will give you a special letter that should be brought to the local OVIR to get the registration.
If you have a business visa, the agency you work with will help you with registration (you won't have to go to OVIR). The only thing you will need to provide is your landlord's letter. Before bringing it to the agency, you need to go to the local housing authority (DEZ) with the person who is registered at the apartment you are staying in and take that letter with you. In this letter the landlord says that he/she allows you to be temporarily registered in his/her appartment. DEZ will check the details and confirm the letter by stamping it.
Please, remember that business visa regulations always change and you need to be up to date with it. It's better to follow all the registration rules if you don't expect that your first visit to Russia will be the last one.
As soon as you enter Russian Federation, you must register your Russian Visa. Russian visa must be registered within 72 hours upon your arrival (excluding weekends and official holidays). This is a law A hotel where you stay in will register your visa for you. They will ask you to give them your visa and passport.
It is possible you will be taken a small registration fee. If you will not stay in a hotel, you will have to register your visa by yourself applying to the local Police Precinct. You should know that registration rules for private accomodation are complicated and change often, thus please contact our office as soon as you arrive. We will provide you with detailed information on the registration procedure.
If you stay at a private apartment, your visa must be registered by your landlord. Please have the landlord apply at the local police precinct (in Moscow) or FMS office (commonly known as OVIR) in other cities. He will need to fill out a notification form indicating your passport and migration card details. 1 year multiple entry business visas should be registered twice. First time you register your visa for six months. After six months you will have to leave Russia and reenter the country to register your visa again.
Please note that registration of your Russian visa is crucially important. If you do not register it, you might have problems with the police, or be taken fines on departure or prevented from boarding the plane, etc. We strongly advise you to register your Russian visa to avoid possible tensions with local officials.
Our address in Moscow :
29 Leninskiy pr., tel. (495) 956 4422, fax (495) 956 2244.
Our address in St. Petersburg:
78 Nevsky pr., tel/fax (812) 327-3023

Problem Situation - What If I Lost My Documents?
You should be very careful with your passport, as long as your visa is also in the passport. If by any chance you lost it, you can try doing this: Go to any police station and ask them for a special paper, which says that your passport was indeed lost (in Russian they call this paper «spravka»). In such a situation you will need to show your return plane ticket. If you don't have one, book a flight and get printed confirmation of booking. some special passport size photos (they take this kind of photos in any photo place). Contact your embassy as soon as possible and tell them that you lost your passport. Go to the embassy to get a new one. It is better if you have a copy of your lost visa.
Take all the paperwork listed above (the spravka from the police, your plane tickets, photos, new passport, copy of your lost visa if you have one) and contact the travel agency that issued your visa support and where you registered your visa upon arrival. You will have to pay $150 US to the immigration officials and you'll be given a new visa in a few days.
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Important:
This information is a result of careful research on the topic of marriage in Russia. Great care has been taken to keep this information as updated as possable. We do not take any responsability or liability if this information is old or inaccurate. In any case we recomend that you contact your nearest embassy to get updates and the latest information. Employment or Study Travel to Russia Contact the nearest
Embassy or Consulate

For express Russian Visa Invitation assistance, to take more information about Russian Visa, to print the Russian Visa Application Form in Portable Document Format, or to fill in Russian Visa Application Form online, see other site:
Russian Visa Support Authorizations

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