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Russian Tourist Visa & Invitation

All foreigners (except citizens of some former Soviet republics) visiting Russia need a visa. In order to get one, travelers need an invitation from a Russian citizen or a company, which is then taken to a Russian embassy or consulate, where the actual visa is issued. Within three working days of arrival in Russia, the visa needs to be registered by the person/organization that issued the invitation. If you don't make it through this bureaucratic loop, you may have problems leaving the country.

Prices for processing Russian visas vary according to the applicant's citizenship and the embassy/consulate applied to. Perhaps in response to the trials the U.S. Embassy in Moscow puts Russian visa applicants through (see articles), U.S. citizens routinely pay more for Russian visas.

Types of Visas
Tourist Visas, Business Visas, Student Visas, Other Visas
All foreigners must have a valid passport. A visa is required and is valid for one month.

Passport/Visa Note: Visitors must carry ID at all times whilst in Russia, a photocopy of your passport and visa will suffice. An Immigrant Card will be issued on arrival. All visitors staying for longer than three days must register their Immigrant Cards with their hotel or sponsor. Technically anyone applying for a tourist visa needs to have pre-arranged accommodation, but hostels or hotels can often provide an invitation as long as the first night is spent there. Exit permits are required on departure. These are usually issued with the visa, or can be obtained at hotels not less than two days before departure. Passports must be valid for period of intended stay.

Embassy or Consulate in US: Russian Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 298 5700
Embassy or Consulate in UK: Russian Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7229 2666
Embassy or Consulate in Canada: Russian Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 235 4341
Embassy or Consulate in Australia: Russian Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6295 9033 (Chancery)
Embassy or Consulate in South Africa: Russian Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 362 1338/7
US Embassy or Consulate: United States Embassy, Moscow: +7 (8)095 728 5000
UK Embassy or Consulate: British Embassy, Moscow: +7 (8)095 956 7200
Canadian Embassy or Consulate: Canadian Embassy, Moscow: +7 (8)095 105 6000
Australian Embassy or Consulate: Australian Embassy, Moscow: +7 (8)095 956 6070
South African Embassy or Consulate: South African Embassy, Moscow: +7 (8)095 540 1177


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