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How to read a Russian visa

It is important that you check the information on the visa when you receive it as errors or omissions can not be corrected in Russia.

The visas are not difficult to read when you know where to look and this brief guide will provide you with the essential information on what is where.

Always please check the dates that the visa is valid for as Russian visas are issued for the specific dates that you request and do not cover a standard "travel window" like many other visas you may have had previously.

Which type of visa do you have?

There are two main formats of visa being issued by Russian consulates at the moment (in addition to the rare separate paper version) and they will appear as a sticker placed into one of the blank pages in your passport. Please note, the page must be absolutely clean with no other visas, stamps or marks for the consulate to be able to use it.

In the UK, Europe, North America and Australia as well as many Asian counties you will find the new style visa pale pink visa with a hologram impress. Click here for details on how to read this type of visa.
In more "remote" consulates you will find the older brown version without the hologram impress. Click here for details on how to read this type of visa.

All of the headings on the visa are both in Russian and English, so reading the validity period, section 4, should present no problem. However, information such as the type of visa and number of entries is in Russian only. This brief guide will help you confirm the details are correct.

A typical russian visa

Section 1 — ENTRIES

The number of times that you can enter and exit the Russian Federation using this visa within its validity period.

Single entry / exit
Double entry / exit
Multiple entry / exit

Section 2 — DATE OF ISSUE

The date on which the visa was issued by the consulate, this is in dd.mm.yy format.

Section 3 — NATIONALITY

Your nationality, if you are British it will read:

Section 4 — VALIDITY PERIOD

Shows the dates that the visa is valid from and until in dd.mm.yy format.

Section 5 — TYPE

The consulate type code of the visa.

Section 6 — SURNAME, GIVEN NAMES

Your name, first in Russian and then in English. If you wonder at the surprising way that Russians who check your visa may pronounce your name, look in the bottom left corner of the visa and you will see your name translated back from Cyrillic to Latin characters!

Section 7 — DATE OF BIRTH

Your date of birth in dd.mm.yyyy format.

Section 8 — SEX

Your gender which will be either:

Male
Female

Section 9 — PASSPORT NUMBER

The passport number that this visa applies to, that is, your passport number.

Section 10 — VISA ID

Consulate coding showing who and where the visa was issued.

Section 11 — INVITATION No

If you have a business visa then this will relate to the invitation that was generated in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, otherwise it will be empty.

Section 12 — PURPOSE OF ENTRY

Depending on the type of visa, this will read either:

Tourism
Business
Commercial
Private

Section 13 — INVITED BY, REFERENCE AND GROUP No

The name of the accredited organisation that sponsor your visa, in most cases Real Russia visas will read:

or

and be followed by a series of numbers.

Section 14 — ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Any additional information that you may have provided to the consulate or that they wish to place on your visa. This will be specific to you.

Can you tell me more?

If you still have more questions please feel free to look at our Frequently Asked Questions, or, contact us directly and we'd be delighted to help.


All of the headings on the visa are both in Russian and English, so reading the validity period should present no problem. However, information such as the type of visa and number of entries is in Russian only. This brief guide will help you confirm the details are correct.


ENTRIES

The number of times that you can enter and exit the Russian Federation using this visa within its validity period.

Single entry / exit — a "1" will be shown in the line
Double entry / exit — a "2" will be shown in the line
Multiple entry / exit — an "M" will be shown in the line

DATE OF ISSUE

The date on which the visa was issued by the consulate, this is in dd.mm.yy format.

VALIDITY PERIOD

Shows the dates that the visa is valid from and until in dd.mm.yy format.

VALIDITY DAYS

The number of days that the visa is valid for within the validity period.

NATIONALITY

Your nationality, if you are British it will read:

VISA ID

Consulate coding showing who and where the visa was issued.

FAMILY NAME (SURNAME), GIVEN NAME(S)

Your name, first in Russian and then in English. If you wonder at the surprising way that Russians who check your visa may pronounce your name, look in the bottom left corner of the visa and you will see your name translated back from Cyrillic to Latin characters!

PASSPORT NUMBER

The passport number that this visa applies to, that is, your passport number.

BIRTHDAY

Your date of birth in dd.mm.yyyy format.

SEX

Your gender which will be either:

Male
Female

INVITATION NUMBER

If you have a business visa then this will relate to the invitation that was generated in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, otherwise it will be empty.

PURPOSE OF ENTRY

Depending on the type of visa, this will read either:

Tourism
Business
Commercial
Private

INVITED BY

The name of the accredited organisation that sponsor your visa, in most cases Real Russia visas will read:

or

and be followed by a series of numbers.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Any additional information that you may have provided to the consulate or that they wish to place on your visa. This will be specific to you. For multiple entry visas as of 04.10.2007 this section will include the following inscription which means that you are restricted to only stay in Russia for a maximum of 90 days during a 180 day period.

PHOTO SECTION

The box on the left may, in future, be used to display the photograph provided as part of the visa application, but at the moment simply says ‘valid without a photograph’ as the photo will instead come up on the border control system as you enter the country.

Can you tell me more?

If you still have more questions please feel free to look at our Frequently Asked Questions, or, contact us directly and we'd be delighted to help.

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