Visa for Russia
The Visa for Russia is a painful subject! It is a process that might not be difficult, but it is not easy either. Companies, health cards, fees, waiting time, photographs, invitations and anything else you have tangled in your mind…in a few minutes will not be a bother anymore. But let’s take it from the top, so you can see that the only things you need are orderliness and patience!
Are you ready to take a long trip through the bureaucracy…before the big trip to Russia?
What you must have for the issuing of the Visa1) Passport.
2) A passport photograph.
3) The electronic application form.
4) Travel health insurance.
5) Invitation from the hotel you will be staying or from a travel agency, which is registered in the unified register of travel agencies. (This invitation is known as Tourist voucher or Visa support.)
The 9 steps for Visa issuing in Russia1st Step: You must own a Passport which will be valid for at least six (6) months after the date of departure from Russia.
2nd Step: You must take passport photographs, of which you will need only one.
3rd Step: You must obtain an invitation to enter the country. The well-known Tourist voucher or Visa support (Read below where you can acquire it).
4th Step: You will have to get a travel health insurance for the days you will be in Russia.
5th Step: You will have to fill in the electronic application form (Read below how to fill it in right).
6th Step: After you have secured all of the above, you go to the Russian Embassy (in Athens or in Thessaloniki) or to the Visa Issuing Offices (in Athens or in Thessaloniki) and hand in a) the passport, b) the health insurance, c) the tourist voucher and d) the electronic application form (while also having the photograph with you).
Quick Tip: For those of you that do not have direct access to Athens & Thessaloniki, you can complete the process via the post office (See chapter: Useful Information)
7th Step: You pay the cost for the issuing of the Visa (depending on the days of your stay and entrances in the country).
8th Step: You leave a contact mobile number.
9th Step: You are informed via text that the Visa is ready and pass by the office to get it! This was it…you are ready for the trip!
Steps that require explanation
(3rd Step) Tourist voucher or Visa support:
The tourist voucher or visa support is what we call “invitation to enter Russia”. It is issued by authorized hotels or by tourism offices/agencies, which are registered in the unified register of travel agencies.
Where can I find it?
α) Contact the hotel where you have made reservations and ask of them to send it to you for free (Important: not all hotels are authorized, and the ones that are usually ask for money).
β) The most guaranteed, economical (10€ per person) and quick (within 1 hour) option is the one you will find here .
Following, an example of a Tourist Voucher_____________
(4th Step) Travel health insurance for Russia:
In order to travel to Russia, you must have with you a travel health insurance. This insurance, apart from being mandatory for the issuing of the Visa, also covers you for any health issues that might come up during the trip. The insurance cost that the companies usually offer reaches up to 30,000€.
Where can I get it?
You can issue the travel health insurance for Russia at an insurance company, at a cost of 2€ per day/person.
(5th Step) Electronic application form:
The electronic application form is not an easy task, as it hides a lot of traps. If you go to the office or the embassy, you must have completed it right. If you have made even one mistake, you will be charged with 10€ for them to replace it (except if you go back home and start the process from scratch).
What should I do it?
1) Go HERE ?
2) Choose your Country and Language.
3) Check the “I have read this information” box.
4) Click the button “Complete New Application Form”.
5) Fill in the password of your choice (2 times) and note it down on a piece of paper, along with the application ID, which is on the top right part of the page.
6) Fill in the information, exactly as you see on the picture below. (Click on it to make it bigger)
7) Print the application form and you are ready.Quick tips: a) Click save after every step, in order to be sure that you will not lose any of the steps you have completed. b) Write down on a piece of paper the Application ID of the application form and the password, so that you can edit it anytime you want.
SOS: If you don’t have a Tourist voucher (3rd step) and Travel health insurance (4th step) DO NOT complete the form!
Cost for the issuing of Visa for RussiaAnother burning issue is the cost for the issuing of the Visa! Below you will find the costs you have to pay, until the notorious Visa is attached to your passport:
a) 10€ for 4 passport photographs (of which only one will be used, so 2.5€.
b) Travel health insurance 2€ x Days of visit (we indicatively calculate 7 days) = 14€
c) Consulate fees 70€ for 1-3 visit days & 35€ for 5-10 visit days (including VAT).
d) Services charge 25€ (including VAT).
Total = 96.5€/person for a 7-day stay!
*The costs might change, without warning.
Quick tip: There are plenty of offices that undertake the whole procedure, with extra cost.
Issuing time The time needed for the issuing of the visa ranges between 4 and 10 business days. (But inside this period it can also be rejected.)
For the whole process you might need 15-20 days, so make sure you started at least 1½ month in advance, so that you avoid unpleasant situations (delays, approval hindrance, mistakes in the documents etc.)
Tips Visa for Russia
- The maximum time period you can stay in Russia (as a tourist) is 30 days. (Maximum duration for the Visa.)
- The Visa is attached to a page of the passport.
- According to the transnational agreements of the Russian Federation with Greece, all Greek citizens have the opportunity of multiple entrances to Russia.
- The prices we mention apply to Greek citizens. The rest of you can find the cost HERE
- Upon receiving the visa, check that ALL the information is right. In case of a mistake, you will not be able to enter the country.
- The page for the Electronic Application From (5th step) works 100% on Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Problems might pop up on Chrome or Safari.
- Your passport should have at least two whole blank pages.
- You can pay in cash as well as with a card.
Russian Embassy in Athens:
Russian Embassy in Thessaloniki:
Visa Issuing Office Athens (VFS Global):
Visa Issuing Office Thessaloniki (VFS Global):
Rest of Greece: You can complete the process via post (See How Here).
The above description applies to the issuing of Visa for Russia by an individual. It is always possible for an agency to undertake the issuing of the Visa, upon extra charge.
The article refers exclusively to the Tourist Visa for Russia.