Rich history, art, and captivating architecture with colorful views are just some of the reasons you will want to visit Russia. Business connections are also a key attraction with Russia, so what’s not to love about the Russian experience? Let’s go to Russia!
But first, you will need a visa, and when it comes to visas, tourists and business-minded individuals generally care about TWO things: the Russian visa processing time and the service fees.
We all want to know when the visa will be ready and how much longer we have to wait for the consulate’s approval. We also want to know how much we will spend getting the visa, and the possibility of an expedited process especially when travel agencies are involved.
If you have never traveled to Russia, this is your definitive guide on the most crucial steps to take before embarking on the journey. This article provides insight into everything: how long it will take for you to get a Russian visa, from the Russian visa processing time to comparing the service fees offered and the best rates you can find through Visa Express’s services.
While several visas offer to Russia exists, including the private visa feature, this article specifically covers the business and tourist visa processes. Regardless of your entry choice (single, double, or multiple), you have detailed insight below.
So let’s begin with the fun visa processing type: the tourist visas that allow you to explore and enjoy the beauty of a country waiting to welcome you.
Russian Tourist Invitation Processing Time
To visit Russia as a tourist and enjoy its cultural events, have a fun experience, and stay for a short while, you will need to get a visa invitation letter, often referred to as a visa support document. In this timely article, you will find all the details you will require to answer the visa application form questions. The tourist invitation also requires details about your stay in Russia, such as the registered hotel you will stay in for the period or any other accommodation detail that proves you have a place to stay when you arrive.
In addition to proof of accommodation, you will also need to input your established travel dates, but don’t worry; if you don’t have an idea, you can use an estimated timeline. A 6-month valid passport is also required for this process, along with passport-sized photographs. Your stay period is also crucial with this step as you can get a 1-30 days visa or up to 36 months if you are an American citizen. With this option, you have a single or double entry opportunity. Now you have all requirements; you are ready to go! How long does it take? Depending on the company you use, this process has an average of 1-24 hours processing time.
Russian Business Invitation Processing Time
While the tourist invitation letter for a tourist visa offers a short-term stay, the business invitation is a long-term offer suited for those arriving in the country for business purposes. If you are exploring business opportunities, visiting conferences, and having business meetings, you are better off with a business visa. First, you will need a business invitation. With this offer, you will be staying for more than 30 days as you can get a multiple entry offer with this type of visa and the standard single or double entry.
The business invitation letter is an official invitation from Russia. You are required to submit this letter along with your visa application form, and the document needs more specific details than the tourist letter. The letter must embody the host company’s seal, tax number, a verifiable business address, and the exact entry and exit dates. Of course, you will need passport photographs and a valid passport along with the invitation for your visa application.
Now typically, the business invitation letter has 3-18 working days processing time with some companies charging as high as $300, but there is an exception: if you use our expedited Russian visa process, you can get yours in 1-5 business days for $179!
After getting the business or tourist invitation, you can get started with the visa processing by submitting your application form depending on your visit’s purpose. You can print out the form on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, and it requires detailed information regarding your trip, so please, at this stage, patience is needed.
You will need to input your country, the places you wish to visit on the trip, and other fields. The filling process can take up to an hour or more, depending on how focused you are on it. After filling, it is time to submit the documents (including your visa invitation) to the Russian consulate in your resident county. You can either submit it physically or use a travel agency such as Visa Express.
Using a travel agency makes it easier for you to do everything via post without traveling to the visa center, thus reducing your Russian visa processing time. The timeline for getting your visa is dependent on how soon you submit the application and the agency you use (if you use one), but the standard time is within 14-18 days.
There are varying Russian visa processing times and fees because agencies offer different timelines and prices depending on how fast they are in their liaison with the consulate. You will want to use the best agency for your Russian visa processing experience, and yes, Visa Express offers the most excellent service, from fees to processing time. But don’t take our word for it yet; let’s consider what other services offer and juxtapose that with the Visa Express service timelines.
Comparing Visa Express’s Charges with Others
Travel agencies also charge a specific amount as its rate for visa services; now, aside from the fees paid directly to the consulate on your behalf, you will also pay the company’s service fee, and Visa Express offers the best rates addition to real Russian visa processing time.
With VSF Global, they offer a $38 service fee for each visa service and a regular processing time of 20 days from when documents are submitted for review. Visa Express offers a faster-combined processing time of at least eight business days and a cheaper service fee as low as $89 for multiple entries instead of paying $38 for single, double, and multiple access.
Passport Visas Express.com offers a tourist visa with validity for up to 30 days at $139 in service fees, but then again, you will be required to pay additional service fees for the double and single entry fee. Why bother about that when Visa Express offers a more compact service?
With Invisa logistics services, you get the impression that you are paying lesser service fees for processing your visas at $100 or $50, depending on the number of entries. However, in addition to the service fee, you are also supposed to other “additional” mailing fees that cut across special deliveries on peculiar days and international shipping. These additional fees range from $10 to $45. At Visa Express, we offer a one-time payment that covers all visa processing fees, and this also reduces the Russian visa processing time as your orders are centralized.
Not every visa service company offers an expedited Russian visa experience. Still, in most cases, tourists and individuals with business interests in Russia want the visa delivered early enough for their trip. With travel agencies like visa express, instead of spending most of your Russian visa processing time on the queue, you will get all documents sorted because we know the consulate’s requirements.
Our Services at Visa Express
At Visa Express, we offer an expedited Russian visa process without the “Emergency” terms and conditions. More so, unlike most of the services analyzed above with a 20 day processing time, we offer a minimum of 8 business days and a maximum of 18 business days in processing time.
Interestingly all processing times are valid for multiple entries, unlike some of the companies viewed above that offer either single, double, or multiple entries. You have the assurance of a seamless transactional experience on our site, from effective customer support channels to other service offers that reduce your Russian visa processing time.
We offer the best rate because we are passionate about helping travelers to Russia cut down on their Russian visa processing time while paying a competitively fair price. Some companies do not offer a pre-check service, which explains why some clients get rejected at the consulate. After the rejection, they wonder why they didn’t get the visa despite working with an agency.
If you are not careful with filling the visa form, you may make mistakes the consulate cannot ignore. Solution? Please take advantage of our Pre-Check service, which entails you emailing your application to us for a review before final submission. Trust us when we say one last check is what you need to avoid going back and forth with your Russian visa processing time.