Private Visas

Private visas are designed for those visiting friends or family in Russia, and can take so long to obtain - three months for the invitation alone - that they are only worth trying for if you are planning your trip several months in advance.

If you are applying for a private visa, you will need:

  1. A passport with at least two blank pages, valid for at least six months after the end of your proposed visit to Russia
  2. A completed and signed visa application form
  3. One passport sized photo
  4. An official invitation from an authorized organization

The official invitation for a Private Visa is issued through the Russian Foreign Ministry or its regional representatives, or an appropriate branch of the Russian Federation Migration Service. The original hard copy of the invitation is required to apply for a Private Visa.

If you are travelling to Russia on a Private Visa, you will need to be registered with the local authorities within seven working days of your arrival. This can be done at the nearest branch of the Federal Migration Service or at the post office. Ask your Russian contact to check the details in their area.

Given the difficulties involved, it is normally easier to visit your Russian friends and relatives on a Tourist Visa. Click here to find companies offering visa support for a fee without accommodation booking. Don't forget to check with the company about registration.