Visa to Russia

If you need a simple invitation letter from Vernadsky Institute (GEOKHI RAS, Moscow) to organize your business trip to Russia inside your organization (Institute, University, other…), please email to the organizers ( all the information listed in the «OPTION №1» section, and we will prepare and email you a scan of your invitation letter in English. This letter may help to apply for an “aim tourist visa” also. Please choose one of the above-listed three options as a visa support.

The first step for conference attendees is to obtain a visa to visit Russia. There are three different options to get a Russian visa (see below). Each attendee should ask the Russian Consulate in the attendee’s country to learn their visa requirements and fill out the electronic visa application form ( 

We strongly recommend that you apply for the Russian visa no later than 2-3 months before the event! The most simple and quick way – to apply for a tourist visa (see Travel Arrangements). From our participants’ personal experience your tourist visa can be ready in less than a week after your visa application submittal or you might need to wait up to one month before receiving your tourist visa to Russia.

OPTION №1: Free humanitarian visa for EU participants (EU only, with the exception of United Kingdom)

[All requests related to this type of visa should be addressed to the organizers at Please allow 3-5 business days to process your request.]

All conference participants from European Union (EU) countries have a possibility to apply for a free humanitarian single entry visa based on a special visa support letter from Vernadsky Institute. In accordance with the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the European Union, «persons participating in scientific, cultural and creative activities, including university and other exchange programs, are exempted from paying visa fees». If you are interested in applying for this type of visa (EU participants only), please send your request of a visa support letter to the organizers along with your passport information (first and family name, date and place of birth, male/female, citizenship, passport number), a scanned copy of your passport (first page), the dates of your stay in Russia and the city & country of the Russian Consulate, where you are planning to apply for visa. After this a special document will be prepared in Russian for the Russian Consulate and a scanned copy of it will be emailed to the participant (no original hard copy is required for this type of visa). The meeting participant will then be able to apply for visa online or in person at the Russian Consulate using this visa support letter together with other required documents (i.e. hotel reservation confirmation) to receive the free visa.  Information about the Vernadsky Institute (name, address, Individual Tax Number (TIN) is on the front page on the website (on right). If you are traveling with family it is better to apply for a tourist visa.

OPTION №2: «TOURISM» visa (all countries)

[All requests related to this type of visa should be addressed to the TRIALOGUE company at Visa Support. More information here. Please allow 3-5 business days to process your request.]

For non-EU conference participants and non-EU guests we strongly recommend applying for a tourist visa, which is provided on the basis of a tourist voucher.  Travel arrangement including visa support (i.e., emission of tourist vouchers), accommodation in Moscow, transportation and guided tours in Moscow will be provided by the TRIALOGUE company. To obtain a tourist voucher from TRIALOGUE, please follow the TRAVEL ARRANGEMENT link .  There, you will be taken through the TRIALOGUE company preparation process. Tourist voucher for a single entry visa costs 1000 RUB / 17 USD / 17 EUR. In addition to payment of a tourist voucher fee you will need to provide a list of cities that you are planning to visit during your stay in Russia and a confirmation of your hotel reservation(s) covering your entire stay in Russia.

OPTION №3: Visa based on the invitation from Federal Migration Service (all countries)

[All requests related to this type of visa should be addressed to the organizers at Please allow at least 4 weeks to process your request. Please be aware that the process can be started no earlier than 3 months before the event.]

Conference participants can also obtain a visa to Russia based on the official invitation to the conference (which will serve as a visa support letter) emitted by the Federal Migration Service  following the request from the Vernadsky Institute. Preparation of such invitation will take at least one full month (time of consideration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia) and the Vernadsky Institute can apply for it no earlier than 3 months before the event. To apply for this type of visa the participants will need to fill out a special form (to be requested from the organizers) and provide a scanned first page of the passport.

Visa and Passport Requirements

To enter the Russian Federation (Russia) every foreign citizen should have:

  • Valid Russian Entry Visa
  • Valid passport for entry to the Russian Federation (the expiry date must exceed the planned date of your departure from Russia by 6 months);
  • Migration card. You’ll be provided with this form in the airplane or at the airport. Please fill it in and keep with you during your stay in Russia. You will need it upon arrival and departure at the customs.

Your passport and Entry Visa will be checked and verified by a Passport Control Officer upon arrival and departure, at the hotel, when purchasing tickets and when traveling by train, ship, airplane or local/international carriers.


Russian Consulates work with applicants in person and by prior appointment only. That means an applicant should fill out an application form (, print it, make an appointment ( and appear in person in order to submit the documents. If you do not wish to apply personally you may apply for a visa through American visa center ILS, they work by mail and without scheduled appointment 

Standard visa processing time 8-10 calendar days. Please note that we accept money order or cashier’s check only. No credit card or cash.

Information about Visa processing fees here

The following documents should be submitted in order to obtain a visa according to its category:

  1. Completed visa application signed by the Applicant only. Incomplete visa application forms shall not be processed.
    Application available online at
    All questions in the application form should be answered. If a question is not applicable to the applicant, he should put “N/A”.
    Each application form must be signed by the visa applicant personally.
  2. Valid national passport (original only and it should have at least two clear visa pages). It must be valid no less than six months after the visa expiration date. Holders of travel documents such us: Permit to Re-Enter the United States of America, Travel Document, etc. must submit valid Permanent Resident Card (an original and a copy).
  3. One picture of an applicant. Russian visa photo specifications.
  4. Money Order or Certified Bank Check made out to the Russian Consulate for visa processing. Please note that we do not accept cash, credit or debit cards, personal or company checks.
  5. Invitation to Russia from a host person or organization.


Good luck! Once you receive your visa to Russia, please drop us an email to to let us know about it. If you have extra 5 min, please feel free to share your Russian visa experience with us. It will help us to answer visa questions from other participants.
What we would like to know is:
1) your type of visa;
2) where and when did you apply for visa;
3) how long did it take to receive your visa;
4) did you apply online or in person;
5) which documents did you provide;
6) anything else you have to say about your visa application process.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!