Russia Visa Requirements

Bureaucracy can make getting a Russian visa a more complex process than it ought to be

Whether it’s the vast amount of money floating around in the economy, or the incredible air of alluring mystique that the largest country in the world holds, there’s no denying Russia is a hugely desirable destination for expats.

However some things never change, and bureaucratic entry requirements can still be reminiscent of the years of Soviet isolation. To make things that bit easier we look at health standards and formalities you’ll need in order to get a Russian visa.

HIV test

Anyone looking to go the country for more than three months will need to undergo an HIV test. This is most commonly done through taking a blood sample, which will then be sent away to a laboratory for examination. Results should only take up to a few days, although it could be matter of weeks in some countries. Assuming your result comes back negative, you should request a certificate to prove this is the case.

Although a positive test won’t necessarily mean automatic refusal, it’s likely to make the process that bit more complicated. It’s also important to note that the certificate should be acquired no more than 3 months before it’s presented to the Russian consulate.

Health insurance

Some Russian consular departments request proof of appropriate health insurance that covers the length of your stay in the country. Although this can vary between different offices and might not be a requirement for some, it’s advisable on a personal level thanks to often shocking gaps in Russian health and safety standards.

However, if for whatever reason you would rather not be covered, it’s a good idea to phone up your nearest consulate to check.

Certain countries for which health insurance is always obligatory, thanks to reciprocity of their own standards are Estonia, Israel, Finland, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

Overall health requirements for Russian visas aren’t overwhelmingly stringent. It’s more  the process of dealing with consulates for the country rather than their entry criteria that give visa applications for Russia a bad name.

Should you require more information on visa types, please refer to a visa guide for Russia.

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