Russian visa for Polish citizens

Published by Mike Lomberg April 6, 2020
Polish passport holders

If you are a citizen of Poland planning a trip to Russia for vacations or business, you probably ask yourself:

Do Polish citizens need a visa to Russia?

Yes, they do.

It usually is a long and bureaucratic process connected with lots of paperwork and standing in long queues in the imagination of many travelers. Here we’ll tell you how to get your Russian visa in 5 simple steps, answer the main questions about visa types, required documents, processing time and visa fees. You will see that it’s not so complicated and you can get a visa on your own, without paying anybody for such service.

Step 1.  Choose the dates of your trip and identify your visa type

Different categories of visas are issued based on the duration of stay in Russia, and purpose of trip. That’s why it’s important previously determine your travel dates and choose the appropriate visa type, which will correspond to your travel purposes. See below the main visa types and select the one suitable for you.

Russian Tourist visa for Polish citizens

Duration of stay in Russia: maximum 30 days

Number of entries: single, double

Travel purpose:

Inviting company: Russian registered tour operator

Russian Private visa for Polish citizens

Duration of stay in Russia – up to 90 days

Number of entries – single or double

Purpose of trip – visiting family or friends residing in Russia

Inviting organization – Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia upon request of the host Russian citizen

Russian Business visa for Polish citizens

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 business partners

– attending various 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 events related to sports, culture, politics, religion, charity, volunteer programs, 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 (MVD), or a Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a request of the host company

Russian Transit visa for Polish citizens

Duration of stay in Russia – no longer than 3 days for air connections, no longer than 10 days for road travelers

Number of entries – single, double (for double entry transit visa validity won’t be longer than 1 month)

Purpose of trip – crossing Russia following to another state of destination.

Inviting organization – no invitation required. You should have the tickets showing entry/exit from Russia

Russian Student visa for Polish citizens

Duration of stay in Russia – from 90 days and beyond, if required by the study course. Initially, 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 – studying at a Russian university or attending short-term courses

Inviting organization – Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (MVD) upon request of the Russian School or University

Russian Work visa for Polish citizens

Duration of stay in Russia – for 90 days and up, a visa can be extended in Russia, depending on the labour contract terms. For Highly Qualified Experts a visa is issued for 3 years at once, and can also be extended in Russia.

Number of entries – single, double or multiple

Purpose of trip – employment in Russia

Inviting organization – Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia upon request of the Russian Employing company

Russian Electronic visa for Polish citizens

Duration of stay in Russia – no longer than 8 days. Visa validity starts from the issuance date and lasts for 30 days. 

Number of entries – single 

Purpose of trip – tourism and leisure activities, or brief business or humanitarian visits to Russia

Inviting organization – no invitation required. 

Step 2. Fetch your documents for visa

After you’ve figured out which visa type you need to apply for, and when you’ll be traveling to Russia, you’ll need to prepare the required documents for your visa application. Remember, you can start application process not earlier than 90 days before your planned entry to Russia. See the list of docs you’ll need below:

– For tourist visa you’ll need a tourist confirmation from an approved Russian travel agency. Get it here in 10 min: Get Tourist Confirmation. Print and use

For Autotourism be ready to submit a copy of the registration certificate of your vehicle.

– For private visa your Russian host should solicit an official invitation at the local Ministry of Internal Affairs migration department and send it to you. 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 urgent visits to seriously ill or deceased relatives you can provide the medical or death certificate, as well as documents proving your kinship directly to the consulate and obtain your visa in an expedited manner.

– 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 or university 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)

Step 3. Submit your documents to the approved Russian authorities and pay visa fees

When you have all the necessary documents and are ready to apply for your visa, decide on the place of application. Citizens of Poland can submit applications in either of these organs:

Each application should be accompanied by the visa fee, in the amount corresponding to the chosen visa type. If you apply directly at the Russian Consulate Section you should pay a non-refundable Consular fee:

Visa typeStandard processing (4-20 working days)Urgent processing (1-3 working days)
single entry301 PLN601 PLN
double entry481 PLN962 PLN
multiple entry902 PLN1804 PLN

VFS Global visa center was opened to facilitate the application process and make it more convenient for the population. They process the documents within 4-10 working days, or 1-3 working days in expedited option. 

Remember, if you apply there, you’ll need to pay the visa fees in the amount, which depends on the chosen visa type and can be known at the website of the visa center, plus a service fee of 25 EUR.

You can also order extra services like delivery of your passport back home, but any additional service will be surcharge.

Find the contacts of the Russian consulates and visa centers in Poland here: Russian Consulates and Embassies

Step 4. Collect your passport with visa and examine it carefully

After you submit your documents and pay visa fees, you’ll be given a receipt. Keep it and bring with you when you come back to collect your passport. Visa center provides you the opportunity to track the status of your application online here:

Once the process has finished, you can come and pick up your passport. Carefully examine your visa stamp. It should contain the following details:

Russia visa stamp

If all data is correct, you can start packing for your trip. Don’t forget to take your passport, insurance policy, hotel bookings and invitation. 

E-visa applicants should print their application and present it at the border point. You can enter Russia only through the designated border points either in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region, or Kaliningrad and Kaliningrad Region, or Vladivostok and the Far East. You won’t be able to travel freely around the country, but only stay in the region you’ve entered, and leave through the same border point. If you want to travel more freely, consider getting yourself a standard tourist visa.

Step 5. Remember to get registered while in Russia

Welcome to Russia! I hope you’ve successfully received your visa and have arrived to your place of destination. Last thing I wanted to tell you, is that you should get two more documents for your stay. 

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.

Russian migration card

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.

Russian registration

As you can see now, the process of getting your Russian visa isn’t as complicated as one might think. I tried to clarify the main issues here, but if you still feel uncertain about something, write to our email, and I’ll gladly help you.

Happy travels to Russia!

Welcome sign at the Russian ski resort