Most foreign passport holders need to obtain a Russian electronic visa in order to visit the country. The types of Russian E-visas available to foreign visitors depend on their nationality as well as the length and purpose of their stay. Fortunately, the process of obtaining a travel authorization for Russia has become much easier recently for citizens of a number of countries. The Government-launched Russia eVisa program allows eligible travelers to get a eVisa for Russia for short-term stays in minutes by applying online.
Visa requirements for Russia vary according to the visa the traveler chooses to apply for. Depending on the region they intend to visit and their nationality, most tourists can apply for:
The Russia eVisa eliminates the need to visit a Russian embassy or consulate in person and to hire a travel agency, saving time and application costs. The application can be submitted online and is designed to only take minutes. Visitors applying for a Russian tourist visa will need to do so in person at an embassy or consulate, obtain further travel documentation, and / or hire a travel agency to obtain a visa for them.
Entry Requirements for Russia: the Russian e-Visa
Eligible tourists can travel to specific Russian regions with an electronic travel authorization. Regions that currently allow eVisa entry are:
Documents Required for the Russian eVisa Application
The Russia eVisa application can be completed entirely online, and will require the applicant to submit the following:
- A completed online application form
- A copy of a valid passport. The passport must be issued by an eligible country and present at least one blank page for stamps. The validity of the passport must be of at least 6 months from the date of application
- 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
- The payment of the eVisa application fee by debit or credit card
Fortunately, the supporting documents can be uploaded at a later stage. This means that not all documents must be submitted in one session. Applicants can complete the application form without having all the documentation at hand — and make arrangements for the photo and health insurance, for example, at their convenience.
It is paramount that visitors complete the application form accurately in all its parts before finalizing their application. These include personal information (such as name, date of birth, address, occupation, and contact details) and passport information (passport number, issue and expiry date, name on passport). Incomplete or incorrect information may result in delays and even rejections.
Once the eVisa is granted, travelers will need to print the eVisa and present it at the border to the Russian authorities together with the passport they used during the application. Visa holders will be able to travel within the relevant eVisa region for up to 8 days and will need to exit Russia from the checkpoints of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation which they entered.
Requirements for Russian E-visa by Nationality
More than 50 countries are eligible for the Russian electronic visa. As long as the purpose and length of your stay in Russia is consistent with the eVisa requirements and you hold an eligible passport, you will be able to apply for a eVisa.
Not all eVisa countries are eligible for the 3 Russia eVisas. Some foreign nationals, for example, will be able to apply for the Far East eVisa but are not eligible to obtain a eVisa to Kaliningrad. It’s important that you check your eligibility before submitting an application. You can do so by clicking on your country in the list above and read the country-specific eligibility.
- Czech Republic
- North Korea
- Northern Macedonia
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- Vatican City
Countries not expected to benefit from this new Russia electronic visa include the United States, Canada, and the U.K. due to the tense political relationships with Russia.
eVisas for Russia are intended for the following reasons:
- Humanitarian reasons
- Sport relations
- Cultural relations
- Scientific-technical relations.
A Russian eVisa is valid for 30 days and allows an 8-day stay within the region it was granted for.
Documents Required to Apply for the Russia Tourist Visa
Requirements for a traditional tourist visa for Russia can be stricter. The visa Russia requirements for tourism involve submitting supporting documentation to prove the purpose of the trip is for leisure.
It is first necessary to get a Russian tourist invitation online, which many tour operators and even hotels can provide. A copy must then be presented at a Russian embassy, alongside the following supporting documentation:
- Accommodation bookings. Tourists must provide proof of accommodation for every night of their stay in Russia, whether a hostel or hotel booking or another arrangement.
- Travel itinerary. Applicants are advised to provide as much detail as possible about their travel itinerary for Russia, including any purchased tickets for attractions, events or festivals they plan to attend
- Further documentation. These are the same as the documents required for the eVisa and include the applicant’s passport, a recent photo, a valid health insurance, and the tourist visa application form.