The majority of foreign travelers planning a stay in the Russian Federation are required to submit a Russia visa application to travel to the country. The type of visa travelers must apply for will depend on their nationality and the length and purpose of their stay.
As part of the Russian ‘Digital Economy’ plan, Electronic Travel Authorizations (or eVisas) are being launched for a variety of Russian regions. The plan is expected to come into full force by 2021 but 3 eVisas are already live. Russian eVisas can be obtained through a simple online visa Russia application form.
At the moment, there are 3 Russian regions that can be entered with a Russia eVisa:
Russia eVisas are the only visas for tourism purposes that can be applied for online. Should an international traveler want to apply for a traditional tourist visa, they will need to do so through a Russian embassy or consulate or by hiring a Russian travel agency.
Application for Russia E-visa
Applying for a Russian eVisa is quick and straightforward. Applicants will only need a reliable internet connection in order to complete the application from anywhere in the world. The eVisa application for Russia will allow travelers to submit all the relevant documentation online and is designed to only take minutes. There is no need to visit a Russian embassy or consulate in person.
It is advisable that international tourists apply for the eVisa at least 4 days prior to traveling in order to obtain their visa on time. Together with the completed online application form, applicants will need to submit their passport and other relevant documents and pay for the eVisa application fee by debit or credit card.
Once the application is approved, the Russian eVisa will be sent via email. Travelers should print their eVisa and present it to the border control officers at the Russian point of entry together with their passport.
How to Apply for Visa for Russia
In order for the visa application for Russia to be approved, it is necessary to meet the Russia visa requirements for eVisas. When completing the online application form, applicants are required to provide a range of personal and passport information such as name, date of birth, passport issue and expiry dates, address, and more.
After filling out the application form for the eVisa, applicants are required to submit it online alongside the following supporting documentation:
- A passport-style recent color photograph taken against a white background (ratio: 3.5 x 4.5)
- A valid health insurance policy to cover the duration of the stay in Russia
- A copy of a valid passport issued by an eligible country.
Travelers can submit the supporting documents at a later stage of the application. If you’re completing the online application form for the eVisa but still don’t have documents like the health insurance or passport photo
at hand, you can continue the application and obtain the supporting documents at your convenience.
It’s important to notice that eVisas are region-specific visas. This means that an eVisa will be only valid for and within the region it was granted for. For example, if you have applied for and obtained a eVisa for St Petersburg and decide to visit the Far East too, you will also need to make a separate application for a Far East eVisa before entering the region.
Applying for a Russian Tourist Visa: Applying Via the Embassy
Travelers who are ineligible for a Russian eVisa or prefer to apply for a traditional tourist visa can obtain their travel authorization through a Russian embassy or travel agency. At present, the visa application for Russian traditional tourist visas involves requesting a tourist invitation, which can be granted by a Russian tour operator or hotel or hostel in the country.
Before completing the visa application for Russia or requesting a tourist invitation, travelers planning a holiday are required to make accommodation bookings for every night of the intended stay. Evidence of this is a necessary requirement later in the process. Once all the documentation has been gathered, it must be submitted in person at the nearest embassy or consulate of Russia. Several Russian travel agencies can also assist in the process.