Visa to Russia from Spain – How to get it cheap in 2021?

Visa to Russia from Spain

Do Spanish need Visa to Russia?

Yes, they do. In order to obtain a Russian visa a citizen of Spain has to receive an invitation from Russia which should be given in together with all other necessary documents to the embassy or a consulate of the Russian Federation. It is also obligatory to fill in an application form and to pay a consular fee.

An invitation to Russia for a foreign citizen can be issued by a relative, who lives in Russia, a tourist company, an organization which is interested in his/her arrival, a business partner or other individuals or legal entities, located in the Russian Federation. An outward appearance of the invitation, the issuing procedure as well as the time limits to receive such invitation will vary depending on which type of a visa a citizen of Spain needs and who is engaged in the issuing procedure for him/her.

How to Get Russian Visa from Spain?

In order to obtain a visa certain activities are required which will differ depending on what is the purpose of a Spanish citizen’s visit to Russia:

  • Tourist visa is intended for those who travel for tourism and wish to see sights.
  • Private visa is good for visitors who would like to meet Russian friends (however, it is recommended to apply for the tourist visa instead as it is a more easy and reliable way to take a trip to Russia).
  • Electronic visa – for example: short-term trips;
  • Business visa suits the foreign applicants who are concerned in exploring business opportunities of Russia.
  • Work visa is necessary for the citizens of foreign countries who seek to endeavour in career and professional development in Russian enterprises.

Where to apply for a Russian visa in Spain ?

You can obtain a visa to Russia in any of the Consulates of the Russian Federation located in Spain . See the list of Russian Consulates in Spain, along with their phone numbers and location indicated on this page below.

Russian visas quick comparison

Type of Visa Duration Purpose
Tourist visa 1-30 days Sightseeing, visiting friends in Russia
Business visa 30-90 days (up to 5 years) Search of business partners, attending conferences, long trips, long-term visits of friends in Russia
Electronic visa 8 days Trips for a short period of time
Private visa 30-90 days Official visits to meet with friends in Russia (Not recommended! See why)
Work visa 1-3 years Employment in Russia or permanent residence

Russian Tourist Visa from Spain

Tourist visa can be obtained by those citizens of Spain who plan to visit Russia for sightseeing. For this type of a visa an invitation is issued by the employees of a tourist company. This type of invitation to visit Russia for Spanish can be made within 1 working day.

The outward appearance of a tourist invitation is not fixed by law and for that reason can be random. Wherein the invitation issued by a tourist company must contain full information on the company, its reference number as well as the passport data of a Spanish citizen, plus all cities in the Russian Federation he/she intends to visit and the hotels where he/she will stay.

The invitation issued by a tourist company on its letterhead should indicate what dates a trip is planned for and for how long the tourist is staying in the Russian Federation as well as how many entries there will be.

A tourist visa to Russia for Spanish citizens is given for the term of up to 30 calendar days. Herewith it can be single or double entry.

Get a Tourist Invitation to Russia from Spain

Russian Private Visa for Spanish citizens

In order to receive a private visa a citizen of Spain should ask his/her friend or relative who live in Russia to issue a private invitation for him/her. In order to do this the inviting party should apply at a department of the Federal Migration Service, receive the invitation there and send it to a Spanish citizen.

A foreign citizen can be invited to Russia for a private visit by an individual or a legal entity. To receive an invitation an individual should apply at a department of the Federal Migration Service (the FMS) at the place of his/her residence, while a legal entity should apply at the department of the FMS where the company was registered.

At the FMS after receiving of the application to issue an invitation a certain checkup will be made to find out whether the citizen of Spain had any criminal records during his/her previous visits to Russia. If there were any convictions, unpaid penalties or deportations during the previous visits the FMS will refuse an applicant in an invitation.

In case a Spanish citizen has obtained a private invitation from Russia, he/she can have a private visa for a maximum period of up to 90 days. Private visas can be single or double entry.

Get of a Private (Visitor) Invitation to Russia for Spanish citizens

Russian Business Visa from Spain

If a Spanish citizen plans to come to Russia to extend his/her business contacts or in order to sign an agreement a business visa should be applied for.

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To obtain a business visa it is necessary to present at the Russian embassy an invitation received from Russia. Such invitation can be issued by a legal entity accredited at the Federal Migration Service or at the Department of Consular Service of the Ministry for Foreign Relations of the Russian Federation.

The business visa invitation letter can be obtained by either of these ways:

Our company recommends the citizens of the EU, the United States, Japan and China to choose the invitation letter issued by an organization, because:

  1. Issuing an invitation letter is cheaper than arranging an invitation by Telex or at the FMS.
  2. It can be issued online in 5 minutes and will be sent to you by email immediately after payment.
  3. Also, it is not required to submit the original invitation to the Consulate, which saves you the money you will otherwise have to spend on postal services for sending the original invitation.
  4. A 3-year visa invitation and visa can be obtained with this type of invitation if the applicant has previously held two or more Russian business visas.

Consider taking these three simple steps:

  • Step 1:Fill out the form
  • Step 2: Pay €49 by credit card or via PayPal
  • Step 3:Receive your invitation on your email instantly after payment

An invitation sent as a telex is a certain combination of numbers. When applying for a visa with this type of an invitation, a foreigner will be given only its number which he/she will have to quote at the embassy.

An invitation in the form of a letter from the inviting company is a request from this company to the embassy of the Russian Federation to give a business visa to a certain citizen of Spain.

If the inviting company has issued the invitation on a standard state form it means that its representative submitted an appropriate application and a copy of a passport of a foreigner to the authorized body where a checkup on whether there were any criminal records, unpaid penalties or deportations during his/her previous visits to Russia was made.

For the citizens of Spain a maximum period of validity for a business visa is 5 years. It can be single or double entry.

Get a Russian Business Invitation from Spain on the letterhead of an accredited company

Issuing of a Business Invitation to Russia for Spanish citizens on the FMS form

Get a Business Invitation to Russia for Spanish citizens by a Telex

Work visa for Spanish citizens

In order to obtain a work visa to Russia a citizen of Spain has to present at the embassy a work invitation. Such invitation can be given to him/her only in case he/she has a work permit. Therefore an invitation to work in Russia for a certain foreign citizen should be issued by the employer only after the work permit was received. The exception is a Spanish citizen who has already received a card of an employee of a foreign representative office.

A company which is planning to hire a foreign citizen for a job in Russia should be responsible for the obtaining of his/her work visa. After arrival of an employee to Russia an employer should ensure that a foreign citizen is registered at the migration service and extends the visa on time.

The process of obtaining the documents required for a work visa can be rather long.
There are following stages:
● An employer receives a work permit for a foreign citizen ;
● An embassy issues a work visa for 90 days;
● After arrival to Russia a citizen of Spain receives a registration at the migration service;
● After that a work visa should be extended for a period of a work permit (this term can’t be more than 1 year);
● Thereafter a foreigner should be registered at the migration service for the whole period of the work visa.

Get Work Visa to Russia for Spanish citizens

Russian Electronic Visa from Spain

An electronic visa (hereinafter referred to as “e-visa”) is a new type of a visa document. A visa invitation to Russia is not required for obtaining an e-visa. To obtain an e-visa to Russia use our “E-visa to Russia” service.

An e-visa can be only single-entry. The permitted stay in Russia on an e-visa is up to 8 days from the date of entry within its validity period.

The validity period and/ or permitted stay on an e-visa cannot be extended. To obtain an e-visa a foreign citizen needs a digital passport photo and a completed application form containing full and valid data at the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Russian consulate in Spain:

Spanish citizens may obtain Russian visa in these Consular centers of the Russian Federation:

Who can travel to Russia in 2021?

In accordance with Annex №1 of the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation №635-R of March 16, tourists from the following countries may come to Russia:

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United Arab Emirates

Citizens of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Ukraine residing in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are also allowed to visit Russia.

There are 2 main rules for travellers who are going to visit Russia:

— You must be a citizen of these countries or have a residence permit (or any other document proving the right of permanent residence).

— You have to enter Russia by plane and only from the territory of your country.

As for other countries, there are certain categories of citizens that can enter Russia. See the full list on the Federal Security Service website (available in Russian).

These categories are:

— diplomats and their family members;

— drivers, captains and pilots of international flights;

— foreign nationals who are family members of Russian citizens

— citizens who need to take care for their closest relatives (e.g. husbands, wives, children, mothers and fathers);

— citizens who have a residence permit for Russia;

— migrants who participate in the governmental programme;

— citizens who come for medical treatment (the documents should be issued by the Ministry of Health);

— citizens entering due to death of a close relative (death certificate and a document confirming the degree of kinship are required);

— highly qualified specialists. See the instructions for such specialists on the Federal Agency for Tourism website (available in Russian);

— residents of Baikonur and employees of companies working in the space industry.

What documents are needed for entry to Russia?

Negative COVID-19 PCR test — provide it at the customs. You must make it no earlier than 72 hours before departure.
You do not need to stay in quarantine if you have a negative test result.

A passport valid for 6 months from the date of travel.

Application form for those who are on flights to the Russian Federation for border crossing. It is to be completed prior to arrival in Russia.

Visa (citizens of 58 states are eligible for visa-free travel. See the list of these countries at the Federal Agency for Tourism website).
You must apply for it at the nearest visa application centre of your country: electronic visas to Russia are temporarily suspended.

Visa application form.
Sample for British nationals.
Sample for citizens of other countries.

Medical Insurance (Russian abbreviation: DMS). It must be valid across the whole territory of Russia and cover possible COVID-19 infection.

Proof of accommodation. Required for citizens who are nor eligible for visa-free travel to Russia.

Things you need to foresee before travelling to Russia

You need to be tested for COVID-19 in 72 hours before your arrival. The fastest way to get a test result is to do express tests. Keep in mind that they might be more expensive. The certificate must be in English or Russian. You may request a Russian translation at the clinic.

If you will show signs of fever or any other symptoms of an illness, you may be asked to re-do the test upon arrival. Set aside some cash on that — on average, the test costs 3,000 rubles (approximately 34 EUR). If the result is positive, you will have to stay for treatment.

Rules and recommendations you should follow while travelling in Russia

— be sure to wear gloves and a medical mask in public places: shops, transport, public institutions and museums;

— maintain at least 1,5 meters between yourself and people around;

— avoid crowded places;

— take a taxi instead of public transport.

How not to get COVID-19 — basic rules

Precautions The World Health Organization advises to follow:

— wash your hands thoroughly with soap, use alcohol-based hand rubs;

— wear a mask and gloves in public places. The mask must cover your nose and mouth;

— cover your mouth with a tissue if you feel like sneezing or coughing. After that, dispose the tissue immediately;

— avoid touching your face.

Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, call 103 immediately.

Visa to Russia from Spain – How to get it cheap in 2021?

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Best services to transfer money from Spain to Russia

Transferring money between two countries was once a big challenge. There have been great advancements realized in technology and you need not worry anymore. Today you can transfer your money with great ease at the comfort of your home. You can now transfer money from Spain to Russia by making the transaction through your local bank or with the aid of available online money transfer service providers. This platform offers you incredible information on different existing options. All you need to do is take your time to make comparisons after which you pick the option you are most comfortable with or rather consider as the cheapest way to send money from Spain to Russia.

How to send money from Spain to Russia?

By following the steps outlined below, you can transfer your money from Spain to Russia:

  • The initial step is to get information regarding currency exchange rates from authentic sources. Compare the existing rates against the Spain currency. Choose the most reliable.
  • Next, thoroughly check out all available options to make the money transfer and comparisons between them to determine the most ideal online service.
  • Pick on the service that you think best suits your needs. It is prudent to go for service providers who charge less for the service and offer reasonable currency exchange rates.
  • Remember to check out transfer limits given by the different service providers and pick the one that suits you.
  • Check out total cost to be incurred to avoid cases of spending more yet you can incur less in a different platform.
  • Double-check outlined refund policies
  • Finally, when signing up ensure all information is filled as requested in the availed e-transfer form.
Available Online Services to wire money to Russia from Spain

There are numerous online services at your disposal to aid in making money transfers from your personal bank account in Spain. Some of the available options that can facilitate your e-transfer are: TransferGo, Azimo, OFX, WorlRemit, PayPal, Google Wallet, Moneygram, Xoom, Hyperwallet, Venmo, Transferwise, CurrencyFair, InstaRem.

There are various requirements you must meet to use the above services. Some will require you to have a credit card, or debit card especially if transferring money from your bank account.

Money transfer services

  • Azimo
  • b-Sharpe
  • Grosik
  • Contact
  • Covercy
  • CurrencyFair
  • EasySend
  • England.pl
  • Exchange Market
  • InstaReM
  • KoronaPay
  • Lycaremit
  • Monese
  • MoneyGram
  • No1 Currency
  • OrbitRemit
  • PayPal
  • Paysend
  • Ria
  • TransferGo
  • TransferWise
  • Unistream
  • Western Union
  • Fourex
  • Currency Online Group
  • ACE-FX
  • EasyFX
  • Foremost Currency Group
  • Neon
  • XE money transfer
  • Currency Solutions
  • FairFX
  • LuLu International Exchange
  • Kabayan Remit
  • OFX
  • Currencies Direct
  • Foreign Currency Direct
  • Pure Fx
  • Privalgo
  • Post Office
  • Tempo
  • Pockit
  • WorldRemit
  • TransferMate
  • Sterling FX
  • Remitly
  • TorFX
  • RationalFX
  • Payoneer
  • Small World
  • Remit2India
  • WorldFirst
  • XOOM
  • Xpress Money
  • Pangea
  • RemitBee
  • XendPay
  • Skrill
  • Revolut
  • Paga
  • N26
  • Exchange Market
Associated Costs or Charges of sending money from Spain to Russia

To make an e-transfer you will have to incur various service charges. To avoid incurring high service costs, ensure to compare all the associated costs for all available service providers. Check their sending fees, exchange rates, and the receiving fees before settling on a particular provider.

Benefits of making e-transfers

The most common benefits of making online money transfer are:

  • It is instant/superfast
  • Most secure
  • Paperwork not required
  • Cheap
  • Easy to access
  • Services available 24 hours a day
  • Efficient

Note

Before making any online money transfers, ensure that your mobile or computer is secure and the online sites you are working on, are also safe. Never be in a rush, be sure that you follow all outline instructions to the later. Moreover, visit our website for more tips and helpful information on making international money transfers.

What is the best way to transfer money from Spain to Russia (EUR→RUB)?

If you want to send 2000 EUR from Spain to Russia at the best rate, then it is better to use Azimo, the recipient will receive 166200.98 RUB.
In TransferWise, the amount to be received is 166199.32 RUB. And in InstaReM, the transfer to Russia will be 166116.22 RUB.

What is the fastest way to send money from Spain to Russia (EUR→RUB)?

The fastest way to send money EUR – RUB via Azimo, TransferWise, TransferGo, Remitly, the recipient in Russia will receive the money instantly. Money will be credited to the card within 1 day at InstaReM. And money transfer to Russia in Xe Money Transfer and Xoom will take 2 days.

What is the cheapest way to send money from Spain to Russia (EUR→USD)?

If you need to send 2000 EUR from Spain to Russia online, then Azimo is the best way for the recipient, the amount to be received is 2300.52 USD.
In TransferWise, when transferring to Russia, the amount is converted to 2300.50 USD. When sending from Spain using WorldRemit, the addressee will receive 2300.48 USD.

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How long does it take to transfer money from Spain to Russia (EUR→USD)?

After making a transfer in EUR via Azimo and WorldRemit, money from Spain will go to Russia in a few minutes. At TransferWise and CurrencyFair the transfer will take 1 day. And it will take 2 days to send money to Russia via Xe Money Transfer and Xoom.

How to get Visa to russia from Spain in 2020

Is it necessary to have visa to Russia for citizens of Spain?

Yes, citizens of Spain have to get visa if they want to visit Russia.
Visa is a document for foreigners which allows to cross the border of Russia legally.
For getting visa to Russia you need to get an invitation for visa and health insurance. These documents must be submitted to the Russian Consulate abroad.

Information on this website is available in the following languages:
Russian, English.

For getting visa an Spanish citizen should know:

Spain (Kingdom of Spain) is a state and member of the European Union. Spain ranks 51st in the world in terms of area and 30th in terms of population, with over 46 million people. More than 100 thousand tourists come to Russia from this country annually.

Short list of steps-to-do for Spaniard:

  1. To have valid passport
  2. To get an invitation to Russia
  3. To get a medical insurance
  4. Fill in the form on visa.kdmid.ru and print it
  5. Paste your photo 3,5х4,5 cm in form
  6. Pay consular (visa) fee ≈ 40$ (35€)
  7. Bring or send documents to the Russian Consulate (passport, invitation, insurance, application form, receipt)
  8. Wait for 1 to 10 calendar days and get a passport with visa

For this purpose, the Spanish must apply to the Consulate or Embassy of Russia in Spain. Before visiting the Consulate, you need to get an invitation, medical insurance for a visa and complete the online form on the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

There are the following types of visas and purpose of visiting Russia:

  • tourist visa for sightseeing;
  • business visa for meetings with business partners;
  • private visa for meeting with friends or relatives (you can use a tourist visa for this);
  • work visa for employment in a company operating on the territory of the Russian Federation;
  • e-Visa for short trips.

Comparison of length of stay and price of visa:

Duration of stay and visa prices for Spain citizens
Type of visa Length of stay Full processing price
Tourist from 1 to 30 days * ≈85$
Business from 30 days to 1 year ** from 125$
Private from 30 to 90 days ≈162$
Work from 1 to 3 years from 1220$
Electronic from 1 to 8 days ≈17$

* – for Spain citizens is possible to issue a tourist visa for 6 months!

* – visa can be valid up to 5 years, but it is possible to stay in Russia continuously for no more than 90 of 180 days

Cost example of visa for an Spaniard

Cost example of single tourist visa to Russia for 14 days (2 weeks) for Spain citizen:

The cost of visa is always calculated individually. Using this example, you can calculate the cost of your visa.

Invitation to Russia 15$ (≈14€)
Medical insurance ≈1,5$ per day * 14 days ≈ 17$ (≈15€)
Photo 3.5 x 4.5 cm 8$ (≈7€)
Consular fee 40$ (≈35€)
Postal services (optional) 5$ (≈4€)
Total: 85$ (≈75€)

Consular fee for tourist visa
(the main expense)

The visa fee has a fixed value and depends only on the multiplicity of the visa issued.

The size of the consular fee depends on the multiplicity of the issued visa to Russia:

Visa fee for citizens of the Spain in 2020 (check on the website of the Consulate)
Ordinary * Urgent **
Single 40$ (35€) 80$ (70€)
Double entry 40$ (35€) 80$ (70€)
Multi-entry 40$ (35€) 80$ (70€)

* Normal processing time – from 4 to 20 working days

** Urgent processing time – from 1 to 3 working days

Tourist visa to Russia for Spanish citizens

If Spaniard wants to come to Russia to explore national features, see monuments of architecture and visit museums, he needs to apply for a tourist visa by contacting the Russian embassy or Consulate. Before that, he needs to get an invitation to Russia, without it is impossible to apply for a tourist visa.

You can get a tourist invitation online in 5 minutes from any travel company registered in the Unified Federal Register of Tour Operators. And travel agencies are allowed to issue such invitations on their forms. Invitations consist of two parts:

  1. Tourist voucher indicating that you have bought a tourist ticket to Russia.
  2. Confirmation of tourist admission — the Consulate is requested to issue a visa to a foreign citizen.

The voucher prescribes the name and address of the issuing travel agency, its reference number, as well as the passport details of the tourist and provides information about his trip to Russia (city, hotel, date of arrival and departure). All this information is duplicated in the second document.

The validity of a tourist visa issued to a citizen of Spain to enter Russia cannot exceed 30 days. At the same time, visa can be single or double.

For citizens from the Span is possible to get tourist visa to Russia for 6 months!

Business visa to Russia for Spanish citizens

A Spanish businessman who is planning to go to Russia to take part in an auction or attend an international exhibition or enter into a new contract or discuss terms of cooperation with Russian business partners should collect a package of documents necessary for obtaining a business visa.

In addition to business travel, this type of visa is very attractive for a longer (up to 90 days) continuous stay in Russia. With business visa will avoid problems that arise with using a private visa. And good point that you can stay in Russia continuously with this visa 3 times more than with a tourist visa.

Citizens of Spain can get a business visa to Russia for period of 30 days up to 5 years. Depending on the validity period, visa can be single, double or multiple.

To get a business visa required a business invitation to Russia. There are different types of business invitations for Spaniards, all of them have their pluses and minuses:

A letter from a Russian organization

Only organizations accredited by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation have a right to issue an invitations to Russia on their own forms of letters. This letter contains an application for employees of the Russian consulate or Embassy for the issue of a business visa to a certain Spaniard. It will take no more than 5 minutes to make an invitation.

The form of Ministry of Internal Affairs

The invitation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation is a document protected from fakes, which is issued on the basis of an application submitted by a company inviting a foreigner to Russia to the body of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation at the place of its registration. Issuing an invitation this way can take from 7 to 21 business days. At the same time, if check will reveal foreigner’s fines from past visits to Russia, which weren’t paid, an invitation will not be issued for him. If there is no reason to refuse to issue for an invitation, the inviting party will have to forward the received form to Spain.

Electronic invitation from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Telex)

An electronic invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Telex) is very convenient because you do not need to use mail to send it. It can take from 7 to 21 business days to receive an invitation by this way. At the same time, the invited person will need to send only the Telex number and information about the organization inviting him, which will need to be entered in the appropriate column in time of filling out the visa application form.

Private visa to Russia for Spanish citizens

If Spaniard is going to visit his friends or relatives in Russia, he can apply for a guest visa. He will need a guest invitation for this. Invitation should be issued by the inviting party residing in the Russian Federation by contacting the territorial authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

For receiving an invitation to Russia for his foreign guest, the inviting person must submit a corresponding application, enclosing copies of the guest’s passport and his passport, and certificate of his income and a receipt of payment of state duty. Invitation will not be issued immediately, but after some time (no more than 30 days), these days need for verifying of submitted data about a foreigner.

If during the inspection revealed that foreigner has already arrived in Russia and did not timely registered for migration or has committed other serious violations, the issuance of an invitation for him will be refused. If no violations are revealed, an invitation for a foreigner will be issued on a form protected from fakes with all necessary seals and signatures. The inviting party will have to forward this form to the invited person from Spain.

If you have a guest invitation and other necessary documents for visa, it will be issued for up to 90 days. Depending on what will be written in the invitation, visa can be single or double.

Work visa to Russia for Spanish citizens

If based in Russia company offered a Spanish citizen favorable working conditions, he needs to get a work visa to enter the Russian Federation. Employer must apply for permission to work in Russia for spanish worker and a work invitation. For this, company must have permission to hire foreigners. An employer can take about 45 days to complete a work permit and invitation.

If you have an invitation and a work permit, a visa will be issued to the Spaniard with a validity period of 90 days. During this time, a Spanish citizen will have to come to Russia, obtain employment in the company that invited him, register for migration and renew his work visa.

Foreigner have to renew a work visa for the duration of a work permit, which can be 1 or 3 years. The holder of a work visa can enter to Russia and leave Russia unlimited number of times, if work visa is multiple. If it desired, Spaniard with work visa can stay in Russia without a break throughout the term of its validity and annually renew it for another year without leaving the country.

The weakness of a work visa is employer’s responsibility for ensuring of foreigner’s registration at migration services and renews his visa. Therefore, in the event of a change of employer, a Spanish citizen must leave Russia, receive a work invitation from his new employer and apply for a new work visa to enter Russia.

E-visa to Russia for Spanish citizens

Spaniards who want to stay in Russia for a short period of time can get an electronic visa. This type of visa document with which Spanish citizens can come to the Russian Federation and stay in Russia from 1 to 8 days.

This visa format has been introduced as an experimental and continues to nowadays. To get an electronic visa, Spanish citizens do not need an invitation, only a digital photo and a completed application form on the Foreign Ministry website. With electronic visa Spaniard can visit only the Kaliningrad region (St. Petersburg will also be included in this list from October 1, 2019).

Who can travel to Russia in 2021?

International tourism is currently going through difficult times, but the borders are gradually opening with certain restrictions. Russia is resuming air traffic with many countries and is beginning to issue tourist visas again.

Who can enter Russia?

Denis Grishkin/Moskva Agency

The main document that regulates entry to Russia during the pandemic is the Government Decree No. 635-r (March 16, 2020) that is regularly upgraded.

According to this document, only certain categories of foreigners can visit Russia, regardless of citizenship: diplomats, pilots, Russians’ family members, athletes to participate in competitions and specialists by invitation and foreigners with a residence permit in Russia. They can enter with any kind of transport.

Residents of the partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia can also enter Russia via land and railway checkpoints, regardless of the trip purpose. The main thing is that the entry must be from these republics.

Andrei Nikerichev/Moskva Agency

However, no restrictions apply to Russian citizens: holders of Russian passports can freely return to the Motherland. Before registering for a flight, they need to fill out a special electronic form and upon arrival in Russia, they need to pass a PCR test for COVID-19 within three days and upload the results to the state services website. If they have a certificate of vaccination with a Russian vaccine, then the test is not needed. Note that foreign vaccines are not yet recognized in Russia.

Can a tourist visit Russia?

Denis Grishkin/Moskva Agency

According to the abovementioned decree, foreigners can come to Russia from those countries with which Russia has resumed regular flights, including for tourist purposes. It is important to come from that country where the visitor has citizenship or a residence permit. That is, a Turkish citizen must fly from Turkey, while a UK citizen – only from the UK. It’s forbidden to enter Russia via land or sea borders (with the exception of Belarus: citizens of this state can also enter by train).

As of July 2021, the countries from which a tourist can fly directly are: Austria, Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, UK, Hungary, Venezuela, Vietnam, Germany, Greece, Egypt, India, Iceland, Jordan, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Cuba, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Maldives, Malta, Morocco, Mexico, UAE, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, North Macedonia, Seychelles, Serbia, Singapore, Syria, the U.S., Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Japan.

To board the plane, you must provide a negative PCR test for COVID-19 (in English or Russian), made no earlier than 72 hours before entering Russia. Children under the age of two do not need to pass a test. There is no quarantine for holders of such certificates (anyway, you won’t be allowed on a flight without them). Also, those arriving need to fill out a special form (sample) and have a policy covering medical expenses in the case of COVID-19.

Citizens of the Eurasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan) (and from September 1, 2021, all CIS citizens) must install the mobile app called ‘Traveling without COVID-19’ to enter Russia (Google Play and App Store) and enter the test results in the application.

In Russia, it is still necessary to wear a mask in public places, including on any form of public transport and shopping malls. You are not required to wear one outside.

Visa issues

Russia has its own visa rules for each country, which can be found on the website of the Russian Embassy or the visa center of your country. If you already have a visa to Russia and you are included in the list of countries whose citizens are allowed to enter, then you can enter with this visa. If you need a new visa, then you need to apply for it at the visa center or the embassy in your country. Russia is once again issuing tourist, business and other types of visas, for countries with which it has resumed air traffic.

Note, a tourist visa will be given for up to six months, if a confirmed hotel booking is provided (the document is in Russian).

Meanwhile, citizens of 52 countries, including the EU, Japan and China, will be able to enter the country with an electronic visa, which can be issued in just four days, without the need for any documents confirming the purpose of the trip. Additionally, 72-hour visa-free entry to Russia for cruise ship passengers will, once again, come into force.

Important! In many countries, there are still restrictions on LEAVING for the purpose of tourism, so having a Russian visa does not even guarantee that you will get permission to leave your country. This should be clarified before making any trips.

All information is current as of July 23, 2021.

If using any of Russia Beyond’s content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

Work visa to Russia for foreigners

To work in Russia, a foreign citizen must apply for a work visa. This rule applies to citizens of any country, except citizens of CIS countries, who have the right to work in the Russian Federation on a patent. A work visa gives foreigners the right to work, get paid and live on the territory of Russia for the duration of its validity. Please note that a work visa cannot be issued without a work permit.

Work visa for foreign citizens

This video below is in Russian. You can turn on the English subtitles or any other language in the player settings, just click the gear-wheel icon.

Before getting a work visa to Russia, a foreign citizen must wait for a work invitation from a particular company. Therefore, first, a foreigner needs to find an employer and agree on the working conditions. The name of the company will be indicated in the visa, so a foreign citizen will have the right to work only there.

The whole procedure of employment before issuing a working invitation is the responsibility of the inviting party. A foreigner needs to wait until the employer takes all the necessary steps. It can take from one to several months depending on the type of employment – highly qualified specialists, quota and above quota.

Ways to employ a foreigner

• Salary: more than
• Position: any

simplified paperwork, the whole process will take about 1 month

• Salary: any,
• Position: any

getting a quota is a long process and a positive result is not guaranteed

• Salary: any,
• Position: from the list

This video below is in Russian. You can turn on the English subtitles or any other language in the player settings, just click the gear-wheel icon.

– Highly qualified specialists receive a salary of 2 million rubles a year. The procedure for them is simplified, and takes about a month before receiving a working invitation. Read more about their employment in the section. «How to hire a highly qualified specialist».

Basic services Time Cost
Work permit for citizens from the countries with low risk of immigration 14 business days
for citizens from the countries with high immigration risk 14 business days

* Stamp duty for a work permit of is paid separately.

* The price includes the notification of employment and support HQs for personal work permit.

Accreditation of the company in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and a work invitation 14 business days
Visa extension without leaving Russia 20 business days
Additional services Time Cost
Invitations for accompanying family members 3 weeks
Salary notice 2-3 days
Notice of early termination of an employment contract 2-3 days
Obtaining a TIN Certificate 6 business days
Notarized translation of the passport front page 2-3 business days
VHI policy 2-3 business days 1 year

Travelmart provides services only to legal entities registered in Moscow or the Moscow region.

– If a foreign employee earns less than 2 million rubles a year, the employer can hire them on above quota positions or receives a quota. The process of registration in this case takes about 3 months. Read more about that in the sections «Employment of foreigners above quota» and «Obtaining quotas for employment of foreign citizens».

Service Time Cost
Stage 1. Application at the employment centre 30 days
Stage 2. Getting a permission to attract foreign labour * 30 days
Stage 3. Work permit (plastic) ** 14 working days
Stage 4. Accreditation of the company in the Ministry of Internal Affairs 1 day
Stage 5. Single-entry Work Visa Invitation 12 working days
Stage 6. Extending a visa into a multiple-entry work visa 20 working days
Notice of a conclusion or early termination of the employment contract 2-3 working days

* The state duty for a permission to attract foreign labour is extra
** The state duty for the work permit is extra

Travelmart provides services only to legal entities registered in Moscow or the Moscow region.
The company must have certification of jobs.
The company should not have tax debts.

Service Cost
Submission of information to the Department of Labour and Employment

Travelmart provides services only to legal entities registered in Moscow or the Moscow region.
The company must have certification of jobs.
The company should not have tax debts.

Employer’s Actions

To issue a work invitation to a foreigner, an employer must:

  1. Apply for a vacancy in the Employment Centre or get a quota in the Department of Labour and Employment (skip this step for HQSs).
  2. Obtain a permit to employ foreign labour. (skip this step for HQSs).
  3. Apply for a work permit.
  4. Submit documents for a work invitation.

How to get a work visa to Russia

Once a foreigner has received a work invitation, they can apply for a work visa.

If the invitation is issued for a highly qualified specialist, you can immediately get a multiple-entry work visa for up to 3 years, depending on the duration of the employment contract and the work permit.

If a foreigner is getting a quota or above quota position, you must first issue a single-entry work visa for 3 months with the possibility of its subsequent extension. Upon arrival in Russia, the visa will need to be changed to a multiple-entry visa for a period of up to one year, depending on the duration of the contract and the work permit.

To get a work visa to Russia you need:

  1. Collect the necessary documents – passport, work invitation, insurance. A complete list of documents for a work visa to Russia needs to be clarified at the Russian consulate abroad.
  2. Pay a visa fee, the size of which depends on the country.
  3. Submit an application and documents to the Russian consulate abroad.
  4. Wait for a work visa, it can take up to 20 working days.

A foreigner may be refused a visa for several reasons: for example, if the employer made a mistake at one of the stages of employment, the foreigner submitted false information or violated immigration laws. By entrusting Travelmart specialist with the process, you minimize the risk of failure.

Read the full information on the procedure of employing foreigners on our website.

A guide to Russian visas

To move to Russia you are likely to need to complete a Russian visa application form. This guide will provide you with advice on which Russian visa to apply for, how to complete the application forms, and the costs you can expect to pay.

Russian visa policy is complex, with stricter controls for issues such as illegal employment and criminality. There are different regulations depending on where you are from, procedures foreigners must carry out, and some areas visitors cannot travel to.

This guide to Russian visas and permits includes the following topics:

Who needs a Russian visa or permit?

Citizens of most countries need a visa to travel to Russia. You must get this before arriving in Russia. Although a European country, Russia is not part of the EU/EFTA; it does not grant visa-free travel to countries within the EU/EFTA other than Croatia and Iceland for stays of up to 90 days.

Russia allows visa-free travel to member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (several countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union) plus Cuba. Citizens of the following countries can travel to Russia without a visa: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Citizens of the following countries can enter Russia without a Russian visa but can only stay for periods of between 14-90 days and for certain purposes – Argentina, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Macedonia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, Panama, Paraguay, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Further details on the length of stay and conditions are available here.

Citizens of all other countries will require a Russian visa in order to enter Russia.

Types of Russian visas

All Russian visas are issued by the General Directorate for Migration Affairs (GUVM). There are various types of Russian visa issued, depending on the purpose and length of visit. The visa length is usually between 30-90 days although many can be extended. The below types of visa are referred to as Russian entry visas.

Russian visa: Tourist

  • This is the standard visa that allows entry as a tourist. It is valid for 30 days and cannot be renewed. To obtain a tourist visa, you must have confirmed accommodation for the duration of your stay in Russia.

Russian visa: Business

  • This is a visa for those visiting the country on official or private business. The standard business visa is valid for 90 days. There is also a Multi Russian Business visa which is valid for a year and allows multiple entries into Russia. Business visas are eligible for renewal upon expiration, but this must be via the organization that provided the invitation for your business visa. Business visas can also be used for commercial visits such as attending events such as auctions.

Russian visa: Private

  • This is a Russian visa valid for up to 90 days based on a private invitation from friends or relatives who live in Russia.

Russian visa: Humanitarian

  • This is a visa valid for up to a year with multiple entries for those entering Russia for any of the following purposes:
    • Cultural purposes
    • Purposes related to science
    • Political purposes
    • Sporting purposes
    • Religious purposes
    • Charitable purposes
    • Delivery of humanitarian aid

Russian visa: Work/Employment

  • This is a Russian visa valid for 90 days with the possibility of extension, based only on a work invitation from a Russian company

Russian visa: Student

  • This is a Russian visa valid for 90 days with the possibility of extension, based only on a student invitation from a Russian college or university.

Russian Highly Skilled Migrant Visa

  • This is a special visa for those in skilled professions who gain employment with a salary of over R1 million. This visa is valid for three years, enables the holder to bypass the temporary residence permit requirement and entitles relatives including spouses, children and parents to a visa.

Family Member of Russian Citizen Visa

  • This is a Russian visa for spouses, children under 18 and incapacitated children who are family members of Russian citizens are entitled to a Family Member visa if the relative who is a Russian citizen signs a visa request form. This visa is valid for 3 months.

Russian Transit Visa

  • A Russian transit visa is necessary if you are traveling to somewhere via a Russian airport(s) or through Russia by train. Transit visas are normally valid for a maximum of three days for air travel and 10 days for train travel.
  • A Russian transit visa is not usually necessary if you stay in an airport transit zone in order to board a connecting flight within 24 hours of arrival. Check with your airline to see if you require a transit visa.

Russian Special Purpose Visa

  • This is a visa valid for up to 30 days allowing you to attend special events taking place inside Russia.

Areas with restricted access in Russia

There are currently 18 regions in Russia that contain areas with limited entry for foreign nationals. These are:

  1. Kamchatka region
  2. Primor
  3. Krasnoryarsk region
  4. Orenburg region
  5. Nizhny Novgorod region (permission to travel in transit)
  6. Republic of Mordovia
  7. Murmansk region and Karelia
  8. Arkhangelsk and Komi Republic
  9. Sverdlovsk region
  10. Chelyabinsk region
  11. Leningrad region
  12. Moscow region
  13. Kaliningrad region
  14. Volgograd region
  15. Astrakhan region
  16. Chukotka Autonomous District
  17. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area
  18. Republic of North Ossetia

See here for more detailed information.

Applying for a Russian entry visa

You must apply for a visa through the Russian embassy or consulate in your home country. A list of embassies and consulates worldwide is available here. It isn’t possible to apply for a visa inside Russia or at the Russian border.

Excluding the Tourist Visa and the Transit Visa, all visa types require an invitation from the GUVM branch in the area where you are staying. This is available via your visa sponsor (resident organization or individual who is inviting you to Russia). Your sponsor is probably best placed to sort this out, but a list of local GUVM offices can be found here.

For a tourist visa, you must provide a stamped tourist confirmation document from your travel agent or hotel. This confirms you have accommodation for the duration of your trip.

To apply for your visa, fill out a visa application form either online or at the Russian embassy. An English version of the form is available here.

You must also submit the following:

  • copy of your passport
  • a passport-size photograph not older than six months
  • visa fees
  • invitation from the appropriate GUVM branch (if applicable)
  • medical insurance
  • a certificate confirming the absence of HIV infection (if staying longer than 90 days)
  • you may also be asked to provide bank statements to show proof of funds for the duration of the visit

You can find out full details of visa requirements from different countries, along with further information on how to get a visa here.

Some countries now require applicants to attend the Russian embassy in person for biometric scanning.

The processing time for a Russian visa is not long and can be as short as two days, although it is wise to apply a few weeks in advance.

Russian visa costs

Visa costs vary from country to country and depending on what visa type you opt for. In the UK, you can choose between a standard service (seven days) or a more expensive express service (two days). Russian visa costs in the UK start at £165.

Rules to remember regarding your visa

Registration requirements

  • All foreign visitors to Russia are required to register their stay at the local GUVM branch within 7 days of arrival. This will often be done by the organisation or individual who is sponsoring/inviting the visitor but it’s worth checking to ensure this is done. Failure to register with the GUVM can result in a fine and in some cases expulsion from Russia.

Migration card

  • The migration card is the identity document issued to all foreign nationals in Russia at the border and must be presented along with the passport whenever an identity check is required by Russian officials. If you lose your migration card, you need to report it to the nearest GUVM office and you will have to pay for a replacement.

Exiting Russia

  • In addition to allowing entry into the country, your entry visa also serves as your exit visa. You need to specify the exact day that you will be leaving the country and if you miss this date, leaving Russia could be problematic.
  • Visitors who overstay their visa by more than three days will need to apply for an exit visa to leave Russia, which can take up to 20 days to be issued. This can only be overturned if a valid reason (e.g., illness, stolen visa) is presented.

Visa application for a Russian residence permit

If you are moving to Russia, you will need to apply for a Russian residence permit at the local GUVM office either when you arrive in Russia or before your visa expires. All foreigners wanting to live in Russia, other than those from Belarus, refugees arriving from Turkmenistan and those arriving on a Highly Skilled Migrant visa, need to initially apply for a temporary residence permit, which is valid for three years (although it needs to be re-stamped by the GUVM every year).

Anyone who has legally entered Russia is entitled to apply for a temporary Russian residence permit. The Russian government operates on migration quotas and will prioritise applicants who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • born in Russia
  • citizens of a former USSR country
  • have a family member or partner who is a Russian citizen
  • made a certain amount of investments in Russia (determined by federal law)
  • served in the Russian military
  • have had a child born in Russia

If you are working or studying in Russia for longer than three months, you will also have a strong case for being granted a temporary residence permit if you can present a letter of support from your employer/college to the GUVM.

Holders of a temporary residence permit cannot be absent from Russia for longer than three months and have to apply for an exit visa and a re-entry visa to travel away from the country.

Documents that need to be provided in order to obtain a Russian residence permit include:

  • passport
  • criminal record certificate
  • two passport photos
  • valid entry visa (if necessary)
  • health certificate confirming absence of infectious diseases
  • document confirming basic knowledge of Russian language, history and culture

Working with a Russian visa

It is possible to work in Russia if you have obtained a work permit through a Russian employer along with a valid work visa. This is valid for 90 days although it is possible to extend it for up to three years and get a temporary residence permit. See our article on Russian work visas and permits for even more information.

Studying with a Russian visa

You can come to Russia to study if you have obtained a study placement offer from a Russian college or university along with a Russian study visa. This is valid for 90 days although it is possible to extend it and get a temporary residence permit. See our guide to studying in Russia for even more information.

Getting a Russian visa to join a relative or partner

You can apply to join family or a partner in Russia on a Russian Private Visa if the family member invites you. Certain family members are eligible to apply for long-term residence under Russia’s family reunion laws. See our guide on Joining a relative or partner in Russia for more information.

Applying for a visa for citizenship or permanent residence purposes

You can apply for permanent residence in Russia after one year of temporary residence and for full citizenship after five years. See our guide to Russian citizenship and permanent residence for more information.

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