Russian visa for Swiss citizens

Published by Mike Lomberg April 2, 2020
Swiss passport cover

Visitors of Russia are rewarded with amazing historical architecture of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, vast landscapes of the Far East, exhilarating mountain air of Sochi, and many other colorful and memorable travel experiences in the biggest country of the world. However, there’s one catch, which can make someone change his mind about visiting Russia:

Do Swiss citizens need an entry visa to Russia? you may ask.

– Yes, they do.

But instead of advising you to go someplace else, I intend to help you get your Russian visa in a simple and efficient way, and make your planned trip happen. In this article you will learn how to obtain a Russian visa in five simple steps, without paying any agencies to do it for you

Step 1. Choose ideal travel dates and adequate visa type

To know the type of visa you should apply for, you need to think about several related moments: duration of your trip, number of entries to Russia you’ll need to make, purpose of journey, and which document will serve as your basis for visa application. Read below about the main Russian visa types and choose the one most adequate for your trip.

Visa typesPeriod of stayTravel purpose
Tourist visa30 daystourism and leisure
Private visa90 daysprivate guest visits. Not recommendable: see why here
Business visa30 -90 days (a visa can be valid for up to 5 years)
conducting business in Russia, looking for partners, negotiating, investing etc.
Transit visa3 -10 dayscrossing Russian territory on your way to another country
Student visa90 days and abovestudying a course in a Russian school or university
Work visa90 days and aboveworking under contract for a Russian employer
Electronic visa8 daysshort tourist, business or humanitarian visits

Russian Tourist visa for Swiss citizens

Duration of visit: max 30 days.

Number of entries: single, double

Purpose of traveling: 

Basis for visa: Tourist confirmation, supplied by a registered Russian travel agency. 

Russian Private Visa for Swiss citizens

Duration of visit: up to 90 days

Number of entries: single, double

Purpose of traveling:

Basis for visa – invitation provided by the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs following a request of the Russian host

Russian Business and Humanitarian visa for Swiss citizens

Duration of stay: no longer than 90 days out of 180. A visa can be issued from 1 month to 5 years

Number of entries: single, double, multiple

Purpose of traveling:

Basis for visa: Either of these

Russian Student Visa for Swiss citizens

Duration of visit:

90 days and beyond, depending on the duration of study course. Initially, a visa is issued for 90 days, and can be prolonged by the educational establishment on the territory of Russia.

Number of entries: single, multiple 

Purpose of traveling: 

Basis for visa: Official invitation supplied by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russian upon petition of a Russian educational institution.

Russian Work visa for Swiss citizens

Duration of visit:

90 days and beyond under your civil labour contract. A visa can be issued for 90 days or for 3 years for Highly Qualified Experts. Both can be extended on the territory of Russia.

Number of entries: single, multiple

Purpose of traveling: 

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

Russian Transit Visa for Swiss citizens

Duration of stay: if you cross Russia by air you can stay up to 3 days, if by road or railroad – up to 10 days

Number of entries: single

Reasons for traveling: 

Basis for visa: Tickets for entry and departure from Russia

Important: Those who make flight connections without the need to leave transit zone, 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 E-Visa for Swiss citizens

Duration of visit: 8 days out of 30 days

Number of entries: Single

Purpose of traveling: 

Basis for visa: Application filled online not later than 4 days before your trip. It’s printed out and shown at the border.

Step 2. Prepare the documents for application 

Now, that you have established your visa type and travel dates, you can gather the necessary visa documents. Application can be started as early as 3 months before your planned trip to Russia. The list of documents includes

We can provide you with: 

An official tourist confirmation: Get tourist invitation letter

An official business invitation made in 1 to 20 working days: Get business invitation letter

For regular visas complete the form at, complete it, print it on both sides, sign, and date.

For E-visa, request professional help with filling the form here: 

E-visa applications must be filled not later than 4 days before your trip

Step 3. Apply for your visa at the local Russian organs and pay the fees

Swiss citizens can apply for a Russian visa at the following organs:

If you decide to apply in person, prepare all documents, book your appointment and arrive 10 min earlier before your time. Be ready to pay the visa fees by credit card. See the tariffs below.

If you choose to apply by post through the visa center:

Russia Visa Center

Bolligenstrasse 54

3006 Bern 


You can find the addresses of consulates and visa centers here: Russian Consulates and Embassies

Visa fees

For applicants applying at the consulate it’s necessary to pay the consular fee, which amounts to:

Visa typeStandard processing (4-20 working days)Expedited processing (1-3 working days)
Single entry80 CHF160 CHF
Double entry127 CHF254 CHF
Multiple entry238 CHF477 CHF

For applicants, who apply at the visa center it’s required to pay consular fees (the amount varies depending on the visa type and can be found on the website of the visa center), as well as extra service fee of 28 CHF. Payments are made at the visa center in cash or by major credit cards.

For applicants sending documents by post, it’s required to pay the above mentioned fees, as well as mandatory: express courier charge 75 CHF, postal fee 15 CHF, SMS fee 2 CHF for each individual application. 

Bear in mind, that regardless of the result of your application, all visa fees you pay are non-refundable.

Step 4. Pick up your passport and examine your visa.

After you have collected your passport with visa either in person or received it by post (if you applied by post at the visa center), it’s recommended that you carefully check all the details, especially validity of visa and number of entries. See a sample of Russian visa with details to check below:

Russian visa stamp

If everything is correct, you can start packing your luggage. Don’t forget to take your passport, insurance policy, hotel bookings and invitation with you.

Step 5. Get registered in Russia

After you arrive to Russia, remember to collect two more required documents:

A migration card is supplied by flight attendants on the plane, or can be collected at the immigration control point. You are supposed to fill it in English or Russian with passport details and information on your trip in block letters. The documents has two parts with identical fields, one will be stamped and given back to you by the immigration officer, another he’ll keep for the record. Don’t lose the slip, and carry it along in your passport during your stay in Russia. You’ll need to return it when leaving the country.

Russian migration card

Registration is required if you plan to stay over 7 working days in Russia. Normally, hotel management provides it.

If you are staying with your friends or relatives, or book an apartment via airbnb, you’ll need to contact the owner of the apartament to make sure, he’ll provide you with registration. It’s made at the local post or police office.

Russian registration

I hope, that you have found the article useful, and it helped you get your Russian visa without any problems.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us by email for your free consultation.

Have a wonderful journey to Russia!

View of Vladivostok, Russia