Russia Visa and Passport..Russia is at once breathtaking and baffling. Winston Churchill’s much-quoted line that the world’s largest nation represented “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” is as true today as it was back then.
About Russia Country
Monumental in every respect, it’s a land where burnished imperial splendour coexists with icy Siberian tundra, where timeworn Soviet-era monuments backdrop uber-hip urban cultures and where everything from the ruling party downwards functions in its own, impenetrably Russian, way.
The west of the country draws the most visitor attention, thanks to the presence of two extraordinary cities. St Petersburg and Moscow serve up sweeping postcard sights by the dozen. Moscow is the rapidly beating heart of the “New Russia,” where Asia and Europe combine to create a boisterous, enigmatic metropolis on a grand scale. St Petersburg, meanwhile, with its living film-set of palaces, cathedrals and waterways, is the grandest and most European of Russia’s cities, yet still retains a deeply complex character.
Exploration beyond these two main hubs, however, is well advised. The Golden Ring, a collection of ancient towns northeast of Moscow, still has plenty of period architecture and is easily accessed from the capital. By cruising along the mighty River Volga, meanwhile, it’s possible to travel south towards the Caspian Sea and see the country beyond its increasingly westernised veneer. And those heading east, into Siberia, will find a land of varied, often sublime natural beauty. From Lake Baikal to the old imperial city of rkutsk, and from the mountains of the Altai and the shamans of Tuva, Siberia has many secrets.
A combination of the above is drawing an increasing number of tourists to the Russian Federation – that it remains as obscure and mysterious as ever is all part of the charm. As the poet Fyodor Tyutchev once said: “Russia cannot be understood.”
Pleas Note: Our visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing, We strongly recommend that you verify critical information unique to your trip with the relevant embassy before travel. See also: List of countries with Visa Application form
Russia Visa and Passport Requirements
|Passport required||Return ticket required||Visa Required|
To enter Russia, a passport valid for six months after the visa expires, and with at least two blank pages, is required by all nationals referred to in the chart above.
Visas to Russia are required by all nationals in the chart above.
Your visa for Russia is also an exit permit and must be presented on departure.
Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Russia.
Those who are travelling in groups and tours should submit all documentation to the tour operator making the travel arrangements. For visits to relatives/friends in Russia, enquire at the consulate for details of application procedures.
Cruise-ship or ferry passengers booked on an organised tour can visit Russia visa-free for up to 72 hours when arriving at the following ports: St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Vladivostok, Sochi, Vyborg, Korsakov (Sakhalin Island) and Novorossiysk.
All travellers staying in Russia for longer than seven days must register their visas with the Federal Migration Service. Most major hotels will do this automatically. Private visitors must register with local police on arrival. For business/professional stays, foreign nationals may register under the address of the Russian business and do not have to provide the address of the actual accommodation.
Visitors requiring visas are advised to carry their visa registration documents with them during their stay in Russia. You must also hold onto your migration card, which you fill in at passport control on arrival.
Visitors must have confirmed accommodation or transit information for every night of their stay in Russia.
Border crossings between Russia and Belarus may only be used by nationals of Russia and of Belarus.
Biometric fingerprints are required by nationals of the United Kingdom and of Denmark when entering Russia.
Types and Cost
Visa prices vary depending on the nationality of the applicant. See http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk or contact your nearest Russian embassy for details.
Single-entry tourist/business visa: £50; double-entry visa: £65; multiple-entry visa (business only): £200. These are the current fees for UK nationals.
As well as the visa fee there is a service charge of £38.40 for seven-day processing or £45.60 for one-day processing. (Note that for next-day processing, the visa fees increase too.)
Single- or double-entry tourist visa: 30 days.
Single- or double-entry business visa: 90 days.
Multiple-entry business visa: up to one year with unlimited entries/exits.
Consulate (or consular section at embassy). You can apply initially online at https://visa.kdmid.ru. Handwritten visa forms, or online forms from other sources will not be accepted. The Russian embassy in the UK has outsourced its visa application to VFS Global (http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk) so UK nationals should apply for a visa via this route; you must be able to visit a visa centre in London or Edinburgh in person for biometric data collection.
Processing times depend on nationality, type of visa and amount paid. Allow at least five working days for straightforward applications.
Depending on your nationality, you may be asked to provide bank statements from the previous three months when applying for a visa.
Australians, Americans and Canadians and EU-nationals no longer need a proof of income when applying for a visa.
Compulsory registration for international visitors during Confed Cup 2017 (1 June – 12 July 2017)
Registration within 24 hours is mandatory for international visitors in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kasan and Sotschi during the Confed Cup 2017 lasting from 1 June until 12 July 2017. The registration is done automatically for hotel guests. In all other cases inviting persons or organizations need to register their guests with the migration authorities.
Entry with children
Children under 18 travelling alone must submit a letter from one of their parents authorising them to travel unaccompanied and must also supply a copy of the parent’s passport with their visa application.
Embassies and tourist offices
British Embassy in Russia
Telephone: +7 (495) 956 7200.
Address: , Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya 10, 121099 Moscow, ,
Opening times:Mon-Fri 0900-1300 and Fri 1400-1700.
Embassy of the Russian Federation in the USA
Telephone: (202) 298 5700.
Address: , 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington DC, NW 20007,
Embassy of the Russian Federation in the UK
Telephone: Embassy: (020) 7229 6412 Consulate: (020) 3668 7474
Address: , 6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, W8 4QP,
Russia Health Care and Vaccinations
The highly developed health service provides free medical treatment for all citizens. If a traveller becomes ill during a booked tour, emergency treatment is free, with small sums to be paid for medicines and hospital treatment. If a longer stay than originally planned becomes necessary because of the illness, the visitor will have to pay for all further treatment. This can be very expensive; especially if treatment requires evacuation by air, as could be the case with any mountaineering or ski-related injuries. All visitors are strongly advised to have full medical cover that includes medical evacuation.
It is advisable to take a supply of medicines that are likely to be required (check first that they may be imported legally). If possible, take a doctor’s note which indicates what ailments the various medicines are for. Private medical care can be expensive.
A negative HIV-test is required from travellers who stay longer than three months.
Food and Drink
In general, Russia does not pose any serious health risks when it comes to food. Use common sense and caution when deciding what might be safe to eat. Tap water is drinkable, although those with sensitive stomachs may want to stick to bottled water. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Be wary of eating smoked fish from street vendors around Lake Baikal. Some travellers have reported cases of food poisoning.
Vaccinations are sometimes recommended for Japanese B encephalitis, meningococcal meningitis and tick-borne encephalitis.
Russia Public Holidays
New Year’s Day
Russian Orthodox Christmas Day
Defender of the Fatherland Day
International Women’s Day
Spring and Labour Day
Money and duty free for Russia
Currency and Money
Rouble (RUB; symbol руб) = 100 kopeks. Notes are in denominations of 5,000, 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of 10, 5, 2 and 1, and 50, 10, 5 and 1 kopeks.
Major European and international credit and debit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in the larger hotels and at foreign currency shops and restaurants, but cash (in Roubles) is more reliable. American Express cards are rarely accepted outside Moscow and St Petersburg.
ATMs are widely available throughout Russia, although if you’re venturing into rural areas, they may be less widespread so carry a reserve amount of cash. Most ATMs will offer English as well as Cryllic translations.
Cash is preferred. If carrying traveller’s cheques, major currencies are accepted in big cities, but US Dollars and Euros are preferred elsewhere.
The import and export of local currency is prohibited. The import of foreign currency is limited to the equivalent of $10,000, but sums greater than the equivalent of $3,000 must be declared. The export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported.
Foreign currency should only be exchanged at official bureaux and authorised banks. You will usually need your passport to change money. It is wise to retain all exchange receipts. Bureaux de change are numerous and easy to locate. Large shops and hotels offer their own exchange facilities. All major currencies can be converted in big cities. Outside the main cities, travellers are advised to carry US Dollars or Euros. It is illegal to settle accounts in hard currency and to change money unofficially, although in practice both sometimes happen and are not risky. However, in general everyone will want to be paid in Roubles.
Russia duty free
The following goods may be imported into Russia by persons aged 18 years and older without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 3L of alcohol.
• Goods to the value of €1,500 weighing up to 50kg.
Arms and ammunition, undercover surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment, and narcotics.
Arms and ammunition, undercover surveillance and intelligence gathering equipment, narcotics, objects of cultural value, plants and seeds, vegetables, raw precious metals, minerals, wild plants and animals, and endangered species (unless you have a permit).
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