Russian visa for citizens of France

Published by Mike Lomberg March 26, 2020
French passport holders

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:


Get it in 10 min to your email and print out


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




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.



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:

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:

Find  the addresses of the consulates and visa centers here: Russian Consulates and Embassies

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:

Processing timeTariff (€)
Standart 4-20 working days35
Urgent 1-3 working days70

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’ll be notified when your application process is over. Alternatively, if you’ve applied through the VFS Global center you can track your application status on their website

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.

Russian visa stamp

If you applied for an E-visa, you’ll also need to check all details before travelling.

Russian electronic visa

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.

Russian migration card

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.

Russian registration

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!

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