23
Jun
2017
0

Russia: Visa for Indian Citizens

When I decided to go to Russia, I was told that I should be happy if manage to get a visa. I was told that the Russian visa process is so cumbersome that working on the visa application will soon make me change my travel plans. Well, I was sure that I wanted to visit Russia and at least give the visa process a fair chance. While the Russian Consulate website said that the process would take 4 days only, I budgeted a month to get the paperwork and the visa in place.

Peterhof Palace

The Russians sure did surprise me… I got the visa in 4 days. So, if you intend to visit Russia for tourism purposes, do not fret… the visa process is super smooth and simple. While I used the services of the designated visa agent for Russia, you can possibly do it all on your own without an agent as well. Here are the documents that are needed for the Russian tourist visa…

Gardens of the Kremlin

Documentation: 

  • Original valid passport with minimum validity of six months from date of departure;
  • Two passport size identical photos 35 mm x 45 mm with white background;

  • Detailed itinerary with hotel bookings;
  • Original tourist voucher & tourist confirmation (in Russian language) from a receiving Russian travel agency, registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The confirmation must contain the agency’s reference number and registration number. When you book a hotel in Russia, they will have an option to issue this letter at an additional cost. Please book a reliable hotel which will have ties with an authorised agency which can issue the letter. If the agency is not authorised to issue such a letter, you may be asked to return from the immigration counter in Russia. The issuance of the letter costs extra – INR 1000 for the issuance of the letter and INR 500 for the courier. It is best to have the hard copy of the letter for the visa application, though there are many cases where a scan has been accepted as well;

  • Copy of return air ticket (I booked my flights on Aeroflot, the Russian national carrier);
  • Application form print, filled in through https://visa.kdmid.ru

Besides the above, I was also asked to submit two visiting cards, which gave details of my office address and designation. However, there was no requirement of any bank statement, IT returns, PAN card, salary slip etc, which made the process so much easier as compared to the Schengen visa application.

Saviour on Spilled Blood Cathedral in Saint Petersburg

Consular Fees/Costs:

The consular fees for a single entry visa is INR 2,450. Usually, the agent will charge a service fee of ~INR 1,200, which can be saved if you decide to submit the application yourself. Please remember that the above mentioned tourist voucher letter charges are additional.

View of Moscow City from Sparrow Hills

Where to apply… Delhi or Mumbai:

You can apply for the visa processing either in Mumbai or in Delhi. Delhi works faster and completes the process in 4 days. Mumbai, is a little slower, so it would be best to budget some more time for the visa processing if you are submitting your documents in Mumbai. I found the team in Delhi much more abreast with the latest regulations and would recommend applying from Delhi, if you can do so.

Can I get my passport couriered:

The submission of the documents needs to be done in person either by you or by your agent. However, after the visa has been issued, the passport can be couriered to the required address in India at an additional cost of about INR 550.

The above documents were all that I needed… and the visa was done in 4 days… and the process was super simple! How cool is that!

So, if you are planning to visit Russia, let not the ‘rumors’ around the visa process deter you. Get your documentation in place and get ready to visit the largest country in the world!

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