Do French citizens require a visa to Russia? The answer is – Yes, they do.
However, the whole daunting process of visa application might turn out to be not so complicated, if you follow this simple guide. My mission here is to describe the main steps of application for a Russian visa, and help you do it by yourself, without paying anyone for this service, and without having to buy an overpriced package tour.
Let’s get started!
Step 1. Choose your travel dates, and identify the visa type you need.
The visa type you need will depend on the purpose of your visit, on the duration of your stay and number of entries, and on who invites you. Look through the main Russia visa types below and decide on which type will be suitable for you:
RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA FOR THE FRENCH
Duration of stay – 30 days
Number of entries – single entry only
Purpose of trip – tourism, visiting sights, attending cultural events, excursions, sea and train tours, backpacking, hitch-hiking etc.
Inviting party – Russian registered tour operator. The invitation 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: Get your tourist invitation
Get it in 10 min to your email and print out
RUSSIAN PRIVATE VISA FOR THE FRENCH
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 issued by the Department of migration affairs of the Ministry of internal affairs of Russia upon request of the mentioned individual. The invitation is made within 20 working days and the Russian citizen must provide certain documents to obtain it:
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 feel your Russian host won’t be able to provide you with the required invitation, you might consider it easier and faster to come on a simple tourist visa
RUSSIAN BUSINESS VISA FOR THE FRENCH
Duration of stay – 90 days out of every 180 ( a visa itself may be issued for 1 and more years, but you cannot overstay 90 days in each half-a-year period)
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. There can be several ways to receive the invitation for EU citizens:
Ask your Russian partner (a registered legal body) to write an invitation on their official letterhead, sign and seal it (usually it can be done in 1 day)
Ask your Russian partner to get an invitation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for you (Telex takes from 12 working days to get)
Ask your Russian partner to get an invitation at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for you (EFMS takes up to 20 working days)
Order it with us and we’ll prepare it for you (processing may take from 1 to 20 working days, depending on the type of invitation you choose) Order visa support here
RUSSIAN STUDENT VISA FOR THE FRENCH
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 extended for multiple if the course requires
Purpose of trip – study at a Russian educational institution
Inviting party – Russian educational institution. An invitation is granted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russian upon request of your school. The process might be quite long and take up to 1.5 months
RUSSIAN TRANSIT VISA FOR THE FRENCH
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 en route to another country of destination
Inviting party – no invitation necessary, but you’ll need to present proof of transport.
Important: If while making 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 with connection in Russia, transit visa is required.
RUSSIAN WORK VISA FOR THE FRENCH
Duration of stay – according to your employment contract. A work visa can be issued 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 issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. The process is quite long, the company must first obtain a quota for foreign labour. It might take up to 2 months and over.
Duration of stay – 8 days. You are granted a visa for 30 days starting from the issuance date, but you can stay only 8 days during the period of its validity
Number of entries – single
Purpose of trip – tourism, sightseeing
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. Collect documents for submission
Before you apply for your visa you’ll need to prepare a set of documents. It might sound dreary, but in fact, there aren’t so many to collect. Let’s have a look at the list of main documents for Russian visa application:
Original national passport. It should be valid 6 more months beyond the exit date from Russia, and contain 2 blank visa pages
Photocopy of passport bio page
Appropriate invitation from Russia. See visa types listed above for details about the invitation. For tourist visits exceeding 15 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 Once completed, the form must be printed, signed, and dated with black ink pen. In the marked area your recent color photo of passport style sized 3.5×4.5 must be glued.
Travel insurance covering the dates of your trip. The consulate requires it in original. 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
Additional documents for work 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 – proof of transport in the form of tickets or detailed route description. And a visa to the country of final destination, if required.
Step 3. Apply for your visa, and pay the fees.
After you’ve collected the necessary documents, it’s time to go ahead and apply for your visa. You can do it in several places:
In person at the Russian Consulate Department in Paris, Strasbourg, or Marseille only upon prior appointment available on website of the consulate
In person at the licensed VFS Global Russian visa centers in France. Offices located in Marseille, Paris, Nice, Strasbourg. No need to get any prior appointment, you can come and submit your documents during working hours.
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 4-20 working days
Urgent 1-3 working days
If you apply through the VFS visa center, you’ll also be charged service fee, which amounts to 30 € per each application.
Keep the receipt you are given when you submit the documents and wait for your visa to be issued.
Note: From E-visa applicants no visa fee is charged!
Step 4. Pick up your passport. Check visa details.
You can collect the passport by yourself or nominate someone to do it for you, also you have the chance to order delivery service from VFS center while applying. The service costs 30 €
If you collect the documents by yourself, make sure you present the original receipt, which you got when submitting your documents.
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 in order, you are ready to travel. Pack your bags, 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. Final things to take care of while in 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 an identity documents issued to foreign nationals arriving to Russia. It has two parts, one of which is surrendered to the immigration officer at the border crossing. You’ll need to fill 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.
Registration is another document you’ll need to obtain within 7 working days after your arrival to Russia. If you don’t stay over 7 working days, there’s no need to get it. But you might be asked to present proof that you stayed less than 7 working days like hotel bookings etc. when leaving Russia.
If you stay in a hotel, you’ll get registered by the hotel manager. If you plan to rent an apartment or 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.
Now you are ready to get your visa, and venture on your trip to Russia! If you are still dubious about some moments, don’t hesitate to write to our email for your free consultation.
Have a wonderful travel experience. Welcome to Russia!