Applying for a Russian visa

Visa application should  be submitted to the Russian visa centre either by appointment (booked on the website, by post ( or through a visa agency. You can apply for a visa at the Russian Visa Centre of Sydney if you reside in the following states: New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania which constitute consular district. Moreover, an applicant may also get a free e-visa for journey to the one of three particular regions of the Russian Federation - the Far-Eastern Federal District,  Kaliningrad Oblast, Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast ( Citizens of Australia can not be granted an e-visa at the moment.

The Consulate General does not accept visa applications by post but individual applicants have the possibility to submit visa application personally to the Consulate General and strictly by appointment which can be booked on the website Appointment availability is limited. It concerns mainly following applicants: holders of diplomatic or service passports, guests of diplomatic missions in Russia and other persons having invitation from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, participants of official events held in Russia, persons in case of an urgent need for travel to Russia due to death or serious illness of a close relative. The Consulate accepts documents only from applicants whose personal details were entered into the appointment system. In case of discrepancy of the information indicated in the system with the applicant’s personal data his/her documents will not be considered. One time slot booked in the system allows to submit only one visa application.

Before beginning the application process you need to determine the appropriate type of visa according to your purpose of travel. Incomplete set of documents is mailed back to the applicant without processing. Once submitted the application is not subject to any change. If applicant needs to make changes the application must be resubmitted. Visa processing fee payed by the applicant is not subject for reimbursement in any circumstances. Two valid visas in one passport and visa extensions are not possible.

The Consulate may request supplementary documents and information in regard to the application if it deems necessary and invite the applicant to be interviewed in person. The Consulate reserves the right in certain cases to extend visa application processing up to 20 business days. Therefore it is strongly recommended to apply beforehand.

Citizens of the Russian Federation regardless of any other citizenship must travel to Russia on valid Russian documents only (see "визы в случае наличия двух и более гражданств"). 



Visa section does not give information by phone. Please send urgent enquiries by e-mail to or Consulate may leave unanswered enquiries about acknowledging receipt/dispatch of documents, visa status and about information available on the website.


Receiving passport

The passport can be collected from the Visa centre or received by mail if you enclosed a self-addressed “express post” envelope.

Applicants are advised to verify dates and check whether names are spelt correctly on issued visas immediately after receiving their passports (see "how to read visa"). The Consulate will not be responsible for the mistakes which are not brought to its attention before your departure from Australia. 

Permission to enter Russia is a courtesy of state and the Consulate General can deny a visa if the applicant's entry to the Russian Federation is deemed undesirable. Disclosure of the reason for denial can be withheld.


Arriving to Russia

To enter the Russian Federation a foreign citizen must submit valid identity document, accepted as such by the Russian Federation, visa and migration card (see below). It is not possible to obtain a visa at the airport when entering Russia and extend visa while in Russia. Visa entitles its holder to travel to the Russian Federation but it does not guarantee entry. An immigration officer determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission into the Russian Federation. Therefore you should be able to present at the port of entry a copy of your invitation or visa support papers along with your passport and visa. 


Migration Card

In accordance with the Russian government decree no. 413 of 16.08.2004 “On migration card”) a foreign citizen is required to fill out a migration card when arriving to the Russian Federation and present it to the border control officer for stamping provided that the data on the card is in compliance with the owner’s passport data.

Migration card forms are distributed free of charge to foreign nationals on arrival to Russia by migration officers or representatives of transport companies.

A foreigner must carry the migration card during the whole period of stay in Russia and submit it along with other documents for migration registration at the place of residence. In case of damage or loss of the migration card foreign national national must notify a local office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation within three days. A gratis duplicate card is issued assuming travel documents used to enter Russia are presented.

When leaving Russia, a foreign citizen must submit the card to a migration officer at the Russian border checkpoint.


Residence Registration

Visitors staying in Russia more than seven business days must have a residence registration. If you stay at a hotel, registration must be done by the hotel management. If you stay in an apartment or private home, it should be done by the host at the Directorate for Migration Affairs or post office.


Bringing Medicine to Russia

Foreign citizens can bring medicine (even the kind not registered in Russia) for personal use with no limits as long as they do not contain highly potent, narcotic, psychoactive or poisonous substances. If your medication has such substances, but you need to take it with you, you have to provide a recipe or medical records proving the requirement, along with a certified translation into Russian. The Consulate does not notarize translation. These items need to be declared at customs.

Foreigners can leave Russia with all kinds of medicine (except narcotics), dietary supplement and herbs – these items have no restrictions.

Please read this memo about customs rules.


Crossing Russia-Belarus border

The Russia-Belarus land border does not have international checkpoints. It is forbidden to third-country nationals to cross this border by car, bus or train. Foreign citizens are allowed to travel between Russia and Belarus by air. Passengers flying to Belarus through Russian airports are required to have a Russian transit visa.


Visa in the cancelled passport

It is not allowed to enter Russia using a valid visa in the cancelled passport, even if carried with a new, valid passport. You need to transfer the visa to the new passport in the Consulate (for more information contact be email).


Tax Free Shopping in Russia

To be eligible for a value-added tax refund, you must be a citizen of a foreign country outside of the Eurasian Economic Union and purchase goods for over 10,000 roubles from a single retailer during one day at retailer locations approved by the Government of the Russian Federation. VAT refund is not applicable to excise goods, including alcohol and tobacco. To receive a refund, export your purchased goods through official international checkpoints of the Russian Federation. For more details, please contact tax free operators in Russia: HI.SKY (, Global Blue (, Premier Tax Free (

Tax liabilities

Fiscal avoidance by a foreign citizen during the stay in the Russian Federation results in refusal of entry to Russia. This rule applies also to cases of non-payment of customs charges and taxes before the due date including violation of terms of importing vehicles for personal use. The online service of the Federal Customs Service of Russia provides information on tax liabilities and travel ban decisions.


Foreign nationals may apply for e-visa for tourist or business purposes to certain regions of Russia on the website List of eligible countries and allowed ports of entry/exit can be checked on that website. E-visa is issued free of charge within 4 days and authorises to stay in Russia up to 8 days.