In order to enter Russia most foreign nationals require a Russian Federation visa. It can take time for a visa to be issued and so it is important that the application process is begun as early as possible, but not earlier than 3 months prior an expected date of the visit. Visas are issued by the Embassies or Consulates of the Russian Federation.
Find your nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate
Not all foreign nationals will require a visa to enter Russia.
Please be aware that in such cases where there is no requirement for a visa to enter the country, there may nevertheless be restrictions on the duration of your stay. You are advised to contact your nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate in order to ascertain the exact requirements for your particular situation.
Below are the key steps involved in the visa process along with some important information relating to your stay in Russia
Make sure that your Passport is valid for at least 6 months from the planned expiry date of the visa you intend to obtain
2 Visa Invitation Letter from HSE
If a letter of invitation is needed for the visa application, HSE can provide a scan of the invitation letter upon request. Visa invitations may only be issued after payment and receipt of the conference registration fees. The visa invitation letter for most foreign nationals is issued by the Migration Service within 30 days after the application, so please make sure to take care about it in advance. The invitation letter for the EU-citizens (except the UK and Ireland) are issued within 1 week after the application.
In order to prepare the invitation letter, we will need a scan of your passport (the pages detailing your name and the authority which issued the Passport) and a filled out form, which may be found here
The invitations for the registered Congress participants are arranged by the Local Organization Committee. You need to request a visa invitation letter during online registration for the Congress. Please note that the delivery of visa invitation letters is not covered by the fee and may only be organized at the expense of a participant. In most of the cases, it means that you would need to request the delivery at a local office of an express delivery company yourself.
Please check at the Russian embassy if you are required to provide an original of the visa invitation letter. It is always better to ask the Russian consulate first whether they accept copies of invitations or only originals and to specify it when applying for an invitation to facilitate processing.
3 Russian Visa
Apply for a Russian Visa at a nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate (find your nearest embassy or consulate here). You are supposed to apply for Humanitarian visa, a type “Research-Scienfitic Visa” unless other is mentioned by the Organizing Committee.
If you live in a country other than your country of origin, please note that (subject to your home country) you might be not allowed to apply for the visa in the country of your residence, or additional application requirements may apply (e.g. you might be asked to provide notary translation of your residence permit in the country of application). Please check with the Russian Embassy in the country of application.
4 Coming to the Conference!
Application and Documents
To apply for a Russian visa you need the following set of documents (as described by the Russian Federal Migration Service, may vary depending on a country, so should be checked on the web-page of the relevant Russian Consulate):
- A valid identity document, accepted as such by the Russian Federation. Make sure your travel document is valid for at least 6 months from the planned expiry date of the visa you intend to obtain;
- A completed visa application form (it is a questionnaire available in the consulate for free. Most Russian consulates have the current Russian visa application form on their websites, so you need fill it out, print 2 copies, and submit it along with the other paperwork);
- One photo (30x40 mm)
- A medical insurance policy, unless otherwise is provided for by international agreements of the Russian Federation (You need to make sure your health insurance is valid in Russia and that it's issued by a major company (AXA, Allianz, etc – usually listed on the consulate's website);
- A visa invitation letter. Please check at the Russian embassy if you are required to provide an original of the visa invitation letter. It is always better to ask the Russian consulate first whether they accept copies of invitations or only originals and to specify it when applying for an invitation to facilitate processing.
The size of consular fees for issuing Russian visa is established on the basis of reciprocity. For citizens of the European Union visa fee is 35 Euros, and in case of urgent visa (not more than three days), it is doubled.
From the 25th of November 2002, all foreigners are obliged to fill in a migration card, which will be given to them when they cross the Russian border. It is required to put in the migration card:
- personal information,
- terms of stay in Russia and the purposes of the visit and
- the prospective residential address.
It is obligatory to fill in the name of the inviting company and the address of the inviting company. Please, do not lose a migration card! Incase of damage or loss of migration cards foreign citizen must immediately inform the Organizing Committee.
Upon arrival to Russia a foreign citizen needs to go through the visa registration procedure.
If you stay at a hotel it goes automatically at the place of residence being arranged by a hotel.
If you do not stay at a hotel, provided that you have a visa which was issued through an invitation of the Organization Committee, the procedure of migration registration can be done by the Committee and is free of charge.
If you have any questions concerning visa, invitation letters, etc. Please contact: eSTARS@hse.ru