Russian Visas – General

When you need a visa for travel to a country requiring a visa you need a specialist visa service. The ASLA Visa Service has been providing a professional visa service for travel to Russia, China, Belarus and beyond for over 25 years. We make the process simple and straightforward and provide a cost-effective and secure method of obtaining the required visas. We also work alongside school and college groups, making the process easy with our step-by-step guidance.

In order to travel to Russia you require a Russian Visa

For UK passport holders, visas must be obtained in advance and cannot be acquired on arrival. You may apply from 6 months before arrival date.

All Russian visa applications in the UK must be made in person at a visa processing centre, located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
When you submit your application (in person), biometric date is collected (fingerprints).

If travelling on a group tour with one of our approved tour operator partners, please check with your tour operator BEFORE applying early, that the tour will not be cancelled or dates changed, as visas cannot be changed and visa fees are non-refundable.
We cannot apply for your visa on your behalf – you must make a personal visit to the visa application centre to submit your application – however, we do offer assistance in preparing/checking your Tourist Visa application and documentation.
Schools Groups – Please ask us about our special discounted rate for your party.

Our service:
We can supply the visa support document (separate fee applies)
• Let us complete the online application form for you
• We will send you a list of other requirements and check your supporting documents
• From only £21 per application (including VAT)

Russian Visas – Types

UK passport holders require an entry visa for Russia.
Visa types available:-

• Tourist – Single and Double entry
• Business – Single, Double and Multi entry

For all types of Russian visa, applications in the UK must be made in person at a visa processing centre, located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
When you submit your application (in person), biometric date is collected (fingerprints).

We provide a service to assist with the application process, however we are not able to submit the application on your behalf.

We also supply the required Visa Support Letter (also known as a Letter of Invitation) for tourist, business and a range of multi entry visas.

If you need only a Visa Support Letter, we can provide this subject to your nationality.
Please review our visa support prices or apply for visa support.

We send the visa support to you by the method of your choice
Simply complete our application form online and use our secure payment system (credit card).

Tour operators planning tours to Russia should visit our homepage at to see the range of services we supply in Russia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Obtaining visas can be a daunting process – and we are here to help. Here are some of the questions that clients ask us, and our replies:

Q: Do I submit my passport to get a Russian visa? If so, how long do you need it for?
A: Yes – in the UK, you must apply for your visa in person at the VFS global visa centre in London, Manchester or Edinburgh, where you will be required to submit your fingerprints and leave your passport. The visa is stamped on one of the minimum of two blank pages in your passport. The passport and applications are processed by the Russian Consulate – the timeframe depends on the cost. The shorter the time of processing, the higher the cost. Please see price list for full details of prices and processing times.

Q: Why do I need a visa?
A: Certain countries require a visa to grant access to that country. Each country has the right to control entry to their own territory – and granting visas is a way in which countries can check visitors before they arrive. Visas are usually obtainted prior to travel (Russia, China, India, Belarus, Uzbekistan in particular), but in some cases, visas may simply be granted on entry. Some countries require visas for certain nationalities and waive visa requirements for other nationalities.

Q: I am travelling to Russia. Is a “letter of invitation” the same as a “tourist acceptance voucher”?
A: Yes – in order to obtain a tourist visa for travel to Russia, your application needs to be accompanied by an invitation letter from a licensed Russian agency or hotel. Your tour operator or hotel (tourist visa) will provide this for you. If you need a business visa, the company you are visiting should provide this for you. If you do not have this document, we can provide one for you for the relevant cost – see price table for details.

Q: I am going on a Baltic Cruise and looking forward to visiting St Petersburg. Will I need a Russian visa?
A: You may travel on excursions organised by the shipping line, or by a bona fide local tour company (book in advance). In this case you do NOT need a Russian visa, but you must stay with your group at all times. You may not travel ashore independently, or extend your stay ashore without your group. If you apply for a double entry tourist visa, you may leave and return to the ship only twice during your stay. This is not recommended, Please see our range of shore excursions on this link.

Q: I understand that I need photos for my visa – how many photos do I need?
A: For Russia, China and Belarus – just one. Uzbekistan requires two photos and two application forms. Requirements can change at short notice – so always check with us in advance. Please also check the type of photo. Russia requires a recent standard passport photo in colour confirming to current passport agency standards. India requires one photo but of a larger size format – check with us for current details.

Q: How do I send my passport to you?
A: You must use a secure method of post. Do not use standard mail – you should use a secure method with possibility of tracking the item – Royal Mail Special Delivery is best recommendation. If you are local to us, hand-delivery is the most secure option of all, although our experience of Special Delivery is that it provides an excellent and reliable service at sensible cost.

Q: What do I need to do once my passport is returned? A: You must check that the visa accurately reflects the dates of your travel and that all personal data is correct. Please check name, date of birth and passport number. It is your responsibility to ensure that your visa reflects correct travel data – failure to do so can result in denied entry to your destination country. If there are any errors, you must notify VFS global immediately to check what to do next to have the visa is reissued. Please remember that the responsibility is yours to ensure that you have a correct and valid visa.

The information assumes you have a British passport. For other nationalities other requirements may apply. Information may change, this is for guidance only and you should check with the Consulate or VFS global for up to date information.

Latest News

05 FEB 16

Applications may now be made at the new Russian Visa Centre in Oxford Street, Manchester, convenient for travellers and groups in the Midlands and North of England.

13 Sept 17
– UK Passports

HM Passport Office has introduced passports that will no longer include the holder’s signature in digital format. Now the passport holder is required to sign their passport upon receipt and prior to travel. A passport is not valid for travel without your signature. Some passengers with unsigned passports have been refused entry to Russia.

13 March 17

Press Release on the Russian-South African protocol on reciprocal abolition of visa requirements The Protocol between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of South Africa on the reciprocal repeal of visa requirements for foreign travel passports, that was concluded by an exchange of official documents, will come into force on March 30 2017. Under the Protocol’s provisions, citizens of Russia and South Africa travelling without the intention of working, studying or living in the other country’s territory, are free from visa requirements and can enter, stay or transit without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days

26 Feb 16
– Azerbaijan

From February 01 2016, electronic visas for foreigners will be issued in 5 days. In addition, citizens of Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, China, Malaysia, and Singapore are able to get simplified visas at all international airports of Azerbaijan.

From January 13 2016, foreigners may enter with up to 1,000 US dollars without declaring while crossing the border to/from Azerbaijan.

05 Dec 2014 Russian visa applications must be made in person

From 10 December all Russian visa applications must be made in person at a visa processing centre, located in London and Edinburgh.

For those requiring assistance in completing application forms and checking you have the correct supporting paperwork, our team can advise and assist you. We charge £21d per person for this service.

Pease call us for details on 01480 433800.

When you need a visa for travel to a country requiring a visa you need a specialist visa service. The ASLA Visa Service has been providing a professional visa service for travel to Russia, China, Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Myanmar and beyond for over 20 years. We make the process simple and straightforward and provide a cost-effective and secure method of obtaining the required visas. We do not issue visas ourselves and we are not an agency appointed by any government – we simply assist in the provision of your visa in a timely and secure way. Our service is available for those applying for visas in the UK.

Please phone us for details on 01480 433800. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm. Alternatively contact us by email at

For those requiring assistance in completing application forms our team can advise and assist you.

We offer a form filling and document checking service for all visas for a nominal fee of £21.

For assistance phone us on 01480 433800 or contact us by email at

Terms and Conditions

1. ASLA Limited (“ASLA”) acts as your agent to seek to obtain for you a visa or visa support. In acting as your agent ASLA’s responsibilities are to perform its duties at all times with reasonable skill and care and, in particular, to relay in an accurate and timely fashion to the relevant Consulate information provided by you to ASLA.

2. ASLA cannot, and does not, guarantee the provision of a visa or visa support. ASLA cannot influence the relevant Consulate one way or another in whether or not to grant a visa. ASLA acts solely as your processing agent.

3. ASLA is not responsible for any visa supplied being insufficient to enable you to enter or leave the country in respect of which the seeming visa has been granted, or visa support which has supplied being sufficient to enable you to apply for a visa. ASLA will merely provide back to you that which it receives from the relevant Consulate or issuing authority. It is your responsibility to check the validity and application of the visa or visa support provided by the Consulate or issuing authority, and not ASLA.

4. ASLA will rely entirely upon information as supplied by you, and its accuracy or otherwise. ASLA cannot and will not, check any information supplied by you.

5. ASLA is not responsible to you for any consequential loss, damage or expense which you incur as a result of failure to obtain a visa and/or any difficulties in travel caused by any particular visa; examples of such loss, damage or expense for which ASLA is not responsible include wasted travel costs, any refunds to airlines or hotels and any claims for loss of enjoyment and/or any claims for lost or wasted business opportunities or expenses. ASLA is not responsible for any events or circumstances beyond its control, including postal strikes, the acts or omissions of any third parties (including Consulates and delivery services), political unrest, terrorism, change in political circumstances, any event which may impact upon the grant by any country of a visa or other similar events or circumstances.

6. It can take up to 4 weeks to obtain a visa. It is your responsibility to ensure that you leave sufficient time for an application for a visa. ASLA will not advise you about the length of time it will take to obtain a visa and, upon your request to obtain a visa, we will simply process that in the normal way and accepts no, and has no, responsibility for any subsequent failure on your part to obtain a visa for any reason.

7. The contract between you and ASLA is governed by the laws of England and any dispute arising is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.

Other Country Visas

Please click on blue button to view Country Visa. You will have the option of printing document should you wish too.

Customer Reviews

"Dear V,

I just wanted to let you know that all went well in getting our Russian visas.
All your help was amazing & we had no problems & were asked NO questions either!
We went up on Easter Friday & the application centre was almost empty, only 3 in front of us &we were in& out in less than 20 minutes!! My husband was delighted.
We collected them on Wednesday, just as well we had allowed an extra day with the extended process now in place.
Again, very quick so delighted & I think we were a little luck with the timing in the end.
We leave tomorrow & I am very excited about the trip & looking forward to all the amazing sights we will see.
Again, many thanks for your excellent service, help & advice. I would certainly recommend ASLA Travel Group to anyone else.
I am so pleased my nephew (who works for Audley Travel) suggested using your service.

My very best wishes"

JE, April 2018

About Us

ASLA Ltd. was established in May 1991 with the primary aim of servicing the requirements of tour operators seeking a reliable supplier of hotel accommodation, inclusive land tours, river cruises, shore excursions and ancillary travel services inside Russia, Ukraine and the states of the C.I.S. In support of these objectives we established our own dedicated Visa Service for our tour operator partners and for all travellers to Russia, Ukraine (now mainly visa-free) and Belarus.

The objective of the group is to provide the highest standards of service throughout the region, together with efficient, reliable and professional levels of operations supported by a full service Visa Department. In fact ASLA were pioneers in combining the warm welcome of the Russian culture with Western service levels..

The head office is located in Huntingdon, England and serves as a sales and operational base, and this is where our dedicated Visa Department is based. The office provides easy access and reliable communications, using the latest technology, for members of the public, tour operator and travel agency partners around the world. Our Visa Department uses a range of secure courier services and Royal Mail Special Delivery for all passports and visas. For full details of our Tour Operator services, please visit:
We have successfully established a network of associated offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev. We provide ground services for our inbound tour operator and travel agency partners in all of our destinations and are able to issue both tourist and business invitations as required by our customers.

Our local offices are fully licensed and accredited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are recognised by all overseas Russian Consulates.

In the absence of official Offices of Tourism for Russia and Ukraine, ASLA Travel Group fulfills a role to provide information to the industry and organises media and travel industry visits, in conjunction with hotels and airlines.

The ASLA group of companies currently consists of over 100 permanent members of staff.

As the growth of tourism to the Russia and beyond increases, we are looking forward to welcoming more customers from around the world and to enjoying new partnerships with our industry colleagues.

Contact Us

Please call for an appointment if you would like to visit our offices to submit an application.
To contact us about any other matter please use the details below.

Mailing Address:
Visa Department
Asla Travel Group
Bridgefoot House
159 High Street
PE29 3TF, England

Visa Service (UK Only)
Telephone: 01480 433800
Fax: 01480 433799

Opening Hours
Office Hours
Monday to Friday: 09.00 – 17.30 (GMT)
Closed UK public holidays