Private visa to Russia

Published by Stanislav August 8, 2017

Private visits to Russia can serve the purpose of visiting friends or relatives. For such purpose a foreign citizen needs to get a private visa a.k.a. guest visa. The mandatory condition for an application for such visa is an invitation from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs issued upon request of your Russian host or, in special cases, upon request of the receiving organization.

What is a private visa to Russia?

Russian private visa for foreign citizens allows them to enter Russia lawfully and stay in the country for the whole period of visa validity. This visa has a determined purpose, which is a private visit to relatives or friends living in Russia.

Pay attention! The issuance of a private visa to Russia implies the presence of the receiving party who undertakes the responsibility connected with the invitation to Russia.

Private visa to Russia has a particular purpose and can’t be used for other purposes (for example, in order to work for a Russian company). A private visa cannot be changed into any other visa type or extended on the territory of Russia.

Documents for private visa aplication

A private visa is issued only after the application to the Russian consular authority or to the Russian Visa Center in a foreign state where a foreigner legally resides. In order to do it, you have to present the following documents:

  • Filled application form with the indication of purposes of a trip, duration, and timing of the visit. It’s completed only at then printed out on both sides of the paper, signed and dated
  • Invitation issued by the MIA of Russia upon request from the Russian host party 
  • Medical travel insurance valid for the whole period of the trip
  • Color photos 35mm x 45mm
  • Valid passport of foreign citizens
  • Receipt confirming the payment of a consular fee/service fee (each state has its own tariffs for visa procedures, please check them on the website of the Russian consulate in your country)

Since the issuance of a Russian guest visa is made on the basis of an invitation, this document should contain particular information

  • Personal data of the foreigner
  • Duration of the visa you apply for
  • Visit relatives indicated as a purpose of a trip

The document will be issued by the migration service of the MIA on the ground of the request from the receiving party. The issued invitation gives a foreigner an opportunity to apply for a Russian private visa.

Please, contact your Russian host in advance to ask for the required invitation as the MIA prepares it within 20 working days since the submission of the request. A request for the service of invitation can also be made through the Russian multifunctional portal of gosuslugi.

The order and duration of private visa application process

How to obtain a guest visa to Russia if the invitation has already been received by a foreigner? He/she has to apply to the consular authority in the country where he/she lives. The reception days and hours can be clarified on the website of the particular consulate or in the appropriate section on our web.

Pay attention! If the mistake was made during the filing of the application, you may get a rejection. In this case, you will have to reapply and provide the same set of documents again.

How to apply for a private visa to Russia if the invitation was issued with mistakes? In this case, the receiving party has to obtain the invitation again and send it to a foreign national. 

When applying at the consulate, you have to pay a consular fee. The size of it depends on the urgency of the issuance. If the issuance is carried out under a standard procedure, it may last up to 20 days. In some cases, the express issuance is available, which means that the document will be issued within one- three working days.


The validity of a private visa to Russia is determined by the employees of the consular authority. It can be issued for:

  • up to 30 days
  • up to 90 days

A foreign national has the right to indicate the desired validity period of a private visa but he can’t insist on the maximum duration.

Pay attention! A foreign national has to follow the Russian registration regulations and get registered for the whole period of a trip with the office of MIA (the owner of the apartment should apply for your registration to the local MIA office) or in a hotel. Also, you cannot carry out any other activities apart from those corrsponding to the private visa type (e.g. you will not be able to work or study under a private visa).

If upon the expiration of your visa you want to get another one, you have to first leave Russia (make sure you leave before your visa expires and not violate any rules) and apply for a new private visa following the same procedure at the Russian consulate in your country of residence. Please note, a private visa cannot be prolonged on the territory of Russia (unless in very extreme conditions like the closure of borders because of the pandemic outburst upon which a special presidential decree is issued and a public announcement is made on a national level).

If you have any troubles while applying for a private visa, contact our specialists/fill in the feedback form on our web. We will consult you on any issues connected with a Russian private visa.