Can you buy a Russian visa at the airport and how much does it cost

edited May 2009 in - Eastern Europe
I am flying to St Petersburg and wonder if it is possible to buy my visa at the airport
what is the cheapest method? On line or post


  • edited 12:20PM
    I live in Moscow but when we have friends coming over from th UK we use you just e-mail all your details and they do everything else
  • edited 12:20PM
    NO !

    It takes several days to get a visa and it is complicated; best use an agency in your country; check the consulate Web site - they recommend agencies. With agencies it is even more expensive but at least you get the visa. Do NOT play against the (obscure, complicated and constantly changing) rules. Overstay one (1) day and you are no longer allowed to leave on this visa.
  • edited 12:20PM

    Russian visa cannot be obtained at the airport! It is somewhat compicated to get it. You can do it yourself, but I recommend to use travel agency. You can visit this website: it talks in details about Russian visas and its procedures. The budget option for US citizens is $189 and takes 6 business days.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • edited 12:20PM
    No, most certainly not. Unless you're from one of the CIS countries, you'll absolutely need to secure a visa before you leave for Russia. This process can often take up to 25 days, so do start the process well in advance. You'll need a sponsor to offer you a letter of invitation to Russia, a document which can pretty much be obtained from certain travel and tour operators for a set fee. For more information, and a sample of the application form, read the Expat Arrivals Russian Visas page.
  • edited 12:20PM
    To apply for a visa takes time. It must be done via an online system and it's almost certain that something is there that doesn't satisfy them. I found the best to get a Russian visa is to use a Handling Service. Up here in Edinburgh/Scotland I took RuVisa - they're also down in London though according to my knowledge. Try: There are others who do the same but they were very friendly.
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