Visa Invitations & Visa Support
To enter Russia for any purpose, most non-Russian citizens must possess a valid passport (which expires on or after the 1st of June, 2018) and valid Russian entry visa issued by a local Russian Embassy or Consulate. It is impossible to obtain an entry visa upon arrival, so travelers must apply for their visas well in advance.
Travelers who arrive in Russia without an entry visa, will not be permitted to enter the country, and face immediate return to the point of embarkation at their own expense.
To have a visa issued, an official visa support document processed by Russian governmental or officially authorized companies is required.
Visa support, i.e. visa invitation, is a document that allows you to obtain a visa to Russia based upon the purpose of the trip and the duration of stay in Russia. Please, note that visa invitation cannot be used in place of a visa.
To obtain your actual visa, you have to submit Russian visa support's original or copy along with required paperwork to the local Russian Embassy or Consulate of your choice.
When entering the dates of your visit (in the application form) be sure to add extra days (1-2 days) at both ends of your period of stay. This is recommended so to avoid possible complications if, for example, changes occur when booking or purchasing travel tickets, or your departure is delayed or rescheduled. Once dates are fixed in a visa invitation, they cannot be changed. If you chose to change the dates of your visit after visa support procedures have started, then the procedure for a new request must be done from the very beginning.
Estimated processing time
Please, be aware that the visa invitation issuance procedure is a time-consuming process. For example, for non-EU citizens it can take up to 1-2 months to issue an invitation. Therefore, we recommend that requests for a visa support document be made well in advance.
Processing time of non-European citizens' requests is up to 30 days (60 days in some cases). More accurate information request at the local Russian Embassy or Consulate of your choice.