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What is a Russian Visa?

A visa to the Russian Federation is a document stuck into your passport, permitting stay in Russia for a specific period of time and for a specific purpose such as tourism or business. A visa lists the period during which you may stay in Russia, the number of times you may enter and leave, your passport details and some information about the inviting party. Please note, that your Russian visa is an exit permit just like it’s an entry permit. If you lose it or stay over your designated departure date, leaving Russia could be more troublesome than entering it.

Please note: Do not try to enter Russia just using Visa Support Documents, you will be deported immediately at your own cost! The visa is a full page document pasted into your passport and you can see what one looks like by (add Russian visa)

Do I need a Russian Visa?

Most foreign nationals, including those from the UK, are required to have entry visas to travel to the Russian Federation. Citizens of former CIS Republics, except Georgia and Turkmenistan, may enter Russia with their national passports.

If you are in transit through Russia and do not leave the airport, then you will not need a visa. However, if you are in transit and need to leave the airport, for example to stay overnight in a hotel or transfer to a different airport, then you will need a visa.

How much is a Russian Visa and how long does it take to Obtain one?

It depends on the type you are getting see Russian Consulate website

How do I read a Russian Visa?

It is very important that you confirm your visa is suitable for your journey before you use it. As some of the information on your Russian visa will be in Russian, we have produced a short guide on deciphering what it says.

1. Entries

This specifies the entry type for the visa, as well as the classification in the following format:

[Entry type in words] [Entry type as single-character] [Classification as two-character abbreviation]

Common entry types include:

Однократная 01 Single entry visa
Двукратная 02 Double entry visa
Многократная M Multi-entry visa


Од Business
OT Tourist
ОГ Humanitarian
ОЧ Private
ОР Work

2. Date of issue

The date your visa was issued on.

3. Dates of validity

This field confirms dates that your visa is valid for. You may enter and leave Russia on, or between, these dates and are not restricted to entering or leaving on the exact dates shown, however please note you may not enter before the start date and must leave by the end date.

4. Validity days

The maximum number of days that you can stay in Russia during each visit within the validity of your visa.

5. Nationality

This specifies your nationality, which will be written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Your nationality will be the country your passport was issued in. E.g.

Великобритания Britain
Франция France
Австралия Australia


This number is generated by the consulate when they issue your visa.

7. Family name/given name (s)

Your first and last name will be written here, along with any second names you may have. They will be displayed in the following format, on top in Russian and below in English:

[Last Name] [First Name] [Second Names]

Please confirm the English spelling of your name is correct.

8. Passport number

This will match the passport number which the visa is attached to. Please make sure this is correct.

9. Date of Birth

This shows your date of birth in the following format:

[DD] [MM] [YYYY]

Please confirm this information is correct.

10. Gender

МУЖ Male
ЖЕН Female

11. Invitation number

In case you have applied for a business visa, it will be the invitation number generated at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Otherwise it will be blank.

12. Purpose of entry

Depending on the purpose of your visit and the type of visa you have been granted, this will typically read:

ТУРИЗМ Tourism
ДЕЛОВАЯ Business

13. Invited by

This is the name of the accredited organisation who is your official sponsor who has certain legal responsibilities for you while you are in Russia. In most cases the visas arranged through Real Russia will list the names of our Russian subsidiaries:

АЛЬЯНСИНВЕСТ Business visas
ЦДР Business visa

14. Additional information

This field is usually blank, though in case of multiple entry business visas it will typically contain:

Действует 90 дней из каждых 180

Which informs you that you can’t stay in Russia more than 90 days during any 180 day period.

15. MRZ

This string of characters is encrypted for use by electronic passport scanners and can sometimes include misspellings of customer names. This is caused by translating between different alphabets and should not be worried about.

Reading your Visa

After applying for a visa you will find that when your passport is returned a visa will be attached to a page in the passport. We recommend that you take time to check your visa is correct and matches your personal details as it is your responsibility to ensure that everything is in order with your visa before travelling.