Visa Information

A Russian visa is an official permit to enter, pass through, stay in, or live in Russia for a certain period of time.

Citizens of these countries may visit Russia for scientific purposes without a visa:
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Peru, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
We recommend you to clarify this information at the Russian Consulate in your country of residence as the rules are subject to change.

Russian visa can be both traditional and electronic. A traditional visa is either stamped or glued into your passport by a Russian Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. An example of a traditional visa you can find here. Since October 2019 you can also obtain an electronic visa to enter St. Petersburg. 

You should obtain a humanitarian visa (traditional or electronic) in order to take part in a conference, workshop, summer school or come as a scientific visitor. In this cases the purpose of your visit is scientific-technical relations. Note that participation in scientific events with a tourist visa is treated as a violation of migration law and is subject to deportation and fine. If someone independently acquires a tourist visa and comes Russia to participate in a conference, then he bears all the risks associated with violation of migration law. An accompanying person is not a participant of a conference, so he/she can obtain a tourist visa and enter Russia as a tourist. 

A humanitarian visa can be single entry, double entry or multiple entry. Please note that you can apply for a multiple entry visa only if you have already obtained a Russian visa previously. The decision to issue a multiple entry visa is made by the respective consulate.

EIMI is able to extend the period of the visa invitation to a scientific event for no more than two days before and after it. If you are going to participate in another scientific event organized in Russia soon, please indicate this in your registration form including the title, organizer and dates of the above mentioned event so that we can include it in your visa invitation and extend its period.

Russian law requires visitors to register their Russian visas within 7 working days after arrival. Registration may be carried out by the hotel or hostel where you are staying and costs about 1000 RUB. 

Upon your arrival to St. Petersburg, you will be given a migration card that should be filled in carefully. The passport control officer will stamp it to indicate the date and place of your arrival. Keep your migration card safe, as it has to be handed back at the passport control on departure.

The official e-visa webpage contains the up-to-date information on electronic visas as well as allows one to apply for an e-visa online. Below we list only the most relevant distinctive properties of electronic visas.

  • Citizens of these countries may apply for an e-visa:
    Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, China (including Taiwan), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Turkey, Vatican.
  • E-visa is a single-entry visa. The permitted stay in Russia with an e-visa is up to 8 calendar days starting from the date of entry, within its 30 calendar days validity period.
  • E-visa does not allow to visit regions of Russia other than St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, in particular, you are not allowed to go to Moscow or have a connection flight in other cities of Russia.
  • Entry and exit on an e-visa by means of rail transport is currently unavailable.
  • You can fill in an application form on the official e-visa website not earlier than 20 days and no later than 4 days before the intended date of entry into Russia.

  • Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you applied for an e-visa. Your passport must have free space for border crossing stamps.
  • Invitations, hotel booking confirmations or any other documents that confirm the purpose of your journey to the Russia are not required for an e-visa. Nevertheless we recommend you to ask the organizers of the event that you take part in for an administrative invitation to show at the border crossing point.
  • You are required to have a medical insurance valid in Russia for the entire period of stay.
  • Notification of e-visa grant does not guarantee your entry to Russia. In case your passport data doesn’t match with the information you provided in application you may be rejected to enter Russia.

3.1. General properties

Traditional humanitarian visa may be single entry, double entry or multiple entry. The validity period may range from the particular dates of the event that you take part in up to three years. With a humanitarian visa one is not allowed to stay for more than 90 days over a 180 days period regardless of the validity period and how many times one have entered and left Russia.

In general, visa processing time at the Consulates is about 10 working days. There is also an option to obtain your visa within 3-5 working days, but in this case you need to pay extra fee. Due to the amount of applicants during the high season visa processing may take more than a month. See also the information below on the time needed for obtaining a letter of invitation (2-10 weeks depending on your country of citizenship). Keep it in mind and initiate the procedure of obtaining the visa in advance.

Most of the Russian Consulates have Russian Visa Centers whom they delegated the functions of accepting and processing visa applications. If this is the case in your country of residence, then you need to apply for a visa to the Visa Center, and not to the Consulate. Please clarify the matter at the Russian Consulate.

 

3.2. Necessary documents

To apply for a traditional humanitarian visa an applicant should provide to a Russian Consulate the following documents (the lists may slightly differ in different countries, please check the list on the site of the Russian Embassy in your country of residence):

  • passport which is valid for at least 6 months after your visit to Russia and has two empty pages (without any stamps, notes, etc.) facing each other,
  • standard photo,
  • completed visa application form,
  • an invitation issued by the Russian Host organization or the Federal Migration Service (depending on the visa Agreement between the country of your citizenship and Russia),
  • if you are going to apply for a visa in a country that is not the country of your citizenship, you may also be required to provide a valid residence permit for that country. Please do not forget to check in advance whether your residence permit is valid for applying for a visa at the Russian Consulate,
  • medical insurance valid in Russia which fully covers the period of the visit.
  • 3.3.a. Visa based on an invitation issued by a Russian Host organization

    For citizens of these countries a traditional humanitarian visa is issued on the base of a letter of invitation issued by a Russian Host organization (PDMI RAS or SPbU):
    Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden.
    We recommend you to clarify this information at the Russian Consulate in your country of residence as the rules are subject to change.

    The whole process of obtaining the visa you can find in Step-by-step instruction below.

    Step 1. Check the validity of your passport and obtain a new passport if needed.

    Step 2. Register for the event on the event website.

    Step 3. Based on your registration form our staff makes a letter of invitation and sends you a scan copy within 6-10 days after registration. The original will also be sent on your postal address and the delivery usually takes 10-15 days. The original invitation is written in Russian (see example and English translation) as it is addressed to the Russian Consulate.  

    Step 4.  Apply for a humanitarian visa using the instructions on the website of the Russian Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence.

    In general, obtaining a visa based on an invitation from a Russian Host organization takes about 6-8 weeks from registration up to getting visa in your passport.

  • 3.3.b. Visa based on an invitation issued by the Federal Migration Service

    For citizens of these countries a letter of invitation for traditional humanitarian visa is issued by the Federal Migration Service by request of a Russian Host organization (PDMI RAS or SPbU):
    Albania, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Georgia, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Mexico, Singapore, Turkey, UK, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam.
    We recommend you to clarify this information at the Russian Consulate in your country of residence as the rules are subject to change. For USA citizens with whom PDMI RAS has long-term scientific cooperation, an invitation for a multiple three-year visa can be issued (check website of the Russian Embassy in Washington).

    The whole process of obtaining the visa you can find in Step-by-step instruction below.

    Step 1. Check the validity of your passport and obtain a new passport if needed.

    Step 2. Register for the event on the event website  and send us a scan copy of your passport (and scan copy of your residence permit if you apply for a visa outside your country of citizenship). These documents are needed to submit a request for an invitation to the Federal Migration Service by the Host Organization.

    Step 3. Based on your registration form and your passport our staff applies for your visa invitation in Federal Migration Service within 6-10 days after your registration and receiving the scans. In general, obtaining an invitation from the Migration Service takes up to 6 weeks, but it can take more time as well. The Migration Service issues the invitation in electronic form (see example) and sends it directly to the Russian Consulate indicated in your registration form. We will keep you updated when it will happen and will send you a copy of your invitation in an electronic form. 

    Step 4.  Apply for a humanitarian visa using the instructions on the website of the Russian Embassy/Consulate in your country of residence.

    In general, granting visa based on the invitation from the Federal Migration Service takes up to 3 months from the registration up to getting visa in your passport.

 

3.4. Visa support for an accompanying person

An accompanying person is a member of your family: wife, husband, son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, or father.

In order to include an accompanying person in your invitation we need a proof of your relationship (marriage certificate, birth certificate etc.) in the form of apostil. This document must be in Russian, certified by a representative of the Russian Consulate in your country of residence and have the stamp of the Consulate. After obtaining this document at the Russian Consulate send it to our postal address:
Title of the Conference, PDMI RAS, 27, Fontanka emb., St. Petersburg 191023, Russia.

An accompanying person is not a participant of a conference, so he/she can obtain a tourist visa and enter Russia as a tourist. In case a participant and an accompanying person stay at the Andersen Hotel (which is the default hotel for conferences held at EIMI) we can provide an accompanying person with a tourist voucher based on which a tourist visa can be obtained.

If you have further questions please contact us at visa@eimi.ru