Is it necessary to have visa to Russia for citizens of EU?
Yes, citizens of EU 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 EU citizen should know:
The European Union (EU) is a formation with the characteristics of an international organization and a state. It consists of 28 states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden) with a population of about 500 million people.
Short list of steps-to-do for European:
- 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 visa at the Russian consulates in the EU or at any Russian Consulate abroad. 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 next types of visas and purposes for visiting Russia:
- tourist visa – tourism, visiting of museums, architectural and historical sightseeing;
- business visa — execution of the contracts, participation in auctions;
- private visa — visiting relatives or friends living in Russia;
- work visa — employment in a company operating on the territory of Russia;
- e-Visa — for short trips.
Comparison of length of stay and price of visa:
|Type of visa||Length of stay||Full processing price|
|Tourist||from 1 to 30 days *||≈85$|
|Business||from 30 days to 1 year **||from 125$|
|Private||from 30 to 90 days||≈162$|
|Work||from 1 to 3 years||from 1220$|
|Electronic||from 1 to 8 days||≈17$|
* – for EU citizens is possible to issue a tourist visa for 6 months!
* – visa can be valid up to 5 years, but it is possible to stay in Russia continuously for no more than 90 of 180 days
Cost example of single tourist visa to Russia for 14 days (2 weeks) for EU citizen:
The cost of visa is always calculated individually. Using this example, you can calculate the cost of your visa.
|Invitation to Russia||≈15$ (≈13€)|
|Medical insurance||≈1,5$ per day * 14 days ≈ 17$ (≈15€)|
|Photo 3.5 x 4.5 cm||≈8$ (≈7€)|
|Consular fee||40$ (≈35€)|
|Postal services (optional)||5$ (≈4€)|
Consular fee for tourist visa
(the main expense)
The visa fee has a fixed value and depends only on the multiplicity of the visa issued.
The size of the consular fee depends on the multiplicity of the issued visa to Russia:
|Ordinary *||Urgent **|
|Single||40$ (35€)||80$ (70€)|
|Double entry||40$ (35€)||80$ (70€)|
|Multi-entry||40$ (35€)||80$ (70€)|
* Normal processing time – from 4 to 20 working days
** Urgent processing time – from 1 to 3 working days
If a citizen of one of the EU countries wants to come to Russia for a short trip, the easiest way to issue a tourist visa. He will need a tourist invitation for this.
Tourist invitation can be made by any company providing travel services in the territory of the Russian Federation under condition that company are registered in the Unified Federal register of tour operators. This invitation consists 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.
These documents must contain information about the tour operator who issued the invitation to Russia to an EU citizen (the number of the tour operator in the Unified Federal register, its name, contact details), passport data of the foreign tourist and information about the route of his travel in Russia, places of residence during the trip. Also, the invitation indicates the dates of the planned trip and the multiplicity of the visa needed for this trip.
The invitation, which is required to get tourist visa to Russia, will take no more than five minutes to apply at the tour operator. The visual appearance of the tourist invitation is not regulated, so each tour operator issues it on its own form.
If the package of documents presented by an EU citizen to get visa to Russia doesn’t cause complaints, the tourist visa is issued for the period specified in the invitation within 30 days. At the same time, this visa can be single or double.
For citizens from the EU is possible to get tourist visa to Russia for 6 months!
Read more in the article: Tourist visa to Russia for foreigners
A business visa to Russia can be useful for citizens of the European Union who have interests related to their business in Russia. This type of visa allows EU citizens to cross the borders of the Russian Federation when they need to negotiate, sign contracts, participate in auctions and other similar events.
Besides of business trips, this visa is very attractive for a longer (up to 90 days) continuous stay in Russia. Business visa is free of problems that private visas have and at the same time it allows to stay in Russia continuously 3 times more compare to tourist visa.
You need a business invitation to Russia for receiving business visa. There are different types of business invitations for EU citizens, each of which has its pros and cons:
- A letter from a Russian organization
- The form of Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Email from Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The invitation to Russia by the form of a letter from a Russian organization doesn’t have an official form. However, it must contain information about the inviting party (company name, invoice details, contact details), information about foreign citizen invited to Russia and visa data (type of visa, purpose of travel, validity of visa, multiplicity). The letter should include information about the Consulate of Russia to which it is sent, the name of the head of the organization, his signature and seal of the organization, the justification for the purpose of the foreigner’s trip to Russia.
Invitation to Russia by the letter has a lot of advantages to the other types of invitations and it will take about 5 minutes to complete it online. When you submitting a package of documents for visa to Russia, many consulates do not even require the original invitation: enough to have an e-mail copy from the inviting party.
If an EU citizen has two previously issued visas to Russia without violations of the visa regime during his previous visits, then Russian Consulate can issue a business visa for up to 5 years on the basis of such a letter. This type of invitation is not suitable for citizens of Great Britain and Ireland, because these two countries didn’t support the agreement on visa facilitation, signed between the Russian Federation and the EU countries in 2006.
Invitation to Russia on the form of the MINISTRY of internal Affairs is issued on the basis of documents submitted by the representative of the inviting foreign organization. For this purpose, the inviting party must submit information about the foreigner to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and wait the time designated by the law (from 7 to 21 working days), while the evaluation of the foreigner will be conducted on the existence of facts of administrative penalties or expulsions from the country in the past his visits to the Russian Federation. If such facts are not found, the invitation for the foreigner will be issued on a protected from counterfeiting form, which the inviting organization will send to the EU citizen.
Telex is an invitation that is sent via internal communication channel from the Russian Foreign Ministry to the Russian Embassy abroad. The convenience of this kind of invitation is that invited person enough to tell only the number of the invitation and the data of the organization that issued it. EU citizens can obtain single, double and multiple entry visas valid from several days up to 5 years to enter Russia on the basis of business invitations. The duration of the visa is determined by what is written in the invitation issued for the foreigner by the inviting organization, located in the Russian Federation (the purpose of the visit, its justification, the date of the planned trip to Russia). It will take from 7 to 21 working days for registration. The benefit of this invitations is that you do not need to send an original by mail.
Read more in the article: Business visa to Russia for foreigners
If EU citizens want to visit their relatives or friends in Russia, they can apply for private visa. Citizen, permanently residing in Russia, who wants to invite a foreigner, must apply to the Territorial head of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and submit the application for the issuance of a private invitation. In addition to this request he must present an identity document and a copy of the invited person identity document. Also, a person who invites an EU citizen, must provide a letter of guarantee for the commitment of material, housing and medical support of the invited foreigner, as well as information about their income. And he must pay the state fee for issuing the invitation.
After submitting such an application with package of documents, the applicant will have to wait for 20 working days. A private invitation on a protected from forgery form will be issued to the applicant after checking previous visits of this foreigner to Russia for violations of visa regime or deportation.
After receiving this invitation, the inviting party sends it to the invited person. On the basis of such an invitation, a private visa to Russia, issued by the Consulate, may be valid up to 90 days and be single or double-entry.
Read more in the article: Private (Guest) visa to Russia for foreigners
Working visa to Russia can be valid for 1 year or 3 years, depending on the qualification of the specialist. You can stay with this kind of visa in the territory of the Russian Federation for the entire period of validity without leaving, or enter and leave any required number of times.
For receiving work visa at the Russian Consulate, you will need the help of an employer. And you have to find him in advance, before the start of processing of work visa. A company that wants to hire an EU citizen must have a permit for recruiting foreign labor. Also, company has to issue a work permit and invitation for a single work visa for a foreign specialist.
This set of documents is sent to an EU citizen who has to get a 90-day work visa first. He will enter Russia on the basis of this visa, after the employer must register him in migration office and take care of the extension of the visa for a period of 1 or 3 years. The employer must to ensure that the employee renews his visa in time, otherwise employer will get a large fine and the foreigner will be deported outside the country.
Read more in the article: Working visa to Russia for foreigners
Europeans who want to stay in Russia for a short period of time can do it with an electronic visa. With this type of visa document EU citizens can go to Russia and stay from 1 to 8 days.
This visa format was introduced as an experimental, but it continues up to now. To get an e-Visa, EU citizens don’t need an invitation, they need to have only a digital photo and a completed questionnaire on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With an electronic visa, a European citizen can visit only the Kaliningrad region (St. Petersburg will also be included in this list from October 1, 2019).
Read more in this article: Electronic visa to Russia for foreigners
If you have any questions ask them in the comments to this article. I will try to answer them all.