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Russia Tourist Visa for Travellers from India

Getting a Russian tourist visa can be a little cumbersome because there is still no option for E-visa or Visa-on-Arrival for citizens of most countries at the moment. However, we've got you covered on how you can manage this very easily!

 

Eager to learn about the rich Russian culture?

 

The Russian Consulates and Embassy in India are located in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi. These establishments accept tourist visa applications directly from applicants and are also represented by authorised agents such as VFS (only in the same locations as listed above). However, it is possible to submit through other reliable agents who are authorised to represent applicant travellers. Read on to know how we did it!

 

This article is divided in two parts - if you are in a hurry and would like to skip details, we suggest you do this:

  • Hit the link in point 1 and get your tourist voucher and confirmation (all nationalities)
  • Contact the number in point 2 and get your application processed (Indian applicants only)

 

 

More details about getting your visa:

 

I. First, here are the highlights of the tourist visa requirements (as of April 2019) which are in addition to the standard application form:
 

REQUIREMENTSSPECIFICATIONS
Two PhotographsClose-up portrait photos with white background, no smiles and hair tied up
Flight TicketsConfirmed return trip flight tickets into the Russian Federation
Hotel Bookings

Confirmed hotel bookings (online vouchers from Booking.com will work too) for all nights.

Invitation letter if your stay is sponsored by any local host.

Insurance

Insurance is mandatory as the insurance number needs to be filled in the online visa application. We purchased our travel medical insurance from Royal Sundaram.

Itinerary with Cover LetterDay wise itinerary for the planned period of stay in the country is required - this would contain details of the cities you would be staying at, hotel/host details, overnight train/flight details, etc. The visa agent can help you in this regard.
Passport with 6 months validityCheck the validity of the passport before submitting it. Also, please take a photocopy of the entire passport and count the pages on your passport. The passport will be physically sent to the Embassy. Once you have got the passport back with the visa, recount the pages and ensure that everything is copacetic. There have been quite a few instances where damaged passports have resulted in immediate deportation of the holder of the passport from the Immigration gates at the airport. In fact, the passport is studied under a zoom/ microscopic lens by the Immigration authorities on arrival - so make sure that there is no damage like torn pages, etc.
Train bookings (optional)This is required if you intend to spend the night on board a train whilst travelling from one place to another.
Travel VoucherThis is a letter given by an agent/tour operator/hotel inviting to stay in Russia. This is mandatorily required for all visa applications. See below.

 

 

II. Secondly, here are the details for getting your tourist visa processed:

 

1. Tourist Voucher and Tourist Confirmation (for applicants from anywhere in the world):

Fortuna Travel (International Travel Agency) - we used their service for procuring our tourist vouchers and confirmations online. 

Our experience: 

  • It was literally processed within an hour from the moment we made the payment online (the document was emailed to us)
  • We realised that a typo was made while we were filling up the application form, resulting in an incorrect date-of-birth on one of our confirmations. 
    We just replied on the mail, apologising for our mistake, stated the right date and requested for a corrected confirmation - and again, it was processed instantly (within less than 10 minutes) and we got the corrected documents in our inbox, at NO additional charge!
  • The pricing provided by this company is also one of the most competitive ones we've noted!
  • Their support service is also available on Facebook and Instagram.

Verdict: We wholeheartedly recommend their fast and reliable service - we were personally very happy with the way they took care of our errors at no additional cost! 

 

2. Tourist visa agent in India:

  • Contact: Srividhya S (Air World Travel, Chennai) +91-98841-79704
  • Fees: INR 5,000 - this includes visa fees and agency service charges
  • Processing time: the standard tourist visa application takes a minimum of 5 business days for being processed.
  • Inclusions: The service charges including filling of the form, submission of the application to the consulate, managing receiving and sending of the passports via courier (courier charges extra as per speed requirements).
  • An additional cost of INR 3,000 is charged for the expedited processing of the application when short on time.
  • The only action you would need to take is to courier the passports and the tourist voucher (as mentioned above) to the address that would be shared by her team. We were apprehensive at first, about couriering our Passports, but we used the secure courier service through Professional Couriers and it was delivered to her address within one day!
  • Although the agent was based out of Chennai, she has a network across both south and north India and can help with having the visas processed in all four locations.

Verdict: Srividhya's team transparently processed our application (including timely updates on Whatsapp) - we even received our passports within 7 days from the date of sending them to her!

 

 

We had a pretty straightforward experience getting our visas, after struggling for many days trying to find the right agents to help us with this - in fact we even contemplated traveling to Chennai, to visit the Consulate and submit the application on our own - but this worked out a whole lot cheaper and more efficiently as well! 

 

If you still have questions, don't hesitate to ask us! 

 

 

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