The Russian business Visa allows you to stay in Russian territory for a designated time with the possibility of multiple entrances. This visa is specially granted for commercial purposes, for example, formalization of contracts, foreign technology maintenance service, participation in conferences. This is the complete list of commercial activities American citizens are allowed to do in Russian territory.
- Meeting partners or conducting negotiations with them.
- Prolongation or conclusion of negotiations.
- Carry out market research.
- Participation in auctions, exhibitions, and other similar events.
- Installation, maintenance, or repair of machinery imported to Russia.
How to apply for a Business Visa to Russia?
A Russian business Visa can be obtained from a Russian consular delegation. To do this, you have to fill out an application form, pay the consular fee, and present an invitation received from Russia. If the visa applicant is a citizen of a country at risk of migration, the consulate may require a letter of guarantee from the entity that issued the invitation.
The business Visa to Russia for USA citizens can be:
- Single-entry: With which, during the entire period of validity, you can only enter Russia once.
- Double-entry: With which the foreigner can enter Russia, leave and enter again.
- multiple-entry: Which allows you to enter Russia an unlimited number of times during the period of validity of the visa.
The validity period of the trade Visa can be:
- Business visa to Russia for one month: 30 days (single or double-entry visa).
- Business visa to Russia for 3 months: 90 days (single, double, or multiple-entry).
- Business visa to Russia for half a year: 80 days (multiple-entry).
- Business visa to Russia for one year: 365 days (multiple-entry).
- 3-year business visa to Russia (multiple-entry, only for US and EU citizens).
According to the regulations, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the expiration date of the Russian visa. For this reason, the visa can be granted, for example, for 5 months instead of 6, if at the time of delivery of the visa there are 11 months before your passport expires. Also, know that, for every 180 days, foreigners who have a business visa cannot be in the territory of Russia for more than 90 days.
If the term and conditions of validity of the visa are not convenient for you for some reason, you can familiarize yourself with the other types of visas.
How to extend the business Visa?
Extending a business visa is not possible. Even so, in some exceptional cases, it is possible to extend it, for example, if the citizen needs urgent medical treatment or in other circumstances of force majeure.
Common purposes of a business trip to Russia
The purposes of visiting Russia with a business Visa can be very diverse. American citizens who have received a business visa can enter the territory for the following purposes:
- Business (expansion of business contacts, conducting a study of the market for goods and services, participation in negotiations).
- Commerce (extension of contracts, formalization of agreements or contracts, visit exhibitions and auctions).
- For maintenance (carry out maintenance of imported machinery or provide advisory services for its assembly and repair).
- As a member of a crew (rail transport, river or sea vessels, flights).
- As a driver for the transport of passengers or goods.
- As an inspector (to control the purchase, sale, and receipt of machinery, materials, or raw materials).
- As a member of the family that accompanies the citizen who has the business visa (valid for minors).
Business invitation to Russia
To obtain the business visa, an invitation to Russia will be required, which can only be processed by a legal person that is registered in the territory of Russia and has an accreditation by the Department of Consular Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DKS MID ) or by the Federal Migration Service (UFMS).
This invitation can be delivered in the following formats:
- A form by the UFMS.
The Federal Migration Service UFMS issues a business invitation in a form based on the application and the documents delivered by a representative of the inviting organization. When the organization requesting the invitation receives the business invitation, it must send the original to the invited foreign national by express mail (DHL, EMS, and others). In some consulates, a visa can be obtained with a copy of the invitation, but consulate employees have the right to demand the original.
It gives the right to be in Russia for a period that can be from one month to 1 year. This invitation is prepared within 6 to 12 business days for countries without migration risk and 30 calendar days for countries with migration risk. The UFMS invitation must always be presented in original at the Russian consulate, And it is essential to send it by post.
A business invitation delivered on a UFMS form contains the following information:
- American passport data.
- Purpose and specific timelines of your trip to Russia.
- Information about the organization that invites you.
- Cities that the foreign citizen plans to visit (up to 5 names).
- Individual invitation number and date of issue of the same.
- Printed number.
- Signature of an official and stamp of the Federal Migration Service office.
Before delivering the invitation, it is checked, in the foreign citizen’s data, if he has received any administrative sanctions or convictions or if he has been deported from Russia in his previous visits to the country. If such circumstances are discovered, the invitation will be denied in an official document stating the reasons for the denial.
Only a legal person accredited by the UFMS can send the invitation directly to the foreign citizen. This type of invitation is delivered on a form from the inviting organization and constitutes a visa application at the Russian consular office. This mode of delivery of invitations is stipulated only for citizens of those states for which the Russian Federation establishes a simplified visa delivery system (these are the US and EU countries).
The invitation is usually ready in one business day. Also, the price is not very high. But in many countries (except developed ones), it is mandatory to present the original of this invitation letter, therefore it is essential to send it by post. This invitation can give the right to stay in Russia from 1 month to 3 years (only for EU citizens, except for Great Britain and Denmark).
Once this invitation letter is presented at the consular delegation, it will take at least 10-12 days before the visa is delivered. This period is justified by the checks carried out on the existence of fines, trials, or deportations of the foreign citizen, and also the checks on the inviting organization.
Why use Telex or the UFMS invitation when you can get an invitation from a company?
The indication of Telex of the Russian MID in the consular delegation is carried on through an internal communication channel. In this case, the foreigner does not need a paper invitation. You are only provided with the number of the invitation and the inviting organization, and you must indicate them on the visa application form. Delivery times are between 6 and 13 business days. Telex invitations can be purchased.
If you want to make a business invitation, the following documents will be necessary:
- Complete invitation issuance request.
- Copy of the foreign passport.
- Copy of your last visa to Russia (if one exists).
If the foreigner plans to obtain a visa in a country of which he does not have a nationality, it will be necessary to present a copy of his residence permit in that country.
If an invitation is to be made for a foreigner who will be accompanied by a minor child, a copy of their birth certificate must be presented.
Do I need a visa for my child?
In most cases, a child can get an ‘accompanying family member’ visa based on a parent’s business visa.
Please review the following information on taking a child to Russia:
There is no need to apply for a child’s visa as long as they are included in one of their parent’s passport. In this case, they will only have to obtain a visa support document.
If a child has a separate passport, then they will need to obtain a separate visa as well.
Please consider: Children applying for a Russian visa may need to provide additional documents with their application depending on who they are submitting their application with or/and who they will be traveling to Russia with.
When a child is applying together with parent(s) of the same surname, no additional documents are.
When a child is applying together with parent(s) of a different surname, a copy of the child’s birth certificate needs to be presented. In the event where, for example, a child is traveling with their mother whose surname in her current passport is her actual married name and the child bears the surname of her ex-partner, then a copy of the mother’s marriage and divorce certificate has to be provided. Generally speaking, a connection between a child’s and parent’s surname, if different, will always need to be proved.
When a child is traveling to Russia either alone or with somebody else who is not their parent; the additional documents will need to include a copy of one of their parent’s passports and a signed copy of a parental consent letter.
Please note: If the child travels with their parent or somebody else but is applying for their visa separately, then a copy of parent’s/that person’s passport along with a copy of their valid Russian visa has to be supplied too.
Birth, marriage, or divorce certificate and a parental consent letter do not need to be notarized, apostilled, or witnessed by a solicitor and you should not send the originals unless you are specifically asked to do so.
If the child cannot sign the application form themselves, then the parent should sign it on their behalf and note this under the signature, e.g. Mother/Father.
Can I use a business visa for non-business purposes?
The purpose of the visit requested for your visa should generally correspond with your initial visit intentions. The purpose of the visit will be written on the visa support documents and encoded into your visa. However, this does not restrict you to that purpose and you can also use a business visa to visit family or friends. If you are only considering a single trip of up to 30 days within a twelve-month period, you should consider a business visa.
If you use a business visa for private purposes, it is advisable to say at the border and inside Russia that you are traveling for business purposes, otherwise, you can be fined.