This section provides answers to many of the frequently asked questions by clients about the visa application process.
How to make an appointment?
The visa application centre offers various options to service our client. You may:
- Make an appointment via online application system;
- Call one of these phone numbers on the website and make an appointment with the support of an operator;
- Visit the Visa Application Centre in person and use “walk-in service”.
May I submit documents on behalf of a traveller?
No, the applicant must be present in person. The only one exception is the private visa for the closest relatives (spouses and minor children) of Russian citizens for a joint entry to Russia. In this case the presence of foreign citizens is not required. The Russian citizen (inviting person) must be present in person and sign in a presence of a Submission Officer a special request made out to the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands.
May I apply for a visa for a group?
No. Each applicant needs to come to the Visa Centre himself in order to apply for a visa. 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 mediators who are not close relatives of applicants, must apply exclusively in the Russian Visa Centre in The Hague.
This provision also concerns teachers of professors who intend to apply the visa applications with a group of students.
May I apply for two visas simultaneously?
No. According to the laws of the Russian Federation, you cannot have two valid visas in your passport.
If you have a valid visa in your passport (for example, an unused single or double-entry visa, on which you entered the country only once, or an unused multiple-entry visa), we recommend you to apply for a new visa after an expiry date of the current visa.
Where can I get information about the type of visa I need?
Information on the visa types can be found on the website of the Russian Visa Centre in the section “Type of visa”.
What type of insurance do I need?
It is allowed to provide either health or travel insurance. Please note that plastic insurance card issued by the insurance company is not enough and, therefore, is not accepted.
The insurance document must contain the date when the agreement was signed, the policy number, full name and full details of insured person as well as the signature of the insurer. The policy must cover the entire period of stay in Russia for single-, double-entry visas, and the duration of the first entry for multiple-entry visas. It has to be clearly stated in the policy that the cover territory is worldwide or the Russian Federation, or Europe, including Russia.
Guarantee letters from the employer are not accepted as insurance as well.
The proof of the medical insurance is to be provided by the citizens of Ireland, Israel and the Schengen states (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland State, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Swiss). The citizens of China are required to provide this document only for tourist visas.
In what cases do I need HIV test?
If the applicant is a highly skilled specialist and he is applying for a multiple visa for a period of over 3 months, a certificate confirming that the foreign national is HIV-negative is required. Accompanying family members are also requested to submit their HIV Test Certificate. HIV Test (AIDS) Certificate should be signed by a doctor as well as by the applicant and stamped by a medical organization. Besides that, the test should include personal data (name, date of birth, passport number, validity of passport, citizenship, period of stay in Russia) and HIV-infection blood test (date of the test, diagnostic method and type of medicine used for the test, test result).
What documents and under what circumstances the documents should be original?
Only originals of the following documents are accepted:
- It has to be valid for a period of 6 months after the visa expires.
- Visa application, printed and signed by hand. Signature must match that of the passport;
- Photo (it has to be glued and not stapled!);
- Invitations issued by the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Ministry of Internal affairs of the Russian Federation (MVD);
- A written application from a citizen of the Russian Federation made out to the director of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in The Netherlands regarding their joint entry into the Russian Federation with members of their family, spouse or children who are minors or foreign nationals;
- Direct invitation for India, China and Japan;
- HIV test (for Work visas for highly-skilled specialists);
The Consulate reserves the right to ask the applicant to provide documents in original, even if copies have already been submitted.
Citizens of what countries are not required to have a visa to travel to the Russian Federation?
A visa for entry into the Russian Federation is not required for citizens of those countries that signed up a mutual agreement on the cancellation or simplification of visa regime with Russia.
Also, a visa is not required for stays whose exit is within “72 hours without a visa” (via ferry).
Foreigners, following through Russia territory to the countries of the Customs Union (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan), in accordance with the laws 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 the current bilateral agreements.
I am not a citizen of the European Union, how may I obtain a visa?
Non-EU citizens may apply for a Russian visa only on a tourist invitation, on the invitation issued by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation (FMS) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (known as telex), unless otherwise is agreed by international treaty of Russian Federation.
Applicants who are not holding EU passports have to provide valid Dutch residence permit (not required if the applicant or a citizen of the EU or the USA).
What documents are required for citizens of Georgia?
Holders of Georgian passports may apply for visa only with three types of invitations: either issued by the Federal Migration Service or by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia or with a tourist invitation.
How many days may I stay on a tourist visa?
As a tourist visa, you can stay in Russia for up to one month (30 days).
I have to change at a Russian airport. Do I need a transit visa?
If the connecting flight is within the transit zone up to 24 and you will not change terminals, then a transit visa is not required. In this case you will not be able to leave the airport for purposes of sightseeing.
You will need a transit visa if you stay more than 24 hours in a transit zone.
Prior to purchasing tickets, the Russian Visa Centre recommends you to check with your carrier if a transit visa is required for your route.
I plan to travel through Russia by vehicle, what additional documents do I require?
Crossing Russian territory and touring by vehicle are different things.
Transiting means crossing through the Russian territory to get to your final destination outside of Russia by the quickest route, for example, when a different way to get into the country of destination is not possible or it will take longer.
Please note that in case of applying for transit visa travelling by a car, it is required to provide documents for the car, driving licence as well as the travelling list mentioning all cities on the way.
Touring by vehicle or any other routes is considered as common or car tourism. In such case you should provide a confirmation and voucher 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”.
Please note that in case of applying for auto tourism category of visa, it is required to provide documents for a car as well as driving licence.
May I obtain an urgent visa? What are visa processing times?
If you are applying for an urgent visa, an urgency letter issued by the inviting company with the explanation of an urgency reason must be submitted. In such cases the processing time can be shortened to just 3 working days. If an approval has been given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Federal Migration Service of Russian Federation or on behalf of the Ambassador of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands, the processing time can be shortened to less than 3 days based on the decision of the Consulate.
How to register upon arrival in Russia?
Foreign nationals must register within seven business days of entering the Russian Federation that means notifying about arrival at their intended location in Russia a local Federal Migration Service office. The hosting organization is responsible for the entire registration procedure.
For more information please read about the Immigration Card.
Where can I get a Russian business invitation?
The Russian consulate highly recommends you to get business invitations only from your Russian inviting organisation. The preparation of the invitation takes small time: to fill in the form (specimen), sign it with the head of the company or with one of his adjoins and make an official stamp of the company. Invitations may be sent to foreign guests by fax or scanned by e-mail (the original is not required). Please, note Russian ministries or other internal official Russian bodies are not involved in this procedure and don’t have to give their approval.