Obtaining A Russian Visa

Previous page - Getting Our invitations to Russia


How to get a Russian Visa

First we needed an application form.

We found a couple of places online where we could print our visa applications from. This is where ours came from: Visa Application form

And this is it:

Our visa applications


Visa application enquiries

There were a couple of questions we weren't sure of so I rang the Russian Federation's Canberra Office on 02 6295 9474 for more detail. I spoke to Natasha and was told we definitely only need to send one photo (named and signed on the back) and one visa application. Other places online say two photos and two application forms. Their question # 16 asks about medical insurance. We intend to take out full travel insurance before leaving Oz. but haven't actually done it yet. Natasha says that is quite OK. We are Australian citizens so we don't need to worry about that question - we can just write "No".

We have read somewhere that we have to apply for the visa no more than three months in advance of our departure date but I mention this to Natasha and she says it is OK to do it now which is actually four months in advance of when we go. She tells me it is better if we have our ticket out of Russia organized now but when I tell her we're not sure whether we will be leaving by train or by plane she says for me to put it all in writing and attach it to the visa application. In passing she tells me to make the bank cheque or money order out to "The Embassy of the Russian Federation". Just as well she mentions this because we would most likely have made it out to the Russian Consulate or the Russian Embassy. We may as well get these details correct.


We don't have a formal itinerary

It's now February 19th. We've booked our flight out of Russia with Air Baltic. We exit the country via St Petersburg and we fly into Frankfurt in Germany en route to Australia. At long last we have posted off our applications for our Russian Visas. We have organized our whole holiday ourselves and we haven't used the services of a travel agent. Hence we don't have a formal itinerary to submit with our Visa applications as back up proof of our intent to travel. So, we decided we would write a memo to accompany our applications stating which dates/flights we were entering and leaving the country on and which cities we intended to stop at.

There is also an office of the Russian Federation in Sydney but we chose to apply to the Canberra office as we had read on one of the travel forums that the Canberra office staff were easier to get along with than the Sydney staff. Let's hope we are making the correct decision.

I'll report back when the visas are in our passports..........

Added later:

..............It's now March 8th and we have our Visas. It's been a total of 17 days and that includes travel time across Australia and back to us here in the west. That seems pretty good service. This is what Ian's Visa looks like:

This is what a Russian visa looks like


Next page - Buying Trans Siberian rail tickets through an agency


Our trip in the order it happened:

Travel Planning Necessities
World time zones, world weather, currency converter, language translator services.

Search over 25,000 hostels.

Trip Advisor Forum - Russia
The place to find information about Russia when you can't find it elsewhere.

Way To Russia
Another very good forum

Getting A Russian Visa
The process is explained

Trains between Moscow & Saint Petersburg
Explanation of the types of trains on that route.

Firmenny Trains
An explanation of what they are.

Moscow's Railway Stations
A map of their locations and proximities.

Learn How To Speak Russian
Free lessons.

Map of St. Petersburg
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Map of Moscow
Lonely Planet's map of the city.

Moscow Times Newspaper
English version.

The Russia Club
A forum for all those interested in anything "Russian".

Russian Rail Timetable
It takes a bit of mastering but Ian managed it (eventually).

The Art Of Travel
Very interesting travel information for all locations.

Smart Traveller
Australian Government's site dealing with current travel advice.

Travel Independent
A site written by travellers for travellers. Lots of information.

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