Is it necessary to have visa to Russia for citizens of United Kingdom?
Yes, citizens of United Kingdom 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 United Kingdom citizen should know:
The United Kingdom (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) is the 78th largest country in the world by territory and 22nd largest by population. In this country lives over 63 million people, 170 thousands of which is annually visit Russia.
Short list of steps-to-do for british:
- 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 ≈ 80$ (63£)
- 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 United Kingdom. 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 types of visas and purposes of visiting Russia:
- tourist visa – tourism;
- business visa — meetings with Russian business partners;
- private visa — for visiting friends or relatives living in Russia (more rational to use a tourist visa);
- work visa — official employment in Russian company.
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 1 year *
|from 30 to 90 days
|from 1 to 3 years
* – visa can be valid up to 1 year, but it is possible to stay in Russia continuously for no more than 90 of 180 days
If a British citizen is going to come to Russia to study culture and sightseeing, he will need a tourist visa to Russia. He will be able to get it only if he has a tourist invitation.
Tourist invitation is issued quickly enough: in just 5 minutes. The right to issue this document have tour operators registered in the Unified Federal Register of tour operators. Invitations are printed on the forms of the tour operators, so they look different from company to company. At the same time, the invitation always 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.
The documents contain the same information: the tour operator (name, address, reference number), info about invited foreigner, the route of his journey and the dates of entry and exit.
If British citizen have tourist invitation, he will have no problem to issue a visa to Russia (unless, of course, he did not violate the laws of the Russian Federation in his past visits). Tourist visa to Russia for British is usually issued for the period specified in the invitation. The validity of such a visa may not exceed 30 days. Tourist visas can be single-entry and double-entry.
Read more in the article: Tourist visa to Russia for foreigners
If the British is going to hold a meeting with their business partners, he will need a business visa in Russia for visiting them. He will be able to issue it only if he has a business invitation, which should be issued to him by persons interested in his arrival in Russia.
In addition to business trips, this visa is very attractive for a longer (up to 90 days) continuous stay in Russia. Business visa doesn’t have problems that private visas have. And you can stay continuously in Russia 3 times more than a tourist visa allow.
Business visa for British citizens can be issued for 1 year, if they have 2 russian business visas in passport. Depending on the validity period, business visa can be single, double and multiple.
To get a business visa, you need a business invitation to Russia. British, there are different types of business invitations, they all have their pros and cons:
- A letter from a Russian organization
- The form of Ministry of Internal Affairs
- Email from Ministry of Foreign Affairs
An invitation letter from the organization is a petition to the Consulate of the Russian Federation in the UK to issue a business visa to a specific citizen of the United Kingdom. Only organizations with special accreditation to the Interior Ministry have the right to issue such an invitation.
In order to issue a business invitation for a foreigner in the form of a letter from the organization, you need to fill out a questionnaire and pay by credit card or PayPal. The invitation will come to your e-mail within 5 minutes.
A business invitation on the form of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, based on a statement from the inviting party, is issued within 7-21 business days. During this time, the information submitted by the inviting company is checked and, if a British citizen is not included in the list of persons who are denied entry to Russia due to deportations or the presence of fines, an invitation is issued for him on a form protected from counterfeiting. If a British citizen violated Russian laws on his last visit, his invitation will be denied.
An electronic invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Telex) is an instruction, received via a special communication channel from the Consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to the Russian Consulate. In this case, the British citizen needs to provide only the Telex number and information about the inviting company, when he will be filling out the visa application form. Registration takes from 7 to 21 business days. The benefit of such an invitation is they do not require sending the original document by mail.
Read more in the article: Business visa to Russia for foreigners
British who have relatives or friends in Russia can make a long visit to them by issuing a visitor’s visa for themselves. For doing this, they will need to present to the consulate a guest invitation, which should be sent to them by the invited party in Russia.
In order to be able to send a guest invitation to the UK, a person interested in a foreigner’s arrival, should contact the department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation at his place of residenceand submit an appropriate application, also include a copy of his passport and the passport of the foreigner invited by him, a receipt for payment of state duty and some others documents. It will take about 1 month to wait for an invitation. During this time, Ministry of Internal Affairs will check the violation of the visa regime during the previous visits of a foreigner to Russia.
If the check doesn’t show that the foreigner is on the list of undesirable persons, an invitation will be issued for him on a form protected from counterfeiting. It will contain the passport data of a British citizen, information about the inviting party, and also the dates of his planned trip to Russia, the required number of visits, the signature of the authorized person and the seal of the issuing body of the Main Department of the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation in the guest invitation.
Private visas to Russia are single and double. They are issued for a period not exceeding 90 days.
Read more in the article: Private (Guest) visa to Russia for foreigners
If the British found in Russia a company that wants to officially hire him, he needs to apply for a work visa. With such a visa, he will be able to travel to Russia without a break throughout the duration of its validity, as well as cross the borders of the Russian Federation as many times as he needs.
To get a work visa, a British citizen will need the help of his Russian employer, who will have to apply for a work permit and a work invitation, as well as send him the originals of these documents using international mail services. Based on these documents, a foreigner will be issued a short-term work visa (valid for 90 days).
After arriving of foreigner in Russia, he will have to register with the migration authority and then extend the validity of the visa for the entire duration of the work permit (1 year or 3 years). You can extend your work visa without leaving Russia.
Read more in the article: Working visa to Russia for foreigners
An electronic visa is a new experimental format of visa. You don’t need an invitation for this visa, but you can apply for it through the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. For now, the electronic visa is only a single entry and cannot be extended. Based on this document, you can stay in Russia up to eight days. You need only a digital photo and a completed application form for getting this visa.
It is important that obtaining an electronic visa is available only to citizens of some countries. Currently, UK citizens cannot get an electronic visa to Russia. Full list of countries which Russia has an agreement about electronic visas with, is available on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Read more in this article: Electronic visa to Russia for foreigners
Russian consulates in the UK are located in the following cities:
|5 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, W8 4QS
|+44 (0) 203 668 7474
|+44 (0) 207 229 3215
|Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. The consular department is closed on weekends and on Russian holidays.
|Emergency telephone number
|+845-868-11-99 (additional number 930) – only for UK calls, +44 (0) 776 856 6868 — on-line telephone of a foreign establishment
Attention! Documents for obtaining Russian visas are accepted exclusively at the Russian Visa Application Center in Edinburgh, located at 16 Forth Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom EH1 3LH
|58 Melville St., Edinburgh, EH3 7HF
|+44 (0) 13 1225 7098
|+44 (0) 13 1225 9587
|From Monday to Thursday – from 09.30 to 12.30 and from 14.00 to 17.30,
Friday – from 09.30 to 12.30 and from 14.00 to 17.15
|Emergency telephone number
|+44 (0) 7805 932 454 — duty telephone of a foreign establishment
If you have any questions ask them in the comments to this article. I will try to answer them all.