1. Where may I fill in a visa application form?

All Russian visa application forms must be filled in on the special web-site of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs http://visa.kdmid.ru. All visa application forms are to be submitted in a printed form, with one recent photo of an applicant (glued on it) and his personal signature.

2. I have booked a hotel in Moscow and would like to know what do I need to do in order to get a Russian tourist visa?

Tourist trips to Russia by EU citizens is completely different from the same trips to France, Italy, Greece or Spain. Russia is a visa country for the EU citizens that is why the normal (usual) procedure (book a hotel, buy a plane ticket) doesn’t work.

If you want to go to Russia as a tourist, you may not book the hotel by yourself. So, standard booking web-sites as www.booking.com or similar may not be used to book hotels in Russia. In order to get a Russian tourist visa, you will be required to provide a tourist confirmation document that is issued only by a Russian tourist agency that is supposed to find for you a hotel that suits to your budget and responds your expectations. The hotels (97% of them) are not authorized to issue this document. They may be authorized to issue the tourist confirmation documents if they are themselves registered as a tourist agency.

You have to find such an agency by yourself in the Internet. And one more important thing – when the agency is found, you need to first ask there about the reference (registration) number that is valid in the visa system of the Russian Foreign Ministry. We recommend you to continue the contacts with that agency only in case they have such a number. The validity of the reference number is checked automatically by our visa system. If the number is not valid, the Russian consulate will not be able to print the visa.

The Russian consulate accepts copies/scans of tourist confirmation documents with a signature of an officer of that tourist agency and a stamp. The original is not required.

3. Is it possible to apply for a visa on behalf of a traveler?

For the applications in the Russian consulate. A foreign citizen or a stateless person (who does not have the Russian citizenship) must be present in the Consular section in person. Applications on behalf of a third person (even if it is a family member) are not accepted. Booking one time slot in the appointment system allows for submitting only one set of visa documents.

 4. May I apply documents for a several persons? How many applications do I need to create in the online appointment system on the website and what information should be indicated?

One appointment time is made for one applicant with one set of documents for one person or for several close relatives.

 Visa agents or other intermediaries who are not close relatives of the applicants may apply exclusively for a tourist visa.

For faculty professors who intend to apply for a visa together with a group of students, we recommend making 3 appointments for any three names of applicants.

 5. What type of insurance do I need?

To obtain a visa to the Russian Federation, you must provide a medical insurance policy.

The insurance must be valid throughout Russia (or the world) during the entire visa period. When applying for a multiple entry visa, you need to provide an insurance policy for your first trip.

Insurance cards (or copies thereof) are not accepted.

If you are covered by a Company insurance, a signed letter from the Head of the Company clearly confirming the validity of the insurance in Russia for the entire duration of the journey would be enough.

Also, a bank confirmation on the availability of sufficient funds on your account to cover all unforeseen insured events is suitable, on the bank's letterhead with the seal and signature of the Head of the Bank.

Medical insurance policy document (copy or original) issued by a foreign insurance company or a Russian insurance company. This document is required only from the citizens of all EU countries (except Great Britain), China, Iran, Iseland State, Israel, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and SwissThis document must contain:

- the date when the agreement was signed;

- the policy number;

- the full name of the insured person;

- full details of the insurer;

- the dates of validity: the policy must cover the entire period of stay in Russia for single-entry and double-entry visas, and the duration of the first trip for multiple-entry visas;

- the list of medical services covered by the insurance, the repatriation must be included;

- the geographical area coverage: worldwide or including the Russian Federation or Europe including the Russian Federation;

- the insurance coverage amount must not be less than 30.000 Euros;

- the signature of the insurer.

Insurance policies and confirmation letters which do not contain the above information and standard forms stamped by the insurer are not accepted.

 6. In what cases do I need HIV test?

The original of HIV test Certificate is required only from highly-skilled specialists and their accompanying persons who apply for multiple-entry work visas for the period more than 3 months on the basis of an official invitation from the Ministry of Interior (MVD) of the Russian Federation. HIV Test (AIDS) Certificate should be signed by a doctor and by the applicant, stamped by a medical organization. HIV tests Certificates without signatures and stamp are not accepted.



Those who apply for 3 months work or study single-entry or double-entry visas are not requested to provide the HIV test Certificate.

 7. Citizens of what countries are not required to have a visa to travel to the Russian Federation?

A visa to enter the Russian Federation is not required for citizens of the countries that have bilateral agreements with Russia on the cancellation or simplification of a visa regime. The visa regime of Russia with a specific state may be checked on the web-site of the Russian Embassy located in this country.

A transit visa is not required in the following situations:

- Foreign citizens fly over the territory of the Russian Federation without changing flights in the country;

- Foreign citizens flying by an international airline and changing flights in the Russian Federation, at the same airport (provided that they do not leave the transit zone) no more than 24 hours after the date of arrival.

To be noted, in Sheremetievo terminals D,E,F are located in a single transit zone. Terminal "C" is in separate transit zone/ The letters of the arrival and departure can be checked in your ticket.

Please note that if a foreign citizen travels through the territory of Russia to the countries of the Customs Union (Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan), he must apply for a transit visa if he is not a citizen of countries eligible for visa-free travel in Russia in accordance with bilateral agreements.

Very important ! Foreign citizens traveling by air to / from Belarus through the Russian Federation need to obtain a Russian transit visa.

 8. I am not a citizen of the European Union, how may I obtain a Russian visa? May I obtain a Russian visa in the Malta?

Non-EU citizens may apply for a Russian visa only on the basis of a tourist invitation, on the invitation issued by the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (unless otherwise is agreed by international treaty of Russian Federation), on the invitation for the close relatives (spouses and minor children) of Russian citizens for a joint entry to Russia.

 Non-EU citizens in order to be able to apply for a Russian visa in the Malta must have an EU country residence permit.

 Stateless persons may apply for a visa only in person and only if they have residence permits in the Malta. The return tickets will be required.

9. How many days may I stay in Russia with a tourist visa?

A single or a double entry tourist visa if given only for 30 days of stay in Russia. There are some exceptions – citizens of Austria, Greece, Hungary, Spain, Japan may apply for a 6 months multiple-entry tourist visas (with an authorized stay of 90 days during one trip or in total for the whole period of 6 months). Citizens of India  may apply for a 6 months multiple-entry tourist visas (each stay not more than 30 days). The USA citizens may apply for a 3 year multiple-entry tourist visas (with an authorized stay of 90 days during one trip or in total per each period of 180 days).

 10. I’m a transit passenger in a Russian airport. Do I need a transit visa?

If the connecting flight is within the transit zone up to 24 hours and you will not change terminals, then a transit visa is not required and will not be given for you. If you want to make a sightseeing, you need to apply for a standard tourist visa for 1 day.

To be noted, in Sheremetievo terminals D,E,F are located in a single transit zone. Terminal "C" is in separate transit zone/ The letters of the arrival and departure can be checked in your ticket.

You will need a transit visa if you stay more than 24 hours in a transit zone or if you need to leave the airport to change your mean of transport (a plane from another airport, a train and so on).

Prior to purchasing tickets, we recommend you to check with your carrier if a transit visa is required for your itinerary.

Foreign citizens who go through the Russian territory to the countries of the Customs Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan), in accordance with the law of the Russian Federation, are obliged to obtain the Russian transit visa if they are not citizens of countries eligible for visa-free entry to Russia in accordance with current bilateral agreements.

11. I plan to travel through Russia by vehicle, what additional documents will be required from me?

Being a transit passenger in Russia and making a tour by vehicle are different things.

 Transiting means crossing through the Russian territory to go to your final destination point outside of Russia by the quickest route, for example, when a different way to get the country of destination is not possible or it will take longer time.

 The visa issuance time is granted on covering 500 km/day on the quickest route through Russia. (You should provide your itinerary in a map).

 Making a tour by vehicle is considered as common or car tourism. In such case you should provide a confirmation from hotel(s) or from a registered travel agency, accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which would include your travel itinerary, and places of stay along the way. In this case, your purpose of travel would be "auto-tourism".

 Documents of the car registration and insurance are not required to obtain a visa. But they would be required upon crossing the border and during your journey.

 12. May I obtain an urgent visa? What are visa processing times?

In cases related to humanitarian or health reasons (need of urgent treatment, serious illness or death of a close relative in Russia) the visa can be issued the same day if the applicant has required documents and comes in a person to the Consular section od the Russian Embassy. 

 

If the urgency of the trip to Russia is proved by the supporting documents submitted by the applicant (e.g. proof of important unexpected visit, etc. of the inviting Russian organization) the visa can be issued within 3 working days.

The normal procedure takes 5-7 calendar days (for single entry or double entry visas), 10 calendar days for multiple-entry visas. For tourist visas - 5-6 working days. If you apply for your visa in the Visa Centre – the day you submit the documents is added to the above mentioned period of your visa procedure. If you apply to a third organization (e.g. a visa agency), the procedure takes more time as the agency needs to introduce your documents to the Russian Visa Centre.

Important ! Please note that the applicant’s flight ticket is not accepted as a proof of the urgency of the trip. 

The visa fee for the citizens of the EU-member states coming within the Russia-EU Facilitation Agreement in this case is 70 Euros. 

The visa fees for the citizens of other countries may differ.

13. I have already bought the tickets to visit the Russian Federation, but I can’t make an appointment at the Consular section in a short time. What should I do?

First, you can check the update of the online visa appointment system of the Consular section. Quite often, applicants change the dates of application or cancel their appointments. 

In cases related to humanitarian or health reasons (need of urgent treatment, serious illness or death of a close relative in Russia) the emergency visa can be issued the same day if the applicant provides all the required documents (marriage certificate, birth certificate ect.) and comes in a person to the Consular section of the Russian Embassy. 

 If the urgency of the business trip to Russia is proved by the supporting documents submitted by the applicant (e.g. proof of important unexpected visit, etc. of the inviting Russian organization) the visa can be issued within 3 working days.  

Important ! Please note that the applicant’s flight ticket is not accepted as a proof of the urgency of the trip.

 Tourist visas cannot be issued in 1 working day.

 The visa fee for the citizens of the EU-member states coming within the Russia-EU Facilitation Agreement in this case is 70 Euros. 

 The visa fees for the citizens of other countries may differ.

14. I would like to make a cruise trip with a stop in one or several Russian ports. Do I need a Russian visa?

According to the law of the Russian Federation, cruise or ferry passengers are the only category of tourists visiting Russia who are allowed to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation without visa for up to 72 hours.

 Cruise ship passengers have the right to visit Russia (for example, St. Petersburg) for up to 72 hours without a Russian visa, under the following conditions:

- you need to have a valid travel passport (ID cards are not accepted);

- you have to stay in a night on the ship;

- the list of visa-free passengers of the ship is to be sent by the captain of the ship to the Russian port authorities not later than 72 hours before the ship enters the Russian port. You need to be included in that list;

- you have to be accompanied on land at all times by a licensed tour guide (with a specific state license for accompanying cruise passengers without visas);

- the territory you may visit in the city is determined by the tourist program (to be asked from your tour guide).

 If you would like to have greater freedom to explore the city under your own steam, it is worth getting a Russian tourist visa before you set out on your cruise. In order to do this, you can either book accommodation in Russia.  

Essentials to Remember

This visa free exception applies, only to persons who travel within an organized group and do not intend to explore the cities on their own. Cruise passengers are free to use any authorized local travel agencies (not only cruise ship tour companies) for visa-free shore tours.

 We recommend that you check information on organized cruise tours and visas with your cruise company in advance.

 Russia's port cities where travelers won't need a visa for up to three days are:

- St Petersburg

- Anadyr

- Kaliningrad

- Vladivostok

- Sochi

- Vyborg

- Korsakov

- Novorossiysk 

 15. What are the categories of foreign citizens who are authorized to apply for the Russian visa directly in the Russian consulate without an appointment? In what cases is it possible?

The following categories of foreign citizens may apply for a visa directly to the Consular section of the Russian Embassy in the Malta, without an appointment:

1. Employees of ministries and other governmental bodies of the Republic of Malta – for official trips (documents are to be submitted by applicants themselves or by the official courier of a ministry or other departments);

2. Holders of diplomatic or service passports of diplomatic or consular missions of foreign countries accredited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Malta, as well as employees of international organizations with the headquarters in the Malta – for official trips (documents are to be submitted by applicants themselves or by the official courier of a diplomatic or consular mission or an international organization);

3. Guests of stuff members of diplomatic or consular missions of the Malta accredited in the Russian Federation;

4. Foreign citizens in case of urgent departure to the Russian Federation linked with the death or serious illness of a close relative.

 16. I would like to have a 5 year Russian multiple-entry visa on the Russia-EU visa facilitation Agreement. What do I need for this?

In order to get a 5 year multiple-entry visa for the Russian Federation you need to have a previous 4 year multiple-entry Russian visa.

According to the applied in the Russian Federation rules about the period of a visa validity please, note that:

  • if you did not have any trip to Russia with any kind of a Russian visa over the last 12 months, the first visa you may get is a single- or double entry visa for max. 90 days;
  • if you had in your passport a single- or double entry visa for 90 days and you used it (a copy of the visa is required), you may apply for a 1 year multiple-entry Russian visa;
  • if you had two Russian visas, 1 year each, given one right after another (a copy of the visa is required), you may apply for a 2 year multiple-entry Russian visa;
  • if you had a 2 year multiple-entry Russian visa (a copy of the visa is required), you may apply for a 3 year multiple-entry Russian visa;
  • if you had a 3 year multiple-entry Russian visa (a copy of the visa is required), you may apply for a 4 year multiple-entry Russian visa;
  • if you had a 4 year multiple-entry Russian visa (a copy of the visa is required), you may apply for a 5 year multiple-entry Russian visa.

Every time you apply for a multiple-entry visa for the Russian Federation the decision about the length of the visa is taken by the Russian consulate Visa officer. No claims are accepted.

17. I have a cancelled Maltese passport with a valid Russian visa and a new Maltese passport without a visa. Is it possible to enter the Russian Federation if I show both passports?

According to current Russian legislation, entry to the Russian Federation of foreign citizens and stateless persons holding a cancelled passport with a valid Russian visa and a new passport without such a visa is not allowed.

In such cases foreign citizens or stateless persons are to refer to the Russian consulate that has given the visa prior to their planned trip to Russia in order to transfer the valid Russian visa from the cancelled passport to the new one.

18. I was prescribed a medicine that contains some narcotic elements. I plan to visit the Russian Federation, I have a Russian visa. What document(s) do I need in order to be authorized to bring this medicine with me to Russia?

Unfortunately, this issue in not in the competence of the Russian consulate in The Malta. We are not able to provide you the information and not able to guide you.

We recommend to contact the Russian Customs Service directly (by e-mail fts_gr@ca.customs.ru) and ask about the existing rules.

The second solution we propose is to open the English version of the Web-site of the Russian airport of your entry and contact the appropriate service.

Good luck.

19. I applied for a visa but I urgently need my passport for a unplanned trip to another country. It is possible to get my passport back, even without a Russian visa?

The visa procedure that is underway in the Russian consulate may be cancelled (stopped) by the applicant. For that the candidate for a visa has to apply with a written statement to the organisation where he has submitted his/her visa documents. All paid fees in that case are not refundable. But pay attention that the passport without a visa will be returned to its holder not earlier than after 2-3 working days

20. May I apply for two visas simultaneously?

No. According to the law of the Russian Federation, you cannot have two valid Russian visas in your passport(s).

If you have a valid visa in your passport (for example, an unused single or double-entry visa, which you used to enter the country only once, or an unused multiple-entry visa) but you need to apply for another kind of a Russian visa, the existing visa will be cancelled. Example: you acting Russian visa is valid until the 1 of May, you have already used 90 possible days of stay in Russia but you need to go to Russia in April. So, you apply for a new visa, the previous visa will be cancelled, and a new visa is given.