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Required documents

The documents a consular official will want to see will depend on the type of visa you are applying for. Visa processing only starts after the embassy/consulate has received all the necessary documents.

Documents needed for a tourist visa

•    An original, valid, and signed passport with at least one blank page, valid for at least 6 months after the end of your stay.
•    Two signed copies of the Russian visa application form (questionnaire), with all fields completed.
•    A passport-size photo (some embassies/consulates ask for two copies), signed on the reverse
•    A tourist invitation.

Documents needed for a Business Visa

•    An original, valid, and signed passport with at least 2 blank pages, valid for at least 6 months after the end of your stay.
•    Two copies of the Russian visa application form, completed and signed.
•    A passport-size photo, signed on the reverse (some embassies/consulates ask for two photographs).
•    An original HIV certificate showing a negative result is required for stays of more than 3 months.
•    An official invitation from an organization which is authorized to invite business visitors to Russia.

Documents needed for a private visa

•    An original, valid, and signed passport with at least one blank page, valid for at least 6 months after the end of your stay.
•    A photocopy of the details pages of your valid passport (showing your name, date of birth, passport number, and expiry date).
•    A copy of the Russian visa application form, completed and signed.
•    Three passport-sizephotos
•    A Russian visa entitlement certificate (izveshchenie) from the local OVIR in Russia (this must be the original – copies are not accepted).
•    An original HIV Certificate showing a negative result is required for stays of more than 3 months.
•    All visa documents must be accompanied by a covering letter specifying the purpose of your visit, dates of arrival and departure, cities to be visited in Russia, and a telephone or fax number where you can be reached once in Russia.

Documents needed for a student visa

•    An original, valid, and signed passport with at least one blank page, valid for 6 months after the end of your stay.
•    A copy of the Russian visa application form, completed and signed.
•    Two passport-size photos, signed on the reverse.
•    A letter of invitation from a university/school in Russia, which can only be issued by the local Visa Service of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (OVIR) .
•    An original HIV Certificate showing a negative result is required for stays of more than 3 months.
•    A copy of your diploma/certificate or examination results from your previous or current place of study.
•    A copy of the invoice issued by the university/school in Russia proving that you have already paid for tuition.

Documents needed for a transit visa

•    An original, valid, and signed passport with at least one blank page, valid for 6 months after the end of your stay.
•    A copy of the Russian visa application form, completed and signed.
•    2 passport-size photos, signed on the reverse.
•    A copy of your airline ticket.
•    A visa in your passport for the country of your final destination (if required).

Don’t forget:

•    Photos must be matt-finish (not glossy), in order for the embassy/consulate stamp to adhere properly! The usual size required is 3 x 4 cm, or 1.5 x 2 inches.
•    The passport should be valid for at least 6 months after the expiry date of your Russian visa!
•    Some embassies/consulates require a photocopy of the details pages of your passport in addition to the original, together with the personal data of the bearer (including amendments, passport validity extension, changes of name, etc.)
•    Visa application forms for US citizens and non-US citizens are different.
•    Citizens of Schengen countries must send a ‘card of insurance’ with their visa application.
•    For some types of visas, and for citizens of some countries, embassies/consulates may demand additional documents, such as evidence of medical insurance, an employment or residence permit, or evidence of sufficient funds for your stay in Russia. Failure to provide the correct information could lead to the refusal of your visa.
•    It is always advisable to consult your local Russian embassy/consulate to find out whether any additional documentation is required.

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