How To Get a Russian Visa

bt_russian-visa_20150512The process of obtaining a Russian Visa is quite simple in the United Kingdom, and I am sure the process is the same in most other commonwealth countries.

The first step of obtaining a a Visa is to get an invite from a Hostel or Tour Company.
We made a reservation with Friday Hostel in Moscow and they were able to send us through an invite at 14euro per person. When looking at the invitation form it appeared to be from a Tour Company, so I believe they just outsource this.

After receiving the invitation, I went online to the the VFS.co.uk website and filled out an online application. This link can be found here: http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk/Proceed_To_Online_Application_Form.html

Once the online application is submitted, the next step is to go down to the VFS Global between the hours of 1600 – 1730 (Russian Consulate) and hand in a printed copy of your Online application form. As well as your form, you will need a passport sized photo and a bank statement showing more than £1000 pounds if you have no previous jobs listed in your application form.
You’ll sign a few things, have your fingerprint scans taken and then your forms and Passport will be sent off.
You can either pick up your Passport and *hopefully* approved Visa in person from the VFS Center, or you can opt to have it posted to you for £7.

It took around 5 working days for them to process and approve my Visa within my Australian Passport. (Aussie living in London)
My friend who is also a dual national (Aussie/Italian) who entered the UK with his Italian passport needed 10 working days as he could not prove how long he was living in the UK.
We needed to show documents that had his length of stay in the UK greater than 6 months.

What You Need
– Printed Online Application form (after completing it)
– Passport Sized Photo
– Bank Statement (If you have no recent jobs listed in Online Application)

Process
– Receive Visa Invitation
– Fill out Visa Online Application Form
– Print Visa Online Application form
– Go to VFS Center (Russian Consulate) with all required items
– Take a ticket, hand in documents, finger scans etc
– Wait 1 week for your Passport and Visa to arrive in post or pick up Passport and Visa at VFS Center.

Cost
– Visa Invitation from Friday Hostel: 14euro
– Visa Processing from VFS Center: £71.40
– Postage (optional) of Passport and Visa back to you: £7