The time frame for obtaining a Russian visa vary according to the type of visa--transit, tourism, business--and the method you use to get the visa. To increase the chances of getting a visa for Russia, start the process as soon as travel dates are known; Russian visas require exact dates and locations of travel, so be prepared to provide specifics.
Knowing the type of visa needed will streamline the visa process; common types of Russian visas include transit visas, tourist visas (good for 30-day stays), and business visas (good for stays of up to three months).
To apply for a Russian visa, first obtain a visa support letter, also known as an invitation. These can be obtained from travel agencies around Russia, such as Visa to Russia (see Resources).
Once the letter of invitation has been obtained, apply for a visa at a nearby Russian consulate; find consulate locations online at the Russian Federation's Consulate Locator (see Resources).
Another option is the full visa services of an agency like Visa to Russia, which can provide support and help with the application process, thereby minimizing the chance of mistakes and shortening the time frame.
The cost of a Russian visa varies based upon the mode of application. If time is an issue, many agencies will provide rush service for a larger fee than for standard service.
Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.