To enter the Russian Federation a foreign citizen must submit a valid identity document, accepted as such by the Russian Federation, and a Russian visa, if no other order of entry into the Russian Federation is established by an international agreement.
Procedure and terms of issue and provision of a Russian visa, extending its validity period, reissue in case of loss as well as Russian visa cancellation procedure are established by the Russian Federation Government Regulation № 335, adopted June 9, 2003 (with amendments and additions contained in the Government Regulation № 635, October 4, 2007). Fundamental provisions of the mentioned Procedure are in full conformity with the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the European Community on visa issue facilitation for nationals of the Russian Federation and the European Union that entered into force on June 1, 2007.
To obtain a Russian visa a foreign national should apply to a diplomatic or a consular representative office of the Russian Federation in person or by his legal representative and should submit the following documents:
a valid identity document, accepted as such by the Russian Federation;
a completed visa application form with one photograph;
one photograph (usually 30x40 mm);
a medical insurance policy, unless otherwise provided for by international agreements of the Russian Federation;
an additional certificate proving that the applicant does not have HIV (AIDS), in case the foreign national applies for a visa for a term exceeding three months.
The size of consular fees taken for issuing Russian visa is established on the basis of reciprocity. Consular fee for the European 61 Union citizens is 35 euro for an ordinary Russian visa, and it doubles in case of an urgent issue (within three days).
To obtain a Russian visa the visitor must have an original Russian visa support letter ("priglashenie to the Russian Federation"), issued by one of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation offices. The Russian visa support letter can be issued on application by a citizen of the Russian Federation, as well as by a foreign citizen or a stateless person residing in the Russian Federation, or by a legal entity.
The following types of ordinary visas can be issued on the basis of invitations provided by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation offices:
Depending on the number of authorized entries-departures, Russian visas can be single, double or multiple-entry.
It is necessary to know that the actual purpose of the entry of the foreign citizen must correspond to the type of the Russian visa issued to him (her) .
Entering the Russian Federation the foreign national fills in a Russian Migration card, giving the information contained in the Russian visa, and upon arrival to the point of destination in the territory of the Russian Federation he (she) submits the available documents to the host party for registration in the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation.
The duration of stay of a foreigner in the territory of the Russian Federation is determined by the validity period of his (her) Russian visa.
The foreign citizen is obliged to depart from the Russian Federation upon the expiry of the authorized term of stay. To extend the Russian visa validity period and the duration of stay the visitor should apply to one of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation offices in advance, before the expiry of the abovementioned validity term.
In addition, the foreign citizens arriving to the Russian Federation on multiple-entry Russian business visas or multiple-entry humanitarian one-year visas are authorized to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation summarily during not more than 90 days in each 180-day period.
If it is necessary for a foreign citizen to depart from the territory of the Russian Federation, his (her) Russian visa validity period can be extended by an office of the Russian Federation Ministry of Foreign Affairs stationed within the frontier zone (including at the state border checkpoint), or by an office of the Frontier Service - for a term not exceeding three days.
In all other cases extension of validity period of an ordinary Russian visa comes within the terms of reference of the Russian Federal Migration Service or its local departments.
The Russian visa validity period can be extended for up to 10 days provided that the total duration of stay of the foreign national in the Russian Federation doesn't exceed 90 days in each 180-day period.
Given the circumstances of humanitarian nature (the necessity of immediate treatment, grave disease or death of a near relative residing in the Russian Federation) the present visa can be extended for a period necessary for taking ensuing measures and departure of the foreign citizen from the Russian Federation (on delivering documents confirming the given circumstances).
In case of the circumstances of insuperable force (emergency situations and circumstances unavoidable under the given conditions) as well as disasters Russian visa can be extended for a period necessary for the departure from the Russian Federation.
The Russian visa extension is executed by the mentioned above state bodies, i.e. by a territorial office of the Russian Federal Migration Service at a place of migration registration at his residence location, either at his actual residence, or at the state border crossing point of the Russian Federation. The procedure is commenced on the submission of the foreign citizen's application by letter alongside with the petition of a physical person or organization applied for invitation for the foreign citizen and documents confirming the necessity of such extension.
A foreign national staying in the Russian Federation on the basis of a yearly multiple employment or educational Russian visa can continuously reside in the Russian Federation during the whole period of the given visa validity.
Having reasonable grounds for Russian visa extension a foreign citizen applies to a local department of the Russian Federal Migration Service in person. The application for the Russian visa extension should be submitted before the visa expiry. Concurrently with the application the foreign citizen submits:
- his/her identity card,
- custom-made form of the arrival note at the place of residence.
Also attached are:
- the petition of an inviting organization or a person,
- 2 photos (3x4 mm), and
- a state duty bill.
The size of the state duty is specified in accordance with the Tax Code of the Russian Federation. Selective classes of foreign citizens are granted exemption from the state duty for the Russian visa extension on terms of reciprocity and under the existing international conventions. At the present time the citizens of the European Union come within this statute.
Time for consideration of Russian visa extension application cannot exceed 20 days.
A foreign citizen, who did not leave the territory of the Russian Federation upon the date of the Russian visa expiry or did not apply for its extension, can be brought to administrative responsibility (money penalty) up to and including deportation from the Russian Federation and the sequential 5-year exclusion.