Russia Visa Requirements | How to Apply for Russia Visa

Russia Visa Requirements | How to Apply for Russia Visa

Russia Visa Requirements| how to Apply for Russia Visa: Russia is the largest country in the world by area and ninth-largest by the population. It is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. About 77% of the Russian population lives in the Western, European part of the country. Its capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world.

Have you been dreaming of taking a vacation in Russia? The transcontinental country dispersed across Eastern Europe and North Asia is home to spectacular attractions and diverse cultures. Grab the opportunity to explore cities like Moscow and Kazan with this step-by-step guide on how to apply for your Russian tourist visa. We’ve included everything you need to know to ensure that you’re prepared for the Russian visa application process! All that’s left to do is pack your bags and book your ticket.

Nigerian passport holders require a tourist visa for Russia, and with this guide, the process can be a relatively painless one. You will need to apply at the Russian Embassy in Abuja. Always apply for your Russian visa at least 21 days before you travel to allow for ample processing time (and to spare yourself some stress.)


Please check your eligibility before beginning the application process and submit your application well in advance of flight departure.

Please note this process applies to Nigerian passport holders.

Russia is known for its cold climate, vodka, great literature, unique architecture, beautiful nature, and bears. That is why the number of foreign tourists in Russia is increasing each year. In 2017, 24.5 million foreign tourists made trips across the Russian Federation. Most of them had to obtain a visa to Russia before making their trip.


What is a Russian Visa?

A Russian visa is permission in the form of a sticker affixed in a traveler’s passport. It allows its holder to enter, stay, and leave Russia within a specified period. It contains the following information:

  • the entry and exit dates
  • vital information,
  • passport details
  • information about the person or party that sends you (the visa holder) the invitation.

Do I Need a Visa to go to Russia?

Russia has a very strict visa policy. Most of the world’s countries will need to get a visa to Russia, even for tourism. Several others fall under the Russian visa-free regime. This means the nationals of these countries do not need a visa when traveling to Russia.

In addition, Russia has made possible visa-free visits for up to 72 hours for cruise ship and ferry passengers, via several ports. Transiting without a visa is possible through several airports. Holders of diplomatic from several countries are exempt from the visa requirement in a few cases as well.

Visa Costs

Visa Category Visa Cost
Single-Entry Visa
Regular fee (4-20 working days)
Express fee (three working days)
Double-Entry Visa
Regular fee (4-20 working days)
Express fee (three working days)
Multiple-Entry Visa
Regular fee (4-20 working days)
Express fee (three working days)

Russian Visa Types

Depending on one’s purpose for traveling to Russia, there are several Russian visa types. Each of them has its own requirements, application process, and specifications.

The Russian visa types are as follows:

  • Russia Diplomatic visa. This is a visa issued to a foreign citizen holding a diplomatic passport. I.e. heads of state, heads of government, members of an official delegation, etc.
  • Russia Service visa. This is a visa issued to a foreign citizen having a service (consular, official, special) passport. I.e. members of official delegations, administrative and technical and service personnel of diplomatic missions, etc.
  • Russia Ordinary visas.
    • Russian Private Visa. This visa is issued to persons traveling to Russia for a short visit based on an invitation letter.
    • Russian Business Visa. This visa is issued to people traveling to Russia for business.
    • Russian Tourist Visa. This visa is issued to travelers if they hold an invitation letter from a Russian tour operator.
    • Russian Student visa. This visa is issued to those traveling to Russia for study purposes.
    • Work Visa. This visa is granted to foreigners wishing to travel to Russia for employment for a specific period.
    • Russian Humanitarian Visa. This visa is granted to foreign citizens visiting Russia for a scientific, cultural, political, or sports visit. Also for religious communication and contacts, pilgrimage, charity, or delivery of humanitarian aid.
  • Russian Transit Visa. This visa is issued to those who need to transit through the territory of Russia to reach their destination country.
  • Russia Exit Visa. Foreigners in the territory of Russia, whose visa expires before they leave, shall apply for an Exit Visa to be able to leave.
  • Russia eVisa. This visa is available for nationals of Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, China, India, Iran, Japan, North Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. It is only valid to visit the regions in the Russian Far East for less than 8 days.

On the other hand, depending on the number of times one wants to enter Russia with one single visa, there are the following visa types:

  • Single entry
  • Double entry
  • Multiple-entry

Russia Visa Requirements

  • Passport – must be valid for at least six months after the Russian visa’s expiry date and must have at least two blank pages.
  • Visa Application Form – filled in and printed out from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation website (electronic visa application form). This is the only existing official form of application, and no other forms of application will be accepted. Sign the application form and fill in the date of application.
  • One recent color photo with the following specifications: 35x45mm, no older than six months, taken against a white or off-white background, non-smiling face (without sunglasses and headwear unless the headdress is worn for religious or ethnic purposes).
  • The photograph must be placed on the Visa Application Form.
  • Tourist Voucher or Tourist Confirmation letter – can be obtained from an inviting organization registered with the Russian Ministry of Affairs. A travel agency in Russia can issue a tourist voucher. The confirmation must contain the agency’s reference and registration number.
  • Copy of your confirmed flight tickets.
  • Minors require their original birth certificate and a copy of both parent’s passports.

How to Apply Visa for Russia?

The application process for a Russian Visa is as follows:

  1. Get the Invitation (Visa Support). This is the first step you should take to get a visa to Russia. If you are planning to travel to Russia for tourism purposes, you can get your invitation from a travel agency or a hotel. If you are traveling for other purposes, your inviter should get the invitation from the General Directorate for Migration for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.
  2. Complete the online application form. The application form for a visa for Russia is available at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) website Give in all of the required information, with correct and honest information.
  3. Collect the required documents. Proceed with collecting the required documents for a Russian visa. Note that the required documents differ from one country to the other. The documents also depend on the visa type you are applying for. You should obtain a list of the required documents from the Russian embassy/consulate or the visa center representing Russia in your country of residence.
  4. Apply in Person at a Russian Consulate / Russian Visa Processing Center. You will need to show up with all these documents at the Russian consulate or Russian visa center. There is no need for a prior appointment since walk-in applications are accepted. You will also have to pay the fees for a visa application when you submit your documents.
  5. Get the immigration card. After you get your visa for Russia, you can freely travel to the country. However, there are still some tasks you need to complete. As soon as you enter Russia, during the passport control, you will have to fill out the immigration card. The card consists of two identical parts, both of which you need to fill in. The border police will keep one part of the card. You should take the other one with you.
    Later, you will need to return this card to the border police, when you leave the country.
  6. Register your visa. Upon arrival in Russia, you have 7 working days to register your visa. There are two ways to register a visa. First, at the hotel where you are staying. Second, through the property owner of the apartment you have rented for your stay, or where your friends reside (who have invited your over). You will need your immigration card and passport to register your visa.

For a detailed description of each of the steps for a Russian visa application, visit the article.



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