Russia has many attractions that bring in hordes of tourists every year. So if you are thinking about visiting Russia any time soon, it pays to know about how to get a Russian visa.
Step 1: Get to know your visa
A visa is a travel document that is necessary whether you are entering the country or leaving it. It is very important to have this document with you at all times while you are in Russia. You are authorized to apply only for one visa. The Russian government will invalidate your surplus visas if you have more than one.
Step 2: Choose your preferred visa
There are seven types of visas that you can legally apply for. The transit visa is good for only three days maximum. The student visa (which you can use only for three months) is only issued if you are invited by a university or college within Russia. The work visa (also valid for only three months) is processed if you have an invitation to work for a Russian company or organization within Russia. There is also the humanitarian visa that is either single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry. A private visa is dependent on your having family or relatives residing in Russia. A business visa is also single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry. Then there is the tourist visa which is only single-entry and double-entry.
Step 3: Differentiate between a visa and an invitation
Just because you have an invitation from someone within Russia does not automatically mean you can enter the country. The visa is the result of a process so before you book the next flight to Russia make sure you have a visa first. If you don’t have a visa, you should check with the Russian consulate in your country and apply for a visa. Don’t throw away your letter of invitation though because the consulate officials may need to verify whether you are eligible for a Russian visa first.
Step 4: Pay for your visa
The fee you need to pay for your Russian visa may vary from country to country. It may also vary depending on which type of visa you are applying for. Check with the consulate in your country about the rules for claiming your visa as well.
Some applications for a visa may take more time to process than others. So prepare a checklist of the visa requirements so your application proceeds smoothly and glitch-free.