While setting up a recent trip to Moscow, we discovered that applying for a visa is no easy feat. So, in an effort to make your life a little easier (if not our own), here’s a simple step-by-step guide to applying for a Russian tourist visa from the UK… Hey, every little helps right?
Step 1: Gird your loins, there’s a lot of paperwork to fill out.
Step 2: Request a ‘Confirmation of tourist acceptance’ from your hotel. You’ll need to contact them directly and give your date of entry and exit from the country, passport details and purpose of trip.
Step 3: Click here and complete the steps as required. You’ll need about 45 minutes to complete the form, as well as a variety of info to hand, including passport information (including that of your children if you have any – even if they’re not travelling with you), name and address of your hotel and a detailed breakdown of where you’ve travelled during the past ten years (!), when and for what reason.
Step 4: Collect physical copies of your tourist acceptance invitation, completed visa application form, passport-sized photos, passport (which must be valid for at least six months after visa expiration date), three-months’ bank statement signed by the bank if you’re freelance, and payment for your fee (£108 for me).
Step 5: Take all of that to one of the approved visa application centres in the UK. Go through a quick security check and hopefully a short wait and then hand over all the info to a clerk. You’ll then need to go through a biometric process.
Step 6: Depending on the delivery service you request, take your receipt (don’t lose it!) back to the visa centre or ask a friend (in my case, my lovely sister-in-law) and collect your passport and paperwork.
Step 7: Go to Russia. Have a great time. Don’t drink too much vodka!