Humanitarian visas are issued to citizens of foreign countries and stateless persons entering the Russian Federation with the purpose of establishing, renewing or strengthening academic, cultural or socio-political ties, taking part in sports, religious activity and charitable work or supplying humanitarian aid.
This visa is issued on the basis of an invitation of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation (MVD of Russia) OR of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MFA of Russia) or on the basis of an inviting letter from an organisation based in Russia (this last option is only valid for countries that signed visa facilitation agreements with Russia).
Humanitarian visas can be single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry. Single-entry and double-entry visas can be valid for a period up to 3 months. Multiple-entry humanitarian visas are normally valid for a period up to 1 year. In accordance with Russia-EU Visa facilitation Agreement multiple-entry humanitarian visas can be valid for a period up to 5 years.
Foreign citizens and stateless persons may not stay in the Russian Federation with a multiple-entry humanitarian visa for more than 90 days in any 180-day period.
Where to apply for a humanitarian visa
There are two places in the Netherlands where you may apply for a Russian humanitarian 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 VFS:
- 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.
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 VFS.
Even if the documents have been submitted to the Visa centre VFS the visas are anyway issued by the Russian consulate in the Hague.
The processing time for the issuance of a humanitarian visa in the Consular section depends on the invitation:
- for invitations of the Russian MVD: 3 working days – 20 calendar days;
- for telex invitations of the Russian MFA: 1 working day – 7 calendar days;
- for inviting letters from organizations based in Russia:
- single-entry and double-entry visas: 3 working days-20 calendar days;
- multiple-entry visas: only 10 calendar days (may not be reduced).
If the documents are introduced personally by the applicant via the Russia Visa application centre in the Hague, 1 extra day must be added to the above visa processing period.
If the documents are introduced by the applicant via a visa agency, 2-3 extra days must be added to the above visa processing period.
The Article 7 of the Russia-EU visa facilitation Agreement authorizes the Russian consulate to extend the time processing of a visa application up to 30 working days in individual cases, notably when further scrutiny of the application is needed.
All the information about visa fees is available on this web-page.
1. The Consular section is authorized to give visas only for the Russian Federation.
2. The Consular section does not accept any visa documents sent by post and never sends passports with visas by post.
3. 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.
4. All payments in the Consular section must be done only by bank cards. Cash money and other means of payment are not accepted.
5. The fee paid for a visa is not refundable.
6. When obtaining a passport with a visa, we recommend that you carefully check the personal data specified in the visa.
7. The law of the Russian Federation empowers the Consular section to refuse to issue any visa without explaining the reasons of the refusal.
8. Before you read the information about the required documents we recommend you to first make an appointment.
List of required documents
1. Visa invitation of one of three kinds:
- an invitation of the Ministry of Interior of the Russian Federation (MVD of Russia) – in a paper form (the original is required) or an electronic form. Ask for this kind of invitation from your Russian host company;
- a telex invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (MFA of Russia). This type of invitation can be requested by your Russian host company at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (if available). Such invitations are sent to the Consular section directly by the Ministry, the applicant is required to provide only the number (6 digits) of the invitation;
- a copy of a direct inviting letter: a written request of your Russian business partner signed by the Head of the Russian inviting company, with a stamp. Such an invitation shall be printed on the official paper of the Russian host organisation. If necessary, the Consular section may request the original of the inviting letter. See the specimen.
2. Travel passport (original). The passport must contain at least 2 blank visa pages and must be valid 6 months after the last day of the required visa validity;
3. Visa application form printed and signed personally by the applicant (Very important ! when the web-site asks to select the location where the applicant is going to submit documents, the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Netherlands OR the Visa Centre must be chosen – the choice depends on the place where the applicant has made his visa appointment);
4. 1 recent passport photo. The photo must be glued (not stapled!) on the visa application form;
5. Medical insurance policy document (copy or original) issued by a foreign insurance company or a Russian insurance company. This document is required only from the citizens of all EU countries, Denmark, Iran, Ireland, Iseland State, Israel, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Swiss. This document must contain:
- the date when the agreement was signed;
- the policy number;
- the full name of the insured person;
- full details of the insurer;
- the dates of validity: the policy must cover the entire period of stay in Russia for single-entry and double-entry visas, and the duration of the first trip for multiple-entry visas;
- the list of medical services covered by the insurance, the repatriation must be included;
- the geographical area coverage: worldwide or including the Russian Federation or Europe including the Russian Federation;
- the insurance coverage amount must not be less than 30.000 Euros;
- the signature of the insurer.
Insurance policies and confirmation letters which do not contain the above information and standard forms stamped by the insurer are not accepted.
Insurance cards are not accepted;
6. Original and copy of a valid Dutch permanent residence permit (not required if the applicant is a citizen of the EU or the USA).
The Russian Consulate may request additional documents before issuing a visa, invite any applicant to a personal interview or extend the time required for the visa consideration.
To be noted that the law of the Russian Federation empowers the Russian Consulate to refuse to issue any visa without explaining the reasons of the refusal.
Additional requirements for a multiple-entry humanitarian visa
If the applicant wishes to apply for a 1 year multiple-entry humanitarian visa on basis of a direct inviting letter in accordance with the Russia-EU Visa facilitation Agreement he will be required to prove the visit of Russia during the previous 12 months. Transit visits are not considered.
In this case a copy of that visa with stamps of the Russian border service are to be submitted to the Consular section together with the visa application.