How To Get Your Russian Tourist Visa
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. But is there a way to get this done quickly and easily? Is there too much of documentation to be provided to the Consulate?
In this blog post, you’ll find everything that you need to know to get your Russian tourist visa including details on a Tourist Visa Voucher and the actual stamp from the Consulate.
Where to apply for the Russian Visa (in India)
The Russian Consulates and Embassy 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.
Fill this online application form and print it for submission. These are the documents which need to be submitted along with the application.
1. Photograph: Close-up portrait photos with white background, no smiles and hair tied up
2. Flights: Confirmed return trip flight tickets into the Russian Federation
3. Accommodation: Confirmed hotel bookings (online vouchers from Booking.com will work too) for all nights or an invitation letter if your stay is sponsored by any local host.
4. Insurance: Travel insurance is mandatory; the policy number needs to be mentioned in the online visa application. We purchased our travel medical insurance from Royal Sundaram.
5. Itinerary with Cover Letter: Day wise itinerary for the planned period of stay in the country – 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.
6. Passport with 6 months validity: Check the validity of the passport before submitting it.
7. Train tickets/reservation: This is required if you intend to spend the night on board a train whilst travelling from one place to another.
8. Tourist Voucher and Confirmation: It is a letter given by an agent/tour operator confirming your visit to Russia. This is mandatorily required for all visa applications.
Tip: Take a photocopy of the entire passport and count the pages on your passport before submission to the agent/consulate. Once you have got the passport back with the visa, recount the pages and ensure that everything is in order. There have been quite a few instances where damaged passports have resulted in immediate deportation 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.
Tourist Voucher and Tourist Confirmation
We used Fortuna Travel‘s online service for procuring our tourist vouchers and confirmations. The fee is lower than most online agencies and their customer service is excellent – in fact it only took ten minutes for us to get our documents. We noticed an error in our date of birth and requested them to rectify it which they did for free, immediately!
Tourist visa agent in India
We took help from Srividhya S (Air World Travel, Chennai +91-9884179704) and the fees was INR 5,000 for the consular fees and service charges. The standard tourist visa application takes a minimum of five business days to be processed.
The service includes:
1. Filling of the application form
2. Submission of the application to the consulate
3. Receiving and sending of the passports via courier (extra for faster delivery)
An additional INR 3,000 is charged for the expedited processing of the application at the Consulate. Although this agent is based out of Chennai, they have a network across both south and north India and can help with having the visas processed in all locations.
Tip: Courier the passports and the tourist voucher (as mentioned above) to the agency’s office. Once received, have them send a confirmatory image of the Passports on Whatsapp.
If you need more information or help in getting your Visa to Russia, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
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