Russian Visas

Types of visas and procedures for extensions

Russian Visas

Travel to Russia requires an entry visa. The type of visa varies, depending on the purpose of the trip and the duration of stay in Russia.

The following types of Russian visas can be issued:

Business visa: With regards to the nature of the business trip, the visa can be suited to single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry purposes. A business visa can be valid up to 12 months.

Work visa: Work visas are only issued with the sponsorship of an employing organisation. In a nutshell, you must already have a job offer to applying for a work visa. It is valid for up to 3 months. There is an optional extension for issuing a multiple visa, but eligibility depends on your work status.

Tourist visa: The tourist visa is issued to travellers who are visiting Russia for non-business reasons. Ideal for short, one-time visits, the tourist visa is issued for a maximum of 14-30 days. It is the easiest and cheapest type of visa to obtain

Private visa: Visitors with relatives or friends in Russia may be able to acquire this private visa. Your relative and/or friend must make a request for the private invitation on your behalf at their local department of the Passport and Visa Service.

Student visa: Whether for an exchange program or for full-time education, these activities need a student visa. Students will have to provide proof of their acceptance and enrolment at an academic institution.

Transit visa: If Russia is not the final destination of your journey, you’ll be issued with a transit visa. This visa is issued on the grounds of your tickets. They are typically inexpensive and valid for a short period of time- up to 72 hours. A transit visa is not required for layovers of less than 24 hours, provided you remain in the international area of the airport.

Your type of visa can permit you to stay in Russia anywhere from 1 day to 1 year. Single-entry or double-entry visas can be valid for 1 to 3 months. Multi-entry visas are issued for 3, 6 or 12 months.

Extending your visa

Russian visas are generally not extended. They can only be prolonged if you miss your flight or in case of an accident or serious illness.

The student visa, while it does not have a restricted validity, can be extended in relation to the length of study.

Business visas can be extended, but in a limited scope. It is fundamental to complete this process in conjunction with the Russian company responsible for your employment

Multiple-entry visas are not extended. In order to remain in Russia, you will need to reapply for a new one.

You may apply for another visa while your existing one is still valid. When your new invitation letter is ready, you must exit Russia before your old visa expires. Then you can present your application in any Russian Consulate abroad. Make sure that annoying policies don't require you to return to your native country to complete the application.

Lost or Stolen Visas

Upon the unfortunate event that your visa is lost or stolen, you will have to obtain an exit visa. Contact a local police precinct and make a request for an official document, confirming that your visa was lost or stolen. You must then present this official confirmation with your passport, 2 photos and your return ticket to your visa sponsor. An exit visa can only be processed on your behalf by your visa sponsor.

Further reading

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