Buying a Russia travel visa for US citizens used to be a very time-consuming and expensive process. Thanks to Russia’s recent visa facilitation, however, this is no longer the case.
The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world. It has its distinct culture, traditions, and customs. If you are planning a trip to Russia, you should be aware of some vital facts regarding Russian travel visa. It will assist your application process with the Russian consulate.
Visas for Russia travel for US citizens are quite simple as long as you do your homework and follow all the procedures. The process of applying for a Russian Visa is straightforward, but many people still make mistakes.
Russia Travel Visa For Us Citizens
One of the most popular questions that gets asked by US Citizens who are planning to visit Russia, is: “Do I have to have a Russian travel visa if I only stay in the country for less than 7 days?” – The simple answer to that question is NO. Any foreign citizen who does not stay in Russia for more than 7 days does not require a Russian tourist visa; but keep in mind that this rule is valid ONLY if you do not stay longer than 7 days. Once you visit Russia, you will receive a stamp marked in your passport which tells the Russian officials as well as border control that you are allowed to stay in Russia for this period of time. If at any point you exceed the permitted duration of your stay, you risk being detained, deported or refused entry into the country on future trips.
What is Russian Business Visa?
A Russian Business Visa permits its holder to enter into the Russian Federation and engage in activities related to business. The Russian Business Visa may be valid for 90 days and for single, double, or multiple entries. A multiple-entry visa can be valid for up to 1 year!
Who Needs a Russian Business Visa?
Businesspersons from all around the world can travel to Russia for business purposes. However, a few categories are exempt from the requirement of a Russian Business visa.
The following categories of businesspersons are exempt from the Russian business visa requirement:
- Nationals of several countries.
- Holders of APEC Business Travel Card
How to Apply for a Russia Business Visa?
The application process for a Russia Business Visa is not as hard as it may seem. There are procedures you must follow, and documents you should collect.
To make sure you file a successful Russian business visa application, follow the steps below:
- Check if you need a Russian Business visa. If you do, then follow the rest of the steps listed in this article.
- Get a Business Invitation (Visa Support). You can get this invitation from the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. You can also get it from an organization/company based in Russia.
- Complete the online Russia Business visa application form. You can find the form at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Collect the required documents for a Russia Business visa. Find the Russian business visa requirements listed below in this article.
- Submit your application documents. Depending on your home country, you may have to apply at a Consulate or Visa Processing Center. Check if you need to make an appointment prior to that. The appointment requirement differs from one country to the other.
- Pay the Russia business visa fee. The fee for a business visa to Russia depends on your nationality, the processing period and the number of intended entries. Below you can find the list with all the costs of a Russian visa depending on these factors.
Note that in case the embassy sees it reasonable, they might invite you for an interview or ask for documents. When the processing of your application is over, you will be notified on the decision on your case.
After you arrive in Russia
If you get a Russia Business visa, you can travel to Russia as soon as your visa becomes valid. Upon arrival in Russia, you will need to complete two other steps, in order for your stay to be legal.
- Get the immigration card. When you arrive at the Russian port of entry, you will receive a card. It has two identical parts that require your information. Answer the questions on both sides. The border police will keep one part of the card, and the other one you should carry with you.
- Register your Russian Business visa. If you intend to remain in Russia for more than a week, you need to register your visa. If you are staying at a hotel, the hotel will do it for you. If you are staying at a private home, the host/owner will need to register your visa. Provide them with a copy of your passport data pages, your visa, and immigration card.
Required Documents for Russia Business Visa
The required documents for a Russian visa are the core of your Russian business visa application. You should pay special attention to these documents and obtain each of them correctly.
The required documents for a Russian business visa are as follows:
- Visa Support for business visits. Any of the following will be accepted as visa support for business visits:
- An invitation of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation. The invitation is required in original, in either electronic or paper form. You should ask your Russian business partner to get this kind of invitation for you, at the Ministry of Interior in Russia.
- An invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Your Russian business partner is obliged to request this type of invitation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia. The ministry will then pass the invitation to the embassy in your country. Your partner should provide you with the 6-digit number on the invitation. You should present this number when you submit the required documents for a Russia business visa.
- An inviting letter from an organization based in Russia. Valid only for countries that signed visa facilitation agreements with Russia. The Head of the Russian inviting company should sign and stamp this letter. The invitation must be printed on the official paper of the Russian host organization. The embassy may require it in the original format.
Russia Business Visa Fee
The costs of a visa for Russia application depend on several factors, as the applicant’s nationality, type of visa and number of intended entries.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Russia Business Visa?
The average processing time for a Russia Visa is 10 days. However, the processing can take from three to 20 working days. Applicants that want to benefit from the expedited visa application processing will need to pay a higher fee, as given above.