Is it necessary to have visa to Russia for citizens of Bulgaria?
Yes, citizens of Bulgaria 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.
For getting visa an Bulgaria citizen should know:
Short list of steps-to-do for Bulgarian:
- To have valid passport
- To get an invitation to Russia
- To get a medical insurance
- Fill in the form on visa.kdmid.ru and print it
- Paste your photo 3,5х4,5 cm in form
- Pay consular (visa) fee ≈ 40$ (35€)
- Bring or send documents to the Russian Consulate (passport, invitation, insurance, application form, receipt)
- Wait for 1 to 10 calendar days and get a passport with visa
You can get a visa by applying to the Russian Consulate in Bulgaria. List of consulates, their phone numbers and location map you may find in the end of this article. 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 visa types and purposes to visit Russia:
- tourist visa (tourism, sightseeing);
- business visa (to spend time with friends or relatives living in Russia);
- private visa (taking part in a conference, business meeting);
- work visa (official employment in a Russian company);
- e-Visa (for short-term visits).
Comparison of length of stay and price of visa:
|Type of visa
|Length of stay
|Full processing price
|from 1 to 30 days *
|from 30 days to 5 years **
|from 30 to 90 days
|from 1 to 3 years
|from 1 to 8 days
* – for Bulgaria citizens is possible to issue a tourist visa for 6 months!
* – visa can be valid up to 5 years, but it is possible to stay in Russia continuously for no more than 90 of 180 days
Tourist visa is for those Bulgarians who want to visit Russia to sightseeing for a period which is not exceed 30 days. In order to issue such a visa you need a special tourist invitation, which can be obtained in every tourist agency registered in the Unified Federal register of tour operators of the Russian Federation.
Advantage of the tourist invitation is that it can be issued in 5 minutes online. Therefore, such invitation consist of two parts:
- Tourist voucher indicating that you have bought a tourist ticket to Russia.
- Confirmation of tourist admission — the Consulate is requested to issue a visa to a foreign citizen.
Reference number, travel agency’s name, tourist’s passport data, cities which are planned to visit, hotels, where tourist is going to stay, planned travel dates and visa multiplicity, dates of arrival and departure are indicated in a voucher. In a confirmation all the information is duplicated.
Tourist visa to Russia for a citizen of Bulgaria can be issued for up to 30 days. It can be single or double-entry.
For citizens from Bulgaria is possible to get tourist visa to Russia for 6 months!
Read more in the article: Tourist visa to Russia for foreigners
Business visa is for those citizens of Bulgaria, who want to visit Russia to take a part in an auction, hold a meeting with business partners, expand business ties or sign a contract. In order to obtain a business visa, you need a business invitation, which must be issued by an inviting party.
Besides business trips, such a visa is great for a longer period (up to 90 days) of continuous stay in Russia. Business visa has no disadvantages of private visas and also you can continuously stay under such a visa 3 times longer than by a tourist visa.
In order to obtain a business visa, you need a business invitation to Russia. There are several types of business invitations for the Bulgarians, all of them have its advantages and disadvantages:
- A letter from a Russian organization
- The form of Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Email from Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Invitation letter from an organization is an application to the Consulate of Russian Federation in Bulgaria for a business visa to a certain citizen of Bulgaria. Only organizations which are accredited at the Ministry of internal affairs have a right to issue such invitations.
I recommend to issue business invitations to the citizens of Bulgaria in a form of letter from an organization because it is much cheaper than Telex or the MIA letterhead and you will receive it to your e-mail right after a payment. Besides, in a presence of at least 2 business visas to Russia, Bulgarian citizen can obtain a multiple-entry visa for 5 years using such a letter (there is simplified visa regime between the EU and Russia).
In order to issue a business invitation in a form of invitation letter, you need to complete an application form and make a payment by credit card or via PayPal. Invitation will be delivered to your e-mail in 5 minutes.
Invitation on the letterhead of the MIA is issued as follows: representative of an inviting organization submits an application with a pack of necessary documents to the MIA office. After that, MIA employees check if you are banned to visit Russia. If there are no reasons to refuse, inviting party gets an invitation on the state letterhead and forward it to an invited foreigner. Issuance takes from 7 to 21 business days.
Electronic invitation from the Ministry of foreign affairs is very convenient type of invitation because you don’t have to send any paper or electronic documents, just Telex number. Issuance takes from 7 to 21 workdays. Advantage of such invitations is that they are not required to be sent via post.
Read more in the article: Business visa to Russia for foreigners
In order to apply for a guest visa to Russia, Bulgarian citizen needs to preliminary obtain a guest invitation. Your friend or relative living in Russia should apply for this document for you. In order to do so, a person interested in your visit should contact territorial office of the Ministry of internal affairs of Russia and submit a pack of documents and an application requesting to issue a private invitation.
After that you need to wait until you’ll be checked for the absence of unpaid fines earned in previous visits to Russia and whether he had previously been deported from the country. If there’s no such violations, then your invitation will be given to the inviting party on the appointed day. In order to apply for a visa this invitation should be sent to Bulgaria via international post. If you are banned to visit Russia, issuance of the invitation will be refused.
Citizen of Bulgaria can obtain a guest visa for up to 90 days. Guest visas to Russia can be single or double-entry.
Read more in the article: Private (Guest) visa to Russia for foreigners
If Bulgarian citizen found an employer in Russia who is ready to issue a work permit for him and work invitation, he can get a work visa to Russia. If there is no such employer, you need to visit Russia under a tourist visa to find a company, which is in need of highly qualified employee, who is moreover a citizen of another country.
Russian company, which agrees to hire a foreigner must not only issue all the necessary documents but hereinafter monitor that a foreign employee doesn’t violate visa regime. Advantage of the work visa is that it is issued for 90 days at first and then prolonged for the whole period of work permit validity. You can stay without a break in Russia under the work visa during the whole validity period (1 or 3 years). Herewith it can be prolonged without leaving country.
Read more in the article: Working visa to Russia for foreigners
Bulgarians wanting to stay in Russia for a short period of time can apply for the electronic visa. It is visa type which allows Bulgarian citizens to visit Russia for a period from 1 to 8 days.
This visa type is experimental. In order to obtain it, Bulgarian citizens don’t need an invitation, just digital photo and completed on the MFA website application. Under the electronic visa you can visit only Kaliningrad oblast (St. Petersburg will be added on this list from 1 October 2019).
Read more in this article: Electronic visa to Russia for foreigners
Russian consulates in Bulgaria are located in the following cities:
|1113, Sofia, bul. Dragan Tsankov,28
Monday to Friday — с 8.45 to 12.30.
The last Wednesday of each month – from 8.45 to 12.30 and from 14.00 to 16.30
|Emergency phone number
|+359-884-510-955 — duty telephone of the foreign institution
|9000 Varna, str. Macedonia, 53
|Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8-30 to 13-00
|Emergency phone number
|+359 885 63 18 81 — duty telephone of the foreign institution
If you have any questions ask them in the comments to this article. I will try to answer them all.