Are you a Belgian passport holder planning a trip to Russia? Then you are probably asking yourself:
Do Belgian citizens need a visa to enter Russia?
The answer is: Yes, they do!
What’s your next move? Don’t panic and follow our step-by-step guide to get your Russian visa. The entire process isn’t as complicated as it seems.
Step 1. Choose your travel dates and visa type
To correctly choose the type of visa you should apply for, think about the duration of your travel, how many times you’ll need to come to Russia, what will be the main purpose of your trip. The list of Russian visa types will help you make your choice.
RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA FOR BELGIANS
Duration of stay allowed – 30 days
Number of entries – single, double entry
Purpose of trip – tourism, seeing the sights, attending cultural events, excursions, sea and train tours, backpacking, hitch-hiking etc.
Inviting party – Russian tour operator registered in the Uniform Register of Russian tour operators. The invitation, also called tourist confirmation, should contain passport details of the tourist, info on the inviting travel agency, dates of trip, cities and hotels of stay. You can order such travel support document with us here: Order tourist confirmation
Get it in 10 min to your email and print out
RUSSIAN PRIVATE VISA FOR BELGIANS
Duration of stay – up to 90 days
Number of entries – single/double
Purpose of trip – visiting friends and relatives in Russia
Inviting party – a citizen or permanent resident of Russia. The invitation should be granted by the Department of Migration Affairs of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia following a request of the Russian host. The process can take up to 20 working days and the Russian citizen must supply the following documents:
Application in the specified form
Letter of guarantee
Bank statement with enough funds to cover the expenses of the invited person
Receipt of payment of the state fee (RUB 800)
TIP: If you aren’t sure that your Russian will supply you with the required invitation, you might consider to come on a simple tourist visa
RUSSIAN BUSINESS VISA FOR BELGIANS
Duration of stay – 90 days out of every 180 (a visa itself may be issued for 1-3 months if you had no previous Russian visas, for 1 year if you had one single-double entry visa in the last 2 years, or for 2-3-5 years if you had 2 multiple entry consecutive Russian visas in the last 2 years). Remember, that you cannot stay over 90 days within each 180, even if your visa is valid for 5 years.
Number of entries – single/ double/ multiple
Purpose of trip – negotiations, looking for partners, attending various business events, giving seminars and trainings etc.
Inviting party – Russian organization. You can obtain an invitation from:
Your Russian partner (a registered legal body) in the form of a written statement on their official letterhead, signed and sealed (usually it can be done in 1 day)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a request of your Russian host company (in the form of Telex, which takes from 12 working days to get)
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia following a request of your Russian host company (EFMS takes up to 20 working days)
From our website (processing may take from 1 to 20 working days, depending on the type of invitation you choose) Order business visa support
RUSSIAN STUDENT VISA FOR BELGIANS
Duration of stay – depends on the length of the course you are taking. A visa itself is issued for 90 days with single entry, but can be extended while in Russia by your school
Number of entries – single, but can be changed for multiple if the course requires
Purpose of trip – study at a Russian academic institution
Inviting party – Russian educational institution. An invitation is supplied by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia following a request from your school. The process might be quite long and take up to 1.5 months
RUSSIAN TRANSIT VISA FOR BELGIANS
Duration of stay – up to 3 days for transit by air/ up to 10 days for transit by road or rail
Number of entries – single
Purpose of trip – crossing Russian borders following to another country of destination
Inviting party – no invitation necessary, but you’ll need to present proof of transport.
Important: If you make a connection by air you don’t leave transit zone of the airport, you don’t need any visa. Check it with your airlines.
Important: For travelers following to Belarus or Kazakhstan with connection in Russia, transit visa is required.
RUSSIAN WORK VISA FOR BELGIANS
Duration of stay – according to your employment contract. A work visa can be issued either for 90 days with single/double entry, or for 3 years with multiple entry for Highly Qualified Specialists. Both types can be extended while in Russia, if it’s required by your employer
Number of entries – single/ double/ multiple
Purpose of trip – paid work for a Russian employer
Inviting party – your Russian employer must provide you with an official work invitation supplied by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. The process is quite long. Initially, the company must obtain a quota for foreign labour. It might take up to 2 months and over.
E-VISA FOR BELGIANS
Duration of stay – 8 days. You are granted a visa for 30 days in 4 days after application, but you can stay only 8 days during the period of its validity
Number of entries – single
Purpose of trip – tourist, business or humanitarian visit
Inviting party – you don’t need any invitation. Just fill the special form online, not later than 4 days before your trip. If you want to get professional help in completing the form, to avoid any mistakes and rejections of entry afterwards, contact us here: Contact Visando
Step 2. Gather documentation for your visa type
Before you enroll with the local Russian consulate, you’ll need to prepare certain documents to apply for your visa. The list contains:
Original national passport. It should be valid 6 more months beyond the exit date from Russia, and contain 2 blank visa pages
Appropriate invitation from Russia. See visa types listed above for details about the invitation. For tourist visits exceeding 12 days you’ll also require a detailed tour program from the inviting Russian tour operator. Copies are accepted for most visas, apart from work visa type, where you need to present the paper original.
Duly filled application form. Find it at visa.kdmd.ru Complete online, print, sign, and date with black ink pen. In the marked area glue your recent color photo of passport style sized 3.5×4.5. Read more on photo specifications here: Photo specifications
Travel insurance covering the whole period of your trip. The consulate accepts copies. It must contain an individual number, details of the insurer and the insured person, list of medical services, and cover the territory of the World, Russian Federation, or Europe including Russia. It should be stamped by the insurer, and signed by you.
Guarantee letter from the employer for a business visa. It should contain the details of the employer, brief description of its business activities, your position in the company, and information with regards to the business trip
Financial capacity proof for unemployed, retired, students, entrepreneurs such as bank statement, credit debit card statement. The amount of money on your account should be no less than 100 Euro per each day of stay in Russia
Additional documents for work/ study visa (if you apply for a visa of over 90 days stay) include: certificate, confirming that you are HIV negative. You can obtain it in any clinic.
Additional documents for transit visa include – entry-exit tickets, and a visa to the country of final destination, if required
Step 3. Apply for your visa and pay the fees.
The next move will be to apply with all your documents for your visa. Where can a Belgian do it? In either of these places:
When you submit your package of documents, you’ll need to pay the fees. Doing it at the consulate, the only fee you’ll have to pay will be the non-refundable consular fee, see the amount, which is valid for both single, double and multiple entry visas, in the table below:
Standart 5-20 working days
Urgent 1-3 working days
If you apply through the Russian visa center, you’ll also be charged extra service fee. You can check the totals on the website of the visa center as they vary for each visa type.
If you apply by post to the visa center in Antwerp you’ll pay by bank transfer and include the receipt into the envelope with documents, which you’ll need to send to the Antwerp’s visa center address.
Note: From E-visa applicants no visa fee is charged!
Step 4. Collect your passport with visa. Check details.
You’ll be notified when your application process is over.
You can collect the passport by yourself or nominate someone to do it for you (bring the receipt, which the consulate or visa center had supplied you with during the application). If you applied by post you’ll receive your passport back by delivery service.
Take a good look at your visa and check all the details, like validity dates and number of entries.
If you applied for an E-visa, you’ll also need to check all details before travelling.
If everything is fine, you are ready to travel. Pack your luggage, check on the weather forecast in Russia. Don’t forget to take your passport with visa, Insurance policy, hotel bookings, tickets, invitation copy. Have a pleasant trip!
Important for holders of E-visas: You are only allowed to enter one of the specified border points in three regions of Russia: Vladivostok and the Far East, Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region, Kaliningrad and Kaliningrad Region. You must return through the same border crossing, where you entered. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to travel throughout other regions, as you can only stay in the region which you entered. I you want to avoid these limits and travel freely throughout Russia, consider getting a regular tourist visa instead.
Step 5. Migration control and registration in0 Russia
When you’ve arrived, you’ll need to take care of two more documents obtained in Russia by all foreign guests:
A migration card is given to foreign nationals arriving to Russia. It has two identical parts, one of which is surrendered to the immigration officer at the border crossing. You’ll need to write on it the details of your trip, dates of travel, places of intended stay. Keep the second part of the card with you, and don’t lose it. You’ll have to return it back when leaving Russia.
You’ll need to obtain registration upon arrival, if you stay beyond 7 working days in Russia.
If you stay in a hotel, you’ll get registered by the hotel manager. If you stay with your Russian friends, ask the owner of the apartment to register you at the local post or police office during the first 7 days after your arrival. Carry your registration with you. You might need to show it when returning from Russia.
I hope now you have a clear understanding of the whole process of visa application. If you still have some questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by email.