Latest News

Is the Russian National Tourist Office open?

Our office is currently open for clients Monday to Friday (09.00 - 15.00).

Are the borders with Russia closed and, if so, when will they reopen?

Due to the current global health situation caused by COVID-19, in March of this year, the Russian Government decided to shut the borders to most foreign nationals coming to Russia. Despite the reduction in new cases, the borders remain closed, with few exceptions. We hope that we will be able to update you before 15 July 2020, when it is expected that the Russian government will announce whether entry restrictions can be lifted. At the moment, we do not have any additional information.

What type of travel is allowed for foreign nationals at the moment?

Despite the borders being closed for most of travellers, foreign nationals can enter Russia if they fit in one of the following categories:

Flight pilots and crew, drivers (truck and train), ship captains and staff, technical specialists, highly skilled employees, private visitors (for the purpose of joint travelling with Russian close (spouse / children) relatives or join them in Russia, or to provide medical assistance to relatives in Russia, an official invitation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs is required), Highly Skilled employees with the work invitation for a single entry, people travelling to get medical assistance, international government staff and some staff of International organizations.

Full details of the current laws and amendments are available on these links (available only in Russian):

http://government.ru/docs/39179/ 16/03/2020
http://government.ru/docs/39278/ 25/03/2020
http://government.ru/docs/39605/ 29/04/2020
http://government.ru/news/39842/ 08/06/2020
http://government.ru/docs/39929/ 20/06/2020

When can I apply for a Russian Tourist Visa again?

Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact date when you can get a tourist visa. The Russian Embassy will be able to accept documents for tourist visas once Russia allows tourists in from abroad. Please keep checking our website and Twitter for updates.

If I applied for a Russian Visa before travel restrictions but never travelled to Russia due to the restrictions, can I claim compensation and who will cover the cost of the Visa?

We are extremely sorry that your travel plans have changed due to COVID-19. However, the expenses incurred in applying for a Russian Visa which was not used are non-refundable. Unfortunately, this is standard practice for the foreign mission worldwide when issuing visas.

The only way to try and recover some of your funds is potentially through travel insurance – but you would have to check with your insurance provider directly.

Can I change the validation of my Visa to Russia?

Unfortunately, the validity dates cannot be amended in your Russian Visa. If you still want to travel to Russia later on, you will have to apply again for a Russian Visa. We provide 10% discounts to clients who obtained their Russian Visa with us, but couldn’t use it due to COVID-19.
We were told that the Russian Ministry of Foreign affair is planning to introduce a free visa for those who couldn't use their visas for travel due to COVID-19, however there was no law issued to support that as yet.

Can I apply for a business invitation letter?

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is not accepting requests for business invitations yet.

Can I apply for a Russian Visa if I already have an invitation letter?

Russian visas are issued to specific categories of travellers, such as: crew, technical specialists, highly skilled employees, private visitors (for the purpose of joint travelling with Russian close relatives or to provide medical assistance to relatives, an official invitation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs is required), and people travelling to get medical assistance.

Can I apply for a Private Visa?

The types of Private Visas you can currently apply for are:
1. Private Visa (if you are travelling with a family member who is a Russian citizen) - https://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk/family_members_of_russia_citizens.html.

2. Private Visa (if you need to travel to Russia to look after a relative who requires medical assistance).

Can the Russian National Tourist Office assist me with document translations?

Yes, we can. Please send us your enquiry or give us a call to discuss your requirements.

Can I apply for a new Russian passport or for Russian citizenship for a child?

The Embassy is open and provides its services by appointment. We can help you prepare the documents for a new passport or apply for citizenship and a passport for a child.

Can you help with preparing documents for notary services in the Russian Embassy?

We certainly can. Please email us at info@visitrussia.org.uk or give us a call on 02079851234.

I have booked an Aeroflot flight ticket via your company. When will I receive my money back for my cancelled flight?

We are very sorry that COVID-19 has changed your travel plans. Aeroflot is changing its refund policy, and unfortunately, it is continuing to affect our operational refund system, as we are also waiting for refunds from Aeroflot. As soon as we receive funds back into our bank account from Aeroflot, we will start to make refunds directly to our customers. Please bear with us and remain patient, as these are new circumstances for all of us. If you have booked your flights independently (i.e. not through us), please contact your airline directly and check with them.

When do you think Aeroflot will start flying again?

We do not have an answer at the moment, and there are multiple factors to consider, most important of which are when will the Russian government remove the entry restrictions for foreign nationals and when will commercial flights be allowed to resume. We hope to have more information on or around 15 July 2020.

If I am able to travel to Russia (as a Russian citizen/highly skilled worker or family member of a Russian citizen etc), is there a flight I could take to Russia and would I be able to avoid the 14-day self-isolation requirement?

Unfortunately, there are not that many flight options at the moment. If you are a Russian citizen, you can check future possible evacuation flights and register on the gosuslugi website. The up-to-date link for registration is published in the news section on the Russian Embassy’s website: https://www.rus.rusemb.org.uk/consulate/.

There are a number of cases when people have isolated for 14 days after returning from abroad. However, as the rules change, we recommend that you check with your flight provider.

Can I apply for a Schengen Visa?

We expect that Schengen visa application centres will open at the beginning of July. You can send us your enquiry now, and as soon as we have an update on opening dates, we will be in touch and assist you further with your visa application.

Dear valued customers,


We are happy to inform you that we have reopened our office for limited services. If your query is urgent please make an appointment by phone (02079851234) or email (info@visitrussia.org.uk).

Looking forward to seeing you! 



Keep up to date with the latest information related to travel to and across Russia, services of the Russian Consulate in the UK and many more by following our twitter http://twitter.com/visitrussiauk


Applying for a Russian Visa



Important information for Applicants

Dear Customers,

We would like to inform you that Russian Consulate does not accept visa applications until further notice from the Russian Government will follow.

Please note that the restrictions would not apply to diplomatic mission and consular office staff in the Russian Federation, vehicle drivers on international roads, aircraft, ship and boat crews, international railway train crews, members of official delegations, and persons with diplomatic, service or ordinary private visas that were issued in connection with the death of a close relative, persons that permanently live in the Russian Federation or persons that go through air border crossing points.


With any questions regarding passport collection please contact us via email: info@visitrussia.org.uk


Has you trip to Russia been cancelled or you are considering to cancel your trip please bear in mind that visa fees are not  refundable. You may find more information in Terms and Conditions.


Please note that applicants who submitted documents for visas valid in March-April will receive their passports without visas as scheduled.


Should applicants require their passports sooner, we strongly recommend to write us a withdrawal request on info@visitrussia.org.uk.

Please note that, in this case, applicants will receive their passports without a visa.


To all our customers who would like to apply for an invitation letter only:

Please note that, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, according to the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 635-r dated 16 March 2020, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation has suspended the processing and issuing of Business Invitations for foreign citizens. As a result, we are unable to issue any business invitations. Please bear with us and check for updates in the coming days and weeks.

Please note that we can still process Tourist Invitation letters for Applicants who would like to travel to Russia.



Visa to Russia UK

The current processing time for visa applications is up to four business days (expedited processing) and up to twenty business days (regular processing).

A digital fingerprint scan is required
What does this mean?
As part of the Russian visa processing system, all applicants applying in the UK will be required to appear in person at our London office to have their fingerprints taken digitally. No appointment is required. Fingerprints and personal applications are not required for children under 12 years of age.

For your convenience, we will:
  • Assist you in filling out your Russian Visa Application form
  • Issue all documentation required by the Russian Embassy
  • Pre-check your application form and supporting documents to avoid the risk of any mistakes
  • Take your biometric data (available from 9.00am until 1.00pm only)
  • Collect your Visa on your behalf
  • Arrange return delivery by the method of your choice
  • Getting a Russian visa is now a time-saving and traveller-friendly procedure.

Before arranging to visit Russia, people from most countries must apply for a Russian visa. Visas cannot be obtained at the border, so you are strongly advised to apply in advance at our office in London. If applying in Manchester or Edinburgh, use our pre-check service (call us for details).

Application forms must be filled in online, then printed out and signed by the applicants. The Russian Consulate decides on each application, and the payment of visa fees does not guarantee that a visa will be granted.

Here at the Russian National Tourist Office, you can order a single or double entry tourist visa valid for up to 30 days, and a single/double Business visa valid for up to 3 months, or a multiple entry business visa valid for 1 year.

Moscow and St Petersburg Tours

Trans-Siberian Railway Tours

Themed tours

Russian Adventure Tours