The first thing you need to get when applying for a Russian visa is the Russian visa support documents
(also called "invitation"). These can be obtained online through Way to Russia
After you received your visa support, you can apply for a Russian visa at a Russian consulate. In order to do that, you need to bring (or send by post, if allowed) your visa support documents, passport, two photos, and the application form. The application for the Russian visa should be filled out after
you get your visa support (or invitation), because it should have the same details as the invitation.
Most Russian consulates have the current Russian visa application form on their websites in PDF format, so your best bet is to simply google it (e.g. Russian visa application form PDF
), fill it out, print 2 copies, and submit it along with the other paperwork.
For your convenience we put the most generic form online right here
in PDF format, suitable for applications in most EU countries, Canada, Australia and Japan:
If you're a US citizen
, you need this Russian visa application form for US citizens (PDF), and not the one above.
If you are a UK citizen
, you should know that since January 2009 the Russian consulate decided to outsource all application services to some obscure agency whose website is on the verge of being cryptographic. So what you have to do is to apply not
at the consulate, but at this agency (addresses here
) and the application form is not available as a PDF, instead, you have to fill it out on this weird website based in India
. Don't be too worried though, just take it as an introduction to the idiocy of the Russian bureaucracy where the multi-layered system is designed not to be convenient but to feed myriads of functionaries.
Otherwise everything is the same if you are from UK: get the visa support
(invitation), fill out the online application form
and print it out, and then bring it along with the other documents to the office of VFS Global bureaucrats
proudly authorized by the Russian consulate to accept your applications (they are still processed at the consulate though).
Rambling aside, as you can see, there is nothing particularly special about the form itself. One important thing is that you always need to make sure that the information you provide in the Russian visa application form is the same as in your visa support documents.
So, for example, if you have a tourist visa support then the purpose of your visit (field 7)
should also say "tourism". If you write "visiting friends", for example, then the consulate might ask you why you didn't apply for a private visa instead (and then you'll have to have someone in Russia queue in a local police station to get you the private invitation and wait for 1 month until it's ready and arrives you to by post).
For the dates of entry and exit from Russia (fields 10 and 11)
you should put the same dates as are written on your invitation. Remember, you can enter and leave Russia any time within this time span, so give yourself 2-3 days extra. Also, the chances of getting a visa are almost 100% if your travel time span is 2 weeks. If it's longer, the consulate might ask additional questions (if we're talking about the tourist visa).
When asked the name of organization you're visiting (field 13)
you should put in the name of the company that issued your visa support (invitation) and their reference number. It's all specified there and if in doubt, contact them directly (but usually it's super clear). Never put Way to Russia on there even if you got your visa support through this site: the actual invitations are issued by the agencies that advertise their services through our site, we are just a travel guide.
The route of journey (field 14)
of your Russian visa application should list the same cities listed on your invitation (visa support). They won't actually be shown on the actual visa, so once you arrive to Russia you could of course travel where you want (excluding restricted territories, which you won't find anyway :).
For the health nsurance (field 15
), if you're a citizen of UK there's a reciprocal agreement whereas your NHS insurance is valid in Russia, so tick Yes. If you are from EU, you need to make sure your health insurance is valid in Russia and that it's issued by a major company (AXA, Allianz, etc – usually listed on the consulate's website). When in doubt, bring your insurance documents along to the consulate, so you can prove it is valid in Russia. If you don't want to bother, google health insurance and buy one that's valid for the duration of your trip (usually $10 / week).
So, hopefully everything is clear and you can always leave your question below or on our Facebook Page
and we'll help you with it.
If you don't have the visa support yet, you can apply for it here