Since my Schengen visa is just 50 days and I want to explore more, I am planning to take a stop over in Russia on my way back from Slovenia.
With limited time before my Euro trip starts, I had to figure out an easy and fast way to get Russian visa for Indian citizens, without any agents involved.
After little online research and making a few phone calls to IFS Delhi, I had the procedure down to the T. Within 4 working days, I had my visa to Russia from India in my hands – aka today. This includes time of submission and collecting documents – yes, its THAT simple, fast and super easy.
Since I applied, all my friends have been messaging me to ask how I procured a Russian visa for Indians. It’s dead simple, guys and there is no real rocket science to it. Especially in the wake of world cup 2018, I was doubtful of the fast visa processing time but the embassy was prompt and very accurately informed me I would get my visa on xx day and I did!
I have never seen such an organized visa process. I was truly impressed which also tempted me to write this post to help fellow Indians who want to visit Russia.
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How to Get Russian Visa for Indians?
Getting a Russian tourist visa in India is an uncomplicated process. Their are several myths doing the rounds like you need an “original” invitation couriered from Russia or confirmed reservations – It’s all wrong. This was the easiest visa I have ever gotten – hand’s down!!
Okay so here’s the step by step DIY process –
1. As soon as you have your final plan and dates, first step is to get a invitation from Russia. This has to be written in Russian. You can get it for free from the hotel you have booked but fret not if you don’t have any reservations or friends/family in Russia, you can still get the invitation by paying just $19.99 online. Click here for website or scroll down for exact process.
2. Got your invitation? Awesome! That’s pretty much all you need. NO flight tickets, hotel reservations, bank/ITR statements are required. The next step is to fill out the visa form online and print it. Click here for official site for Russian visa form for Indians. This will take around 10 mins. Next, attach one 35 x 45 mm white background passport size photo and sign the form.
3. Take a photocopy of your passport front and back page on a single A4 size page. That’s it! You are good to go.
These are the ONLY 3 documents you need to get a Russian visa for Indian citizens. How easy and hassle free is this? Coming from a country with a weak passport and knowing all the documentation I had to provide for my Schengen visa via Germany (A lotttt!!!), this was a cake walk.
4. Submit these 3 documents at IFS. If you go as soon as they open at 9 am, you don’t need any prior appointment. I went without an appointment and I had to wait just 15 mins, that too since I arrived a little late around 1020 am.
Let me add if I had tried to get an appointment, this process would take over a week due to the 2018 world cup rush going on right now for Russian visas. Thankfully the lovely staff of IFS guided me well on the phone and informed me I don’t have to wait several days and get a prior appointment. Just come early, submit and go.
IFS Delhi is located at – 809-810, 8th Floor Ashoka Estate, 24 Barakhamba Road, New Delhi and you can call their super helpful staff anytime for any queries at – 011 2376 2555.
Fees for Russian Visa for Indians at IFS
For rush visas (3 working days), cost is Rs 1300 + IFS fee of Rs 1180.
For normal visa (4 working days), cost is Rs 2600 plus IFS fee of Rs 1180.
I found that one day won’t make any difference so I opted for normal visa. I was given an exact date and time slot to collect my passport.
Tips for Russian visa procurement process
Russian visa requirements for Indians are not as complicated as many fear. As you read above, this is by far one of the easiest visas to get for Indians. Just those 3 documents are you are all set to explore this awesome country. Of course needless to say your passport must have minimum 2 blank pages and 6 months validity when you submit it for the visa stamp.
How to get Russian visa invitation letter in 4 hours
Okay so here’s the deal. I used RussianVisaHelp.com and paid $19.99 for this service.
All you need is your travel dates, names of cities you plan to stay in, passport copy scan and email it to – firstname.lastname@example.org . Within few minutes you will get a response with a payment link. Once paid, you will receive your Russian visa invitation letter which you simply need to print out to submit with your application.
Remember – its your #1 document and you DON’T need to show flight tickets, itinerary or hotel bookings.
Another way to get a Russian visa invitation through an extremely reputable source is using iVisa. Their reputed , expedited visa invitation service for Russia guarantees a 15 mins turn around time for $30.
How to Fill Russian Visa Application Form
This might seem daunting but its actually really simple 10 mins process. You will be given an application id – I would recommend saving it and to save each page as you fill out the form. Its a few pages long and if you anticipate an interruption in your internet connection, it can easily be retrieved on the same site – – using the application id and you can continue where you left off.
In the form, you will be asked to fill out details of the Russian travel agency who is inviting you and the confirmation number etc. All this information will be in your invitation letter.
Another column is travel insurance. It is not mandatory to have travel insurance while filling out the visa form (or later). However, at just rs 30 a day (I booked Religare), it is totally worth the peace of mind it offers. So, incase you don’t have insurance you can select “No” in the form. If you do, select “Yes” and add policy number and name of insurance company.
Other information is pretty basic and needs no hand holding.
So, this was the entire process and FAQ’s for DIY Russian Visa for Indians! Do you have one already? Was the process as smooth for you? Tell me your Russian visa stories in comments below.