To cross Russian borders citizens of Australia need an entry visa, which they can obtain at the Russian visa center, or at the Russian Consulate in Australia.
Are you an Australian trying to get your first Russian visa? I guess, you must be very worried about this whole daunting process of collecting the required documents, applying for a visa, waiting for it, and about to hand it all to some travel agency and simply buy a package tour with visa support included. Don’t do this, if:
you want to save money and not to pay the unnecessary commission
you want to plan your own travel route and explore the places which interest you, rather than stick to the prearranged itinerary
you are excited to understand the whole procedure, which is not so hard as it seems, and apply for your future visas on your
Read on to learn how to get your visa by yourself in a stress-free way without any package tours, or paying someone to do it for you.
Here are 6 main steps you’ll need to take:
Step 1. Determine your travel dates and the purpose of your trip.
There exist several most common Russian visa types:
Business or Humanitarian visa
The first 4 types are the so-called short-term types, meaning that you cannot stay continuously in Russia, and your visit may not last over 90 days in each half a year period. The last 2 types can be long-term, allowing you to stay beyond 90 days without the necessity to leave the borders of Russia, and possibility to prolong the visa while being in Russia.
Decide whether you need a short-term or long-term stay. Read below about the purposes of trip for each visa type and determine the one that suits you best.
RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA FOR AUSTRALIANS
You need this visa if you want to:
travel for a short time – not longer than 30 days, entering Russia once or twice
see the sights
take an unlimited amount of photos and buy souvenirs
explore some unique Russian architecture
go on a famous trans-siberian railroad tour
go on a cruise trip entering the port cities for independent excursions (NOTE: if you travel as a group on a prearranged program of the cruise company you can stay in Russia visa-free for 72 hours)
go backpacking and hitch-hiking in some remote fantastically beautiful places of the Far East
drive or cycle by yourself on the individually planned routes
RUSSIAN BUSINESS VISA FOR AUSTRALIANS
You’ll need this type if you need to:
attend business meetings and look for new partners
sign agreements and contracts
visit business events, fairs and exhibitions, purchase goods and services
invest into Russian business
carry our short-term commercial paid activities like providing maintenance support, trainings, making private flights or carrying cargos for some company, giving lectures, seminars etc.
RUSSIAN PRIVATE FOR AUSTRALIANS
You need this type if:
you want to meet friends or relatives residing in Russia
you will stay not over 90 days with double or single entry to the country
you will have someone to host you during your trip, and ensure your private invitation
RUSSIAN WORK VISA FOR AUSTRALIANS
You need it if you want to:
work for a Russian employer under an official contract
RUSSIAN HUMANITARIAN VISA FOR AUSTRALIANS
You need this visa to:
take part in sports, charity, political, religious, humanitarian events
carry out some work for volunteer, charity, religious and suchlike organizations in Russia
RUSSIAN TRANSIT VISA FOR AUTSRALIANS
You need it for :
making a connection in one of the Russian airports with the need to leave transit zone.
NOTE: If you fly through Russia and while making a change don’t need to leave transit zone and pass migration control, you do not need a visa. Check this information with your airlines
RUSSIAN STUDENT VISA FOR AUSTRALIANS
You need this visa if you want to:
study at the Russian educational establishment (school, university, college, do language courses etc.)
RUSSIAN E-VISA FOR AUSTRALIANS
You want this visa if:
your trip will be no longer than 8 days (you are given a single entry E-visa valid for 30 days from the date of its issuance, but can stay in Russia only 8 days within this period)
you’ll go for sightseeing, on a short tour or independently, attend some festival, concert or exhibition, as well as on brief business visits
you’ll only visit St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, or Kaliningrad and Kaliningrad Oblast, or Vladivostok and the Far East region. No other regions are allowed for visit aside from the one, which you entered initially.
you plan to enter and leave only through the designated ports of entry/ border crossings
Step 2. Collect the required documents for the visa.
Have you chosen the visa type you need? Let’s move on, then. There’s a general list of documents you’ll need to collect for any type of Russian visa:
Your original national passport. It must be valid at least 6 more months beyond the planned exit date from Russia, and have at least 2 blank adjacent pages for the visa stamp. Please, make sure it does. If it expires earlier than you need, get a new one.
Copy of the passport. Page with main data only
An Invitation from a Russian organization. This document depends on which type of visa you need. Read below for more details
Filled visa form from the website visa.kdmid.ru When you open the site look out for “Hints and help language” on the left, to choose English. After you’ve filled the form, print it on both sides, sign and date it, glue your professional recent color photo 3.5×4.5 in the required field. Don’t use a stapler or adhesive tape, please.
Copy of itinerary (flight details).
Let’s have a closer look at the invitation type as this is the main document to apply for your visa.
For a tourist visa you’ll need a tourist confirmation from a registered Russian travel agency and an itinerary. Copies are accepted. You can order these documents at 15 AUD, and get them in 10 min from our website: Order invitation to Russia
For a business visa you’ll need an invitation issued by the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Russia of the Main Department of Migration Issues (formerly known as FMS), and a cover letter from the inviting company. Both copies and paper originals are accepted. The invitation is granted by the mentioned authority upon the request of the Russian inviting organization within at least 20 working days.
If your Russian partners can’t provide you with such, we’ll be glad to help. Contact us here to order your invitation: [email protected] The cost varies starting from 83 AUD.
for a humanitarian visa you’ll need the same type of invitation as business one, but with the purpose indicated as Humanitarian.
for a private visa your friend or relative – a Russian citizen or permanent resident of Russia – should get an invitation for you at the Main department of Migration Issues, providing the required documents and guarantees. If this seems to be too hard, or your guest visit will last no longer than 30 days, you can consider getting a tourist visa instead.
for a student/work visa contact the Russian invitation organization – your school or employer to provide you with the required official invitation issued by the Ministry of Interior Affairs of Russia. These invitation types can take quite a long to get from 1 up to 2 months, so make sure your host starts the process in advance. Note: for work visa the invitation is required in original only, copies aren’t accepted. Order delivery to your place from Russia.
For E-Visa you won’t need any invitation at all, but you’ll be required to correctly complete the necessary form, not later than 4 days prior to the entry to Russia. Please note, there are many cases of tourists being returned home or rejected entry on E-visas, for the reason of incorrect filling of the required form. If you are not sure on how to do it by yourself, we’ll help you. Contact us here for assistance with your E-visa: Contact Visando
Step 3. Apply for a visa
After you’ve collected the required documents, it’s time to apply for your visa. Australian citizens can apply in 3 ways:
in person upon prior appointment at the Russian Consulate in Australia in Canberra and Sydney
by post at the Russian consulate in Canberra
through a Russian visa agency in Canberra (by appointments only) or Sydney (by appointments or postal applications). Appointment can be booked on the website of the center.
Important: When filling the visa form at visa.kdmid.ru, if you are planning to apply by mail, please indicate the place of submission as Russian visa center, Sydney
To use the mailing service, pack all documents in a mailing envelope. If you are applying as a family or group, put all documents in one package. Address the envelope to where you wish to apply at (for visa center use Sydney address only!). Once your documents are received and reviewed, you’ll get the invoice to pay the visa fees within 3 business days.
Find contacts below:
Embassy of the Russian Federation in Australia, Consular Section
Interlink Service Australia Pty Ltd Address: Shop 2/209 Harris St. Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia; phone +61 426 577 736 E-mail: [email protected]
Step 4. Pay visa fees and wait for the notification your visa is ready
If you decide to apply at the Russian consulate department you’ll need to pay visa fees only. The current amount as of March 2020 is:
Type of visa
Normal fee (AUD)
Urgent fee (AUD)
In case you apply through the visa center, you’ll need to additionally pay the service fee 43 AUD, and all extras for delivery, photocopies and suchlike if you order any. See the list of additional services on the website of the visa center. Application by mail to visa center will cost you additional 85 AUD (including service fee).
Note: E-visa is free for all applicants.
Step 5. Get your visa, check its validity, and travel to Russia
After you are notified that your visa application process has finished, you can collect your passport either at the Russian consulate or visa center where you’ve applied. Or wait until you receive your passport by mail, if you’ve ordered such service in the visa center. If you applied at Sydney Consulate General, and enclosed a self-addressed post envelope, you’ll get your passport returned to you by post.
Once you see your visa, check that all details correspond to your travel plans. The visa must be valid for your trip dates, allow you single/double/multiple entry, depending on what you’ve applied for.
Here’s the way the Russian visa stamp looks like:
If everything is Okay, start packing your bag.
In case you want to secure yourself for your trip and get travel insurance, you can use any insurance company. e.g. this one: LINK
Step 6. Get registered after your arrival
Once in Russia, there are some two more important documents to obtain:
Migration card. It’s given you either on board the plane by flight attendants, or by the migration officer at the airport control. When you’ll be filling it, you’ll need to indicate info on your intended address of stay and travel dates. Don’t lose this document and carry it along in your passport. When you leave Russia you’ll be asked to return it.
Registration. Before you travel, make sure you contact the hotel where you are planning to stay and ask if they provide registration. They should! Registration is done within 7 working days after your arrival to Russia. If you are going to book an apartment or stay at your friend’s place, contact them to ensure they’ll be able to register you at the local post or police office for your trip.
Don’t get scared – it’s simply letting the authorities know where you’ll be staying while in Russia, for any case of emergency. You might never even be asked to show your registration, but still it’s highly recommended you have it, if you are staying in Russia longer than 7 working days. And also, save it in your passport and carry along.
I hope by the time you’ve finished reading this, you’ve got the right idea on how to get your Russian visa on your own. If you still have questions, contact me for free advice or consultation by this email: [email protected]
Have a terrific stay in Russia and bring back some amazing souvenirs!