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Latest News

Can I apply for a Russian Tourist Visa again?

You can apply for a Russian visa at our office. All non-British passport holders must present a UK residency card or resident visa in order to apply for a Russian visa. EU nationals are required to provide a certified (by a solicitor or notary public) immigration status in the UK: pre-settlement or settlement. We can assist in getting one certified - please contact us on 02079851234 or by email: info@visitrussia.org.uk.

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

Russia has opened the borders to several countries including the UK. Update 16/02/2021: Russia extends suspension of flights from the UK until the 16th of March 2021 (11.59pm). Important: - Direct flights from Moscow to London continue operating (a one way ticket is required for boarding the plane). - Only Russian passport holders are allowed to travel from the UK on transit flights to Russia, non Russian passport holders are not allowed to enter Russia on a transit route. - All arrivals from the UK must self-isolate for 14 calendar days. - All arrivals must provide a medical certificate confirming they have tested negative for COVID-19 on an RT polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, or a medical certificate confirming a positive test for COVID-19 IgG antibodies. These documents must be in English or Russian. On their return to the UK, travellers will need to stay in self-isolation for 10 days as per UK Government guidelines in addition to the requirements of being tested on the 2nd and the 8th day after arrival.

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

Update 25/02/2021: UK residents can apply for a travel visa without restriction. The same will apply for residents in Turkey, Tanzania, Switzerland, UAE, Maldives, Egypt, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, South Korea, Cuba, Serbia, Japan, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Finland, Vietnam, India, Qatar, Greece, Singapore, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Residents of other countries: the restrictions remain the same as of now - please see below. Despite the borders being closed for residents of most countries worldwide, foreign nationals can enter Russia if they fit into one of the following categories: Flight pilots and crew, drivers (truck and train), ship's captains and staff, technical specialists, highly skilled employees, private visitors (for the purpose of joint travelling with Russian close (spouse / children) relatives or to join them in Russia, or provide medical assistance to relatives in Russia, an official invitation from the Ministry of Internal Affairs is required), Highly skilled employees with a work invitation for a single entry, people travelling to receive medical assistance, international government staff and some staff of international organisations. 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 http://government.ru/docs/40095/ 24/07/2020 http://government.ru/docs/40329/ 02/09/2020 http://government.ru/news/40446/ 20/09/2020 http://government.ru/docs/40606/ 14/10/2020 Type of visa applications which are currently accepted worldwide: In accordance with the order of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 29 April 2020 No. 1170-P, the ban on entry into the Russian Federation of foreign citizens and stateless persons has been extended for an indefinite period. Unfortunately, we don’t hold any information regarding when the borders will fully re-open. In accordance with the order of the Government of the Russian Federation, the ban on entry into the Russian Federation does not apply to: · Urgent medical treatment – based on Telex invitation or electronic invitation issued by an appropriate General Directorate for Migration for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia · Work visas only for Highly Skilled Migrant Visas based on Telex invitation or electronic invitation issued by an appropriate General Directorate for Migration for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia – they will be permitted to enter Russia only once (regardless of the number of entries on the invitation) and will be allowed to enter once again only when the COVID19 restrictions are fully lifted. Also, at the border, they will need to show their employment contract and be approved by the Federal Security Services, which should be arranged by the employer in Russia. • Business Visa – Technical Services invitations issued after 16/05/2020 • Business Visa – Crew Members (aircraft and ship's crews) • Business Visa – Drivers • Private visas based on official private invitation for persons who are family members (spouses, parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children), guardians and trustees of Russian citizens, entering the Russian Federation, subject to the presentation of valid travel documents proving their identity and recognised by the Russian Federation in this capacity, a visa (or in a visa-free regime in cases provided for by international treaties of the Russian Federation), and a copy of the document confirming the degree of relationship. In this regard, Russia's Visa Application Centre in London continues to accept documents for private visas based on Telex invitation or electronic invitation issued by an appropriate General Directorate for Migration for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia Visa applications based on an electronic invitation issued by an appropriate General Directorate for Migration for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia and copy of the document confirming the degree of relationship (marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption certificate). • Private visa for joint travel of family members.

Will I need to satisfy the 14-day self-isolation requirement?

Arrivals in Russia: You will need to self-isolate for 14 days if you arrived from the UK (from 25.12.2020 onwards). All arrivals must provide a medical certificate confirming they have tested negative for COVID-19 on a polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, or a medical certificate confirming a positive test for COVID-19 IgG antibodies. These documents must be in English or Russian. We can assist with getting the PCR test from an approved partner. Please email us at info@visitrussia.org.uk or book the preferred time for your appointment in central London on this link: https://calendly.com/rnto/. Arrivals in the UK: You will need to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival from Russia and get tested on 2 and 8th days. Please make sure that you complete this form, not more than 48 hours before arrival: https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk

Reopening regular flights between Russia and the UK

Russia extends suspension of flights from the UK until 16 of March 2021 (until 11.59pm). Direct flights from Moscow to London continue operating (a one way ticket is required for boarding the plane). Only Russian passport holders are allowed to travel from the UK on transit flights to Russia, non Russian passport holders are not allowed to enter Russia on a transit route. Passengers who arrive in Russia will have to self-isolate (arriving from the UK) for 14 days.

About unused visas obtained after 15 March 2020

It has been announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that for those who obtained a visa to Russia but couldn't use it due to the coronavirus outbreak, a free-of-consular-charge visa might be issued, provided that travellers: - Have an unused single or double-entry visa with validity from 15 March 2020 - Submitted all the required documents for a similar visa for a new term. - The issued visa expires within six months after the Russian Government's Order of 16 March 2020 was no longer valid. This service is not yet available - however, it should be in the future. We are waiting for clarification from the Russian Embassy and will announce further developments in this section. NB. All three conditions must be met to avoid paying a consular fee. The visa application service fee and RNTO's fees may still be payable.

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?

It was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that for those who obtained a visa to Russia but couldn't use it due to the coronavirus outbreak, a free-of-consular-charge visa might be issued, provided that travellers: - Have an unused single or double-entry visa with validity from 15 March 2020. - Submitted all the required documents for a similar visa for a new term. - The issued visa expires within six months after the Russian Government's Order of 16 March 2020 was no longer valid. NB. All three conditions must be met to avoid paying a consular fee. The visa application service fee and RNTO's fees may still be payable.

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 Affairs is planning to introduce a free visa for those who couldn't use their visas for travel due to COVID-19. However, no law has been issued to support that as yet.

Can I apply for a business invitation letter?

UK residents can apply for a business invitation letter for a Russian visa. For EU nationals, a notarised UK residency status is required: pre-settlement or settlement. Please contact us on 02079851234 if you need assistance with getting a letter of invitation for your business visa.

Can I get an e-visa for Russia with a UK passport?

Due to the current unprecedented situation with COVID-19 and the restrictions on entry to the Russian Federation still in force, the e-visa will not be available yet from 1 January 2021. The information on a new date will appear on our website as soon as possible. Citizens of 52 countries can be granted electronic visas to Russia, starting from date TBC. The list of countries was confirmed on 7 October 2020. Unfortunately, the UK was not on the list. An electronic visa gives the right to arrive at any border control point in any Russian region and travel anywhere across the country for up to 16 days. Electronic visas will be processed online for tourist, business, humanitarian and guest visits. No invitations, hotel bookings or any other documents to confirm the purpose of the visit are required. Most recent and detailed information is available on this link: https://www.visitrussia.org.uk/visas/getting-a-russian-visa/electronic-visas/


Office opening time:

Our offices are open from 9am until 6pm. We operate with a reduced number of staff and aim to make sure your request can be fully accommodated when you visit us. 
 
Due to the Russian bank holidays (the Embassy is closed) we are not processing visa applications on the following dates:
08/03
 
 

Who can apply for a Russian Visa

On 24 July 2020, the Russian Government announced it was lifting the restriction on travel from the UK to Russia and from Russia to the UK. 
 
All UK residents can apply for Russian visas. Non-UK nationals should consult our office on the type of residency proof accepted by the Russian Consulate in order to apply for a visa, as the requirements have changed. The full list of exceptions for non-UK residents is available on this link. 

Coronavirus test requirement to enter Russia

! Update 26.12.2020: All arrivals to Russia from the UK are required to self-isolate for 14 calendar days from the 26th of December 2020 (link for the official resolution - Russian language).
 
According to Russian Covid-19 entry requirements, all incoming visitors must pass a Covid-19 RT-PCR test and have a document confirming negative results for coronavirus. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to the time of arrival in Russia. You will be asked to present the test results at the Russian border. 
 
Russian National Tourist Office has partnered with an approved testing centre in Central London. You can pre-book your appointment with the clinic on this link: https://calendly.com/isaclabs/


 

Applying for a Russian Visa

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 applicant(s). 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.

You can find all information about the electronic visas introduced from 1 January 2021 on this link.

Tours to Russia