As several rumors go around about visas for Olympic ticket holders, here’s the real scoop on Russia visa requirements
People all around the world are getting excited for the upcoming winter Olympics. With the Sochi games right around the corner (February 7 through February 23, 2014), event ticketholders are rushing to get their visas to Russia before their flights. Some people are taking their time, however, upon hearing a few rumors about visas for Olympic ticket holders.
There are stories going around that if you have a ticket to the games, you’ll be able to get your visa when you arrive in Russia. There’s another rumor that you can get your visa for free prior to travel to Russia. As far as we know, these rumors are completely untrue, and you should absolutely apply for your visa to Russia as soon as possible. According to Russia’s US Embassy website, all US citizens are required to have a visa in order to travel to Russia, and ticketholders to Olympic events are not exempt from the standard visa application process.
The only exception is that athletes and coaches do not need to apply for visas on their own. The Olympic Committee and Russian government will supply an Olympic ID to coaches and athletes that lets them enter Russia.
Russian Visa Requirements are Simpler than You Think
For everyone else a visa is a must, and fortunately, the Russian visa requirements are not too complicated. You’ll need to fill out an application and have a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your trip to Russia. You’ll also need a passport photo and a tourist voucher, which Swift Passport Services can supply. If you’re a permanent resident in the United States but not a citizen, you will also need to provide a copy of your permanent status in America, proof of your health insurance, and your flight itinerary.
If you obtain your visa through us, the processing times are currently three days, five days, or ten days, depending upon the processing speed that you choose. As we get closer to the games, however, there will be a crazy rush to get visas, so be sure to get yours right away. The Russian consulate will be closed for Christmas on December 25 and will also be closed January 1 through January 10, so the time to act is now!
Call the Swift team at (877) 917-9438 today to learn more about Russia visa requirements or to begin your application process. We can help ensure that you have your visa in time for the Olympics, but again, be sure to act quickly to avoid disappointment.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.