What is a visa for Russia?
If you want to go to Russia for a holiday or business trip, you must apply for a regular visa before entering the country. The visa is a sticker issued by the Russian government and affixed inside the passport. With this visa you are allowed to enter the territory of the Russian Federation. This visa is usually issued by the Embassy of the Russian Federation or the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in The Hague.
The visa will be checked during passport control in Russia. If you arrive by plane, the first visa check will probably already take place at the airport.
Our staff works professionally to ensure that your visa application for Russia is presented flawlessly at the Russian consulate or embassy, so you can travel with confidence. Filling out a Russia visa form is also often a difficult process. If desired, Traveldocs can also take care of this for you.
Do I always have to present a Russian visa on arrival?
No. There is a visa exemption for a transfer, whereby the traveler must not stay in the transit area at the airport for more than 24 hours. You must not leave the transit area at the airport or travel through the following areas:
If your transfer takes longer, if you arrive in one of the non-visa free areas, check in at a new gate or airline or if you plan to leave the transit area at the airport, you must apply for a visa in advance.
Do I need a visa for Russia?
Travelers with Dutch and Belgian nationality need a visa to enter Russia.
The only exception where a visa is not required is for a transfer in Russia, where one does not leave the terminal and the stay in the terminal lasts no longer than 24 hours. If you have to switch to another terminal within the same airport or check-in again, you will have to apply for a visa.
Do children also need a visa for Russia?
Yes, anyone traveling, regardless of age, must be able to present a visa when entering Russia. This means that everyone must therefore also have their own passport (children are therefore not allowed to be credited in the passport of a parent/guardian), which will contain the visa.
What types of Russian visas are available?
Various visas are available for Russia. The type of visa depends on your destination. The most common are a visa for tourist reasons or a visa for business purposes. However, you also have a visa for journalists, a visa for humanitarian purposes, a work visa, a transit visa for Russia (transfer) and a visa on a personal invitation.
What exactly is the electronic visa for Russia?
Since November 1, 2019 it is possible to apply for an electronic visa for Russia. However, it is only valid in certain areas and under the following conditions:
- With the electronic visa you are only allowed to travel to St. Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast and Kalingrad Oblast. Are you (also) traveling to other cities in Russia, such as Moscow? Then you need to apply for a regular visa in advance. You can find this on our website.
- The journey may not exceed 8 days. Are you staying longer? Even then you must apply for a regular visa and the electronic visa does not apply to you.
- During your stay in Russia, you may not leave the city limits with the electronic visa. So you must stay in St. Petersburg, Kalingrad Oblast or Leningrad Oblast. Are you crossing the city limits with an electronic visa? Then you run the risk of being expelled from the country and receiving a high fine for this. In addition, it can lead to land denial and this has consequences for future visa applications, also outside Russia.
- You must arrive and depart from the same point. For example, do you arrive at the airport in Moscow and transfer to a flight to St. Petersburg? Even then the e-visa is not valid.
- The electronic visa is not yet possible for travelers who come to Russia by car or train.
The purpose of your trip determines the type of visa you need to apply for. If you are unsure which visa is most applicable to your situation, do not hesitate to contact us! Our employees can advise you on this.
How long am I allowed to stay in Russia?
If you apply for the tourist visa to go on holiday, you can stay in Russia for a maximum of 30 days at a time. If you request a double-entry or multiple-entry variant (with a total validity period of 180 days), each individual stay may also last a maximum of 30 consecutive days.
If you apply for a business visa, you can stay in Russia for up to 90 days consecutively. If you apply for a double or multiple-entry visa with a validity period of 6 or 12 months, you can stay in Russia for a maximum of 90 days in any consecutive period of 180 days.
When I am planning on visiting the Russian Federation multiple times, do I need to fill in all general information again?
No, after obtaining your first visa it is possible to apply for a multiple entry visa, with which you can travel in and out of the country several times. Here, however, the requirement applies that you can present a copy of an old visa (which is not older than 12 months), including the travelstamps received at the border upon entering and departing Russia.
In all other cases it is possible to request a double entry, but you must be able to demonstrate by means of a flight confirmation when you will enter the country both times.
How many times am I allowed to enter Russia with one visa?
There are 3 options for the number of entries: both the tourist and the business visa are available in a single, double and multiple-entry variant. This allows entry to Russia 1 time, 2 times and an unlimited number of times, provided that all visa requirements are met within the period of validity of the visa.
Can I apply for a multiple entry visa?
A multiple entry year visa is only issued if you can present an old business visa up to 12 months ago. Can’t you do that? Then you are only eligible for a double entry visa with a validity of 90 days. You must then enter and exit Russia twice within those 90 days. A one-year visa contains a processing time of at least 10 working days. Is your old visa older than 12 months? We may be able to have these converted in Belgium at a rate of 150 euros, which means that you may still be eligible for a multiple entry. Please contact us for the possibilities.
A multiple entry visa for Russia can also become a 3 year visa. For this we charge additional costs of 250 euros per visa.
Attention! Tourist applicants can only obtain a multiple entry visa when they are invited by a private party from Russia, such as a family member. This invitation must be obtained by the inviter via the Russian government.
Do I have to travel to Russia on the date that is stated on my application?
No, you do not have to.
Note: You may only travel within the validity dates stated on the visa for Russia. If you have changed your trip and it is no longer within the validity of the visa, you must apply for a new visa.
What are the costs of the Russian visa?
The costs for the Russian tourist visa are € 109,95 per traveler.
This includes processing costs, consular costs, transaction costs (with iDeal / bancontact payment) and VAT. If you want to have data and / or documents collected or delivered at home, you pay additional shipping costs. You can also use an urgent procedure where a surcharge will also be charged. The amount of these surcharges depends on the desired delivery time and visa type.
Application related information
My visa application has been processed, but I have not received an email
If, after paying your visa, you have not received an email from us within an hour, first check the junk mail folder (spam box). Didn’t receive an email there either? Please contact us by phone or e-mail via the contact page.
How do I apply for a Russian visa?
Once the documents are received by us in Hoofddorp, we will thoroughly check the package for you. We will adjust the data that we can do ourselves where necessary. If we miss data, we will contact you by telephone or email.
As soon as the package is ready and in accordance with conditions, we will go to The Hague with the application. When we submit the documents, we will be informed whether additional documents are being requested. Even then we will contact you directly.
After granting the visa, you will receive the passport with the visa for Russia back from us. You can select the method of return in the application form, namely; Registered mail, DHL courier, personal collection from our office or ready at Schiphol.
How far in advance can I apply for the Russian visa?
The visa application for Russia is possible to process between 90 days and about a week before departure, depending on the visa type you have chosen. To ensure that the visa is issued on time, we recommend that you submit the application six weeks before departure. You can find more information about this on the delivery times page.
Note: A maximum of 1 valid visa for Russia can be present in your passport, if you still have a current visa in your (second) passport, this must be canceled first so that the validity of this old visa expires before requesting a renewal.
Is there an urgent procedure available?
Yes, there is an urgent procedure for applying for Russian visas. The urgent application for the tourist visa takes 6 working days instead of the normal 10 working days. The business urgent application takes 4 days instead of the normal 6 or 9 (depending on the visa type). The costs of the urgent procedure are € 14.50 for the tourist visa and € 149.95 for business visas.
It is good to know that in case of urgency this should also be clearly stated in the invitation letter.
If you would like to know more about the costs and delivery time of the various emergency procedures, please see the page about costs and delivery times.
Is it possible to apply as a group?
Yes, it is possible to add multiple travelers traveling to Russia together on one application form. Because a lot of data only has to be entered once, this can save a lot of input. Ask us about the possibilities.
When and how do I pay for the visa application?
After submitting the online application form, you must make the payment. You can do this with: iDeal, Paypal, Bancontact or credit card. If a surcharge is charged for the collection and / or shipping method you have chosen, this will be added directly to the total amount.
If you use a custom courier (for collection and / or return), the costs will be invoiced afterwards.
Can an existing visa be extended?
No, it is not possible to renew a visa. Please also note that any new visa application for Russia will immediately invalidate any old visa for Russia. So only submit a new visa application when you no longer want to use any previously issued visas.
Do I need to book a flight and hotel in advance?
Pre-booking an accommodation is only necessary if the organization issuing your invitation makes this requirement. If we provide the invitation letter for you, you do not need to book overnight stays before applying for the visa.
Pre-booking of flights is only necessary if you apply for a double (2 entries) or a multiple-entry visa to Russia (3 or more entries). In this case you must provide a confirmation of the bookings.
Do I always have to provide a letter of guarantee?
An employer’s statement is only required if applying for a business visa for Russia. After completing the online form you will receive a sample by e-mail, which only needs to be completed and signed by your employer.
What is a Russia insurance statement and how do I obtain one?
A Russia statement is provided by your travel insurance and is a statement that you are insured during your stay in Russia. Since specific conditions are imposed on this statement, it is also referred to as a Russia statement. If you ask your insurer for this statement, a standard document will usually be supplied that you can use with your visa application. Most of times it can be downloaded straight from your insurers website. In some cases however, you must request one by phone. Keep in mind that this procedure might take up to 7 working days, depending on your insurance company.
What is an invitation letter and how do I obtain one?
In order to obtain a visa for Russia, you must provide an invitation letter.
If you are going to Russia for business, you can have this invitation letter drawn up by the organization you are visiting. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Migration Service can provide this. It is good to know that in case of urgency this should also be clearly stated in the invitation letter. If you are unable to obtain this letter in time, you can have this outsourced to our visa experts. The price of this service is on request and depends on the type of visa and the urgency required. Please contact us by telephone.
In all cases, Traveldocs can help you with an invitation. Both tourist and business. Watch out! We cannot provide an invitation for you if you are traveling to:
- North Ossetia
Where do I obtain an embassyform?
After you have submitted the online application form and payment has been completed, you will receive the embassy form by e-mail. This form will be filled in for you by a visa expert with the information you entered on the online form. All you have to do is sign this form and submit it to us together with the other documents (passport photo, passport etc.).
Which conditions apply to my photograph?
The passport photo must be hardcopy (on paper and not digital), taken in the last 3 months in the format 35x45mm. to be delivered. The passport photo must be of high quality and in color with a white background. Headwear is only allowed in the passport photo if this is for religious reasons: The visibility of the entire face is then a requirement.
The passport photo must be loose (so not attached to the application form in any way) and free of any glue / staple remnants.
Does my passport state the letter O or the number 0?
Document numbers in the Netherlands never contain the letter “O”, but they can contain the number “0”. Even though it seems that there is a letter O in your passport, it will be the number 0. It is also important to know that document numbers in the Netherlands are 9 characters long.
Belgian document numbers may include the letter (s) “O” and / or the number “0”. Belgian document numbers are 8 characters long and always start with 2 letters followed by 6 numbers.
Which requirements does my passport have to meet?
An emergency passport is not accepted.
The passport must still be valid for at least six months after the departure date from Russia, entered on the online application form.
If a multiple-entry visa (for 3 entries or more) is applied for, the above requirement will be tightened and the passport must be valid for at least another 12 months on each arrival in Russia.
In addition to the validity requirement of the passport, it is also required that at least 2 opposite pages in the passport are still empty. The passport may also not be delivered with a cover.
How do I receive my passport back?
The return of the passport containing the visa Russia can be done in several ways. In the application form that you fill in online, you can indicate which option you prefer: pick it up at our office in Hoofddorp, pick it up yourself at Schiphol (surcharge: €45.00), shipping by courier next working day (surcharge: €39.95 ) or by courier on the day of grant (surcharge on request) *
* Ask about the possibilities by telephone as this is not always possible.
Prices are per application and not per visa. If multiple visas are applied for with one application form, the shipping costs will remain the same (with a maximum of 4 passports per shipment)
How can I send my passport and documents?
There are a number of delivery methods, namely; deliver at our office in Hoofddorp, send it yourself (registered by post or by courier), have it picked up by us (the next day or in case of emergency the same day).
Sometimes our pick-up service can be used the same day. The possibility and costs depend on the pick-up location, the time and the crowds at our courier service. The costs for the next day’s pick-up also depend on the pick-up location.
You can contact us by phone for the possibilities of our collection service.
Which documents must be provided in order to apply for a Russian visa?
Changing or canceling an application
I made a mistake on my application and/or documents, can I change this?
In this case, please contact us as soon as possible to indicate what is not in order. Whether your visa application can still be corrected depends on the nature of the error and the status of your application. If we have not delivered your application to the embassy yet, it is possible to make changes. If your applicaiton is already in the hands of the embassy, there is nothing we can do. You must obtain a new visa with the proper information and cancel the existing one.
Can I cancel my application?
After receiving your passport and other documents, we will process your application. From that moment on, cancellation of the request is no longer possible. If you want to cancel your application before you have submitted your passport and documents, please contact us by phone or e-mail.
How do you handle my personal data?
Where can I find help if it is needed for my applicaiton?
Always try to find your question on this page first, in almost all cases you will find the answer to your question about your visa application here.
In the unlikely event that you find no or insufficient answer to your question, we will of course be happy to help you, click here to contact us.