Planning to Visit Russia? Here’s What You Need to Know

Visit Russia

A tourist visa to Russia allows citizens in eligible countries to spend a maximum of 1 month in the country for a holiday visit. Certain exceptions are in effect, such as US citizens who can receive a travel visa for up to 90 days. The process for procuring one will be one of two methods, securing a Russia eVisa or a traditional Russian tourist visa.

How can I travel to Russia?

Although there are several exceptions, most foreign passport holders need to secure a Russian visa to enter the Russian Federation. Currently, there are two main types of Russian visas that visitors can procure for tourism purposes.

As of January 1st, 2021, the Russia eVisa will allow travellers on a list of 51 countries to visit Russian regions for short stays, whether for business, sports or tourism purposes. The applications can take several minutes without even visiting the Russian Embassy.

The traditional method is similar to how other countries will require from travellers visiting any nation. It requires going through a Russian travel agency to provide official documents, signed forms and an invitation letter, among other paperwork.

Which visa should I apply for?

Before you apply for either visa application, you should first confirm if you will need a specific visa for travel based on your country of origin. Most foreign citizens planning to visit Russia need to apply for a Russian tourist visa.

Different regions in Russia will allow eVisa application. This includes 18 eligible Far East Countries. Additionally, travellers from 54 nations are eligible for an eVisa to St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad regions. Unlike a traditional visa, these eVisas limit the stay for up to 8 days. However, the easy access to an eVisa’s online application makes it a more attractive option for most travellers. Remember that you will need to accomplish the application at least 20 days before your departure date to avoid any delays.

If you’re planning a long-term visit to Russian regions, it’s best to secure a Russian tourist visa. However, it may be easier to get an eVisa if the length of your stay is within a week or so.

What are a Russian tourist visa’s requirements?

Like any travel visa, a Russian tourist visa will require a combination of official documents together with booking and lodging information. An applicant must have a valid passport for at least 6 months with a minimum of two blank pages upon entering the country. Supplementary documents will also be necessary for the application process. You must bring:

  • A copy of a tourist invitation
  • A completed visa Russia tourism application
  • A recent passport-size colour photo (must be against a white background)
  • A document detailing the intended itinerary (from tourist attractions to cultural festivals)
  • All proof of accommodation throughout your stay in Russia (hotel reservations, receipts, etc.)
  • A proof of health insurance during your stay in Russia

After collecting all these documents, you can submit them collectively to the Russian consulate, where you can receive progress on its denial or approval within the day. Although it’s a rapid processing period, you should still apply in advance to avoid any potential delays with your bookings.


It’s important to note that travel across all nations is volatile due to COVID-19 restrictions. You must research beforehand if you’ll need to account for any changes or adjustments in the prerequisites you need when applying for a visa in any country. Hiring visa experts is one effective way to double-check if you have the right preparations for your trip.

Hiring a visa agency to guide you throughout the application process will ensure you won’t have to brace yourself for rejection. If you need the help of a visa agency in Queens Road, Wimbledon, get in touch with us today!