TYPES OF RUSSIAN VISAS

The type of a Russian visa depends on the purpose of a foreign national entering the Russian Federation. Russian visas can be tourist, business, transit, student, visas for a private visit (guest visa) or visas for temporary residence in the territory of the Russian Federation.

VISAS ARE DIFFERENTIATED BY THE NUMBER OF ENTRIES:

A single-entry visa means single (one-time) entry to the territory of the Russian Federation. The validity of the visa (entry/exit) is strictly specified.
A double-entry visa allows one or two entries. The dates of entry/exit are always specified.
A multiple-entry visa permits entering the territory of the Russian Federation more than 2 times. A multiple-entry visa is issued with the authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only. To obtain this type of visa, you need an original invitation, as well as a proof of previously obtained single- and double-entry visas.

VISAS ARE DIFFERENTIATED BY THE PURPOSE OF VISIT:

Tourist Visa
1. The cheapest and most affordable option.
2. Suitable for short visits.
3. Issued for traveling only.
4. Means single or double-entry for a maximum stay of 30 days.
5. Issued on the basis of a tourist invitation to Russia (Confirmation and Tourist Voucher) provided by a company officially authorized with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and having a reference number.
6. Issued to tourists who have booked a hotel in Russia or have a confirmation of a transit travel for each subsequent day of their stay.
7. Tourist visa is non-extendable and is valid only for the period specified in the visa. In case a visitor wishes to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation for a period exceeding the visa validity, they must exit Russia and obtain a new visa.
8. A tourist visa is preferable to a private visit visa, since it takes less time to obtain a tourist visa.
Business Visa
1. It is issued to foreign nationals staying on the territory of the Russian Federation for a business visit (to members of delegations, contract workers, religious, cultural and sports exchange visitors). Besides, tourists who plan to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation for more than 30 days are also advised to obtain a business visa.
2. It is issued on the basis of an invitation for a business visa from the host party.
3. Valid for 12 months, and can be single-, double-, or multiple-entry.
Visa for a Private Visit
1. Such visa is suitable for those tourists, whose host is a relative or friend living in Russia.
2. Valid for a period of 1 to 90 days.
3. Issued on the basis of the original invitation for a private visa from the host party (an individual) registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs (OVIR).
4. A visa for a private visit is issued for a longer period than a tourist visa, but also requires a longer processing period – from 45 days to 4 months.
5. It is generally given for visiting only one city in Russia, specified in the invitation.
Transit Visa
1. Issued in the case when a visitor is on the territory of the Russian Federation en route to the destination country.
2. No invitation is required.
3. To obtain a transit visa, copies of air, rail or other travel tickets, and a visa to the destination country are required.
4. Visa processing is not expensive and takes minimum time.
5. As a rule, issued for a period of not more than 72 hours, in some cases – up to 10 days.
6. Transit visa is required, if ravel route is through the territory of the Russian Federation.
Student Visa
1. Granted to students enrolled on a language study or an academic course.
2. Issued on the basis of an invitation or a contract for studies from an educational institution.
3. In addition to the invitation, the following documents are required:
• copy of an education certificate issued by a government institution
• confirmation of payment from the educational institution of the Russian Federation
4. The cost of student visa is $50 – $150; Validity period is from 3 months to 1 year. The visa is extendable for a period of study at an educational institution of the Russian Federation.
Visa for Family Members
1. Suitable for close relatives of tourists who already hold a Russian visa.
2. A visa for family members is issued on the basis of an invitation and a tourist visa. Children under 16 years old can be inscribed in their parents’ visa. Adult family members need a separate invitation and visa, where “Family Member” is indicated in the “Purpose of Visit” field.
3. Relatives of foreign nationals receive the same type of visa as their relative already holding a Russian visa (for the same period of time).
Employment Visa
1. Granted to foreign employees of Russian companies only on the basis of an official invitation.
2. Valid for a period from 3 months to 1 year with multiple-entry to the territory of the Russian Federation.
3. To obtain an employment visa, an employment contract with a company licensed to hire foreign labour is required.

There are other types of Russian visa: diplomatic, visa for sea vessel crew, for culture workers, for refugees.