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Tourist visa

CONTENTS

  1. How to get a tourist visa support
  2. Obtaining a tourist visa
  3. Crossing the Russian border
  4. What to be done on arrival to Russia ("migration register" procedure)
1. How to get a tourist visa support

Tourist visa support consists of two documents: voucher for accommodation and confirmation for receiving a foreign tourist. Tourist visa support is issued on the basis of a hotel reservation. The period of its validity is limited by the number of days a hotel is booked for.

If a foreign citizen for any reasons is not able to make a hotel reservation he can still ask a host company in Russia to proceed a tourist visa for him for the period of stay in Russia of not more than 14 days.

To get the tourist visa support the applicant should provide the host company in Russia with the copy of his passport.

Tourist visa support will be processed by a contact person in a host company within 1 working day an sent to an applicant by fax.

*NB: Tourist Visa support does not give the applicant the right to enter Russia. It is only a document necessary to get a Russian visa at a Russian Consulate.  An applicant should get the visa and can cross the Russian border only on the basis of a visa granted by Russian Consulate authorities.

2. Obtaining a tourist visa

Tourist visa support gives you the right to apply for the tourist visa at Russian Consulates worldwide. Before applying for a tourist visa please contact the nearest Russian Consulate (their list and locations you may find here ) to check the following information:

  • the way of documents submission
  • operating days and hours of the Consulate
  • necessary documents
  • Visa processing period
  • Consular fees and the ways of payment 

The standard procedure of obtaining a Russian tourist visa is as follows:

The documents for visa can be submitted to the consulate in person, through a specialized travel agency or by courier services. To be granted with the tourist visa the following documents should be submitted to the Consulate:

  • Tourist visa support which consists of two documents:
    - Confirmation for receiving a foreign tourist;
    - Voucher for accommodation
    Most Russian Consulates accept faxed copies of these documents, but some may demand originals.
  • Duly completed visa application form (form N 95) available at the Consulate or in specialized travel agency (should be free of charge)
  • Passport or other travel document with at least 2 blank pages (some consulates may demand 3 blank pages). The applicant’s passport should be valid within 6 months after visa’s expiration.
  • One recent passport size photo (black and white or in colour).
  • Some Consulates may request additional documents or information::
    - The itinerary of the applicant’s journey to Russia, so-called "Traffic-Voucher";
    - Travel insurance certificate valid for the journey to Russia
            - other documents.
  • US passport holders are required to fill in an additional application form.

There are variations of the Consular fees and ways of payment depending on the Consulate location, applicant’s citizenship and the time for visa processing. 

Once the visa is received it is necessary to check immediately whether all the information is correct. Omissions in the applicant’s visa cannot be corrected after applicant’s arrival to Russia and may cause serious difficulties when crossing the border. 

*NB: Any Consulate has the right to invite the applicant for an interview or refuse to grant visa without declaring the reasons.

3. Crossing the Russian border

Before ordering tickets to Russia, please check the starting date of your visa. It is not possible to pass the passport control before this date. Every foreign person entering Russia should complete a Russian Migration card which is usually available on all planes flying to Russia or at the Russian boarder authorities. Complete both parts in English or in Russian and present it to passport control official together wit the passport.

  • In paragraph "Purpose of visit" - please indicate – “Tourism”.
  • In paragraph "Address (host organization) in Russia" – indicate a name of a hotel you are going to stay at.

The Migration card consists of two equal parts: one should be left at the boarder control when entering Russia. The second part you should keep while staying in Russia. After passing the passport control please make sure that the officer left you one part of the migration card and put correct current stamps on both of your visa and migration card. Your part of Migration card must be returned to the passport control official when leaving Russia.

4. What to be done on arrival to Russia

Those who come to Russia with tourist visas for more than 7 working days should be put on "migration register" by a hotel they are staying at. The hotel officials will provide a traveler with appropriate documents and instructions.

A foreign citizen should go through “migration register” procedure every time he/she arrives/departs from Russia. If a foreign citizen moves inside Russia for the period of more than 7 working days he/she has to go through “migration register” procedure too.

Those who fail to follow the procedures can be fined (up to 5000 RUR) for the violation of the Russian migration law. This may cause also difficulties in obtaining Russian visa next time a traveler is going to visit Russia.