Visa to Russia for Italian citizens

Published by Mike Lomberg March 26, 2020
Italian passport holders

If you are an Italian planning a trip to Russia, the first question you might have is: Do Italians need a visa to Russia? And the answer is – Yes!

A prospect of applying for a visa may seem quite daunting and complicated to you, but it isn’t so. The objective of this article is to show you how to get your Russian visa in several easy steps, without the need to pay any agency for such service. Let’s go through the entire process step-by-step together.

Step 1 Decide on the dates of your travel and identify your visa type

Choosing the visa type you need is an important affair. You’ll want to think about the duration of your trip, purpose of visit, number of entries to Russia you plan to make, who will invite you there and other details. While you are pondering on all this, I’ll suggest reading about the main visa types to help you make your choice:







Stay is limited to 3 regions: Vladivostok and the Far East, Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Region, Kaliningrad and Kaliningrad Region. You can stay only in the region you entered, and leave at the same border point where you entered


Step 2 Get an appropriate invitation

As it may have occurred to you already, one of the most important documents for most visa types if the invitation, so I’ve decided to pay some special attention to it here. Check out the types of invitations for each visa type and find tips on how to get them.

If you want to apply for a tourist visa it’s not enough to simply book a hotel. You’ll need to get the confirmation of tour from a registered Russian travel agency. If you don’t want to buy a package tour, and want to be free in your travel plans, you can buy the required travel support document here: Get tourist confirmation. You’ll get it in 10 min to your email. Copies are accepted for visa application.

Your Russian friend or relative should collect the following documents and submit them to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (Department of Migration Affairs) in order to get you a private invitation:

  1. Passport
  2. Special application form
  3. Letter of guarantee
  4. Proof of financial ability to cover your expenses during your stay with him/her in the form of bank statement or employment verification with salary indicated
  5. Payment of state fee (800 Rub) receipt

The invitation is processed during 20 working days. It can be issued in electronic form, so you can receive a scan for printing by email. 

If you feel it’s going to be too much to ask your Russian host to prepare it for you, I recommend you considering coming on a simple tourist visa.

You can get your Russian business invitation in several ways:

To get this invitation, your Russian employer must submit a set of required documents to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. The process of invitation preparation takes from 1 to 2 months. Invitations are issued and accepted only in paper form. Make sure you ask for the delivery to your place.

Your chosen Russian school or University should submit the required documents to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia to obtain your student invitation. Normally it might take up to 1.5 months. A school usually asks to pay deposit for studies prior to providing you with the necessary visa support document.

Step 3 Prepare the rest of documents for your visa

Once you have your invitation in hands, you can start collecting the other required documents, which include:

That’s about all you need. Moving on to the next step.

Step 4 Apply and pay visa fees.

Where can an Italian apply for a Russian visa? There are several options actually.

You should appear in person at the consulate to apply and collect the documents when your visa is ready. You can apply either by yourself or delegate someone to apply for you at the visa center. If someone else applies for you, provide he/she shows duly prepared power of attorney.

See the contacts of consulates and visa centers here: Russian Consulates and Embassies

As for the visa fees, if you choose applying at the consulate, you’ll need to pay only the consular fee. In case you apply through a visa center, you’ll also need to pay additional service fee.

Processing timeConsular feeService fee
Single-, double-, multiple-entry visa  
Standard (4-10 business days)35 €30 €
Urgent (1-3 business days)70 €30 €

When applying at the visa center, you are also offered a number of extra services. For your convenience you can order delivery of passport back home at additional 30 €, if you wish.

Step 5 Pick up your passport and check your visa details

After you have waited the stipulated time for standard or urgent visa processing, you’ll get notified of your visa issuance. You can pick your passport by yourself at the consulate or visa centre. Don’t forget the receipt you were given when you submitted the documents.

In case you ordered delivery home, just wait for the envelope. 

See the visa stamp in your passport? Now pay attention to the following details:

Russian visa stamp

For E-visa holders, it’s also recommended to check on the details of your document before traveling.

Russian electronic visa

If everything corresponds to what you wanted, it’s time to pack your bags! Don’t forget your travel insurance and invitation.

Step 6 Arrive and register

Now before you leave, here are some two more documents you’ll need to get after you arrive to Russia: 

The first will be given to you on board the plane by the flight attendant. You’ll need to fll it with your passport details, dates of trip, place of stay in Russia. When passing immigration control, the officer will take one part of the document and put a stamp on your part. Save it and carry along during your travel. When you leave, you’ll need to return it back.

Russian migration card

The second document always provokes some doubts as noone clearly understands its purpose, and also, it’s quite rare that it’s asked for. However, we still recommend getting registered in Russia. Usually it’s just for letting the authorities know where exactly you are staying during your visit. If your stay is less than 7 working days, it’s not necessary to get registered. 

Registration is made at the hotel of your stay, or by the owner of the apartment you are living in. The owner should contact the local post or police office to make it. Please, when booking airbnb or arranging a private tour with stay at your friend’s place, talk it over in advance. Not all owners are willing to provide you with the required registration, so it’s better to tackle the issue before you come.

Russian registration

That’s about all you need to know to successfully get your visa and come to Russia. If you feel, something’s left uncovered, write to our email to get more information.

Enjoy your Russian travel experience, and take as many cool photos of the Red Square as you can!