Obtaining Russian Visa
Short summary: All foreigners are required to obtain visas to enter
Russia. If you travel alone, the cheapest option (saves you $30) is to
obtain a "business visa" using invitation from IKI. This takes about 40
days. If you travel with family members or need faster processing,
you should obtain "tourist visa".
Most people travel to Russia on tourist visas. The application package
shoud have an invitation from a Russian-affiliated travel agency. This
industry is well-developed, and web sites of Russian
consulates have lists of recommended agencies. If you are not inclined
to shop around, here are the results of our quick research:
www.visatorussia.com can fax
you an invitation package next business day for $30. You then use this
package to apply at a consulate. Consulates can be located on Google or on www.russianembassy.net. At
least in the US, applications can be sent to the Consulate by mail. Visa
is issued in 10 days or so. The consular fee in the US is $100 plus
Some hotel reservations services in Moscow send invitations free of
extra charge. Please refer to our hotel page [currently under construction].
If you live in the US, www.russia-travel.com
can both issue invitations and obtain visas at the
consulate for $150 plus postage (this includes $100 consular fee).
For other options do a Google search on "russian
Note that you need a separate visa for each family member. Exceptions
are children under 16 who are included in your passport (i.e. do not have their own passports).
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your
departure date. Please make sure that you specify "tourism" as the
purpose of your trip when you cross the border.
If you travel alone, IKI can generate an invitation for "business
visa". This takes about 30 days. You then fill
out the application at the nearest consular office. The visa is issued
in approximately 10 days; you have to pay only the consular fee (which is
$100 in the US).
Unfortunately, if you travel with the family members, we cannot
generate the business visa invitations for bureaucratic reasons. The
only option in this case is to obtain a tourist visa, see above.
If business visa is your preferred option, please fill out the
following questionnaire and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Last name:
2. Firt and middle name:
3. Date of birth:
4. Country and town (or region) where you were born:
5. Country and town where you live:
8. Passport number:
9. Passport issue date:
10. Passport valid until: [NOTE: must be valid for at least 3 months after your departure date]
11. Full name of your institute or university:
12. Current position:
13. Work address, telephone, fax:
14. Dates of arrival and departure to Russia
[add a few days before and after the conference if your plans are flexible]:
15. Cities you plan to visit in Russia:
16. Country and city where you will apply for the visa:
17. Copy of the first page of the passport [the one with the photo].
It's best to scan it or take a digital photo and send
as email attachment because fax copies are often ineligible.