Getting a Russian Visa

Russian visa

Like many other countries around the world, The Russian Federation requires that non-citizens obtain a visa in order to visit the country. However, the process isn’t as straightforward as you might expect. In fact, the U.S. Embassy considers Russia’s visa program as rather restrictive and complicated. In this article, we’ll take you through the most common visas obtained by those going to Russia, the paperwork required, and where to get your visa.  

Most Common Visas

The two most common visas we get requested at our office are tourist and business visas. A tourist visa coming in the form of a 30 days single or double entry, or 3 year multiple entry.  However, single and double entry visas are only available for expedited visas. These are processed in 3 days and require that the client travel within the next 14 days. We strongly recommend obtaining the three-year multiple-entry tourist or business visa. Firstly, a three-year visa extends the validity for your visa by 36 months which allows you to have more flexibility when it comes to making and planning your visit to Russia. Secondly, you can stay up to 180 days until you’d be required to leave the country and re-enter. Thirdly, and most importantly, getting a three-year visa costs about the same as getting any other visa in their respective category to Russia for any length of time. Moreover, it is not more competitive or longer to process. It is also important to note that you can get one so long as your passport does not expire in less than 6 months after the maturity of the visa. In addition, there are student, private, work and humanitarian visas. 

Paperwork Required

There are a several forms you need to submit for a visa application which include: a passport that is valid for 6 months after the visa expiration, proof of legal status in the U.S. for non-us citizens, a completed application form from the Russian consulate (found online), two recent passport pictures (2*2 inches), and for former citizens of Russia a copy of citizenship renunciation or for people of former soviet republics a copy of their old invalid passport. Also, like with all visas, you need to submit an invitation letter to the consulate, requesting your visa. 

Here is a link on our website showing all the various documents, form links, and prices:

Getting Your Visa

So, now that you’re a visa expert and decided on a tourist visa, where and how do you go get one? There are two options, doing it yourself or going to a visa services provider like us: Cinderella Journeys. You can always go and do everything yourself, and by all means do if that’s what your heart desires, but be warned of all the troubles you might face (including up two weeks of processing and delivery time). First, you must go to the Russian Consulate in Manhattan, which will take a good portion of time depending on where you live. Next, you’ll most likely wait in very long queues at an office that is certainly in no rush. Think of your last experience at the DMV. Finally, once you arrive, you could have potentially forgot some paperwork, document, or have your application not be accepted due to some nuance or fine print, which would force you to go home, make the correction, and repeat this whole annoying process. The cost (tourist visa for example) of doing it yourself is $25-50 for the invitation, $198 for the visa processing fee, and several hours of your time. However, if you’d rather have someone else handle the whole process, verify your paperwork, make the trip to the consulate, and get it all done in record time, you can visit our office or fill out an inquiry form on our website. We’ll take care of all the hassle! With us, you get everything done for $285. Invitation, visa processing, delivery to the consulate, and satisfaction! We’ve been doing this for 25 years and have developed a direct tie to the Russian Consulate. Your visa application will be prioritized over those queued and you’ll get it back before the average processing and delivery times. 

If you have any questions you can always call us at 1 (877) 275-8434 or visit the link below for information on visas and online forms: