This section provides answers to many of the frequently asked questions by clients about the visa application process.
- What is a Visa?
Visa is an authorisation issued by the representative of the Government of a country permitting a person, not resident in that country, to enter its boundaries.
- Who issues Visas for Russia in Finland?
In Finland, The Embassy of Russian Federation and its Consulates are representatives of the Russian Federation, who issue visas for their country.
- How do I know if I need a visa?
Depending on your purpose of travel and your nationality, please go to the link “Visa Types” to check whether you are eligible or require a visa.
- Is the visa valid for Russia only?
The Embassy of the Russian Federation issues visas for Russia only.
- Can the Russia Visa Application Centre prepare my application for me?
The Russia Visa Application Centre does not prepare visa applications, but accepts and processes applications in accordance with the Embassy’s instructions.
- How Do I apply for visa to Russia?
– Click ‘Types of Visas’. Confirm the visa type based on your reason for travel; do not make any confirmed bookings unless it is a mandatory requirement for the type of visa you are applying for.
– Complete your application online. Please note that handwritten forms will not be accepted at any of the Russian visa application centres. When the application has been completed online you must download and print all forms.
– Check fees payable, payment options and documents required. All such details can be found in the respective visa categories under the section ‘Types of Visas’. Please note that the processing of your application will start when the respective visa and service fees have been paid.
– Ensure photographs are strictly as per specifications.
– Check processing time to plan your travel accordingly.
– Submit your printed and signed application form with all the additional documents to any of the Russia Visa Application Centres in Finland. Make sure your application is complete. Incomplete applications cannot be accepted. Applications sent by post can not be accepter for processing.
- How early can I apply?
Applicants are free to apply up to 90 days prior to their date of travel. The Embassy recommends that you apply at least 3 weeks prior to your date of travel to accommodate any unforeseen processing delays.
- I don’t live in the Finland; can I apply for my Russia visa at the Russia Visa Application Centre in Finland?
The Russia Visa Application Centres in Finland is available to all residents of Finland. Depending on your nationality you can apply for Russia visa, if you are a visitor in Finland; however, processing time of your Russian visa application may vary. Please go to the link “Types of Visas” for more detailed information.
- How can I contact the Russia Visa Application Center?
You can contact the Russia Visa Application Centre via the helpline, by email or in person. Please see Contacts section of our website
- What are the hours of opening for submission at the Russia Visa Application Centre?
- Do I have to come personally or can I send the application to the Russia Visa Application Centre?
You can send an immediate family member or an authorized representative to submit and collect your visa application if you are unable to make it in person. A notarised authority letter or a proof of relationship (in case of a relative) will be required to allow your representative to submit/collect your visa application on your behalf. Please note that the applicant bears full responsibility for completeness of documents presented for visa application, their conformity to norms of the Russian legislation, fidelity of the data declared.
- What is the application procedure at the Russia Visa Application Centre? Which visa [category] should I apply for?
You can approach our submission counters when you visit our office. Our officers at the counter will collect your visa application form to check for completion and your photograph to see if it meets the required specifications. Your passport will be checked for validity, empty pages and previous travel information. Your fees will be collected in accordance with the visa category you have chosen and the documents you submit will be readied in the manner in which they are required by the Embassy. You will be issued a receipt for the fees paid and given an acknowledgement for the submission of your passport.
The Russia Visa Application Centre is an acceptance centre and, as such, is not authorised to advise/recommend any visa type to a prospective applicant. The Applicant will have to find out the visa category he/she is eligible for based on the purpose of travel. Please go to the link “Types of Visas” for more detailed information.
- What are the documents required for a Russia Visa?
After deciding on the eligible visa category, applicants can log on to the website for the Russia Visa Application Centre to check the recommended documents for the visa category they have chosen. Photocopies are recommended as documents will not be returned. Submit originals only where specified.
- What if I do not have all the documents?
If your application is not accompanied by the documents that are recommended by the Embassy, you will be asked if you wish to proceed with the application as it is, i.e. without all the recommended documents. Should you consent to this, your application will be registered in our system and accepted for visa application submission. Incomplete applications will lead to processing delays.
- What proof will I have that Russia Visa Application Centre has my visa application?
When your application is registered in our system, you will be issued a receipt for the fees you have paid
- Will the application centre give me acknowledgement of the documents that I have submitted?
The Russia Visa Application Centre will not issue any documents other than the receipts for fees collected.
- What are the applicable fees?
Every visa application needs to be accompanied by a visa fee for the amount applicable to your chosen visa category. This can be paid by debit or credit card or cash. Besides this, there is a service charge of Euro 28 (including VAT) applicable per application.
- Can I make a collective payment for the visa fees and logistic fees?
Yes, the Russia Visa Application Centre will accept collective fees made in person at the centre at the time of submission.
- What is procedure to get my passport back?
You will need to bring your receipt with you on the estimated visa issue date (informed to you while submitting your application) anytime between 09 to 16, Monday to Friday except declared holidays, to check for the status of your application.
- What if I cannot return to collect my passport in person?
In your absence, a third party can collect your passport with your receipt. In case the receipt is missing, an authority letter from you in the name of your relative or a third party will be required. We can post the application to you by Courier Delivery at an additional nominal cost. This service is restricted to Itella Posti Oy coverage in Finland only.
- Will I get my visa at the end of the process?
As an application centre, the Russia Visa Application Centre will not be able to guarantee you a visa. The issuance or refusal of a visa is the sole prerogative of The Embassy of the Russian Federation. The Russia Visa Application Centre cannot influence this decision in any way.
- Will my fees be refunded if my visa is refused?
All fees are non-refundable and will not be refunded if your visa application is not successful.
- Can I pay the visa fee by credit/debit card and what are the other modes of payment?
Yes, you can pay by credit / debit card and cash.
- How long will my application take to process?
Processing times vary from application to application and are at the sole discretion of the Russian Consulate. Processing times under normal circumstances are as follows:
Normal applications – 5 working days (excluding day of submission)
Urgent application – 3 working days (excluding day of submission).
- Where can I obtain information if I require a work permit for travelling to Russia for business purposes only?
Please visit the website of the Embassy of the Russian Federation at http://helsinki.mid.ru/.
- If I have received visas in the past, do I have to submit a full set of documents when applying for a new visa for another trip?
Yes. All applications for Russian visa require documents as specified by the Embassy of the Russian federation even if you are applying again.
- Are there any requirements for children applying for a visa to Russia?
Children under 14 travelling alone or whose visa applications are unaccompanied with their parents’ are required to submit following additional documents:
- Signed and dated permission letter (letter of consent) from one of the parents giving permission to the child to apply for a visa or explaining that the parent would be travelling with the child
- A copy parents’ passports (bio page and a page with the Russian visa).
- If the child’s and parent’s surnames do not match, we would also require a copy of the birth certificate or an extract from the population register to confirm that the permission letter has been provided by the biological parent/guardian.