The number of countries resuming international flights is gradually growing, ports are opening to accept cruise ships, and some countries in the Schengen area are already issuing tourist visas. Although it is not yet possible to issue a Russian tourist visa, there are good news for those wishing to visit Russia soon.
Who can currently get a visa to Russia?
- Foreign citizens – family members of Russian citizens (spouses, children under the age of 18, incapacitated children of any age) for a joint trip to Russia. In this case, you need to provide a copy of a document confirming the degree of relationship (copies of passports, birth certificates, marriage, etc.) Applications can only be submitted for single or double entry private visas valid for up to 90 days. The minimum processing time for such applications is 20 business days.
- Foreign citizens entering the Russian Federation to visit sick close relatives (spouses, parents, children) in need of care. In this case, you need to provide valid documents (copies of documents) issued by a medical organization, as well as copies of a document confirming the degree of relationship. Applications can only be made for single entry private visas valid for up to 90 days. The processing time for these applications is 3 business days.
- Foreign citizens who are highly qualified specialists entering the Russian Federation for work. In this case, you need to provide a work invitation valid for 3 years. Applications can only be submitted for the issuance of multiple-entry work visas valid for 3 years. The regular processing time for applications is 20 business days (3 business days for expedited processing).
What if I haven’t used my Russian Visa because of COVID-19?
If you received but did not use a Russian visa, the validity of which started on March 15, 2020, and later, the following information from the Russian Foreign Ministry, dated July 23, 2020, regarding the possibility of free visa processing after lifting of restrictions on entry to Russia may be relevant.
After the resumption of work of foreign missions in the visa direction, foreign citizens will be allowed to apply for visas without charging consular fees, while observing all the following conditions:
- An unused single- or double-entry visa is glued into the applicant's passport, the validity of which begins no earlier than March 15, 2020;
- The applicant has submitted documents that are the basis for obtaining a visa of the same or lower frequency for a new period of validity;
- The validity of the issued visa expires within 6 months after the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of March 16, 2020, No. 635-r is declared invalid;
- Along with the documents that are the basis for a new visa, the applicant submits a written application on the exemption from the payment of the consular fees due to force majeure circumstances.
Due to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation, please make sure to check the latest updates and contact the airlines to grantee you will be allowed to board the plane.
We are assisting with applications and all supporting visa documents for the process of obtaining Russian visas. Send your request to find out if you are eligible.
It should be noted that all visa and visa-free regimes provided for by international treaties of the Russian Federation remain in force.
Cancellation of 14-day quarantine in Russia
From July 15, 2020, the Russian authorities have decided to abolish the mandatory 14-day isolation for those who enter the country. To do this, the visitor must have a medical document in English or Russian, confirming a negative test for COVID-19. Foreigners will be able to provide a certificate of the PCR test, passed no earlier than three days before arrival in the country, and documents on the presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies (if any).
If a visitor does not have such a document, he will be obliged to take a virus test in Russia within three days. The testing procedure will take place on a paid basis.
Similar rules will apply to Russian citizens who intend to return to their homeland. If their coronavirus test results are positive, they will need to self-isolate at their place of residence until they recover and receive negative coronavirus test results. The decree notes that while on self-isolation, it is necessary to exclude contact with family members who are not infected with COVID-19.
A 14-day quarantine can also be maintained for Russians returning from countries with an unfavorable epidemic situation. If citizens do not have test results for COVID-19, then they will be placed in an observatory until a negative test result.
If you need any assistance with Russian visas, supporting documents, or any other travel questions, contact us and stay safe.