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Visa

As we are authorized tour operator in Russia (registration number: РТО 020723),
we provide our tourists with free invitation letters necessary to get visa and additional permissions to visit some border zones of the Russian Federation.

According to Visa regime in Russia there are 27 countries whose citizens don’t need visa to visit Russia. If your country is not on the list, follow our guide.

Free e-visa

Free electonic visas (e-visas) are one-off visas that are issued for a period of 30 days from the date of issue. A foreign national entering the Russian Federation on an e-visa may stay in the country for up to 8 days from the date of entry within the validity period of the e-visa. E-visas cannot be extended, nor may the period of stay under an e-visa be extended. You can apply for e-visa there: evisa.kdmid.ru/en-US/Home/Index

At the moment there are several regions in Russia that grant foreign nationals entry on the basis of electronic visas. These are the Far Eastern Federal District, the Kaliningrad Oblast, Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast. However, these electronic visas are only available to citizens from a specific list of countries compiled by the government of the Russian Federation.

The Far Eastern Federal District accepts electronic visas from citizens of
The Kaliningrad Oblast, Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast are accessible by electronic visa to the following 53 countries

Electronic visas are issued free of charge. In order to get an e-visa, a foreign national does not need any invitations, confirmation of booked hotel accommodation, or any other documents confirming the purpose of their trip to the Russian Federation. E-visas will be issued within 4 days after the submission of the application.
E-visas allow their holders to enter and depart the Russian Federation only through the specified border checkpoints in the Far Eastern Federal District, the Kaliningrad Oblast, Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast. Foreign nationals arriving in the Russian Federation on e-visas may travel freely within the territory of the Russian Federation that they have entered. However, entry is not allowed into areas, organizations and facilities which require a special access permit under the federal laws of the Russian Federation.
Foreign nationals that enter the Russian Federation on e-visas must leave the Russian Federation only through border checkpoints in the subject of the Russian Federation that they entered.

You can read about entry checkpoints and the process of obtaining e-visa in details on europe.russia.travel/?layout=evisa

You can apply for e-visa there: evisa.kdmid.ru/en-US/Home/Index

Tourist visa

Preparation

We advise you to start preparing everything 2 months in advance. You should contact Russian Consular office or Visa centre in your country and specify the list of required documents. Visa centre is an organization verified by Russian consular office and eligible for submitting documents for visas (VFS Global in most EU countries, ILS center in the USA, VHS in Germany, etc.)

You can apply for visa no earlier than 90 days to the planned entry date. Usually the visa process lasts for 10 days, also there is 3-days express visa service for additional cost.

The common list of documents for visa is:
  • A valid passport
  • Two filled-out visa application forms (printed and signed)
  • Two colour photos (3.5 x 4.5 cm size, white background)
  • A payment receipt for the consular fee
  • An invitation letter issued by a tour operator company (which confirms reception of a foreign tourist)
  • Additional documents for application (you might need to prove your financial capability to stay in Russia during all the trip or make travel insurance)

Submitting the documents

Collect all the documents and pay the consular fee which is 35 euros for a regular visa and 70 euros for express visa. As for an invitation letter, we will send it to you when you book a trip (it is usually enough to have a scan of the letter, but, if needed, you will get a paper one).

Take everything to the Consular Office yourself or send the package by post (whether your Consular office receives it by post). If you apply through Visa centre, make sure it has a relevant accreditation.

Receiving the visa

Keep the payment receipt until you get the visa. When receiving it, check if your personal details are filled correctly (passport, name, date of birth, dates of the trip, etc).

Your chances to receive visa are quite high unless you have some problems with documents or any “bad” past experience. However, if your visa is denied and you’ve already paid for the tour, we will refund the payment according to the signed contract.

Additional permissions

Some of our trips include routes to the border zones of Russia (the Kamchatka region, the Kuril islands, the Altai Republic, the Kola peninsula, some places in the Northern Caucasus, etc.). We issue such permissions for our guests for free when needed. Please, mind that in some cases permits must be made 3 months before the trip.

Travelling to Russia: all active trips and tours

BigCountry.Travel is the community of travellers devoted to Russia and inspired by its nature. We help you organise your trip:

  • offer you the best outdoor routes around Russia matching your preferences;
  • improve our trips according to your personal needs;
  • provide visa assistance;
  • book your flight;
  • find a guide speaking your language.

All our guides are locals and professional travellers.
We provide tours to all regions of Russia and of all travel styles.