The proximity of our two countries as well as other factors have made trips of Finnish citizens to Russia on private, tourist and business purposes quite frequent.
However, there still exists a visa regime between Finland and Russia.
Do Finnish citizens need a visa to enter Russia?
Yes, they do!
Although to you the visa application process sounds like a lot of headache, below you’ll find a simple step-by-step guide, which will help you get your Russian visa in no time at all.
Think about the dates of your travel, the time you need to spend in Russia, your travel goals and the inviting Russian host. Choose the visa type among the types described below.
Russian visa types overview
|Visa types||Validity period||Travel purpose|
|Tourist visa||30 days||tourism and leisure|
|Private visa||90 days||private guest visits. Not recommendable: see why here|
|Business visa||30 -90 days (up to 1 year max)||conducting business in Russia, looking for partners, negotiating, investing etc.|
|Transit visa||3 -10 days||crossing Russian territory on your way to another country|
|Student visa||90 days and above||studying a course in a Russian school or university|
|Work visa||90 days and above||working under contract for a Russian employer|
|Electronic visa||8 days||short tourist, business or humanitarian visits|
Duration of stay in Russia: 30 days max.
Number of entries: single, double
Visa support: Tourist confirmation from a registered Russian tour operator
Duration of stay in Russia – 90 days max
Number of entries – single or double
Purpose of trip – visiting friends or relatives, citizens or permanent residents of Russia
Visa support: Invitation issued by MIA upon request of your Russian host
Duration of stay in Russia – 90 days in each 180. A visa can be issued for up to 1 year.
Number of entries – single, double or multiple (to apply for multiple entry visa you should have previous Russian visas issued in the last year)
Purpose of trip:
– looking for business partners, negotiating
– purchasing goods and services, researching the market
– conducting trainings, maintenance work (sub-purpose Technical Maintenance)
– taking part in commercial activities in Russia (sub-purpose Commercial)
– driving cargo or passenger vehicle throughout Russia (sub-purpose Driver)
– flying aircraft (sub-purpose Crew Member)
– a child accompanying parents in a business trip (sub-purpose Family Member)
– taking part in sports, cultural, political, religious, charity, volunteer events, or supplying humanitarian aid (Humanitarian type)
Visa support: Invitation issued by MIA or MFA of Russia upon request of the Russian inviting company; or a written request on the letterhead of the inviting company
Duration of stay in Russia – 3 days max for air connections, 10 days max for road/railroad travelers
Number of entries – single
Purpose of trip – crossing Russian territory following to another state.
Visa support: bought valid tickets showing entry/exit from Russia
Duration of stay in Russia – 90 days and longer. A visa is issued for 90 days, but can be extended in Russia depending on the duration of studies.
Number of entries – single, double or multiple
Purpose of trip – full time studies at a Russian educational institution; short-term courses
Visa support: Invitation by the Russian academic institution; or by MIA or MFA of Russia upon request of the Russian School or University
Duration of stay in Russia – from 90 days and longer, depending on the civil labour contract terms. For Highly Qualified Experts a visa is issued for 3 years at once. This visa type can be extended in Russia.
Number of entries – single or multiple
Purpose of trip – full time work under a paid labour contract for a Russian employer
Visa support: original invitation issued by MIA of Russia upon request of an authorized Russian Employer.
Duration of stay in Russia – no longer than 8 days out of 30 days period
Number of entries – single
Purpose of trip – tourism and leisure, business or humanitarian visits
Visa support: an online form on the MFA website filled in 4 days prior to your trip to Russia, after you submit it online, you’ll receive the decision of issuing you a visa, which you should print and carry along in your trip
Important to know: an E-visa so far gives right to visit only one of the three regions of Russia:
A traveler can enter and leave only through the same border point. It’s not allowed to travel to other regions during your trip on E-visa. If you want to visit other regions, obtain a tourist visa instead.
The set of documents you’ll need to apply for any visa types includes:
For other visa types contact your Russian host and ask to provide you with the required visa support document (invitation)
For E-visa get professional help with filling the form to ensure the absence of mistakes here: E-visa filling the form
Finnish citizens can apply for a Russian visa at:
09:00 – 15:00 Monday – Friday,
except on declared holidays.
Collection of Passports:
09:00 – 16:00 Monday – Friday,
except on declared holidays
Find the contacts of the Consulates and Visa Centers by this link: Russian Consulates and Embassies
If you are unable to apply in person, you can send a representative to the visa center, with the notarized authority letter, or proof of relationship in case it’s your relative.
When submitting the documents you’ll need to pay the visa fees.
The Consular fee amounts to:
|Visa type||Standard processing 4-20 working days||Expedited processing 3 working days|
|Short-term visas||35 EUR||70 EUR|
|Work/Student visa single entry||78 EUR||157 EUR|
|Work/Student visa double entry||125 EUR||251 EUR|
|Work/Student visa multiple entry||235 EUR||470 EUR|
Visa Center also charges its service fee of 28 EUR per application.
Visa fees can be paid by credit/debit card and cash in the Consulate or Visa Center when submitting the documents. Note that the process won’t start until the fees are paid. They are non-refundable.
Important! Applicants for E-visas don’t need to pay any fee for their visas.
When you submit your documents, an officer will tell you the date when you can collect your passport. You will be given a receipt of the payment of visa fees, keep it and bring with you when you arrive for your passport collection. In case you cannot personally collect it, give the receipt to your reliable representative and he/she can collect the passport for you.
Carefully look at the visa stamp in your passport. In case you notice any mistakes, apply for correction.
If all information is correct, you can get ready for your journey.
Remember to take with you the invitation from Russia and your insurance policy.
Coming to the Russian border you will have to pass several control points migration control among them. An officer will ask you to fill in the migration card (it can also be given out on board your plane, or found on the desks at the airport arrivals). This form is completed in pen with block letters in English or Russian. It has two identical parts and the one you give to the officer, while the other you keep and after your trip comes to an end – return on the border.
If you plan on staying in Russia over 7 working days, you’ll need to undergo such procedure as registration. Nothing to worry about, but as it is required by law, make sure the hotel which you booked provides you with one, or the owner of the apartment where you stay.
As both documents can be asked for by the police to prove your legal stay in Russia, it’s recommendable to carry them with you during the entire trip.
If you lose migration card – contact the local migration service office to get one. If you lose registration – ask your Russian host to get a duplicate.
Hope this article made clear for you the process of visa application. If you still need some answers or tips, contact us by email.
Welcome to Russia!