In addition to a passport, and documented travel and accommodation bookings, all foreign visitors must possess a visa to enter the Russian Federation. Visas range in type and permit you to stay in the country a certain amount of time depending on that type. Business, private, humanitarian, work and student visas can all be renewed by following the correct renewal procedure at your country's Russian Consulate; however a tourist visa, which allows single or double entry for stay in the Russian Federation for up to 30 days, cannot be renewed.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Original visa
- Letter from Ministry of the Interior
Apply for an original visa. You can apply for a visa at any Russian embassy or consulate, or by following the first Resources link. To apply for a visa you must have a valid passport, in addition to confirmation booking documents for travel in and out of Russia within the visa limits, as well as confirmed accommodations for your stay in Russia. If you are a tourist who wants to renew a tourist visa, you simply need to apply for another tourist visa after the original visa expires and you have already left Russia.
Leave the country when your original visa expires. You cannot renew your Russian visa from inside of the Russian Federation. You must leave the country and go to a Russian Consulate preferably in your native country. A list of Russian Consulate locations can be found at the second Resources link. The location of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United States is in Washington, D.C.
Request that the inviting party who helped you obtain your original visa send you an additional documented invitation stating that you need to renew your visa. For example, if you entered Russia on a work visa, then the Russian employer who sent you the original invitation must give you an additional invitation requesting that the Russian Consulate for your particular nation renew your visa. The Russian Consulate will also need a letter from the Russian Ministry of the Interior. The Consulate can request this letter, at your request, which can take up to 45 days if approved.
Re-enter Russia as soon as your visa has been renewed and your passport has been stamped with visa approval.
Tips and warnings
- Many companies and experienced travel agencies arrange visas and renewal visas for individuals who do not want to organise all of the required documents alone. If you do not live near a Russian Consulate or if you are unsure of how to acquire an invitation letter but want to renew your visa or get another tourist visa, contact a local travel agency to arrange the documents for you.
- Remember to leave the Russian Federation before your visa expires. If you do not leave before that time, you may not be able to leave the country without facing legal consequences, fines or forcible deportation.
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