1. Prepare the requirements
- Passport. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your date of exit from Russia.
- Photograph. Passport-size picture must be taken within the last 6 months. Click here for specifications.
- Voucher and confirmation from authorized Russian travel agency. You can purchase these online from iVisa for 3,000 Russian rubles (around USD 47). Upon payment via credit card or PayPal, the voucher and confirmation are delivered instantly to your email address.
- Tickets. The dates must match those on the voucher and confirmation.
- Accommodation. iVisa requires that you provide them with your confirmed reservation(s). The dates must match those on the voucher and confirmation. I recommend booking online at Booking.com.
- Travel insurance (optional). This is not required, but in the application form you will be asked if you have ‘health insurance that is valid in Russia’, and it’s better to answer ‘yes’. You can easily buy travel insurance online from World Nomads.
- Application form. Form must be completed online at visa.kdmid.ru and printed on A4 or Letter paper. A few tips:
- Paste your picture on the space provided in the form. Do not staple.
- Dates of entry into and exit from Russia must match those on your tickets, voucher, and confirmation.
- You will be asked about the ‘host organisation you intend to visit’. Enter the details of the Russian agency which supplied your voucher and confirmation. If you got these from iVisa, enter the following information:
- Company name: Visa Service LLC
- Reference No: 015681
- Address: Saint-Petersburg, Leninsky Avenue, 153 A, Office 706, 196247
2. Go to the embassy
The embassy has two locations in Makati: the main chancery in Dasmariñas Village and the consular office in Legazpi Village. Go to the latter. The exact address is: 4th Floor, RCI Building, 105 Rada Street, Makati City. You can apply as early as 3 months before your date of entry into Russia. For inquiries, you may contact the consular office at +63 (2) 810-9581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may not get entertained the first time you visit the consular office, because:
- Their office hours are limited. They are open only from 10 am to 12 nn on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- They have no appointment system. Applicants are entertained on a first-come, first-served basis.
- They don’t accept applications by mail. Your application must be submitted by an actual person (either yourself, a representative, or a travel agent).
- Only one consul works the consular window. There are two windows and several consular officers, so perhaps they will assign someone to work the other window in the future.
- There are travel agents applying for multiple people. They take up the most time, as some of them are submitting the applications of 10, even 20+ (!) people in their group tours.
If you don’t want to have to come back on the next business day, here’s a tip: go to the consular office as early as 6 am. While the office may still be closed, their security guard is already on duty at that time. Have your name listed in his logbook. The earlier the better, so you can get ahead of all the travel agents. There are cafes and parks nearby where you can hang out until the office opens.
Also avoid going to the embassy during Russian holidays, as they will be closed. Their official holidays are as follows:
- 1-10 January – New Year Holidays
- 7 January – Christmas, Russian Orthodox
- 23 February – Defender of Motherland Day
- 8 March – International Women’s Day
- 1 May – Spring and Labor Day
- 9 May – Victory Day (Over German Nazism in the WW2)
- 12 June – Day of Russia
- 4 November – Day of the National Unity
3. Pay the visa fee
Upon approval of your application, you may choose between regular (2 weeks) or rush (1 week) processing. As of March 2019, a regular single-entry visa costs PHP 3,920 while rush costs PHP 7,840. The consul will hand you a claim slip to be presented at the nearest branch of United Coconut Planters Bank, namely UCPB Herrera, where you will pay the visa fee. The bank is just a short walk away.
After paying at the bank, return to the embassy and give the claim and deposit slips to the consul. The claim slip will be given back to you.
4. Claim your passport
You may personally claim your passport anytime during office hours on or after the date on the claim slip. Another person can claim your passport as long as they present the claim slip; no authorization letter is required.