How to apply for a visa for Russia

Getting a Russian visa deters many in advance, because there is a little more bureaucracy to be done compared to other countries. But if you take a closer look, it’s not that expensive and you can also save a lot of money if you bring a little time. With this simple guide we want to help you.

On the basis of these points, you can apply for and process everything online in less than an hour, so that nothing stands in the way of the necessary visa.

You can apply for a visa at:

  1. consulates of the Russian Federation:
  • In Germany: Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main, Bonn and Munich
  • Appointment required (bookable online)
  • Visa costs 35 € or Express 70 €
  1. the Russian Visa Centre (a type of official company commissioned by the consulates)
  • In Germany: Berlin, Hamburg, Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main, Bonn and Munich
  • Appointment required (bookable online)
  • faster appointments
  • better opening hours
  • costs 27 € extra / Express another 30 € extra
  • also via courier service (25 € extra or Express 40 €)
  1. private visa agencies (e.g. visaHQ)
  • completely by post
  • no appointment required on site
  • slightly more expensive

Processing time for the issuance of the Russian visa is:

  • between 10 and 30 days
  • Express 1 to 3 days

The most important types of visas for world and bicycle travellers:

  • Tourist visas: 30 days valid
  • Business visas: 90 days valid

The 6 important documents for a Russia visa you need:

  1. a passport valid for at least 6 months
  2. a passport photo (3.5 x 4.5 cm)
  3. proof of international health insurance (€0.80 per day at Care Concept – Care Global)
    • the minimum coverage must be €30,000
  4. a letter of invitation
  5. proof of sufficient financial resources, e.g.
    • Proof of income by means of a certificate of work and earnings
    • Registration certificate of your own company
    • Tax return or communication from the tax advisor
    • Statement
    • Pensioner’s card/pensioner’s notice
    • Student ID/ BAFöG-Decision/ Registration Certificate
    • or land register statement
  6. a completed and printed visa application (attention: have all other documents together beforehand)

The invitation letter (often also “Visa Support Letter” (incl. voucher)”) can be obtained in various ways:

  1. Hotels and accommodation in Russia are entitled to issue this document and send it via e-mail. All you have to do is book a hotel in Russia and ask for this document. Most hotels charge €20 to €50. The hotel may be re-opened despite the invitation being issued and does not have to be used.
  2. Online companies specialising in invitation letters, which are officially registered as a travel agency, will send you an invitation letter for a fee of approx. 18 € for a 30-day tourist visa or 74 € for a 90-day business visa.

In other words, in total you have to expect costs of 65 € to 396 € for a Russia visa, depending on how urgent it is and the duration of it.


For 30 days: 35 € visa processing + 18 € invitation letter + 24 € health insurance = 77 €

For 90 days: 35 € Visa processing + 74 € Invitation letter + 72 € Health insurance = 181 €

We hope that we were able to help you with this information and thus take away a little bit of the fear of the Russia visa.

If you have any comments or information for us, just write a comment.

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