Applying for a Russian Visa? Travel Insurance for Russia May be Mandatory

Applying for a Russian Visa? Travel Insurance for Russia May be Mandatory

Applying for a Russian Visa? Travel Insurance for Russia May be Mandatory

Applying for a Russian Visa? Travel Insurance for Russia May be Mandatory

Everyone who visits Russia needs a visa and it’s likely to be the single most painful issue a traveler has when trying to organize a trip to Russia. Travelers are reminded to allow themselves at least two months prior to their trip to secure a tourist visa which is valid for a maximum of 30 days from the date of entry. If you plan to stay longer than a month, it is advised that you apply for a business visa instead.

Obtaining a Russian Visa Can Be Difficult

Obtaining a visa to Russia can be difficult, and it’s practically impossible without insurance. No matter which visa you choose to apply for, there is a well-defined process for applying and getting your Russian visa. The process begins in an unusual way, however – you must first have an invitation. Hotels and hostels will usually issue a visa invitation to anyone staying with them for a small fee. If you are not staying in a hotel or hostel, you will need to buy an invitation and this can be done through a travel agent.

With your invitation in hand, you can then fill out the application and submit it to any Russian embassy. The cost for processing the application vary widely and depend on the type of visa, how quickly you need it, and other unpredictable factors.

Why Travel Health Insurance is Required for Russia

Medical insurance is a supplementary requirement and valid only for certain citizens. Officially, the requirement is based on reciprocity, i.e., travel health insurance is required from citizens of those states that made it mandatory for Russian citizens to have a medical insurance policy when traveling inside their country. The requirement has become more ambiguous in recent years and centralized regulations have not been communicated to all Russian consulates.

Having Travel Medical Insurance Means Not Having to Pay in Russia

Regardless of whether travel health insurance is required for you or not, the absence of it can be a reason for rejection of your tourist or business visa. In addition, while the travel medical insurance requirement does not extend to citizens of Schengen states, Israel, Estonia, and Finland who live and/or work in the Russian Federation (among other requirements), having travel medical insurance means that the traveler will not have to pay for their medical care costs in an emergency medical situation – injury, accident, or illness.

In addition, your travel medical insurance plan will cover life-saving medical evacuations if you are severely injured or killed during your trip in Russia. This fact alone can make the minimal amount a traveler spends on travel health insurance worth the premium they pay.