To visit Russia for familiarization and orientation for a new job, most people choose the tourist visa. The tourist visa is valid for up to 30 days from date of entry. This visa can be single- or double-entry and doesn’t permit employment. If you need to stay longer than 30 days, for an extended visit or to look for a job, for example, the 90-day business visa is your best option. See: You have a job and need to relocate.
All nationalities except certain CIS countries require a visa to enter Russia. However, regulation changes are not uncommon so check with your embassy before starting the application process. To get a tourist visa you must submit to the Russian Consulate in your home country:
- a visa application form
- your original passport, valid at least 6 months beyond the end of the planned trip
- 1 recent passport photo
- either an original invitation letter issued by an authorized organization, or the telex number for an invitation telexed to the Consulate directly by the authorized organization (this is also known as a tourist voucher for tourist visas) See: Types of Visas for more information on invitations.
- if self-employed you must also provide proof of your ability to afford to stay in Russia. This can be bank statements for the previous 3 months.
Spouses and children require separate invitations and visas. In the case of tourist visas, children (under 18) who are listed in your passport and do not have their own passport may be include on your invitation and visa.
It is possible to get a tourist visa through a travel agency within eight business days and at a cost of $150. Faster processing is possible at extra cost. This visa is relatively easy to obtain but cannot be changed or extended once inside Russia.