If you wonder “Do German citizens need a visa to enter Russia?” The answer is – Yes.
But if you want to travel, it shouldn’t stop you. We’ll show you how to get your Russian visa in 5 simple steps without the need to buy expensive package tours, or pay agent’s commision. Follow the step-to-step guide below and find useful tips, explanations, links and many more to ensure your Russian visa.
You don’t need to buy your tickets in advance, or make any pre-paid bookings to get your visa. Moreover, it’s not recommended to do it before you get your visa. However, you’ll need to be clear on the dates of your travel, at least know them approximately. Depending on the duration of your stay in Russia, number of entries, and purpose of trip you can choose the suitable visa type. Read below the description of the most popular Russian visa types.
Duration of stay in Russia: no longer than 30 days
Number of entries: single
Inviting company: Russian registered tour operator
Duration of stay in Russia – no longer than 90 days
Number of entries – single or double
Purpose of trip – visiting friends or relatives residing in Russia
Inviting organization – Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia upon request of the host Russian citizen
Duration of stay in Russia – no longer than 90 days out of each 180. A visa can be issued for up to 5 years.
Number of entries – single, double or multiple
Purpose of trip:
– looking for Russian partners
– attending business meetings, conferences, negotiations
– investing into Russian business
– purchasing goods and services, researching the market
– conducting trainings, maintenance work (sub-purpose Technical Maintenance)
– carrying out paid short-term commercial activities (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)
Inviting organization – A Russian organization, or Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia upon request of the host Russian company
Duration of stay in Russia – no longer than 7 days for air connections, no longer than 10 days for road travelers crossing Russia
Number of entries – single, double (for double entry transit visa validity won’t be longer than 1 month)
Purpose of trip – crossing through Russia following to another state of destination.
Inviting organization – no invitation required. You should have the tickets showing entry/exit from Russia
Duration of stay in Russia – from 90 days and beyond if required by the study course. A visa is issued for 90 days, but can be extended in Russia depending on the duration of studies.
Number of entries – single or multiple
Purpose of trip – studying at a Russian educational institution
Inviting organization – Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia upon request of the Russian School or University
Duration of stay in Russia – from 90 days and up, depending on the employment contract terms. For Highly Qualified Experts a visa is issued for 3 years at once. This visa type can be prolonged while in Russia.
Number of entries – single or multiple
Purpose of trip – working under a paid labour contract for a Russian employer
Inviting organization – Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia upon request of the Russian Employing company
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 activities in Russia
Inviting organization – no invitation required.
The list of main documents required to apply for a Russian visa includes:
– For tourist visa you’ll need a tour confirmation from a registered Russian travel agency. Get it here in 10 min: Get Tourist Confirmation. Print and use
– For private visa your Russian host should contact the local Ministry of Internal Affairs migration department and solicit the required invitation. It’s made in 20 working days and sent in e-format. If you don’t have time to wait, consider coming on a tourist visa
– For Business visa your Russian partner must provide you either with a written statement of invitation signed and sealed, or solicit an invitation at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (takes 20 working days), or Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (invitation type – Telex, takes around 12 working days). If your host company can’t provide this, order your Business invitation here: Get Business invitation
– For Student visa your Russian school should solicit official invitation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (takes 1- 1.5 months)
– For Work visa your Russian employer should solicit official invitation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (takes 1- 2 months)
Once you’ve collected all the required documents you are ready to apply. You can do it in several places:
If you select the option applying at the consulate, you’ll need to appear in person with all your documents at the booked time. Also, when retrieving passport with visa you’ll need to pick it up personally at the same consulate.
If you select applying by post in a visa center, you pack the documents into an envelope and address to the visa center in Berlin: Russia Visa Center, 62 Charlottenstrasse, 10117 Berlin, and send by post.
When submitting documents at the Consulate you’ll need to pay the Consular fee which is:
|Visa type||Standard processing (4-20 business day)||Urgent (1-3 business days)|
|Single entry||75.50 €||150.50 €|
|Double entry||121 €||241 €|
|Multiple entry||226 €||451.50 €|
When you apply at the visa center, the visa price will include consular fee, and service fee – extra 30€. If you wish, you can order courier delivery at 25€ more. You can pay in the via center in cash, or by credit/debit cards.
If you apply by post, add 15€ for postal application service. The payment is made via bank transfer to:
Enclose receipt to the envelope with your documents when sending by post. Processing time will start once the documents reach visa center.
Important: Please, verify current visa fees at the time of your application on the website of the Consulate or Visa center. Find addresses here: Russian Consulates and Embassies
E-visa applicants don’t need to pay any fees or apply for visa at the above described organs, You fill the online form, print it out and show at the border point.
After you’ve waited the stipulated time, you can collect your passport in person or get it with courier, if you ordered this service at the visa center.
Pay careful attention to your visa details, especially the information on visa validity and number of entries.
If everything is fine, you can collect your things and prepare for the trip. Remember to take your passport, hotel bookings, invitation and travel insurance policy with you.
Two more things before you leave – after you’ve arrived to Russia, don’t forget to obtain two important documents:
You will be given Migration Card on board the plane by flight attendants, or at border points by the immigration officer. You’ll be requested to fill both parts of this document with identical information in block letters in pen, in Russian or English. Give your passport details, dates of trip and inviting company. Immigration officer will stamp the document and give you one part of it. Carry the migration card always with you and return when you leave Russia.
Registration is necessary if your stay in Russia exceeds 7 working days. It’s provided by the hotel where you stay, or by the owner of the apartment. Please, contact the owner and make sure he’ll be able to obtain this document for you at the local post or police office. Airbnb owners normally charge you extras for this document. Carry your registration along during your visit. Remember that it should be done during the first 7 business days of your stay.
That’s all for now. Hope my guide covered all main questions regarding Russian visa, and helped you get yours without any problems. If you still have questions, contact us by email for your free consultation.