:: Passport valid for six months on exit
:: Two blank visa pages in passport
:: One recent passport photograph
Please ensure the photograph is different to the one in your passport and has not been used in any previous visa applications.
The photo should be no more than 4 weeks old, and should be glued, not stapled to the printed application form.
:: Proof of UK residence
Travellers must submit proof of residence in the UK for the last 90 days, either as a valid UK visa in their passport, last three months’ bank statements, utility bills showing their name and address, a letter from their employer specifying the start date of employment OR, for students, a letter from a university/college noting course details and enrolment date. Phone bills and rent/mortgage agreements are not acceptable proof.
:: Application form, completed online
All questions on the form must be answered, providing full details where necessary. Please use type only as the embassy will not accept handwritten answers. The signature on the application form must be the same as the signature in your passport.
Under the section ‘Last Visit Details’, please take particular care to note ALL countries you have travelled to in the last ten years. Your application may be rejected if the information provided differs from the details in your passport.
Travellers planning to submit their application in London should select ‘Russian Visa Centre London’ when completing the online form, rather than ‘Embassy of the Russian Federation in London’.
:: Letter of invitation
Also known as a business visa support or Telex, the letter of invitation must be issued by the General Directorate for Migration for the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Russia. It must include the applicant’s name, purpose of trip and dates of entry/departure. The host organisation must state their legal address, date of registration and document registration number, and the letter should also include their official seal, plus the name and signature of an official authorised to invite foreign nationals to Russia.
The original invitation must be provided when applying for a multiple-entry visa but, at the discretion of the embassy, a copy may be acceptable for single or double-entry applications.
If you are unable to provide a Telex (business visa support), we may be able to obtain one on your behalf. Please contact us for further information.
Alternatively, you may submit an INN invitation letter issued by a company in Russia and containing their individual Tax Identification Number. This must be a written request from a company, organisation, enterprise or institution authorised to invite foreign nationals to Russia. Please note, visa processing is likely to take longer (up to 10 working days) if you choose to submit an INN letter, rather than a telex invitation.
NB. Russian visas include a specific start and end date, based on the information provided in your business visa support. The period of validity cannot be altered or extended once the visa is issued, and you must travel within the listed dates. Travellers are also advised that if the information on the business visa support conflicts with the information on their application form, the embassy is likely to reject the application.
:: Business introduction letter
The letter of introduction from your UK employer (or yourself, if self-employed) must be an original, signed document on company letterhead. It should provide full details of the traveller, including destination(s), dates and purpose of visit, plus name and full contact details for the host organisation in Russia. The letter should also confirm who is taking financial responsiblity for your trip.
:: Proof of funds
Applicants who are self-employed, unemployed, company directors or working from home must provide bank statements covering the last three months, to show a current balance equivalent to at least £100 per day of stay in Russia. Statements printed from an online banking account must be certified and stamped by the bank.
Please note, students and retired applicants are exempt from this requirement.
:: Travel insurance
Please submit an original travel insurance policy document (copies are not acceptable), valid for the entire period of stay in Russia. The document must clearly show both the period of validity and state the area covered is worldwide, including Russia. Applicants covered by company insurance may instead submit a letter, on company letterhead, confirming validity of the policy with coverage in Russia for the full duration of stay.
:: Birth certificate (under-18s only)
:: Biometric information, provided in person
With the exception of diplomats, officials and children under 12-years-old, all applicants must provide biometric information (fingerprints) in person at the Russian visa processing centre in London or Edinburgh on the day of application. Please be aware this may involve a lengthy queue as the processing centre does not currently operate an appointment system. The biometric process is compulsory and applications from travellers who refuse to give their fingerprints will automatically be rejected.
NB. The embassy does not store biometric information, so travellers must attend the visa processing centre every time a visa is required. You will also be required to re-submit biometric data if your application is rejected and you wish to re-apply.