How To Apply for Russian Tourist Visa in the Philippines
By DAN FORTEZA
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You should totally go to Russia! Yes, you! See the beautiful Red Square perhaps, explore the downtown Moscow City, or even drink some cold bottles of vodka. I mean why not? Getting a Russian Tourist Visa is not that hard to get, in fact, it is the easiest tourist visa I have applied for.
LIST OF REQUIREMENTS FOR RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA
For us Philippine passport holders, application for Russian tourist VISA application requires only five (5) documents:
A. DULY ACCOMPLISHED VISA APPLICATION FORM
B. VALID PASSPORT
C. ONE PASSPORT-SIZED PHOTO
D. TRAVEL VOUCHER / CONFIRMATION
E. CONFIRMED FLIGHT TICKETS
This is the shortest list of requirements I’ve ever seen in my entire life!
Although they require the silly ticket reservations, kudos for not requiring the Certificate of Employee, Bank Certificate, Income Tax Return, detailed itinerary..and the list goes on and on. That’s a relief to most of us.
But before I give you the details on how to apply, I’d like to start off by saying that no one can give you the guarantee of your Russian tourist visa’s approval – not me, not even a lawyer or a travel agent. If anyone does, is most likely a scammer!
As a travel blogger, what I can offer you here is just a guide with helpful tips to increase your chances of getting that Russian tourist visa.
So let’s get started.
GET YOUR RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA IN 4 EASY STEPS!
STEP 1: PREPARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED
Now that we know the required documents, let’s break them down.
A. Visa Application Form – Go to this link to start your application. Make sure you read all the instructions before proceeding. Fill up the form completely ONLINE. You basically need to fill up your visa details, personal details, passport details, visit details, and your appointment details. When you get to the Visit Details page, you will need to provide the confirmation number on your Travel Voucher/Confirmation. More details on how to get your voucher on section D.
Note: Even your application form is not yet finished, you can save it and retrieve when you’re ready to edit again. Just make sure you save your Application ID code.
B. Valid Passport – This is an easy one. Just make sure your passport is valid not less than six months from the date of your departure from Russia.
C. One Passport Sized Photo – This is an easy one, too. This photo will be glued on your printed application form.
D. Travel Voucher / Confirmation – Now, this is probably the trickiest one.
What exactly is a Travel Voucher/Confirmation? This is probably the trickiest item in the list so I look for further explanation on some travel blogs and travel forums around. In simple terms I can put it, this is just a certificate being requested from a certified Russian travel agency in partnership with hotels or any lodging accommodation. It contains the dates of your arrival and departure in Russia, your hotel name and address as well as your personal information.
There are a couple of Russian travel agencies or websites which do offer this and you’ll find them over the web. During my application, I tried one at www.moscow-hotels.net. Good news is it’s FOR FREE! Provided that you’ll either book hotel accommodations at their website (*which I find very expensive by the way*) or at booking.com using only the link from their site. By using the link, the moscow-hotels receives a small commission from Booking.Com due to referrals. I do prefer using booking.com link because I can find a lot of cheaper accommodation there.
Go to this link to get to the page on the snapshot below (please read the full instruction in their page). Just click that circled link and it will lead you to Booking.com. From there, book your hotel/hostel accommodation and pay it in full.
Yes, you have to pay it in FULL, otherwise your voucher will not be processed. After booking your accommodation on Booking.com, you will receive a confirmation email with a booking number. And so by following the next step, you just need to provide your personal and travel information including the booking number to complete your visa support request from Moscow-Hostels.
I submitted my voucher request at 1:00 PM then at around 9:00 PM on the same day, I got an email with my travel voucher attached. Woo hoo!!
E. Flight Tickets– Yes, this should be booked prior to your application. The dates (arrival and departure) here should be the same as in the confirmation and application form. This will also be the date of validity on your visa if approved. (You may search Kayak below to find the cheapest flight in and out of Russia.)
STEP 2: SUBMIT THE ABOVE-MENTIONED DOCUMENTS TO THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY
Please print the documents and head to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Philippines to submit your Russian tourist visa application.
Where: Room 402 A, 4 fl., RCI Building, 105 Rada Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City.
Working hours: Monday – 08:00 AM – 5:00, Tuesday, and Friday – 08:00AM – 4:00PM
Take note: The application typically opens at 10:00AM until 1:00PM. So please get there in the morning. Get there as EARLY as 6:30AM if you want to be the first in line. It is a ‘first-log-in, first served’ basis.
STEP 3: PAY FOR THE VISA FEE
Once done submitting, you’ll be given a deposit slip to be paid at UCPB. The Embassy does not accept cash. The nearest UCPB branch is Herrera branch shown below.
Regular processing fee costs PhP3,612.00 in two weeks time to claim.
Once payment is done, you need to come back to the Embassy to get your Claim Slip.
STEP 4: WAIT. RETURN. CLAIM YOUR PASSPORT/VISA
Typically, the Embassy will schedule you to come back in 2 weeks time after your application. The Embassy will give you a claim slip when you finished the application process.
My PAID Claim Slip is shown below.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE:
I must say that reading blogs really helped a lot from the very start of my application. After getting all my document ready and printed, time to head to the Embassy! I was guided by the blogs that I need to go the Russian Embassy Consular Office EARLY in order to log on to the applicants’ list as it is a ‘first log, first serve’ basis.
By the way, do not be confused with the Russian Embassy Main Office at Dasmariñas Village, Makati. All visa application shall be made at 4th Fl., RCI bldg. in Rada St, Legaspi Village, Makati – the Consular Section is located here. So I walked about 15 minutes from Ayala MRT station to the location. Google map is always a friend you can depend on!
I arrived at the Russian Embassy Consular Office at around 6:30AM and I am the second person to log. The Office opens at 10:00AM, so imagine how much time you need to wait. Patience is the key! You can tambay muna sa 7-11 store (back of the RCI building) if you want.
At about 9:15am, we were told by the guard to proceed to the 4th floor and wait. The waiting room is small with about 15 seats only. But it was not that crowded, see photo below. The time the window opens at 10:25 AM, the guard orderly organized the queue. Releasing first then Application next.
When it was my turn, I just handed over my documents to the Consular officer at the transaction window. He checks them then asks me if ‘Regular’ or ‘Fast’. ‘Regular’ processing costs P3,612.00 in two weeks time to claim. I choose ‘Regular ‘ and he gives me the claim stub that needs to be paid to the UCBP bank – the Herrera branch which is a few blocks away . Once paid, I returned to the Consular office and show the ‘paid’ stamped slip. The slip is yours for claiming so keep it! Finally, I was done at around 11:30AM.
Moreover, I was told by one applicant there (I think she works in a tour agency since she has these tons of passports and other documents with her) that Releasing is only done in the morning and so is the Application. The Consular office is closed normally in the afternoon, she added. Again, important to take note of: the Consular office is only open M-Tu-F as they have different working days!
Then after two weeks…
I returned to the Embassy. Same process as before: RELEASING process first then APPLICATION process next. I patiently waited till my passport is handed over to me. When my name was called, the Consular guy happily gave me my passport with an APPROVED VISA!
Woo hoo! Again, I believe as long as you have completed the requirements, you have a big chance of approval!
Visa Type: Tourist Visa
Visa Validity: Per confirmed travel dates and flight tickets
Entry type: Single Entry
Visa Fee: PhP3,612.00 (Regular Processing)
RECOMMENDED PACKAGE TOURS
In case you’re also looking for package tours to justify your tourism activity in Russia for either visa purposes or simply jumpstarting your actual itinerary, I highly recommend booking tours through Viator which is perfect for your Russian itinerary. See tours and packages I personally handpicked for you:
- Small-Group Moscow City Walking Tour
- City Sightseeing Moscow Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with Optional Cruise
- Moscow Metro Tour
- Moscow Private 2-Day Tour
- ALL-INCLUSIVE: Full-Day Tour of St Petersburg
- St. Petersburg Shore Excursion: Small-Group 2-Day Visa-Free Tour Including Boat Ride
(you may choose one or more tours that suit your travel needs)
- Hotel / Hostel
- Moscow-hotels.net via Booking.com. Use the link I shared above to book your hostel.
- KAYAK. All of my flight bookings are all from KAYAK. Kayak is one of the world’s leading travel search engines and searches hundreds of travel sites.
I suggest you check Kayak (click HERE) as they usually offer cheap fare rates compared to other booking sites.
- Travel Insurance
- World Nomads. If you don’t have travel insurance when times get tough, basically you are screwed. Traveling always comes with inherent risks attached. Whether you are trekking in the Ural mountains or wandering the streets of Moscow, unforeseen events can suddenly upend your world. Generally speaking, travel insurance covers you for the following: Medical Costs – hospital visits, emergencies, evacuations; Property Loss – luggage and their contents; Travel Issues – accommodation and transportation expenses. Thus, I highly recommend you guys getting a travel insurance. I bought one from the World Nomads (available in 130+ countries) where most travelers get their travel insurances.
Go to this link to get to your World Nomads travel insurance.
This Post Has 19 Comments
Hi good morning Dan
I’m so happy that I found your blog. At list I am enlighten how to process mine. Just a few questions Dan.
Yun plane ticket ba dapat confirmed di pwede dummy?
Yun sa booking. Com Doon sa link? May order visa which one to click first? Yun may naka lagay na link oh Yun visa order?
Iam planning to stay safe Moscow 4 days and 3 days sa st Petersburg. So dalawang booking yun. Dapat ilagay ko ba lahat?
Dyan Lang ako nalilito. I hope u can help me Dan.
No worries, I am here to help as much as I can.
1. Yes, it should be confirmed. The dates in your plane tickets will also be the valid entry dates on your visa. If you can find a dummy ticket that can hold for more than 2 weeks validity (kasi 2 weeks ang processing ng visa), it will work but hmm, more than 2 week holding validity is hard to find. I suggest you purchase one. From what I’ve heard, as long as you fulfilled the requirements, there is almost no reason to reject you.
2. Not sure what you meant on your second question. The booking dot com link is from Moscow Hotels website, please don’t use any other link. Moscow Hotels gets a small commission from the booking dot com link. Once you booked from that link, you will get an email with booking number to continue your visa support application from Moscow Hotels. You just really need to follow the guidelines here: http://www.moscow-hotels.net/russian-visa/free-visa-support-documents/
3. I think you need to book it separately, provided you always use the booking dot com link from Moscow Hotels. I am not sure because I have not experienced it booking separately. But I suggest you book it as one (e.g. in Moscow only) so less hassle in visa support application, just find the cheapest booking dot com hostel you can find. Then once you have your visa, just book a new hostel for St Petersburg with whatever booking website you want.
hello sir dan pwed po bang makahinge ng link ng pag aapply ng tourist visa sa russia thank you po
Sorry po. Di ko nagets yung questions ninyo. If you’re asking for the link to the Russian Visa Application Form, yun po yung nakablue text, may corresponding link po yun, just click on that. Thanks!
How to get invitation letter
Hi Ms. Banayo, if you are referring to Travel voucher / confirmation, you can get them at http://www.moscow-hotels.net/russian-visa/free-visa-support-documents/. Feel free to read my blog thoroughly to follow instructions on how to get it.
Sir dan good morning ask ko lang po ngaun ko lang napansin ung sa invitation nkalagay dun sa application romanian -travel ang pangalan pla eh romantic-travel panu po un nasubmit & save ko na po d n po ba mababago un
Basically, it’s a typo error on your application form. But I am hoping the one indicated on your travel confirmation/ voucher is correct? I’m not sure how does the Embassy view that. For me it’s just a typo error and not really a big deal for rejection.
Did you just save it and not yet submit? If you just saved it you can go back and still edit it. You just need your Application ID number to retrieve your application file. Just go to this link https://visa.kdmid.ru/PetitionChoice.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 and go to the bottom of the webpage and click the option that says open previous application.
If you save and submit it, unfortunately, you can no longer edit it.
All the best!
Hi Dan.. Nice to read your blog regarding your visa application… Can you please tell me how much budget is needed when travelling to Russia having a tourist visa including hotel accomodations , roundtrip tickets etc..? Tnx
Note that I stayed in Russia only for 4 days.
Looking at my travels notes, here is what I found:
1. Room Accommodation – 1,400 RUB
2. Flights – 6,072.02 PHP (Istanbul to Moscow) and 10,915 PHP (Moscow to Dubai)
3. Day 1 expenses – 2,380 RUB
4. Day 2 expenses – 1,641 RUB
5. Day 3 expenses – 895 RUB
6. Day 4 expenses – 1,416 RUB
When I get more time to write blogs, I will surely make a separate blog for the breakdown of expenses during my visit in Russia.
Is there a possibility that your visa will still be rejected given that you have complete requirements (incl. the confirmed airfare) ? I’m a bit hesitant to book a ticket bec I’m thinking what if I get rejected.
Hoping for your feedback.
As long as you have completed the requirements, you will most likely be approved. Although I couldn’t confirm it to you 100% because no one can really give you the guarantee of your visa approval.
I have actually also asked the same question before to people who previously applied, and their experience was fine. I don’t get the impression of any rejection at all. The only challenge really is buying those expensive flight tickets as well as the travel voucher.
Hope this helps.
hi dan! thanks so much for this article! im currently planning a trip to russia. ask ko lang if pwede multiple names dun sa travel voucher? i will be with 4 others eh so after we book doon will moscow hotels ask for the names of thw guests and provide an individual travel voucher for each? thanks
Apparently I don’t have much information when it comes to getting the voucher as a group. Better if you send Moscow Hotels a message at http://www.moscow-hotels.net/contact/ . They normally reply within 24 hours.
However, as per their website instructions:
*After booking accommodation on Booking.com, you will receive a confirmation email with a booking number.
*Complete our Visa Support request form for EACH TRAVELER for whom accommodation has been booked following the steps above, making sure to include your booking number(s) in the relevant field. If you have booked accommodation at more than property/destination, you will need to enter all the booking numbers from each confirmation email.
So it means after paying, each traveler’s name needs to be submitted.
Hope this helps.
Thank you very much for sharing this information. It is really helpful.
Hi, so in the two weeks time they will keep your passport with u? For regular processing
You won’t have your passport until the release which is in two weeks time.
Hi Dan one last question pwede bang ma expidate Ang date Ng release Ng visa. Like one week before your flight.
Yes, but for a higher fee. I don’t remember how many days you’ll get it but feel free to call the Russian Embassy.