Russian visa

Moving to Moscow: Russian visas and registration

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If you're moving to Moscow, here are some useful tips on how to obtain your Russian visa and how to register once you arrive in Moscow.

You will need a visa to travel to Russia. Visas can be obtained at the consulate of the Russian Federation, and there are several types, depending on the purpose of your visit.  Each has its own maximum duration of stay and requirements, so be sure to pick the right one. The different visa types are:

  • private
  • business
  • humanitarian
  • study
  • work
  • tourist (individual or group)

Visas can also be single, double or multiple-entry, depending on the number of authorised entries and departures.

When applying for a visa, you need to submit at least these documents:

  • An official invitation, which can be issued by a company, a travel agency, an educational institute or a citizen of Russia. It will be delivered via the Federation Migration Service.   
  • Valid foreign passport (must be valid at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia).
  • Two copies of Russian visa application forms, fully completed and signed.
  • A photograph (3x4).

Normally you have to prove that you have valid health insurance. Sometimes you can also be expected to provide guarantees of your financial situation. If you are staying in Russia for more than three months, or you are applying for a multiple-entry visa, you will have to do an HIV test prior to departure.    

The cost of a visa depends on the country of departure. Generally, a visa should take no longer than 20 days to be processed. Specific groups, such as students, members of official delegations, or representatives of commercial organisations can obtain a visa in 10 days, provided that the conditions are met.

Extending a Russian visa

A visa can be extended. In case of emergency or in circumstances where a person is unable to leave the country (illness, death of a relative in Russia etc.) the visa can be extended for the period required for dealing with the emergency. Without a serious reason, the visa can be extended up to 10 days, provided that the foreign citizen’s stay does not exceed 90 days during a period of 180 days. However, in this case it is advisable to apply for a new visa at the Consulate of the Russian Federation.


All foreign citizens entering Russia should inform the territorial body of the Federal Migration Service of his/her arrival. You will need to show your passport and a filled out migration card to the party inviting you, who will complete the actual registration procedure on your behalf. The inviting party then fills out a form of notification of the foreign citizen’s arrival at the place of sojourn on the basis of your documents, and it is sent to the Migration Service. The inviting party will return a detachable part of the form to you, which is a confirmation of your migration registration.

Registration is very important since without it a foreign citizen might face fines or even deportation in extreme cases. / Expatica

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1 Comment To This Article

  • Linda Sudano posted:

    on 8th August 2010, 13:43:44 - Reply

    What is the process of getting a Visitor's Invitation for the person who is inviting me?