Please note: this is a generic guide.  We recommend that you check the requirements and processes for your personal circumstances as specific details can vary between different embassies. 

We recommend that you apply in good time as there can be delays with processing. Below is a generic step-by-step guide, please check with your relevant embassy/consulate on the exact requirements for your nationality and be aware that you may be required to submit your application in person with biometric data. You will need to have a passport valid for 6 months after the trip and with at least 2 blank pages (they do not need to be consecutive). Tourist visas are usually valid for up to 30 days, if you are staying in Russia for longer than this (for example on the Trans-Siberian train), you may need to consider a business visa. There are agencies who offer to assist you in applying for a Russian visa – this is usually unnecessary (and a considerable extra cost) as you will still need to attend in person to provide biometric data. In the UK, all Russian visa applications are processed by VFS Global on behalf of the embassy.

Applying for a Russian tourist visa involves 2 steps:

1) Apply for your Tourist Visa Support
2) Apply for your Visa

Select a tab below for more information.


  • Apply for your Tourist Visa Support (we recommend VisaMachine or RealRussia)
  • As Secret Compass are not a Russian company, we cannot supply this
  • The form must match the passport details that you will be travelling on
  • Put your route as Moscow-Salekhard-Moscow
  • For a Moscow hotel choose ‘Domodedovo Airhotel’
  • For a Salekhard hotel choose ‘Hotel Arctica’
  • If necessary put that you will stay the whole duration in the hotels mentioned above
  • Submit the form and supporting documents

The turnaround for Visa Support is normally 2-5 working days


If you prefer, you can ask the same agency to apply for a visa on your behalf (unless you need to submit biometric data in which case you will need to visit an embassy). There will be a fee associated with this but it may save you time.

  • You need to apply for a Tourist visa
  • Fill in the Visa Application. Ensure the information matches your passport and Visa Support form
  • Attach required passport photos
  • You may be required to provide details of your medical insurance cover during your time in Russia
  • If you are self-employed you may be required to submit bank statements
  • Make an appointment or post the form to your chosen embassy/consulate (not always an option)
  • The turnaround time for processing visa applications can vary but is usually a minimum of 12 working days
  • During busy periods, embassies may restrict application submissions to 90 days before your planned departure

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