Thanks to the new electronic system, applying for a Russian visa has become much easier and faster than it used to be. The new online application can be completed from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to a reliable internet connection.
The new region-specific online visas for Russia require minimal supporting documentation — no need to obtain a letter of invitation from a Russian entity, for example. And the best part is, it only takes a few business days for the Russian authorities to screen the application and make a decision.
However, many foreign travelers see their visa application rejected around the world. In the specific case of the Russian eVisa, as many as 1,500 travelers could not reach the country because of problems in their application or documents. And that’s only in the 2 months since the latest electronic visa was launched.
If you want to avoid disappointments, there are simple things to watch out for and common mistakes to steer clear of both during the application and at the Russian border. Keep reading to discover them.
Common Mistakes in the Russian Visa Application
Although the application form was designed to be as straightforward as possible, there are still potentially tricky parts that, added to spelling mistakes, can easily cause a visa request to be denied. And when the applicant is filling out the form alone online without professional help, it’s easy to overlook such errors.
Misspellings and Double Names
Not all alphabets are the same and neither are keyboards. However, the information on a visa and on the visa holder’s passport needs to be exactly the same.
Visas can get rejected because of diacritical marks like ø, ê, and ç, etc. If your name includes an ü, for example, you should not write it as a normal u in your eVisa application form or you may encounter issues during the review and even at the airport if your visa gets accepted.
Some errors leading to rejection are clear spelling mistakes: several German travelers were denied entry into Russia in November 2019 because they confused the number 0 with the letter O in their application.
Married applicants should include their spouse’s last name in the application only if this is reflected on their passport. The same goes for hyphened names.
In short, it’s clear that it’s of paramount importance that passport and visa information match exactly.
Usually, 2 pairs of eyes work better than one, especially if one was trained to double-check applications. This is why professional and experienced visa services like evisasrussia.com can ensure a completely error-free application. We’ll review every single field in your eVisa application form and get in contact directly with you if something doesn’t look right — before it costs you time or money.
Lacking or Inappropriate Documentation to Support the Application
Although it was intentionally kept to a minimum, the supporting documentation that must be submitted with the application plays a vital role in the visa eligibility assessment.
After submitting the form, applicants are asked to attach a copy of their valid passport, a recent passport-size photograph, and proof of medical insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in Russia.
Sometimes, the documents are missing from the application. More often, there are issues with documentation such as:
- Unreadability due to damage or poor-quality copy
- Insufficient validity (the passport must be valid for at least 6 months, for example)
- Missing signatures (for example, on the insurance policy)
- The information included in the documents does not match the one provided in the application form
When you apply with a professional visa service, you don’t have to submit all the documentation in one go — the photograph and evidence of insurance can be provided at a later stage. This gives you time to ensure that everything is in order. Customer service agents will also get in touch if something is missing and will help you clear your doubts.
Can eVisa Holders Be Turned Back at the Russian Border?
Having been granted an eVisa (or any visa) is no guarantee of entry. The final decision regarding entry is made by the Russian border control officials. Of course, if your visa and travel documents are in order, you should have no issues.
That’s why it’s of paramount importance that all the information included in your application and supporting documentation is correct. It may happen that an electronic visa is granted and then the traveler is refused entry at the border because of mistakes or information that doesn’t match in all documents.
Another common mistake is to think that eVisas allow entry into all of Russia and freedom of movement within its territory. eVisas are region-specific, meaning that they are issued for short-term stays within a specific Russian region. So far, 3 eVisas have been launched:
Should you try to cross the border at one of Moscow’s international airports with an eVisa for St Petersburg, for example, in all likelihood you will be denied entry.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Russian Visa Online?
The application process is very quick. As long as you have all the required documentation at hand, you can expect to finish your online application within minutes. After that, the Russian authorities will review your case and you’ll receive the granted visa directly in your inbox at the email address you have provided during the application.
It usually takes up to 4 business days for eVisas applications to be screened. However, many travelers get their visas before then.
Errors in the application are the number 1 reason for delays. If your information is incorrect or documents are missing, your application may be delayed considerably or rejected altogether. This may cause you to be unable to travel to Russia on the dates you had planned.