All About the Visa Requirements for Russians
The visa requirements for Russians encompass all the terms and conditions that apply to Russian passport-holders when it comes to visiting another country.
Each country worldwide has specific entry requirements for Russians in place that will generally fall into one of these categories: visa-free, eVisa (Electronic Visa), Visa on Arrival (VoA), or visa from an embassy. It’s important to keep in mind that certain factors, such as the purpose of your trip and your intended length of stay, could impact which type of entry pass you’ll need to apply for.
According to Henley’s Passport Index, the Russian passport ranks 48th in terms of global freedom of movement, with visa-free or VoA access to 120 countries. These include Costa Rica, Peru, and Turkey.
Moreover, the length of stay granted to Russian visitors varies from country to country, and depends on the destination’s entry requirements for Russian citizens. For instance, in visa-free destinations it ranges from 14 days to 6 months.
On this page, you will discover the different types of entry passes that exist and what each one means, as well as which policies Russian tourists must abide by to visit each country.
Before we dive in, you should keep in mind that the requirements outlined in this article are for people travelling for tourism, business or to visit relatives. When going abroad to work, study or for other reasons, different conditions will apply.
- 1 How Many Russia Visa-Free Countries Are There?
- 2 Which Are the Russia Visa-Exempt Countries?
- 3 Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens: Visa on Arrival (VoA)
- 4 Embassy or Consulate Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens
- 5 Countries Where a Visa for Russians Is Not Permitted
- 6 Countries with Upcoming New Visas in 2022
How Many Russia Visa-Free Countries Are There?
Russian citizens can visit over 120 countries without a visa or by obtaining a simple Visa on Arrival (VoA). Before we see which countries are visa-free for Russians, let’s take a look at what the different requirements mean:
- Visa-exempt: this means you can travel to the country with just your passport, without needing to obtain any form of authorisation.
- VoA: this document is issued upon arrival in the country and entails filling out a short form.
- Embassy visa: this type of permit is issued by an embassy or consulate, and you will need to provide a series of forms and documents when you apply.
Top Destinations for Russian Passport Holders
Looking for some inspiration for your next holiday? Here are some of the top destinations for Russian-passport holders.
|Turkey||Ukraine||United Arab Emirates|
Which Are the Russia Visa-Exempt Countries?
Here’s the list of Russian passport visa-free countries:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Argentina||Armenia|
|Bolivia||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Botswana|
|El Salvador||Federated States of Micronesia||Fiji|
|Peru||Philippines||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Saint Lucia||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Samoa|
|Thailand||Trinidad and Tobago||Tunisia|
If you were wondering what countries can Russian citizens visit without a visa, simply check the list above. Russians can visit all of these countries with just a valid passport, without needing to get any kind of travel permit such as an eVisa, a VoA or a visa from an embassy.
However, other conditions may apply, so you should always check the entry policies of your destination before travelling. For instance, some countries may ask you to show proof of return flight tickets or accommodation bookings.
What’s more, most countries worldwide require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay in the country, regardless of whether you need a visa or not. Some countries may have their own passport validity policies, so don’t forget to check the government website.
Even if you are visiting a country that is visa-free for Russian passports, you will only be allowed to stay for a certain period of time. In particular, you will be granted a number of days in the country based on your nationality, the purpose of your trip and the policies of the destination. If you wish to stay longer than the visa-free period granted to you, you will need to apply for a visa.
Don’t forget that these policies regarding visa-free countries for Russian citizens only apply in the event you are travelling for tourism, to visit friends and family, and often for business trips too. Meanwhile, you will likely need a visa if you wish to work, immigrate to the country or visit for other purposes.
The list of Russian passport visa-free countries includes a wide range of countries spanning all over the world, from Africa, to Asia and South America. So if you are looking for a holiday destination that doesn’t require a visa for Russian citizens, you will be spoilt for choice.
Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens: Visa on Arrival (VoA)
Here is the list of countries that Russian citizens can travel to by obtaining a VoA:
|Tuvalu||United Arab Emirates||Zambia|
Among the different categories of visa requirements for Russians, the VoA is a relatively easy permit to obtain. This travel document is issued directly at the border, so you won’t need to worry about visiting embassies or trying to get your travel authorisation document before travelling.
In the case of a VoA, you go to an immigration desk upon your arrival in the destination. Look out for a paper form to fill out before reaching the desk. At the desk, you will be asked for your passport and the form. In some cases, you may be asked some questions regarding your stay or to provide supporting documents, such as return flight tickets or accommodation bookings.
Even though the process is quite straightforward, it can involve queuing, so be prepared for this when you arrive. The application forms are often handed out during flights, so we advise you to take a form and fill it out before landing, to facilitate the process.
In addition, make sure you have some cash on you, as you may need to pay a fee for the VoA. In some countries, the fee must be paid in cash in the local currency, so it’s a good idea to exchange some money before travelling.
Embassy or Consulate Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens
Here is the full list of countries where Russian citizens must get a visa from a diplomatic mission to enter:
|British Indian Ocean Territory||British Virgin Islands||Bulgaria|
|Canada||Cayman Islands||Central African Republic|
|Cocos Islands||Congo||Cook Islands|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Denmark||Equatorial Guinea|
|French Guiana||French Polynesia||Germany|
|Ireland||Isle of Man||Italy|
|Niue||Norfolk Island||North Korea|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Norway||Pitcairn Islands|
|Republic of Cyprus||Reunion||Romania|
|Saint Barthelemy||Saint Helena||Saint Martin|
|Saint Pierre and Miquelon||San Marino||Sint Maarten|
|South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands||Spain||Sudan|
|Suriname||Svalbard and Jan Mayen||Sweden|
|Switzerland||Syrian Arab Republic||Tokelau|
|Turkmenistan||Turks and Caicos Islands||United Kingdom|
|United States||United States Virgin Islands||Vatican City|
|Wallis and Futuna||Yemen|
If a visa is required for Russian citizens, you will need to make arrangements in advance before visiting the destination. This process can be time-consuming, since you generally need to go to an embassy or consulate of the country you wish to visit to apply for your travel permit. Postal applications may be accepted in some places, although either way, you will need to start the process several weeks before your intended trip.
To be granted this kind of visa, you will need to provide a series of documents, along with an application form and your passport. What documents you need to provide and the format of the application form vary from country to country. As such, be sure to check the specific requirements of your destination before going to the embassy or consulate.
It may take some time for your application to be processed, before you can collect your passport with the country’s entry authorisation inside it. Moreover, you should take into account that embassy visas tend to have higher fees. On the plus side, you can usually choose a Multiple Entry permit, which means that once you have your pass, you can visit the country multiple times without going through the application process again.
Finally, the length of stay of your visa can vary significantly and is decided by each country. The permitted length is typically between 30 and 90 days, though It will also be different depending on whether you opt for a Single Entry or Multiple Entry document.
Countries Where a Visa for Russians Is Not Permitted
Currently, there are no countries with permanent bans for Russian visitors. However, some countries have certain conditions and restrictions in place that you should be aware of:
- Although Russians enjoy visa-free access to Israel, this exemption does not apply to Russian service or diplomatic passports.
- If you have an Israeli stamp in your passport, you will likely be banned from entering countries of the Arab League such as Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
- To get a visa for Bhutan, you must book a guided tour with a registered tour operator.
- Russia’s government advises against travel to Georgia, as there is no diplomatic representation in the country. However, according to Georgia’s visa policies, Russians may visit visa-free for up to 1 year.
On the bright side, you can visit the following territories without an international passport, using your Russian Internal Passport:
- South Ossetia
Countries with Upcoming New Visas in 2022
All over the world, more and more countries are moving towards Electronic Visas. We can expect to see an increasing number of visa application systems turning digital in the years to come. This will make it much easier to obtain the permits you need for travelling to certain destinations.
- Japan is due to introduce a new eVisa system in the foreseeable future.
- South Africa is also expected to introduce its new eVisa system in 2022.