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Revised Visa Procedures For Foreigners And Stateless Persons


A Decree of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs #12077 from July 17, 2012 (registered by the Ministry of Justice on September 24, 2012) has established new procedures for issuing invitations for entry into Russia to foreign citizens and stateless persons and new procedures for making decisions on the issuance of visas.

The Decree prescribes that invitations be issued by the Consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs based on petitions from federal and regional state authorities, diplomatic representations and foreign consular institutions in Russia, as well as international organizations and their representations in the country. Moreover, representations of foreign states affiliated with international organizations in Russia, may also apply for visa invitations.

The ordinance lists documents required from the petitioner for the invitation application and visa decision.

According to general rule, the invitation processing must not exceed 30 days, and a decision must be made not more than 16 days from the date of submission of all necessary and properly-formulated documents.

The document also lists reasons that documents can be refused and invitations or visas not issued. In particular, an invitation or a visa may be refused if a person uses false documents or provides knowingly fraudulent information about themselves or the purpose of their visit in Russia, has an unexpunged or unspent conviction for a premeditated crime in Russia or abroad.

Procedures for issuing an invitation and/or visa include following stages:

  • Acceptance and registration of documents and compilation of a file;
  • Technical execution;
  • Issuing the visa decision or invitation;
  • Issuing a rejection notice.

According to the Decree, a rejection notice must be sent within 10 days from the date of application.

Moreover, the Decree prescribes supervision measures for compliance to procedures and time frame for issuance of invitations and visas.

The prior Administrative Procedure dedicated to the same state function is declared to have lost force.

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