To receive a tourist visa, the following documents are required: foreign passport, visa form (to be completed online on the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: visa.kdmid.ru), a photograph (3.5 × 4.5 cm), proof of insurance valid in Russia covering at least €30,000 of medical expenses, a voucher or a contract for tourist services, and confirmation of reception of a foreign tourist from a tour operator.
If you have friends or relatives in Russia, you can apply for a private visa. To do so, you need the same documents as for a tourist visa, but instead of the confirmation from the tour operator, you need to submit the original of an official invitation from a citizen of the Russian Federation.
WHERE TO SUBMIT THE DOCUMENTS
Traditionally, you can apply for the visa by personally submitting the required documents at a Russian consulate. Documents are submitted at the visa centres of the Russian Federation if there is one in your country. A detailed list can be found on the website of the Consular service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: kdmid.ru.
VISA PROCESSING TIME
The standard time period for the issuing of a visa is from four to 20 working days. Fast-track processing is also possible, with processing taking between one and three days. In such cases visa fees are doubled.
When planning trips with children, it should be noted that if the child is included in the parent’s passport then he/she will also be included in the visa. If the child has his/her own passport, then a separate application must be submitted with the full documentation.
RULES FOR ENTRY WITH ANIMALS
Сats and dogs can be brought in to the country, limited to two in number. For such entry, an international veterinary passport is required. Animals can be brought in through customs posts that have veterinary control offices capable of dealing with such passports. Such posts are in operation at the airports and ports in Sochi and St. Petersburg and at all Moscow’s airports.
BRINGING MEDICINE TO RUSSIA
Foreign citizens can bring medicine (even types that are not registered in Russia) for personal use with no limits as long as it does not contain narcotic or psychoactive substances.
BRINGING CURRENCY TO RUSSIA
Russian legislation allows bringing total funds not exceeding $10,000 (or an equivalent amount in any other currency) to Russia, without filling in a customs declaration. Above that figure, a customs declaration must be completed. This restriction applies only to cash: the amount of funds on bank cards is not restricted.
CUSTOMS RULES WHEN LEAVING RUSSIA
If you are intending to take gifts and souvenirs out of Russia, you should establish in advance that the items you have bought are permitted for export. Works of art, antiques, icons and old books are regarded as cultural treasures. Exporting the following items is prohibited: anything that is more than 100 years old, archaeological artefacts, any objects of scientific or artistic value, original military uniforms and accessories if more than 50 years old, medals and other awards. Other valuables can be taken out of the country if Rosokhrankultura, the federal service for the oversight of legislation in the sphere of cultural heritage, has given permission in advance.
According to the website welcome2018.com