It’s great that you’ve decided to travel to Russia! There’s so much to see and do in this fascinating country. However, before you buy your plane tickets and book your hotels, there’s the matter of your visa to take care of. Do you need a visa? Why are citizens of some countries able to enter Russia visa-free, while others face an uphill battle to obtain theirs? We’ll get to the bottom of these questions here.
Firstly, the question of whether you need a visa to enter Russia or not will depend on the type of agreements between Russia and your home country. If you’re lucky and there is a visa-free arrangement for holders of your country’s passport, you can enter Russia without all of the time-consuming paperwork. However, if there’s no special agreement in place between your country and Russia, you must present a valid visa at migration control when crossing the Russian border.
For citizens of most English speaking countries, such as the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, as well as citizens of EU countries, a visa to enter Russia is required.
(image taken from wikipedia)
Below is the list of the countries that have visa-free entry to Russia as of December 2019:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Honduras|
|Dominica||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Ecuador||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|El Salvador||South Africa|
|Grenada||United Arab Emirates|
If you don’t fall into the above categories and hold a passport from the list of countries below, you’ll need a visa to enter Russia:
|Virgin Islands (US)||Benin||Haiti|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Bulgaria||Guinea Bissau|
|Denmark||Iraq||The Caribbean: Curacao, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, the Dutch part of the island of St. Maarten and Aruba|
|Democratic Republic of Congo||Iran||Qatar|
|Niger||Pakistan||The Republic of Guinea|
|Nigeria||Palau||The Republic of Korea|
|Netherlands||Palestine||The Republic of Congo|
|Nicaragua||Papua New Guinea||The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire|
|Saudi Arabia||Solomon Islands||Togo|
|Swaziland||Somalia||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Philippines||Sri Lanka||Equatorial Guinea|
|Finland||Central African Republic||Eritrea|
If you’re living in a foreign country and plan to apply from this country instead of your country of citizenship, you have to make sure that your citizenship allows you visa-free entry to Russia. Even if you are a permanent resident of a country with visa-free entry to Russia, your residency doesn’t give you the same rights as citizenship.
If you’re travelling through Russia on the way to another country, and your connecting flight is in less than 24 hours, you can stay in the international airport in-transit zone without a Russian visa. Please contact your airlines to make sure you won’t need to clear passport control or leave the transit zone when changing flights in Russia.
There are some Russian airports that do not have a transit zone, so you’ll need to obtain a transit visa to make your connection there. Here is the list:
Please note, that for travellers going to Kazakhstan and Belarus through Russia it is mandatory to obtain a Russian transit visa.
Russian authorities implemented a new E-visa program in 2017. Information below is effective as of January 2020.
|China (including Taiwan)||France|
|The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea||Croatia|
The following border points allow entry with e-visa:
If you decide to travel on an E-visa and need professional assistance in submitting your application, our staff are ready to help you: [email protected]