There are several Russian visas, depending on a trip purposes:
These are all Russian visas in the 2019 specified in the Federal law of 15.08.1996 № 114-ФЗ, which is the main Russian visa legislation. In this article I briefly tell about each visa type: their features and how to get them. In the end of this article you can find its legislation basis.
What is a visa to Russia?
Visa to Russia is a permission to stay on the Russian territory for a citizen of a country, which doesn’t have a visa-free regime with Russian Federation, for a certain period of time. . You can apply for a visa to Russia at Consulates situated in various countries of the world. In order to obtain Russian visa, you must get an invitation to Russia, issued by an inviting party. You can be invited by an individual, organization or government.
How to get Russian visa?
Processing of different visa types is almost similar but also there is some differences. In order to obtain visa to Russia, you need to submit a pack of documents and completed application form and also you need to pay a Consular fee.
Most visas issued to foreign nationals are ordinary. It is necessary to obtain an invitation to Russia to get a visa. There are subtypes of ordinary visas based upon the visit purposes. Visa invitations respectively differ due to them. There are following categories of ordinary visas:
- For asylum seekers
- For the Russian citizenship admission
Ordinary tourist visa is a permission for a short-term stay on the Russian territory for a sightseeing.
Tourist visa validity varies from 1 to 30 days, according to your planned period of stay.
There are possible purposes of trip:
- Targeted tourism
- Road tourism
- Hunting tourism
- 72-hours tourism (cruise ships)
- Tourist group
It is the most popular type of visa, if you want to visit your friends or relatives or go sightseeing. Also this visa type is used to come to a short-term courses or seminar (in spite of this is a minor violation, nobody doesn’t actually pay attention on it).
Ordinary business visa permits you to stay on the Russian territory with a purpose of business conducting, participation as a foreign specialist to solve any problem or taking part in conferences or seminars.
Possible purposes of visit:
- Technical maintenance
- Media business trip
- Crew member
- Accompanying family member (in a business trip)
This visa type is very convenient, if you want to stay on the Russian territory longer.
Ordinary private visa allows you to visit Russia to meet your friends or family living in Russia and also as a guest of officials of foreign states, who are currently resides on the Russian territory. Besides, this visa can be obtained in specific cases such a death of a relative in Russia.
Private visa validity may vary from 1 to 3 months.
Visit purposes may be as follows:
- Legally separated family
- Visit to the graves
- Special cases
- Ambassador’s guest
- Guest of the head of representation
- Guest of the Consul General
- Consul’s guest
- Guest of a military attache
- Diplomatic officer’s guest
- Technical employee’s guest
- Guest of an employee
This visa type is useful, if you want to stay in Russia for a long period of time but I think that business visa is better choice in that case.
Ordinary humanitarian visa permits you to visit Russia for creative, scientific or charitable activity and for pilgrimage.
Possible purposes of your visit:
- Cultural relations
- Scientific and technical relations
- Youth relations
- Humanitarian aid
- Accompanying member of a family
This type of visa is very similar to business visa but not each organization can issue such invitation
Russian work visa is a permission to stay in Russia for a long period of time to work in a Russian company as a highly qualified employee.
Validity of work visa varies from 1 to 3 yearswith a possibility of continuous stay on the Russian territory.
There are following purposes of visit:
- Foreign employee
- Mass media technician
- Accompanying member of a family (during work)
- Work holidays
This visa type is very useful, if you want to stay in Russia continuously. In case, when you repeatedly obtain work visa, you have a right to get a visa for the Russian citizenship admission or temporary resident visa in order to apply for the citizenship of Russian Federation on the basis that you are highly qualified and in-demand specialist.
Ordinary student visa allows you to stay in Russia for a long period of time in order to study at Russian university or another accredited educational institution.
Validity of student visa is up to 1 year. Every year it should be extended at local interior ministry.
- Postgraduate study
- Accompanying member of a family (during study)
This visa type is convenient, if you want to stay in Russia continuously. After you graduate as a highly qualified specialist, you will have a right to apply for the Russian citizenship admission visa or temporary resident visa in order to become a citizen of Russian Federation in the future.
Ordinary asylum seeker visa to Russia is a permission for you and your family to stay on the Russian territory while authorities determine whether you are considered a refugee.
Asylum seeker visa validity is 3 months. After your arrival to Russia, you should immediately begin visa processing for permanent residence in Russia. In this case, there are several possible results:
- If authorities consider you a refugee, you will get a temporary resident visa.
- If they refuse, then you should leave Russian territory.
Obtaining asylum in Russia is a complicated process requiring its own article.
As for a visa, I can just say, that according to official statistics of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs such visas haven’t been issued, which indicates a scarcity of practice.
Ordinary visa for the citizenship admission gives you a right to stay on the Russian territory with your family, while authorities decide on your citizenship of the Russian Federation.
Validity of this visa is 1 year. After arrival to Russia, you should start citizenship obtaining procedure. Herewith, there could be several authorities decisions:
- If their decision is positive, you will obtain a passport of the Russian Federation and you will be able to stay in Russia without restrictions.
- If there is a denial, you should leave Russia.
Process of obtaining citizenship is really difficult and require individual article.
According to official statistics of Ministry of Foreign Affairs , such visas haven’t been issued.
If you plan to cross Russian territory while going to another country, you need to get a transit visa.
Validity of this visa is up to 10 days
Those foreigners, who aren’t going to leave airport transit area, don’t need a transit visa. If you arrive to one Moscow airport and have a connecting flight from another, in that case you need a transit visa to transfer between airports.
Temporary resident visa is being issued to a foreigner, who has a temporary resident permit of the Russian Federation.
Validity of temporary resident visa is limited only by validity of temporary residence permit, which is based on a reason of person’s stay in the country. It means, that your stay in Russia could be even termless.
Also, there is a visa for obtaining a temporary residence permit. Validity of such a visa is 3 months.
The temporary residence permit can be obtained due to a Russian government quota as well as in some other cases indicated in the Federal Law № 115-ФЗ of 25.07.2002.
Russian diplomatic visas can be obtained only by those foreigners, who are bearers of diplomatic passports. It refers to:
- foreign heads of state
- heads of government
- members of foreign official delegations
- consular officials, members of diplomatic missions and representatives of international organizations
- diplomatic and consular couriers
- family members of state leaders, foreign diplomats and consular officers
Also diplomatic visa can be issued to a foreigner, who hasn’t got a diplomatic passport but has a diplomatic status, which is recognized by the Russian Federation. Diplomatic visas are issued for up to 1 year.
This visa type is not interesting for an ordinary foreign citizen because you are supposed to have a specific status in order to get it. All details are presented for the completeness. I’m sure that you can get such a visa without my instructions, if you have this status.
If you are a bearer of official passport, you need a service visa to trip to Russia. Official passport could be used by:
- members of official delegations
- service staff of consulates, diplomatic authorities and representative offices of international organizations
- their family members
- military personnel of the armed forces of other States entering Russia with the permission of the Russian Federation authorities or under international agreements
Also, service visa to Russia can be issued to those foreigners, who aren’t official passport holders but who are considered by the Russian Federation as officials. Members of the official delegations and service staff of embassies and consulate can obtain a service visa for up to 1 year. Foreign military personnel can get a service visa to Russia for up to 1 year.
This visa type is not interesting for an ordinary foreign national because you are supposed to have a specific status in order to get it. All details are presented for the completeness. I’m sure that you can get such a visa without my instructions, if you have this status.
There is a list of Russian legal acts below. You may have found references to them in this article. You can get acquainted with all legal acts of migration legislation in a special section of this website.
- Статья 6 – 114 ФЗ от 15.08.1996 – Обязанность иностранному гражданину иметь визу
- Статья 25.1 – 114 ФЗ от 15.08.1996 – Определение понятия визы в законе РФ
- Статья 25.6 – 114 ФЗ от 15.08.1996 – Определение целей пребывания для обыкновенной визы и сроки пребывания
- Статья 25.4 – 114 ФЗ от 15.08.1996 – Дипломатическая виза
- Статья 25.5 – 114 ФЗ от 15.08.1996 – Служебная виза
If you have questions, ask them on the forum.