Many of you may know that we were all set for going to Siberia. Next step was to apply for a Russian visa.
We applied and received the passports just today. With this experience in hand we thought of documenting the entire process of how to apply for Russian Visa for Indian citizens, so that it may be helpful to our fellow citizens.
You may also read about the contest by clicking here which won us tickets to Siberia.
For most countries we would require the flight tickets, accommodation bookings and proof of funds as a bare minimum. Here is where Russia differs in its approach and hence this comprehensive article on Russian Visa application. Please note that these steps are mainly for applying for Russian Tourist Visa for Indian Nationals in India.
There are several types of visas and the documentation requirements also vary accordingly. For tourists, there are three types of visas, Single Entry, Double Entry and Multiple Entry. Of these, Single entry is the easiest to get but is restrictive. The start and the end dates cannot be changed and in all probability will reflect your flight details. It also cannot be more than 30 days.
Out of all the requirements, the single most important document is the “Tourist Voucher”, also called “Visa Supporting Document” or sometimes, the “Visa Invitation”.
This document is normally provided by a Russian Travel Agent, Russian online services or the hotel where you are planning to stay.
- Create a day to day plan including all the cities which you are planning to cover.
Book accommodation using any of the portals.
- Go to any of the online Russian Travel Visa Portals and fill up the information, including details of the passport, flight and accommodation.
- Please note that each agency may work differently and charge a nominal fee.
Normally these agencies are quite efficient and you should get your Tourist Voucher the same day or the next. Some of them even claim that they will send the invite in 5 minutes!
- Passport, should be valid for 6 months beyond the current date and there must be at least 6 blank pages. I guess this is true for almost all countries.
- Other documents required are, the flight tickets, hotel bookings and travel insurance, along with an application form to be filled up online. (next section) . In our case, they just took the Passport, the application form, the Visa Support Document and the flight tickets and returned all other documents.
- It is not required to furnish bank statement or proof finance or credit car etc.
Russian Visa Online Application form
Online Application form needs to be filled by visiting https://visa.kdmid.ru/. We give below screen by screen details of what needs to be filled in. The form is intuitive and can be completely filled up in about 10 minutes.
Select India from Drop Down
Select English for languages
Read the instructions well before continuing with the application form
Then click on “Complete New Application Form”
A application form number will be generated. It is a good idea to note it somewhere.
Select “Tourism” for purpose of visit and the related fields.
Number of entries must be 1 , 2 or multiple. In most cases it would be 1.
The dates must match the flight tickets and Tourist Voucher
Read instruction carefully while it up. Keep the passport with you at the time of filling. All the info here is from the passport.
The institution means the name of the company through which you got your Visa Support Document.
All information on this page must be as per Tourist Voucher or Visa Support Document
Mention all the cities you are planning to visit. Use Add to add more cities.
It is a good idea to save the application frequently. It is also possible to access the partly filled up form by providing the user id and password created earlier.
Scheduling an Appointment
- After that, a copy of the application will be displayed on the screen for verification. Please check for mistakes especially pertaining to passport details and city names etc.
- Once verified click on SUBMIT.
- Save it as a PDF and then print it.
- One photo of your face of the size 3.5cm X 4.5 cm, taken against a light background is required to be pasted on the printed application form. The photo must be recent, not more than 3 months old.
- Stick the photo and sign at the place meant for the same.
Submit the application
On the appointed day, reach the IFS office at the appointed time. It is possible that you may have to wait for sometime before your turn. This is not because of crowd but because of travel agents with many applications. The officers at IFS only look at the completeness of the application and the form. If you have time, go for a normal processing which in Mumbai takes 1 calendar week. Of course by paying double the amount you could get the visa in 3 days.
The officer will give you a collection date and ask you to pay the fee at the cash counter by cash only.
The fee, at the time of writing this article was, INR 1300 for the visa, INR 1180 for IFS service charge for a single entry visa. In case of urgent visa, the cost is INR 2600 instead of INR 1300.
If you want the passports to be delivered by courier, that could be done by paying INR 350 per passport. Otherwise on the appointed day you can go or depute someone, with proper ID, to collect it on your behalf.
All in all, the process for Russian Visa for Indians are one of the simplest and quite inexpensive. One of my friends from US said the Visa fee is much higher for Americans.
Complete guide to Russian Visa for Indian Citizens
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