Are you an Indian citizen keen to go on a Russian vacation? If so, you need to ensure you’ve acquired the appropriate permits and travel authorisations before you set off on your trip.
As the country with the largest landmass in the world, Russia offers incredible opportunities for tourists who want to visit. The dramatic landscape and rich heritage of the nation are unlike anywhere else in the world, and there are numerous sites of interest.
However, despite the many reasons to visit Russia, the country is notorious for having strict rules on entry. You can’t arrive armed simply with a passport and hope to be waved through border control. Having the right travel documentation is essential for Russia, and Byevisa is here to help guide you through the process.
- 1 Do Indians Need a Visa for Russia?
- 2 How to Get a Russian Tourist Visa for Indians
- 3 How to Get a Letter of Invitation for a Russian Visa
- 4 Is it Possible to Get a Russia eVisa for Indian Passport Holders?
- 5 Questions About the Russia Visa Process for Indians
- 6 Learn More About Russian Visas and Travel
Do Indians Need a Visa for Russia?
There are some countries which have an arrangement with Russia which permits visa-free entry, but India is not included amongst these. This means that Indians travelling to Russia must obtain a visa in order to be approved for entry, regardless of whether it is for tourist or business purposes.
The only exception is during major tournaments such as the World Cup or Olympics, or other similar events. At these times, the Russian government may choose to relax the laws to allow tourists to enter for the purpose of being a spectator at the event.
How to Get a Russian Tourist Visa for Indians
The most convenient way to obtain your tourist travel authorisation for your Russian vacation is to apply online for an eVisa. This will permit you to visit one of 3 regions, where you can experience the local sights and attractions.
The 3 regions that have an eVisa available are:
- Far Eastern Federal District
- Kaliningrad Oblast
- Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast
To apply for any of these eVisas you require:
- A valid passport with 6 months’ validity remaining from your arrival date.
- Blank pages in your passport for stamping.
- A passport-size colour photo.
- Medical insurance that covers your stay in the country.
Officials may want to see your itinerary and proof of your hotel booking when you travel, so be sure to have this information close at hand when you go.
How to Get a Letter of Invitation for a Russian Visa
No invitation letter is required for the electronic visa. However, if you want to visit a part of Russia not covered by one of the 3 Russia eVisas, you need to apply for a standard tourist visa with the embassy, and for this you must obtain a letter of invitation.
This is a common part of a travel agreement contract between a company and a customer and it can typically be provided within 1 day. However, certain criteria must be fulfilled for it to be acceptable as a letter of invitation, namely:
- It must be on headed paper, signed by a manager and bear an appropriate stamp.
- The name of the issuing company should be clearly visible together with its reference number.
- The purpose and terms of the visit should be specified.
- Number of entries should be specified.
- The cities which the visitor plans to travel to should be included.
Only companies which are registered on the United Register of Tour Operators will be able to provide this letter of invitation.
Is it Possible to Get a Russia eVisa for Indian Passport Holders?
As long as you’re heading to one of the above 3 regions as an Indian tourist, you can make an application online for a Russian eVisa. These authorisations remain valid for 8 days after the day of entry and only permit a Single Entry to the country.
Once you have obtained your eVisa through Byevisa’s convenient online application process, you simply present the document along with your passport on arrival in the country and you are good to go.
Questions About the Russia Visa Process for Indians
We have provided a detailed overview of the process in the information above, but we know that you might have some more questions on the subject. Below we’ve listed the most common questions about obtaining a visa for Russia, and the relevant answers.
What is the Russia Visa for Indians Cost?
Obtaining your Russian eVisa is free of charge, so the only fee you’ll need to pay is the Byevisa administration fee for processing the paperwork on your behalf. Our Standard service costs just 25 USD.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Visa?
You should normally expect an application for your Russian eVisa to take between 5 and 9 days, although you may want to apply a little earlier to give yourself complete peace of mind that everything is in order in terms of paperwork for your trip.
The good news is that Byevisa offers a choice of services to ensure you receive your authorisation in time before you head off. You can choose from our Standard (9 business days), Rapid (7 business days) or Highly Rapid (5 business days) service to ensure that you have your document in your possession before you jet off.
Can I Extend the Russian eVisa?
If you have obtained the Russian eVisa for Indian citizens, you will only be permitted to remain in the country for the purposes of tourism for a maximum of 8 days after the date of entry. You will not be able to extend this period.
You will also only be permitted to enter the country once through one of the region’s specified airports, stations or seaports and will not be allowed re-entry after departing.
Does My Indian Child Need a Visa?
The answer to this question depends on whether your child has their own passport. Russia, unlike some other countries, allows minors to travel on their parent’s passport. If your child is listed on your passport, no separate visa is required for the child. However, if the child has their own individual passport, they will also require a separate visa for entry.
Learn More About Russian Visas and Travel
If you are hoping to travel to Russia and would like help with obtaining a visa, we’d be happy to assist. You can find more guidance on our Visit Russia page that tells you everything that you need to know about travelling to this amazing country.