Russian visa for Indian citizens

Published by Mike Lomberg March 31, 2020
Indian passport holders

If you have decided to travel to the biggest country in the world, you are sure to get some amazing travel experiences, as Russia has a lot to see and do. There are some things to know first, though.

Do Indian citizens need a visa to Russia?

Yes, they do!

Prior to traveling you should obtain a valid Russian entry visa. Visa application procedures can be started as early as 3 months before your trip. Try not to postpone it until late, ensure you have at least 1 month to get your visa. We’ll explain to you how to obtain it in several simple steps below.

Step 1. Determine your ideal travel dates and select the visa type you need

Below you will find the description of the main Russian visa types and their features. Select the adequate type. Bear in mind, that visa types cannot be converted one into another, and apart from work and study, other visas cannot be extended while in Russia. No type of visa, except from Work visa, allows foreign nationals to work in Russia. Think about the duration of your stay, the real purpose of your trip, and select the suitable visa type. Keep in mind, that you’ll need to make living accommodations in advance.

Russian Tourist visa for Indians

Trip duration – up to 30 days

Number of entries to Russia – single, double

Travel purpose:

Basis for visa: Tourist confirmation issued by a registered Russian tour operator. 

Note: Unfortunately, a simple hotel booking does not suffice for visa application, although it’s also required along with tourist confirmation.

Russian Private visa for Indians

Trip duration: up to 90 days

Number of entries to Russia: single, double

Travel purposes:

Basis for visa – official invitation issued by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD formerly the organ called FMS) upon request of the Russian host

Russian Business/ Humanitarian visa for Indians

Trip duration: 90 days out of 180. A visa can be issued for 1 year, but it’s allowed to stay no longer than 90 days in each half-a-year period.

Number of entries to Russia: single, double, multiple (only for 6-12 months visas)

Travel purposes:

Basis for visa:

Official invitation granted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (MVD) upon request of the inviting Russian company or

Original letter of invitation from the Russian host company or

Telex directive issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia upon request of the Russian inviting company

Important: Business visa doesn’t allow to work on the territory of Russia. It’s non-extendable and cannot be converted into work visa while in Russia. If you overstay the validity of your visa, you will be subject to a penalty, deportation and rejection of further entries to Russia.

Russian Student visa for Indians

Trip duration: 

90 days and over, depending on the duration of study course. Initially a study visa is issued for 90 days, but can be extended on the territory of Russia by your University, if your course lasts longer.

Number of entries to Russia: single, double, multiple (if extended in Russia to 1 year). 

Travel purpose: 

Basis for visa: Official invitation issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (MVD), upon request of a Russian educational institution (both original and electronic invitations are valid). 

Russian Work visa for Indians

Trip duration:

90 days and over, in correspondence with your employment contract. Initially a work visa is issued for 90 days, or for 3 years for Highly Qualified Specialists only. Both types can be extended on the territory of Russia if required by the labour contract.

Number of entries: single, multiple

Reasons for traveling: 

Basis for visa: Official original invitation granted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (MVD) upon request of the Russian employing company.

Russian Transit Visa for Indians

Duration of stay: for air connections up to 3 days, for crossing Russia by road, railroad – up to 10 days

Number of entries: single, double

Reasons for traveling: 

Basis for visa: Entry-exit tickets showing your route

Important: Travelers changing planes without the need to leave international area and go through passport control do not need visas. Please check with your airlines whether you require transit visa to make your connection.

Important: Passengers following to Belarus or Kazakhstan with connection in Russia require transit visa

Russian Electronic Visa for Indians

Duration of stay: max 8 days. A visa itself is issued within 4 days after application for 30 days, but it’s allowed to stay only 8 days within this period.

Number of entries: Single

Reasons for traveling: 

Basis for visa: filled application form for E-visa. It should be filled not later than 4 days before entry to Russia. 

Step 2. Gather necessary documents for your visa

After you have decided on the visa type you need, and figured out the dates of your travel, you can start collecting the required documents. The list includes:

For E-visa applicants it’s crucial to correctly and completely fill the visa form.  

Incorrect application can lead to rejection of entry at the border point. To order professional assistance in filling the form contact us here: Contact Visando

Order your invitations for Tourist and Business visa here: Get Russian Visa Support. The processing of a tourist confirmation takes around 30 min, it’s sent to your email in a scan. A business invitation is issued within 9- 20 business days in electronic form.

Important: You need to book a hotel prior to ordering your tourist confirmation, and fill its details in the order form.

Important: If your trip is over 14 days, a detailed tour program is required. You can request it from our manager.

Obtain your student/ work invitations from your Russian school/ employer. These types of invitations are processed longer in up to 2 months. A work invitation is required in original, make sure to order delivery.

Obtain your private invitation from your Russian host. It takes 20 working days to make it via MVD.

Step 3. Apply for your visa in one of Russian authorized organs and pay visa fees

If someone offered you to apply on your behalf and charge you something for it, don’t fall into a trap. You can apply by yourself in either of these institutions:

Visa centers have been opened to enhance and facilitate the visa application process, and if you choose to apply in one of them you’ll find it most convenient. The managers there will revise your documents, help with application form, give advice and offer you extra services like delivery of passport back to your place. Remember though, that you’ll have to pay extra service fee in this case.

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

Visa fees

When applying at the Russian Consulate Division you are to pay the Consular fee only.

Visa typeStandard processing (4-20 working days)Urgent processing (3 working days)
Common single entry5680 INR11360 INR
Common double entry9088 INR18176 INR
Common multiple entry17040 INR34080 INR

When applying through the Visa Center you’ll have to pay the total fee including consular and service fees, as well as express courier delivery. See the totals below:

Visa typeStandard processing (4-20 working days)Urgent processing (3 working days)
Common single entry4460 INR6590 INR
Common double entry5738 INR9146 INR
Common multiple entry8720 INR15111 INR

Apart from figures above, you’ll need to pay extra 1830 INR per each application of Center charge.

Payments can be made at the moment of application in cash or by credit/debit cards in INR.

Note: Applicants for E-visa don’t need to pay any visa fees. E-visas are obtained free of charge, downloaded, printed out and presented at the customs.

Step 4. Pick up your passport and review your visa details

After your application has been processed and you have waited the stipulated time for the process to finish, you can collect your passport with visa either in person or through an authorized representative. Make sure to present the original receipt, which you have been given at the submission and/or your ID.

Carefully check all visa details – validity period, number of entries, name and surname, inviting company. See a sample here: 

Russian visa stamp

If everything is fine, start packing your bags. Remember to bring your passport, hotel bookings, invitation from Russian organization in your carry-on luggage.

Step 5. Obtain migration card and get registered upon arrival

Once in Russia you’ll need two more documents:

The first is usually distributed to passengers free on board the plane or issued by immigration officer at control. You are required to fill identical parts of the document in Russian or English writing your personal details, dates of trip, inviting company, place of stay. Don’t lose it, and always carry along in your passport while in Russia. You’ll be asked to return it when you leave the country.

Russian migration card

Registration is needed if you plan to stay beyond 7 working days in Russia. Normally, the management of your hotel will take charge of it, and provide you with the required registration for the period of your stay. 

If you stay at your friends or relatives’ place, or book an apartment via airbnb, you’ll need to contact the owner of the apartament and ask to provide you with registration. It’s made at the local post or police office within the first 7 business days after your arrival to Russia.

Russian registration

I hope that our guide has helped you to get your visa, or if you are still planning your trip, to get a clear idea on how to do it.

If you have something to ask about, feel free to contact us by email. 

Stay tuned, and enjoy your trip to Russia!

Indian tourist in Russia