Getting a visa to visit Russia seems like a daunting task, however it is actually quite easy. This post will show you how to get your visa for your trip to Russia!
STEP 1: Make sure your passport is valid
First things first, to travel to most places your passport needs to have at least 6 months left until it expires. Meaning if you are planning to travel in May, your passport cannot expire before November or else you will not be able to get a visa! So make sure you pay attention to your passports expiration date. Also, you also need to have at least 2 pages empty to get a visa. Obviously one will be used for the visa they other is for arrival and departure stamps.
STEP 2: Create an itinerary
This part is vital as you will need to include your itinerary in your visa application. You should figure out when you plan to travel, what cities you would like to visit and what you will do in those places. You do not need to book a hotel to get your visa but you should know where you want to stay as your visa application will ask you which hotel you will be staying at.
STEP 3: Get an invitation letter/ tourist voucher
To visit Russia, you need to first get permission. It is quite easy to get as there are many different ways to do so. Hotels can actually help you to get the tourist voucher for a certain price. However, this may be pricey. Another way is through online agencies. Sites like Real Russia provide tourist vouchers for as low as $30 (CAD) and they will email it to you in 15 mins!
STEP 4: Fill out an application online
All you need to do is research the nearest Russian embassy to you to apply online. (click here to apply ). Make sure you keep your application number in a safe place incase you need to revisit your saved application again. However, once you submit the application you cannot edit it again. This application is very intrusive as it will ask you questions about your visit details, criminal history, education history, all the countries visited in the past 10 years plus dates, your parents names, etc. Make sure you are accurate with your information as you don't want your visa to be refused. Once you've double checked all of your information then you can print off your application to submit with the rest of the paperwork.
STEP 5: Get a passport photo
You will need to submit only ONE 3.5cm x 4.5cm passport photo. Specifically, a coloured photo with a white background and facing forward. Do not wear sunglasses, hats, or even a head-dress as it will not be accepted. This photo must be glued onto the designated space in your printed visa application.
STEP 6: Drop off your passport and application to the Russian embassy or Russian visa centre
Research the closed Russian embassy or Russian Visa centre closest to you to drop off your passport and application. Make sure you application includes your passport photo, signed visa application, tourist voucher and passport! Be sure to find out if you need to make an appointment before hand. Check all the fees associated with applying and see what payment methods they accept.
After you've paid the appropriate fees you will be given a receipt which will have a reference number you can use to track your application. Keep the receipt as you will need it to pick up your passport! They also give you a date to pick it up (pictured at the top of the image below). My application was only going to take one week.
STEP 7: Pick up your passport with your visa
Congratulations, you made it to the last time. This is where you return to where you dropped off your visa application and passport. Make sure to bring the receipt that you were given after you paid the application fee. If you do not have this you will not be able to collect your passport. Once you give the receipt they will hand you your passport with the visa attached to one of the pages.
You will be asked to confirm that your information is correct. You should check the spelling of your name, passport number, birthday, entry and exit dates and duration of stay. Once you have confirmed that all your information is correct you are good to go! Enjoy your trip to Russia!
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I’m Hilda, the writer behind Herxtravels. Here you can find travel guides, reviews and tips whilst reading about my adventures abroad.