Visa to Russia
To enter the territory of the Russian Federation you will need to have a valid visa. You can obtain the visa from the Russian Consulate in your home country or the country of your temporary stay (e.g. the country in which you currently work or, in some cases, in transit to your next destination). Travelers without passport or entry visa may be subject to fines, days of processing backlogs, and/or immediate deportation by route of entry (at their own expense). All visas are issued based on a support letter (the so-called “izveshenie” or invitation) from a Russian individual or organization (e.g. ‘sponsor’) and other supporting documentation. Please note that your home country’s Embassy in Russia cannot act as sponsor and is unable to help you get the visa in Russia. You will need to have it prior to your departure from home. In most cases a single-entry tourist visa is sufficient for travelling to Russia for a short (up to 30 days) period of time. All you need to do to obtain this visa is to contact your hosting travel agent / tour operator in Russia and request their visa support form. It consists of two documents issued per person: a Confirmation Letter (also called Letter of Acceptance) and a travel voucher. While there is usually a fee charged by tour operators for issuing these documents and for faxing them to you and to the Russian Consulate in your area, we offer complimentary visa support for our clients. After you receive these documents you will need to mail or take them in person to the Russian Consulate servicing your area (visit Russian Embassies for a list of addresses in your area).
A complete visa application consists of the following items:
Visa application form one per person.
Tourist confirmation letter and travel voucher: free for our clients.
Valid passport: min. 2 clear pages, valid for at least six months after departure from Russia
One passport-size photo per person
A self-addressed return envelope with prepaid airway bill (if applying by mail).
Depending on the turnaround time you choose, your tourist visa can be ready anywhere from the same day to twelve business days. There are many companies out there charging you extravagant prices for “handling your visas” – while everything they do is putting your application in mail for you and charge you over a $131 per person for this “service.” Take our advice – send your visa application to the Russian Embassy yourself and you will save money (up to $560 for a family of four). Sometimes errors in dates or other information on visas occur. Therefore it is helpful to have someone who reads Russian check your visa prior to your departure from your home country. In case you plan to travel to a number of Russian cities, have all points of entry and all itinerary points in Russia printed on visa to avoid potential difficulties in registering visas and/or lengthy delays in travel.
Additional Points to Consider.
All travellers staying in Russia more than 3 days must register their visa through a hotel or their sponsor. Visitors who overstay their visa’s validity (even for one day), or neglect to register, may be prevented from leaving and/or pay late registration fine at the customs when leaving from Russia. Thus, travellers who have not registered their visa during their visit run potential risk of missing their flight back home, as filling out forms and paying the fine takes some time. Due to random document checks by police, carry originals or copies of passports and registered visas. Failure to provide proper documents can result in detention, heavy fines or even cancellation of your visa resulting in your immediate deportation. A recent case of similar deportation took place in Moscow when an American couple were stopped by police in the Arbat Street in Moscow for a document check and were deported the next day, as their visas had not been registered for 11 days since their entry to Russia. Travellers planning to stay more than 3 months in Russia must present a negative HIV certificate. The certificate must contain applicant’s passport data, proposed length of stay, blood test results for HIV infection, including date of test, signature of doctor conducting test, medical examination results, diagnostic series and seal of hospital/medical organization. Certificate must be in Russian and English, and valid for 3 months from the date of medical examination.
Travel to Russia easy and comfortably with Firmata Travel!