At the Consulate
To obtain a Russian visa, it is necessary to contact the Consulate (the Consular Department of the Russian Embassy or Consulate-General of the Russian Federation).
Since it is difficult to give full and updated information on each Russian Consulate worldwide, below we list some recommendations that can help you to get a visa with minimal effort.
Our recommendations can be useful also to those who would like to get their visas with the help of an agency or courier service. In case of appeal to the Russian Visa Application Centre, the recommendations are the same.
We recommend the following procedure:
Contact the Consulate to:
- choose the urgent or ordinary visa processing procedure and find out the amount of Consular fee
- choose how to submit the documents to the Consulate: come in person, send by email or with the help of a courier
- find out what documents to prepare
- find out the way to pay Consular fee (cash, cheque, etc.)
- Prepare all the documents and fill in the Consular Questionnaire.
- Submit the documents to the Consulate and pay the Consular fee (try to make an appointment first, if this opportunity is available).
- Get a visa at the Consulate.
- Check a visa to ensure that the information is correct.
Citizens of the Schengen countries can obtain a visa in any country-member of the Schengen Area.
To receive a Russian visa in a third country, one must submit a residence or work permit in this country (employment confirmation).
Visa Centre is officially authorized to accept, process and transmit to the Russian Consulate the visa applications submitted by individuals and legal entities, including travel agencies.
In exceptional cases, citizens may apply directly to the Consulate (after making an appointment by phone or via the website).
Officers of the Visa Centres advise the applicants on filling in the Consular Questionnaire, required package of documents, visa processing time and procedure, etc.
Consular and service fees are also charged at the Visa Centre.
Russian Visa Application Centres are opened and successfully operate in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Italy, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, the USA, Turkey, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia.
Contact the Consulate
We advise you to contact your local Consulate (Visa Centre) prior to order a Visa Invitation to get updated information. Please see the contact information of the Russian Consulates.
Give the following information to the Consular officer:
- Your citizenship and place of residence
- Type of the required visa and type of Visa Invitation you have (or will have)
- The deadline by which you need to get your documents and visa from the Consulate
Ask the Consular officer:
- How you can receive your visa from the Consulate – what are a visa processing time and the Consular fee (Consular fee is larger for urgent procedures)
- What documents you need to submit to the Consulate. Besides the always required documents (Consular Questionnaire, passport and 2 photos), Consulates may have additional requirements (medical insurance, HIV certificate, etc.)
- What documents can be submitted in copies (Visa Invitation, medical insurance, etc.), and what documents must be originals
- If it is obligatory to come to the Consulate in person or you can complete the procedure by post or with the help of a courier service
- What are the working hours of the Consulate: when the Consulate accepts and issues documents (if you will submit the documents in person or through the courier) and what is the standard way to send documents by post (postal address, postage class, self-addressed stamped envelope, etc.)
- How to pay Consular fee (cash, cheque, etc.)
We hope this advice will simplify your visa getting procedure.
Documents to be submitted
In all cases, you have to present the following documents to the Consulate (or Visa Application Centre):
- Visa Invitation (appropriate to the chosen visa type) – original or copy (please contact the Consulate to find out)
- Consular Questionnaire (filled in and signed by you)
- Photo (1 or 2 passport size photos)
For some types of visas and for citizens of some countries Consulates may require the following additional documents:
- medical insurance
- work permit
- HIV certificate (for visas valid for more than 90 days)
- proof of sufficient funds for your stay in Russia
- copy of your passport's main page
- some other documents
You may get and fill in a Consular Questionnaire:
- directly at the Consulate (or Visa Application Centre, if exists)
- online on the website of the Russian MFA
- download the file on our website
Here are some samples of the Consular Questionnaire used in different countries:
Questionnaire_non_US_citizens.pdf, 96 Kb
Questionnaire_Netherlands_USA.pdf, 92 Kb
—for citizens of the USA
Do not forget to sign the questionnaire and attach your photo.
The Consular fee usually depends on:
- type of visa
- your citizenship
- visa processing time (urgent procedures require larger Consular fee)
In case there is a Visa Centre acting under the Consulate, a Service fee is charged (about 30 €).
The amount and the way of paying the Consular fee vary among different Consulates. We recommend you to contact several available Consulates for updated information on current visa requirements and fees (for further information go to Contact the Consulate and Russian Consulates and Visa Centres).
It is important to find out how you may pay the Consular fee. Payment is usually made:
- by cheque or cash at the Consulate – when you apply in person or through a courier service
- by certified cheque – when you send the documents by post
- by cash at a Visa Centre