Most foreign nationals need a visa to enter the RF for various purposes (business, tourism, transit). There are quite a few countries whose nationals do not need a visa to enter and stay in the RF, whatever their purpose of visit. Tourists from some countries are visa-exempt if staying up to 30 days in Russia. Otherwise, foreigners need a visa to enter the Russian Federation and stay there for the duration of their visit. All passports without exception are checked for a visa by passport control officers on the border of the Russian Federation (upon entry and upon exit). Initially, a visa for Russia is issued by a Russian Consulate (an arm of the RF MFA). A visa shall be issued in the foreigner’s country of residence if an invitation is available from a Russian authorized organization.
- Terms and procedure: a Russian visa process times can vary depending on the visa category and term. An invitation to Russia for foreigners provides authority for the issue of a visa to a foreign national or for his visa-free entry into the Russian Federation where Russian visa exemption applies. Such situations are provided for in Russian law or treaties. The duration of a foreign national’s stay in Russia may not exceed 30, or 90 days for a visa-free entry. Russian statutory exceptions may apply. Aliens are entitled to enter and exit the RF if they have a visa for Russia in a valid passport or other identity document recognized as such in the RF unless at variance with the RF treaties. Note that, if holding nothing but an invitation, a foreign national normally cannot enter Russia right away. He needs to first obtain a visa from in an RF consulate or embassy in the home country. Having entered Russia on a visa of any category, the foreign national must register with the local police precinct within 7 working days, i.e. obtain so-called migration registration.
Types of invitations to Russia for foreigners:
- Electronic invitation is convenient in that a foreign national need only print out the electronic invitation received by email and take it to an RF consulate in his country of residence to obtain a visa. Pre-printed form invitation: this is a document issued on a letterhead of the endorsing organization (Consular Service Department (CSD) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or Russian Interior Ministry Migration Service. The original (pre-printed form) is sent to the foreign national, which he must then file with an RF consulate when applying for a Russian visa. This is the required invitation arrangement for citizens in migration source countries when an electronic invitation may not be used if the purpose of visit is employment.
Russian visa support letters are classified in terms of the number of entries:
- Single-entry invitation for a Russian visa is issued to foreign nationals where it is known in advance that he will need to enter the RF once only. These are normally tourist or guest invitations.
- Double-entry invitation is for two visits to the RF.
- Multiple-entry invitations: these are business or commercial invitations with a term of up to a year. During that time, the foreign national can visit Russia more than once, staying up to 90 days in total in any six months.
An invitation to Russia for foreigners is issued within 1 to 16 working days, depending on the type of the visa requested in the invitation.
- The final result of the procedure: RF Visa Support Letter and RF Visa
- List of required documents: For details of the paperwork required for this service, visit the website of the Russian Interior Ministry Migration Service or send us an enquiry.
- Sample documents: For sample documents required for this service, visit the website of the Russian Interior Ministry Migration Service or send us an enquiry.
You can also look yourself at the current laws and regulations, or call specialists from the OTK Group of Companies +7 (495) 722-44-24. Still have questions? Please contact us for advice through our service – “Online – consultant”.