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:
RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA FOR ITALIANS
Duration of stay – 30 days max
Number of entries – single only
Attending Russian places of attraction
Going on excursions
Resting in resorts
Visiting concerts, festivals, exhibitions and such
Doing tours as backpackers, hitch-hikers etc.
Attending short medical consultations, brief business events (sub purpose AIM tourism)
Driving through the country on your own vehicle (sub purpose AUTO-tourism)
Enjoying sea cruises (if you go as part of group with pre-arranged excursions in ports and night-stay in cabins, you can stay without visa for 72 hours)
Who invites you – a Russian travel agency registered in the Uniform register of Russian tour operators
RUSSIAN PRIVATE VISA FOR ITALIANS
Duration of stay – up to 90 days
Number of entries – single or double
visiting friends or relatives, who are Russian citizens or permanent residents
Who invites you – your Russian hosts through the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia (Department of Migration Affairs former FMS)
RUSSIAN BUSINESS and HUMANITARIAN VISA FOR ITALIANS
Duration of stay – no longer than 90 days in every 180. The visa itself may be valid for 1 and more years.
Number of entries – single, double or multiple
Looking for business partners
Attending meetings, fairs, exhibitions
Carrying out negotiations, signing contracts
Investing into Russian business
Giving trainings, seminars
Conducting technical maintenance work
Doing short-term commercial activities in Russia
Attending sports, cultural, charity, political, religious events (Humanitarian aim)
Who invites you – the Russian inviting company either by itself, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, or through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
RUSSIAN STUDENT VISA FOR ITALIANS
Duration of stay – 90 days and more, depending on the duration of your study course
Number of entries – single, double, multiple. A visa initially is issued for 90 days single entry, but can be prolonged in Russia if your course will last longer
Studying at a Russian educational establishment
Who invites you – Russian school or university through the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia
RUSSIAN WORK VISA FOR ITALIANS
Duration of stay – from 90 days and over, depending on your employment contract
Number of entries – single, double or multiple. A work visa can be issued at once for 3 years with multiple entries for Highly Qualified Specialists, or for 90 days with single entry with possibility of prolongation on the territory of Russia for the rest types of employees.
Carrying out paid taxable work for a Russian employer under a contract
Who invites you – your Russian employer as a registered legal body possessing the right for hiring foreign labour, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia
RUSSIAN E-VISA FOR ITALIANS
Duration of stay – 8 days. A visa is issued for 30 days, but you can stay no longer than 8 days within its validity
Number of entries – single entry only through the specified border crossings
Travel aims – simple tourism, sightseeing.
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
Who invites you – no invitation or other travel support documents are required for this visa aside from the filled visa form. If you want to avoid mistakes, request professional assistance to complete it, here: Contact Visando
RUSSIAN TRANSIT VISA FOR ITALIANS
Duration of stay – for transit by air up to 3 days, for transit by road or train – up to 10 days
Number of entries – single, double entry
crossing the Russian territory en route to another country
Who invites you – no invitation is necessary, only the tickets showing your route
Please, make sure you need to leave transit zone when making your connection in Russia. If not, then you won’t need any visa. You can wait for your next flight staying in transit zone without any visa.
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.
Private invitation to Russia
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:
Special application form
Letter of guarantee
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
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.
Business/ Humanitarian invitation to Russia
You can get your Russian business invitation in several ways:
A Russian company can invite you by preparing a written statement in the specified form, typing it on their letterhead, signing and verifying it with their seal. This type of invitation is usually accepted if an Italian invited person had previous Russian visas in the last 2 years. Copies and originals accepted.
A Russian host company can submit the required documents to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia and have them grant an invitation for you. The process takes about 20 working days. The invitation is issued in electronic form. One copy will be sent directly to the Russian consulate in Italy, where you’ll then apply for your visa. Works for Humanitarian visa type as well.
A Russian host company can submit a petition to grant you a Telex invitation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. It takes from 12 working days. You’ll receive only the number of telex directive to apply with it for your visa
You can order a business invitation from our company to make it faster and easier. After you get your visa, you can visit other companies as is your intention. Follow this link to place a request: Oder visa support
Work invitation to Russia
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.
Student invitation to Russia
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:
You national original passport. In must be valid 6 months more after the exit from Russia, and have 2 empty visa pages in it
Completed visa form. Find it at visa.kdmid.ru, fill in carefully, print on both sides of paper, sign and date.
Color photograph 3.5×4.5 made not earlier than 6 months before, on light background, without shades or head coverings. Glue it carefully into the marked place in the visa form
Travel insurance for your trip. Obtain it in any insurance company. Make sure it’s valid on the territory of Russia and covers your entire period of stay.
For Work visa you’ll also need an HIV-negative certificate obtained no earlier than 90 days prior to the application.
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.
Directly at the Russian consulate in Rome, Milan, Genoa or Palermo upon prior appointment. Book appointment on the website of the consulate
At one of the licensed Russian visa centers in the same cities, by prior appointment booked on the website of the visa center.
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.
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.
Single-, double-, multiple-entry visa
Standard (4-10 business days)
Urgent (1-3 business days)
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:
For E-visa holders, it’s also recommended to check on the details of your document before traveling.
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.
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.
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!