When you decide on a trip to Russia, in a way you “put yourself out”. This is because we are accustomed to travel with an ID card. So when I heard that besides your passport you must get a visa too I felt panic. Because in order to issue a visa you need an invitation!
The research in the internet didn’t help me as much as I expected. I found some information and I started step by step. In the end I realized that the process wasn’t that complicated. So I decided to write this guide with all the information about the procedure one needs to do in order to travel to Russia. So I hope to help you not to get lost in the internet and to find here everything you need.
What do you need to issue a passport?
The first step for the passport issue is the photographs. And since you’ll go, take the photographs for the Visa too. Visa photographs defer to the dimensions.
Don’t worry if you don’t remember the dimensions. The photographers know exactly what you need. After all this is their job.
2. Passport Fee
For a passport issue you have to pay a fee. Here, you’ll find all the information you need. I just got into my bank’s web banking, I went to payments, I picked e-fee, I paid it and later I received a number in my e-mail. Then I gave it along with my ID in passport office.
3. Passport issue
Here, you’ll find the passport office address in your region and the working hours.
You must have with you ID, a photocopy of it and the photographs. Also your old passport if it is for replacement. The whole process is simple and quick. The police officer will fill in the application with your data and you’ll sign. You must give your fingerprints and in 5-10 minutes you can go. Within 4-5 days the passport will be ready.
Summing up what you’ll be needed for the passport issue.
1. A recent photograph color 40X60mm
3. ID photocopy
4. Old passport if it is for replacement
What do you need for Visa Issue?
1. Invitation or Voucher
The first thing you’ll be needed for a Visa issue is an invitation or a voucher. The hotel that you have booked can send you the voucher.
Note. Most of the hotels notify you that in case of a cancellation you’ll be charged with an amount.
If for any reason you can’t get the much desired voucher from the hotel, you may do a research in the internet. Write “Voucher visa Russia” and different agencies will be appeared. You may do an online application in low cost (around 10 Euros) and they send you an invitation.
Note. When you’ll ask from the hotel or from an agency in internet the voucher, you have to inform them that the sign on the voucher must be handwritten and not digital. I coped with the same problem when I was in the Visa Center. I was obliged to send email by my mobile to the hotel with the indication “urgent” asking them a new voucher signed by hand. And this cost me a delay of about an hour.
2. Online Application
The next step for the visa issue is to fill in an application online. You can do it here. By the time you’ll fill in you must print it and sign it.
3. Travel Insurance
In the online application you have among others to fill a field for the travel insurance that you need as long as your visit to Russia lasts. You can issue this at the same office (Visa Application Center) where you’ll submit the supporting documents for the visa. It costs 8.50 Euros.
So you have two options:
1. The first option is to fill in the application online from home and then in the Visa Application Center (since you have already the insurance) they will fill in the appropriate field. The cost for the “correction” is 10 Euros and they can correct any other mistake you may have made.
2. The second option is to go to Visa Application Center, to get the insurance and then since you have all the supporting documents, you fill in the application online from your mobile phone and then you submit it.
The Visa Application Center for Russia (VFS Global) is:
Ethnikis Antistaseos, Chalandri Tel 2106856775
Tsimiski 44, Tel. 2310270579
The Center is open Monday to Friday 09.00-17.00. You may send the documents by post. They’ll return the documents by courier and you’ll pay the cost.
If you are near to the Visa Center, I propose to go there. The staff is polite, very helpful and there is no harassment.
The visa issue takes 7-10 working days, it costs 60 Euros and you may deliver it from 15.00- 17.00
Anyone can deliver it if only has the receipt that they’ll give you when you’ll submit the supporting documents.
You may submit the documents for someone else if you have just an authorization from CSC. The hours for the submission are 09.00-15.00.
Summing up what you’ll be needed for the visa issue.
1. Recent photograph 35x45mm color in white background.
2. Identity (they’ll ask it)
4. Online Application
6. Travel Insurance
This is analytically the procedure of all those you need in order to travel to Russia.
If you have any questions I’ll be glad to answer.