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Russian Business Visa Information

A Russia Business Visa is intended for people who travel Russia to do business-related activities such as meetings, conferences, signing of contracts, negotiations, etc. With this type of visa, the applicant must present an invitation from a Russian firm.

Moscow Russia business center skyscrapers

The holder of a standard Russian business visa can stay for up to 3 months upon arrival in the country. There is also the option for a 3-year multiple-entry business visa. This longer option is typically the best choice - regardless of the anticipated number of border crossings or length of your anticipated stay - since it affords you maximum flexibility and helps avoid the need to reapply for additional or longer stays.

Purposes for a Russian Business Visa

For Russian Business Visas, only specific business-related activities are permitted. Typically these activities originate from companies and businesses outside of Russia that have dealings within the country. Some examples include:

  • establishing business agreements and contracts
  • participating in negotiations with international business partners
  • conducting international marketing research
  • providing mechanical and/or technical support for devices and equipment
  • completing international transactions

Of course, there are other types of business activities that qualify, but you will need to be prepared to be explicit about your intentions as part of the business visa application process.

Russian Business Visa Application Requirements

Whether you are seeking a single, double, or multiple entry Russian Business Visa, you must submit the following to the Russian Consulate:

  • U.S. Passport
    • Must have a minimum validity of at least 6 months beyond the visa expiration date
    • Must have 2 blank passport pages
  • One professional 35 mm X 45 mm photo
  • Completed visa application form (link: Online Russian Visa Application Form)
  • Payment for fees (typically a money order)
  • Invitation to Russia from a host person or organization

Failure to submit a complete application or any of the required supplemental materials can result in your visa being delayed or denied. Furthermore, the Russian government has the right to refuse the issuance of a business visa for any reason.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Russia Business Visas

What is the difference between tourist and business visa?

Tourist visas and business visas have several key distinctions. These visas differ in the purpose of the stay in Russia. Tourist visas are specifically intended for individuals who travel to Russia for vacation, recreational activities, etc.

On the other hand, business visas are granted to foreigners who need to travel to Russia for business transactions. Establishing this need (through the additional invitation and documentation requirements) means business visas require additional preparation and processing time compared to Russian tourism visas.

Can a business visa holder get an employment in Russian during his/ her stay?

It is prohibited for business visa holders to be employed during their stay in Russia. Russia is very strict about visitors respecting the type of visa they are granted. Violating the terms of a visa can result in detention and/or deportation.

The specific terms of each individual Russian Business Visa are established as part of the application process.

It is crucial to note that looking to remain in Russia for longer-term employment specifically requires a Russian Work Visa.

This is true whenever the purpose of your stay in Russia changes or evolves. In these cases, you must immediately apply for the relevant type of visa through the usual visa application process.

What does "sponsorship" mean in visa application?

Under the Russian law, the any foreign individual must obtain a Russian- based sponsor; this could be a hotel, a tour leader, a company, a relative, an employer, a university, etc. These legal sponsors have the responsibility to apply on the applicant's behalf for any necessary transactions such as renewal, extension, etc. The Russian sponsor will also be the point person for dealing with any visa problems.

What kind of visa must a person possess if he/ she will only pass through Russia to go to his/ her final destination?

In this particular circumstance, travelers must have a Transit Visa. A Russian Transit Visa is issued for people who intend to travel through Russia specifically as part of an onward journey to another country. So even though an individual may be simply transferring from one plane to another in Moscow International Airport, they will be asked to present a Russia Transit Visa issued by the Russian Embassy or Consulate. Failure to present this transit visa means the person may be subject for deportation back to their primary place of residence.

What is the fee for a Russian business visa?

All visas (single, double and multiple entries) to Russia cost $160.

About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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