• Remi Renaudie

A few instructions for the Russian Visa

You have decided to go on an adventure in Russia with one of our tours but the visa procedure scares you? Don't be afraid! Immersion in Russia is here to help you step by step through this administrative procedure.

Who needs a visa and when to start the procedure?

Obtaining a visa is mandatory for citizens of most countries (exception made of a few former Soviet republics, wich sometimes have their own procedures). So, you will most certainly be forced to go through the visa process to visit Russia.

It seems better to submit your visa application at least one month before your departure to Russia. By doing so, a normal course of action will allow you to obtain your visa way before your flight and will keep you out of trouble from possible complications (Consulates might be overwhelmed during busy touristic times, which means longer delays).

There are several types of Russian Visa (business, studies, work, transit…). The visa you will need to travel with Immersion in Russia is a tourist visa.

The steps to obtain a tourist visa

The invitation: An official invitation is required for a visa application. Immersion in Russia provides one for you when you book one of our trips. Once the invitation has been received (within a few days) you may start the visa procedure

The visa application: The visa request is made at a VHS visa center. You must bring your fully completed file (list of documents below) to one of these VHS centers or to the Consulate (be careful: many Consulates no longer handle visa applications, leaving this work to your countries’ VHS centers). It is also possible to give your fully completed file to a third party who will make the deposit for you.

The mandatory documents for the visa application:

  • The invitation letter we will provide you.

  • The application form completed online and printed: (Immersion in Russia will give you all the information you need when you will receive your invitation).

  • A certified passport photograph, placed on the application form’s box created for this purpose.

  • A passport valid at least 6 months after your Russian Visa’s expiry.

  • Please be aware that the visa is subject to a Consular fee, check with a VHS center in your country to find how much those fees are (around 40$ in most countries).

The alternative solution: going through a visa agency

If you are unable to do the procedures to get your Russian visa or even to make it to a visa center, it is possible to do your visa through a specialized agency offering you different packages at different prices. For a few dozen extra euros, these agencies allow you to obtain an emergency procedure for those who lack time or an “all-inclusive” procedure for those who wish to avoid administrative procedures.

Those specialized agencies can be found easily online! Call us if you have any doubt on the reliability of the visa agency you spotted online. Here you can find an exemple of one of them :


Once you get your passport back with your Russian Visa (an appointment at the VHS center to pick it up will be given to you or the visa agency will send your passport back at your place): you now have everything you need to go on a great adventure in Russia. Last but not least, the Russian custom will hand out to you a white paper called “immigration card”, keep it carefully in your passport, we will need it to do a mandatory procedure called the “registration” (a simple formality entirely carried out by us).

Immersion in Russia’s team is ready to help you at any stages of your visa procedure, don’t hesitate to call or write to us!

List of VHS visa center: (for any information about your country’s visa center)

AUSTRIA: Salzburg, Vienna

BELGIUM: Antwerpen, Brussels

BULGARIA: Rousse, Sofia, Varna

UNITED KINGDOM: Edinburg, London, Manchester

HUNGARY: Budapest, Debrecen

GREECE: Athens, Thessaloniki

DENMARK: Copenhaguen

SPAIN: Barcelona, Madrid

ITALY: Genoa, Milan, Palermo, Rome

CANADA: Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto

LATVIA: Daugavpils, Liepaja, Riga

LITHUANIA: Klaipeda, Vilnius


NORWAY: Kirkenes

POLAND: Gdansk, Krakov, Poznan, Warsaw


SOUTH KOREA: Busan, Seoul

SLOVAKIA: Bratislava

USA: Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington

TURKEY : Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul, Trabzon

FINLAND : Helsinki, Lappeenranta, Turku

France : Paris, Strasbourg, Marseille

Germany: Berlin, Bonn, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich

Czech Republic: Brno, Karlovy Vary, Praha

Switzerland: Berne, Genève

Sweden: Goteborg, Stockholm

Estonia: Narva, Tallinn, Tartu

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