Can I Obtain A New Visa Without Leaving Russia?

No, not legally. Here is the explanation why.

An entry visa to Russia is processed by the Russian consulates in foreign countries. No entity in Russia can issue a Russian visa.

Sometimes people think it a good idea to send their passport from Russia to their country via FedEx and have the consulate or a visa expediting agency send back the new visa once it is ready. Indeed, this would be the worst possible option to take because in such a case your new visa will be invalid as you will not have crossed the Russian border with this visa and obtained a stamp in your passport.

What with one visa expired and the other, invalid, a foreigner founds himself in a most difficult situation. The only thing he can do is to obtain an exit visa (which is a really complicated procedure) and leave the country directly.

I Would Like To Extend My Visa

Sorry, this is not possible. Neither a tourist nor a business visa can be extended.

If you happen to overstay your visa, you will need an exit visa in order to leave the country. An exit visa is to be taken care of by the invitation issuer. Please do not waste time trying to contact any other entities and do not let any information obtained by hearsay influence your actions. Please contact us once you realize that you are unable to leave Russia in time and we will provide detailed instructions as to the paperwork you will have to collect in order to obtain an exit visa.

We find it our duty to warn you that the exit visa obtaining procedure is extremely complicated, time-consuming, and, truth to tell, expensive. We strongly recommend you to avoid overstaying your visa.

I Have Arrived In Russia. How Do I Register My Visa?

A foreign citizen must register with the local migration authorities within 7 business days upon arrival. Then a visa has to be re-registered at each city where you stay more than 7 business days.

The registration must be completed by the receiving entity. Please note that the receiving entity is not necessarily the same as the inviting organization or hotel entered in the person’s invitation and visa but a company, hotel or person a foreigner is actually visiting in Russia.

If you do stay at a hotel, the registration is fully taken care of by the hotel reception.

If you stay at a private apartment, your visa is to be registered by your landlord. Please have the landlord apply at the local police precinct (in Moscow) or FMS office (commonly known as OVIR) in other cities. He will just need to fill out a registration form indicating your passport and migration card details. Your landlord will have to present his passport with the registration (a so-called “propiska”) at the same address.

Why Your Forms Are So Long?

We strive to do everything possible to ensure that our clients obtain visas at the Russian consulate with no complications. This is why we are on the market since 1991. While there are many companies that are ready to stamp away an invitation at a moment’s notice and then forget about the invitee’s existence, we do not let our clients down. This is why it is essential that we have all necessary information regarding your job and position, itinerary, travel dates, etc., irrelevant as it may seem.

We count on the correctness of the information provided by our clients. If, upon checking an application, we see that an invitation processed by our company cannot guarantee you a visa or that you may get in trouble with your visa when in Russia, we will inform you on the problem and won’t take your money for the service that you cannot actually use. If we do accept an application, we feel sure that our invitee will be safe.

Do I Need To Indicate The Exact Dates Of My Visit To Russia?

If your exact travel dates are not yet settled, it is always a good idea to obtain a tourist invitation for a longer period than you actually plan to stay in Russia. Then you can get a visa for the same period and travel between the dates with no problem. You cannot enter earlier or overstay your visa but you always can enter the country later or/and leave it earlier than originally planned.

How Long Can I Stay In Russia?

Your visa will be issued for the period of time covered by your invitation regardless of the date of the visa issuance and that of your actual entry to Russia. You cannot enter earlier or overstay your visa but you can enter the country later or/and leave it earlier than originally planned. Normally a tourist visa is available for up to 30 days.

Once I Am Issued A Visa, Can I Travel All Over Russia?

Normally, yes. You will be issued a visa to the country, not to any specific places. Once in Russia, you have the right to change your original itinerary and travel elsewhere. However, there are places and regions in Russia foreigners have but limited access to.

I Am Visiting Russia On An International Cruise. Do I Need A Visa?

The regulations for cruise passengers are very specific.
A cruise passenger can get off the ship together with other tourists, in this case no visa is required. The passport control officers just check the list of passengers produced by the cruise company. If you do not want to stay with the group and prefer to make a separate city tour, a visa will be required. To obtain a Russian visa, you need first to be provided with visa support (official letter of invitation). You will then need to take your visa support to the Russian consulate in your country and be issued an actual visa.

Can I Use A Tourist Or Business Visa If The Actual Purpose Of My Visit Is Different?

Generally, the type of visa that you may use mostly depends on the duration of your visit. However, a tourist or business visa cannot be used if:

you visit Russia in order to adopt a child (a specific adoption visa will be required)
you want to send a child to Russia with his/her Russian mother (a homestay visa will be required)
you want to stay in Russia more than 90 days (a student or work visa will be required)
In these cases invitations must be processed by the persons or entities you really plan to visit.