What are the requirements for a Russian Visa?

Russian Visa:

A Russian Federation visa is a document that allows you to stay in Russia for a certain period. The visa enlists entry or exit dates, your name, your purpose of travel, and passport details. Kindly note that your Russian visa is an exit license in the same way as an entry license: if you stay beyond the specified departure date or lose it, leaving the country can be more difficult than entering the country.

Is a Visa Required to Travel to Russia?

Typically, citizens of all foreign countries must apply for entry visas to enter and stay in Russia for predetermined periods. Depending on the nature of the bilateral relationship, some countries do not require a visa. Accordingly, citizens of some countries are entitled to apply for an electronic visa. Within minutes, you can find the full list of countries whose citizens can apply for an e-Visa. Citizens from about 60 nations are not asked for a visit visa to Russia, as their stay does not exceed 90 days in 180-day periods from the first day of entry. Belarus and South Ossetia can enter Russia without a visa and with no time limit. Inquire at the Russian diplomatic missions in your country of residence whether you need an entry visa to enter Russia.

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General Requirements for Applying for a Russian Visa:

The requirements for a tourist visa to the Russian Federation are explained in detail below. Please note that the required documents may differ based on the length and purpose of your stay, like your visa category. The Embassy always reserves the authority to request additional documents.

Russia Visa Applications:

1. A travel document or passport with at least two blank pages, valid for a minimum of six months and at least 3 months after the end of the trip. Copy of the first page with personal data and, if applicable, previous visas.

2. Signed and completed visa application form together with two biometric photos that are not older than 6 months.

3. Proof of travel with confirmed return tickets.

4. Bank account details prove that the passenger can finance his trip adequately.

5. Proof of occupation in the form of certified documents via an employer letter, document of registration, certificate of enrollment, or certificate of a pension fund.

6. Accommodation details by letter of invitation or proof of your hotel reservation during your stay.

7. Proof of travel health insurance valid in Russia for the entire duration of your stay.

Additional specific documents can be requested to enclose your application, depending on your employment status.

University Student:

  • Documentation of enrollment.
  • Clearance certificate from the school management.


  • Income tax return (ITR).
  • Bank statement for the last 6 months.
  • Letter of approval from the employer.
  • Employment contract (original employment certificate stating the position in the company and the salary).


  • Income tax return (ITR).
  • Proof of business license (company registration).
  • Company account statement for the last 6 months.


  • Proof of funding is, however, required.
  • If the person cannot finance their expenses themselves, proof of sponsorship is mandatory.


  • Pension certificate with documentation for the last 6 months.

Visa Requirements for Russia:

In addition to the application documents mentioned above, the general requirements for a Russian visa include:

Russia Visa for European Countries:

Citizens of EU countries are asked to visit the Russian Federation with entry visa permits.

EU citizens have the right to apply for a Russian e-Visa to visit St. Petersburg from October 2019. However, the holders can only stay in St. Petersburg and the surrounding regions for a period of up to 8 days.

Russian Visa Requirements for US, UK, and Canadian Citizens:

British, Canadian, and US citizens are not exempt from visas to travel to the Russian Federation. Passengers taking a cruise or ferry can stay in Russia for up to 3 days even if they do not have a visa. However, they must have booked their tour through a licensed travel agent.

  • US citizens with US passports can apply for a three-month single-entry or a multiple-entry visa for a total of three years, according to a bilateral agreement approved in 2012.
  • British citizens with British passports must apply for an entry visa at the authorized Russian diplomatic missions.
  • Canadian citizens with Canadian passports are entitled to visa requirements with an appropriate purpose for their visit to Russia.
About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and Visas.com, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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