With only a few exceptions, the majority of foreign passport holders who wish to travel to the Russian Federation are required to apply for a Russia visa to enter the country, no matter the duration or purpose of the stay. Citizens of eligible countries who want to enjoy a holiday in the country are able to apply for a Russia tourist visa for short stays.
There are currently 2 main types of Russian visas for tourism purposes:
- The Russia eVisa. Travelers from over 50 eligible countries can apply for this new electronic visa online from the comfort of their home. It allows tourists to visit and move within specific Russian regions for short stays. The eVisa application process is easy and straightforward and is designed to only take minutes. There is no need to visit a Russian embassy or consulate.
- The traditional Russian tourist visa. This visa must be obtained through a Russian diplomatic mission or by hiring a Russian travel agency. It requires applicants to submit hard copies of all supporting documents, including an invitation letter and details of their travel itinerary and booked accommodation.
What is a Tourist Visa to Russia?
The tourist visa to Russia is a type of travel document which allows citizens of eligible countries to spend up to 1 month in the country for a holiday. Citizens of the United States only are able to obtain a visa Russia for tourism for a stay of up to 90 days.
Obtaining a tourist visa Russia currently involves first requesting a tourist invitation from a Russian tour company or hotel or hostel, completing an online application, and presenting supporting documentation to a Russian Embassy or Consulate to complete the process.
Which Countries Need a Tourist Visa to Enter Russia?
Foreign citizens traveling to Russia should first check if a visa for the country is required, as well as to check the exemptions for each visa in the case that a different travel document is required.
The majority of foreign citizens planning to travel to the country for a holiday are required to apply for a Russia tourist visa, including the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- New Zealand
- The United States
- United Kingdom
- All African countries except for South Africa
A Russia eVisa for Far East Countries is required for citizens of 18 eligible countries, including China, India, and Turkey. 54 countries are eligible for the eVisas for St Petersburg and Kaliningrad regions. This type of travel document allows applicants to travel to the relevant Russian region for a stay of up to 8 days, for a variety of purposes including tourism, business, and cultural activities.
The eVisas for Russia are available through an online application between 20 up to 4 days prior to the departure date.
Application for Russian Tourist Visa
Before applying for the visa Russia for tourism, travelers are required to have already finalized their travel plans, made accommodation bookings and arranged tickets for attractions, festivals, etc. The first step in the application processing is requesting a tourist invitation from a Russian tour company or from a hotel or hostel where the traveler has made a booking.
It is then required to complete an online tourist visa application from the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Applicants will have to fill in some personal and passport information, and details of the planned stay in Russia.
Once completed, the applicant can print a copy of the application, which must be submitted to a Russian Consulate or Embassy in the traveler’s country of residence alongside the supporting documentation. it is a good idea to first read up on some tips for processing the Russia visa in order to ensure all the necessary requirements are met for the visa to be approved.
Tourist Visa Requirements
Russian tourist visa requirements involve the applicant having a passport valid for 6 months minimum upon the entry date to the country, with at least two blank pages to which the visa will be attached. it is also necessary to supply the following supporting documentation during the application for the visa Russia for tourism to be approved:
- A copy of the tourist invitation
- The completed visa Russia tourism application
- A recent passport-sized color photo taken against a white background
- Any documentation that supports the stated plans (such as tickets for tourist attractions, tours, cultural festivals, etc.)
- The proof of accommodation bookings for every night of the stay in Russia ( made before applying for the visa)
- Proof of valid health insurance to cover the duration of the stay in Russia
Once all of the supporting documentation has been supplied to a Russian Consulate, the application should be quickly processed and may be approved in as little as 1 day. However, it is applied to apply for the tourist visa to Russia well in advance in the event of any delays.