How to get a Russia Tourist Visa in Singapore

St Basil’s Cathedral is the first thing that comes to my mind at the mention of Russia. The iconic cathedral with multi-coloured onion domes is something i thought i should behold someday. Well, the day is coming soon. I have just obtained the Visa for entry into Russia for tourism.

What deters many from visiting Russia, besides the distance, is probably the difficulty in getting a Visa. Yes, Russia is one of the few countries for which a Visa is required for a tourism visit with a Singapore passport. Vfs handles the application for Russia Visa in Singapore, and their website provides comprehensive information on how to do so.

As detailed in the website, in order to apply for a Visa, you need to get a Tourist Confirmation issued by a hotel or a travel agency. It is counter-intuitive, but it means you need to book your accomodation first before you are certain you will be granted a Visa. It is possible, however, to book a cancellable or refundable accomodation, just in case there is any problem with obtaining the Visa. Not to worry though, as it will be stated as having been paid in full on the Tourist Confirmation.

Most people will be at a loss as to how to get hold of the Tourist Confirmation. One way you can do it is to stay in one of those premium hotels (e.g. Hilton), but these hotels don’t come cheap in Russia. They are priced similarly with any other cosmopolitan city.

I did my hotel bookings on and got my Tourist Confirmation for free. Here’s how: I did my hotel bookings by going through the link on this website -> I was skeptical at first, but decided to try, since i had nothing to lose. After submitting the Visa support request form to them, i got a reply the very next working day!

You do have to book your hotel stays for the entire duration you will be in Russia with, going through the same link. Obviously, earns a commission for the hotel bookings. I was careful not to go through Shopback when doing the bookings because there’s obviously a conflict of interest here.

For the services provided, deserves the cashback they receive in lieu of your receiving it. I highly recommend that you obtain your Tourist Confirmation this way, because it is easy, and is really efficient. They even did an amendment for free, and the turnaround time taken was jaw dropping quick.

Do note that after you have been provided with the Tourist Confirmation, you will be asked to pay US$15 in penalty if you cancelled your hotel bookings. This is only fair, and US$15 is a reasonable amount too. There are many websites that try to sell the Tourist Confirmation at up to US$20 per person.

Anyway, once you have obtained the Tourist Confirmation, the rest of the steps are fairly straightforward. Take care to print your ID photo according to the Russian passport specification.

Besides the hassle with the Tourist Confirmation (with the help of it is no longer a hassle), the other thing that i find objectionable is the price of the Visa – S$168, including a S$42 fee paid to Vfs Global. This is more expensive than the flight that is bringing me into Moscow! But since this is a once in a lifetime thing, well, you just have to do it.

FYI: when you enter the Vfs office, take a queue number. Don’t bother to make an appointment online, because you will still have to use the queue number. The office is not very busy, so it doesn’t matter.

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27 responses to “How to get a Russia Tourist Visa in Singapore”

  1. Lynn Avatar

    Hi Mr Koh,
    It was good to find your blog regarding Russia Tourist visa application.

    My husband and myself is going to St Petersburg this September and was worrying how to get the tourist confirmation before we saw your blog.

    However, I saw you mentioned that we should not book through shopback which unfortunately, I have already done so. Anyway, I just send in my application and hope it will go through, else I will need to cancel my hotel booking and rebook direct to

    Can you advise if they give you the exact number of days for your visa based on your stay in the hotel?



    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Lynn, my guess is you have to cancel and rebook. They probably have some mechanism to check if you really booked through them (must go through the link they provided on their website, it works the same way Shopback does tracking).

      They do give you the exact number of days for the visa based on the period of your hotel stay and in fact, the exact dates are specified on the visa. They are very strict about this.

  2. Kuro Avatar

    Glad to have come across this. I am applying soon myself. Was wondering on the last page of the online application where we have to indicate the location where we are applying for the visa (before printing the form) did you choose VFS Centre or The Russian embassy? Was unsure about this part. Thanks!

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Kuro. It should be VFS. They handle all visa applications except for the exceptional cases.

      1. Kuro Avatar

        Thank you for clarifying!

  3. Eliot jennifer Avatar

    Thanks for information.

    1. yenkai Avatar

      You’re welcome.

  4. YL Avatar

    hi, may i check how long is the turnaround time for the visa application? im thinking of going to russia on 15sep.
    is it too rush?

    1. yenkai Avatar

      One week. Enough time to do it still.

  5. julia Avatar

    like to share another credible web to get invitation letter for visa support doc online :
    Price can be varied according to your nationality.

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Julia, looks expensive at 10.50 Euros, and i have seen other similarly priced alternative websites too, and i just can’t think of any justification for paying such a fee when i can get it completely free.

  6. David Avatar

    Hi Yen Kai,

    Thank you for your information regarding applying for Russia VISA. After reading your blog, I do come across this company “Global Singapore” assist VISA application.
    Q:Do you think is authentic & reliable?

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi David, judging by the info given and look and feel of the website, Global Singapore looks authentic and reliable to me.

  7. Di Avatar


    Would you know if VHS would do the “visitor registration” on behalf of us if we were additional fee (ie. is there even such a service)? The reason why I’m asking is we are thinking of booking AirBnb rather than hotel.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Di, I really doubt they have that service. Although a commercial entity, VFS does not make money from such services (unlike the Chinese visa centre). You can try one of those paid online services, though I’m wary if those.

      1. Di Avatar

        Thanks for your quick reply!

  8. Tess Avatar

    Hi Yen Kai,
    Really informative article!
    Would you happen to know if expats working in Singapore can also apply for Russian Visa through VSF?

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Tess, of course, VSF handles visa applications regardless of the nationality of applicants.

  9. Leicester Marshall Avatar
    Leicester Marshall

    Dear Yenkai,

    I chanced upon your website while trying to understand the application process of Russian visa. Thank you for the informative post.

    I was wondering if I need to pay for the Urgent process if I need my passport to be back with by by 8 June 2018 and I am scheduled to go to VFS on 22 May 2018. Will the application center be able to churn the visa by 8 June.

    Additionally, Can a proxy submit and collect the passport on behalf of someone?

    Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon.

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Leicester, I got my visa in a week so I think you should be able to get yours in the same time frame. It should be possible to submit through a proxy, though I’m not sure how. I believe I have seen the submission done by a travel agency personnel while I was at VFS.

      1. Leicester Marshall Avatar
        Leicester Marshall

        Hi Yenkai, thank you so much for the response. I really hope they can process within the time.

  10. Faith Avatar


    Firstly, thank you for writing this!! It’s a lifesaver, there isn’t alot of information how to get the letter of invitation online, so seeing your post was really really great!

    I’d like to ask whether you used an email copy or original copy of the letter of invitaiton to submit to VFS?

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Faith,

      I received a PDF file and i simply printed and submitted that without problem.

  11. Theresa Avatar

    Dear Yen Kai,

    Thank you for this post! Me and my group of friends are traveling to Russia end of the year and we found this information really helpful. I would also like to ask- what if we would like to travel to Moscow as well? Can we still get the visa from this website as well? Since we couldn’t find any accommodations in Moscow from the website.


    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Theresa, it works just the same for Moscow. I think you can just book your Moscow hotels through the same link. In any case, they ( do host a website for Moscow hotels as well – Either way, you will get your Tourist Confirmation letter.

  12. Peter Shea Avatar
    Peter Shea

    Fantastic information here.
    Just a quick question
    How did you fill up
    First Name
    on the application form?
    Passport only has NAME

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Peter, I would probably fill up according to the actual surname and and first name. The Visa has my name printed in the order of surname followed by first name which happens to be how we normally spell out our names in our part of the world.

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