Russian Tourist Visa

How to obtain a Russian Tourist Visa

The Russian tourist visa is one of the most difficult visas I have tried to acquire.

I actually aquired the Russian tourist visa through a travel agency in South Korea. Three of us went: an American, an Irishman, and myself; Canadian.

The Russian visa cost varied from
passport to passport.

The price was $55 for the Irish passport, $65 for the American passport, and $70 for the Canadian passport.  The obstacle of the ordeal was that we could not just show up at the Russian embassy and ask for a tourist visa.

As part of the Russian visa requirements, you must acquire a Russian visa invitation letter
from someone within Russia.

This invitation can be either from a resident or from a local business.  The travel agency we used for the plane tickets contacted a luxury hotel in the Russian city we were flying into who were quick to send us an invitation letter in hopes that we would stay with them.  (The invitation letter can be acquired through a website here, but there are plenty of other websites offering the same letter ranging from $30 to $45.)

The hotel was far out of our price range, but we really appreciated the invitation letter which we could use for the Russian visa application.

To get the visa, we were required to leave our passports at the Russian embassy in Seoul for some days.  When recollecting them, there was a full page visa sticker in each of our passports for single entry into the Russian Federation.  The greatest thing about this visa is the way that your name looks when written in Russian Cyrillic letters!  Someone sitting behind a desk in the office is sounding out your name based on the spelling of it and then directly translating it into Russian.  My Cyrillic name has an ‘x’ in it!


This is what your Russian Tourist Visa is going to look like!

This is what your Russian Tourist Visa is going to look like!


Step by Step Guide

In order to complete the Russian Visa Application Process, you are going to need to:

  1. Be sure that you have at least six months of passport time remaining before expiration.
  2. Fill out this Russian visa form application at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, which is also right here →
  3. Go to the Russian Consulate to you to apply in person.
  4. Take your Russian visa invitation letter with you to the consulate for visa support information.
  5. Make sure that you have two recent passport sized photos to take with you.
  6. Have proof of Russian travel insurance coverage with you, just in case you are asked for it at the consulate.
  7. Pay your Russian visa cost which can range from $55 to $160 depending your country and if you can wait to have the visa processed over 6-8 business days. There is also an option to have the application expedited where the visa is processed within a business day, at a cost of $300.
  8. Return to the consulate to collect your passport after the allotted application time has allowed for processing.
  9. Go and have a fantastic time in Russia while drinking vodka and eating borscht. Russian has some of the most beautiful women you will ever see outside of fashion magazines. Get ready, because they are going to pass your vision…in person!

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