There are these old wives tales all over the internet on how difficult getting a Russian tourist visa is, how awfully complicated and painstakingly long the procedure is. Well, I don’t know how true it is for the Western world, but if you are an Indian, getting a Russian visa is the easiest and the quickest (compared to the arduous task of getting a Schengen).
Visa Processing Centre
So to begin with, Russian visa applications can be submitted as IFS centres which are present in the 4 Metro cities (Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai).
Visa Fees and Processing time
after submission to Consulate
(visas issued under the Agreement)*
|Consular Fee||Service Charges
(inclusive of GST)
|Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata Visa Centres:
(inclusive of GST)
|2 – 3 working days||1300 INR||1180 INR|
|1 working day||2600 INR||1180 INR||520 INR|
|2 – 3 working days||2080 INR||1180 INR|
|1 working day||4160 INR||1180 INR||520 INR|
|Multiple Entry Visa|
|4 -10 working days||3900 INR||1180 INR|
|3 working days||7800 INR||1180 INR|
If you do not stay in any one of the Metro cities in India, then you have 2 choices
- Go to a local travel agency who will submit the documents and collect the visa on your behalf
- Opt for a same day processing wherein you have to walk into the office before 10am to submit the relevant documents and collect the visa after 3pm
Mandatory documents required:
- Passport and passport copy
- Recent color photograph 3.5 x 4.5 cm with light-coloured background, clear image of the applicant directly facing the camera, without dark/ tinted glasses or any headgear (with the exception of persons who wear such headgear due to their ethnic/ religious background, and are seen wearing the same in their passport photo)
- Invitation letter from a Russian tourist agency
- Filled in online application form (https://visa.kdmid.ru/) and a printed copy of the form
Optional documents required (most often you will not be asked for these)
- Flight tickets to and from Russia
- Hotel bookings
The most important thing
Now the most important thing in this entire application process is getting the invitation letter. If you go through the internet you will come across a million sites selling these at rates that vary as widely as the rift between the rich and the poor in India and a zillion comments on how nightmarish it is to get one.
From my personal experience, use the services of GoingRus. It will cost you only USD 15 per invitation and you get it instantly in your mailbox. They will provide the invitation with a standard hotel name, which you can change afterwards by sending an email to them. They are very responsive to emails and provide a less than 24 hours turnaround. In my case, I had ordered 5 invitations from them and then had to change the hotel names on those because the embassy had reached out to them for proof of stay. Another point to remember here is that there are so many posts out there stating that a hardcopy of this invitation letter is required. Well, it is NOT required for Indians, atleast. You just have to submit the print.
Important points about filling the application form:
- It is advisable to put your address in the visa application form same as your passport (even follow the exact punctuation mark). If not, then you will need to provide another proof of address.
- Fill in your place of birth exactly as it in your passport (even the spaces and punctuations).
- Put ‘No’ in the field “Do you travel with children under 16 years or other relatives written in your passport?” unless you really need to fill it.
And thats it, your Russian visa will arrive in 3 business days (or even lesser if you have opted for their same day service).
Bon voyage people !!!