Tourist visa to Russia

Tourist visa is issued in case you wish to travel to Russia for tourist purposes only.

South African passport holders are exempt from visa requirements for tourist/holiday visits to Russia not exceeding 90 days.

The visa with the purpose of visit "target tourism" is issued if you enter Russia having arranged a special tour for settling commercial questions with your Russian partners (participation in auctions, exhibitions, negotiations) or for medical consultations and medical examination as well - but once-only, not as a regular practice.

Tourist Visa is issued for a period no longer than 3 months and is valid for single and double-entry only or a multiple entry for a period of up to 6 months. The total period of stay of a foreign tourist on the territory of the Russian Federation on a multiple-entry tourist visa cannot exceed 90 days within each period of 180 days.

A single-entry visa can be issued with the confirmation of a hotel or accommodation (authorized hosting Russian travel hotels and accommodations only).

A hotel or accommodation confirmation signed by an authorized hotel employee and certified by the hotel's seal should contain:

1. Letterhead "Confirmation of a booking/accommodation”, its number and the registration date;

2. The hotel/accommodation name, its actual address and registration number;

3. Information about the foreign citizen (surname, first name (s), date of birth, gender, citizenship, passport number or other document recognized by the Russian Federation);

4. Date of arrival/departure from the hotel/accommodation;

5. Other information about the conditions of booking.

With a hotel booking or accommodation confirmation, migration registration of a foreign tourist is carried out by the hotel or accommodation that issued the above booking/confirmation. If a foreign citizen cancels a reservation and, as a result, the Russian Ministry of Home Affairs does not have information from the hotel about the migration, his/her tourist visa may be canceled, and the foreign tourist may be brought to administrative responsibility for violating the rules of stay of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation up to not allowing entry into the Russian Federation.

Dear travelers, please be advised that foreign citizens are not permitted to enter Russia independently without being hosted by the authorized Russian travel agency or hotel during the whole period of their stay.

An exception to this rule are tourists travelling on board cruise ships, who do not require a visa if the following conditions are met:

The overall period of their stay on the Russian territory for no more than 3 days (72 hours);

They stay overnight onboard of a cruise ship;

They go ashore only as a part of a group of passengers on the excursions organized by the cruise company;

To obtain a single-entry tourist visa the following documents should be submitted to the Consulate:

1. Visa application form, printed out from this website only. No blank spaces must be left. If a question does not apply, please type "N/A". If the answer is none, write "None". Kindly ensure that the dates of your entry and exit, as entered in the application form, match with or fall within the period specified in the supporting documents. The form should bear the original signature of applicant and must be well readable. Please state clearly your contact telephone number (office and after hours). Incomplete forms, forms with no signature, forms with corrections, forms filled out illegibly or with different pens will be returned to the applicants unprocessed.

2. One photograph of 3,5 by 4,5 cm, in color taken against a light background (white or off - white). The photo needs to display a full frontal view of the face. The facial image must be sharp and clear. Sunglasses or tinted glasses are not permitted. Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and in this case there shall be a similar photo with a head covering in the applicant's passport. The photo must be glued on the form strictly at reserved place. If photograph presented does not meet the requirements an application will be considered incomplete.

3. Valid international passport or another ID recognized as such in the Russian Federation with at least 2 blank pages for visas. The passport should be submitted in original only and should be valid for at least 6 months after visa's expiration date stated in the invitation.

4. A copy of high quality or original tourist confirmation letter ("Podtverzdeniye") or letters (if your stay in Russia is arranged by 2 travel companies/hotels) issued by an authorized hosting Russian travel agency or Hotel, authorized to invite foreign citizens in the Russian Federation and registered in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The confirmation letter(s) must contain the agency's/hotel's special reference number and should cover the whole period of the applicants stay in Russia. The number of confirmation letters from different travel agents/hotels per person is limited by two.

5. Full itinerary of your journey and tickets with a "confirmed" status for entry and departure to/from Russia.

6. Copy of medical/travel insurance for the whole period of stay in Russia. We encourage all our visitors to have a valid insurance to cover any unforeseen medical expenses, which are usually rather costly abroad. Please note, that this requirement is mandatory for EU-citizens (Schengen Zone countries) only.

7. Foreigners applying for a Russian visa in a country other than their home country usually must provide proof of permission to stay in this country for a period exceeding 90 days. Citizens of certain countries must have permanent residence status in South Africa to apply for a Russian visa here. Please check the possibility to apply for a visa with Consular officer in advance.

8. Consular fee. Visa processing fees and time you can find in the "General information" section of the website. We accept cash only.  Accepted visa processing fees received from the applicant are not subject for reimbursement in any circumstances. Payments exceeding R 10 000 can be managed differently, please enquire before the application.

Double-entry tourist visas are granted only if the following conditions are met:

In between of entries into Russia a foreigner is visiting only a neighboring country (countries, including the EU Shengen countries);

The purpose of travel to this country is tourism.

To obtain a Double-entry Tourist visa the applicant must additionally present a visa to the third country or an official document proving that visa is not required to enter it. Thus you are to apply for a visa to the third country prior to your application for a Russian visa. No assurance that a visa will be obtained after the Russian visa is received or in the territory of Russia will be taken into consideration and the documents will be returned. You must provide as well a full itinerary of your journey and tickets with a "confirmed" status for every entry and departure to/from Russia.

Dear Applicants and travel agents, please follow the above requirements when submitting your papers. Otherwise, the documents will be returned unprocessed.