How and where to apply for a Russian visa
All EU citizens-holders of travel or service passports in order to visit the Russian Federation need a Russian visa. Russian visas are never issued on arrival at Russian airports, they must be obtained before traveling to Russia.
There are two places in the Netherlands where you may apply for a Russian visa:
1. The Consular section of the Russian Embassy:
- to apply for a visa - only prior to an appointment on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10.00 till 11.00, the applicant must be present in person;
- to pick up a passport - without an appointment on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 11.00 till 12.00, the applicant must be present in person;
2. The Russian visa application centre in the Hague:
- to apply for a visa - prior to an appointment or without an appointment any working day from 9.00 till 14.00, the applicant must be present in person, read more;
- to pick up a passport - without an appointment any working day from 14.00 till 16.00.
In order to increase quality of service for persons applying for a visa to enter the Russian Federation, the Embassy of Russia has outsourced its visa functions to the Russian Visa Centre VFS operating in the Hague from January 16, 2017.
The objectives of the Visa Centre are to accelerate and simplify the procedure for obtaining a visa, create the most comfortable conditions for applicants, explain to them the rules of entry and stay in Russia, check the completeness of documents that are the basis for granting a visa, and represent the interests of applicants at the consulate while submitting (collecting) documents on their behalf.
The decision to grant or refuse to grant a visa, as well as the issuance of the visa itself to foreign citizens outside of Russia, remains a prerogative of the Russian consular authorities.
Very mportant ! The previous Russian visa center VHS located at Zeestraat 100, 2518 AD Den Haag, since January 16, 2017, has no status of the official Russian Visa Center and is not authorised to accept and process the documents for a visa on behalf of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands. Everybody is kindly requested to apply only the the official Visa Application Center.
The possibility to apply for a visa directly through the Russian consulate remains as usual. In order to use it, the applicant has to make an electronic appointment on the website of the Russian Embassy.
Important ! If there are no available appointments in the Consular section of the Russian Embassy for the dates wished by a candidate for a visa the documents are to be submitted ONLY to the Russian visa application centre.
Very important ! In case if a direct appointment in the Russian consulate has been made but the plans of an applicant were changed, please, inform the Consular section about it by phone (+31 (0) 70 364 64 73) or by fax (+31 (0) 70 365 86 34), or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by post (Scheveningseweg 2, 2517 KT Den Haag). Thank you for understanding!
In order to avoid fraudulent incidents with the appointment system, the consulate will accept documents only from those persons whose personal details were entered into the system upon registration of the application. In case of discrepancies between the information in the system and the personal details of the applicant, whose documents are submitted to the consulate, they will not be accepted for consideration. Booking one time slot in the system allows for submitting only one set of documents.
The following categories of foreign citizens may apply for a visa directly to the Consular section of the Russian Embassy in the Netherlands, without an appointment:
1. Employees of ministries and other governmental bodies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – for official trips (documents are to be submitted by applicants themselves or by the official courier of a ministry or other departments);
2. Holders of diplomatic or service passports of diplomatic or consular missions of foreign countries accredited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, as well as employees of international organizations with the headquarters in the Netherlands - for official trips (documents are to be submitted by applicants themselves or by the official courier of a diplomatic or consular mission or an international organization);
3. Guests of stuff members of diplomatic or consular missions of the Netherlands accredited in the Russian Federation;
4. Foreign citizens in case of urgent departure to the Russian Federation linked with the death or serious illness of a close relative.
All other categories of foreign citizens have to make appointments to apply for a Russian visa directly in the Consular section of the Russian Embassy OR (if there are no available dates) to apply the Visa application centre.
Very important for visa applications directly in the Consular section of the Russian Embassy ! A foreign citizen or a stateless person (who does not have the Russian citizenship) must be present in the Consular section in person. Applications on behalf of a third person (even with the power of attorney) are not accepted.
Very important for visa applications in the Russian visa centre in the Hague ! A foreign citizen or a stateless person (who does not have the Russian citizenship) may visit the Visa centre or by him(her)self or empower a third person for this mission. To apply for a visa on behalf of the passport holder a hand-written (on the copy of the passport) power of attorney from the latter will be required.
The Consular section recommends you to draw attention to the following important rules:
1. The Consular section is authorized to give visas only for the Russian Federation.
2. The Consular section does not accept any visa documents send by post and never sends passports with visas by post.
3. Citizens of all EU countries are authorized to apply for Russian visas in the Hague without additional requirements (the list of documents is the same for all EU citizens). The residence permit in the Netherlands is not required.
4. Citizens of non-EU countries willing to apply for a Russian visa in the Netherlands will be required to provide a residence permit.
5. The visa application is to be introduced not later than 8 calendar days and not earlier than 3 months before the trip to the Russian Federation.
6. All payments in the Consular section must be done only by bank cards. Cash money and other means of payment are not accepted.
7. The fee paid for a visa is not refundable.
8. When obtaining a passport with a visa, we recommend that you carefully check the personal data specified in the visa.
9. Correction of visa mistakes made through a fault of the candidate for a visa can be made only at his own expense.
10. The Consular section is authorized to refuse to issue any visa without explaining the reasons of the refusal.
The Consular section recommends you to read the information about the Immigration card.