How to get a Russian Private (Homestay) Visa?

What is a Private (Homestay) Visa?

Foreign citizens planning to visit their family or friends living in Russia must apply for a private visa to enter Russia.

A private visa is a document that enables a foreign citizen or stateless individual to enter Russia and visit its territory to meet acquaintances. To apply for this type of visa, an individual must organize an invitation.

Requirements for Private (Homestay Visa):

1. Arrange an invitation from an individual:

A person who has permanent registration of the Russian Federation and is at least 18 years old can issue an official invitation to a foreign citizen. For this purpose, a person must submit an application to the Federal Migration Service department at their place of residence and submit the following documents:

  • His internal passport.
  • Certificate of income.
  • State Fee Payment Certificate.
  • Copy of the foreigner's passport.
  • Letter of guarantee for the invitation according to the form stating that a Russian citizen who invites a foreigner undertakes to provide him with accommodation and medical care and agrees to the deportation of a foreign citizen out of the country if he breaks the law.

The processing time for private Visa invitations may vary depending on the FMS office. But, according to the law, it cannot be longer than 30 days from the date of documents submitted for the private or homestay visa.

2. Arrange an invitation from a legal entity:

If friends or relatives of the person of another country don't have the time or opportunity to organize a private invitation (for example, if they are not also citizens of the Russian Federation), a legal person can conduct the invitation.

In this situation, all the necessary documents must be submitted by his representative to the Federal Migration Service Department at the place of registration of the legal person. In this case, regular processing takes 18 working days, while expedited processing will take nine days.

 Following documents are required to arrange an invitation for a private visa:

  • Completed application form for visa invitation.
  • Passport copy of the foreigner.
  • Copy of a previous Russian visa provided to the citizen of another country.

Attributes of the Private Visa:

Applying for a private (homestay) visa is complicated as an invitation must be issued by a party based in Russia. Such an invitation is made on the FMS letterhead in the Federal Migration Service Department based on a private visa invitation application and other required documents to be submitted by the inviting party. Both a positive and a negative decision can be taken based on these documents' examination results. If the issuance of a visa invitation is rejected, reasons will be given in the written form.

A private visa can be issued for 30 or 90 days and be valid for single or double entry. A private visa does not mean that the foreign citizen intends to travel outside of the region where they invited their lives. Furthermore, the Russian citizen must register the foreigner with the migration authorities in due course. For violations of the rules of migration registration, a fine will be imposed on both foreign and Russian citizens.

How to extend a Russian private (homestay) visa?

Unluckily, it is not possible to extend a private visa. But in some exceptional cases, like emergency treatment or other force tragedies, it is possible to prolong a visa.