A mini update guide on the Russia Tourist Visa for motorcycle travellers and overlanders with current border info.
How to get a Russia visa for motorcycle travellers
Travelling through Russia on your motorcycle trip can be tricky and time consuming. You have two options: a transit visa or a tourist visa. This guide explains what you need to know about getting a multi-entry tourist visa.
I suggest getting a tourist multi-entry six-month visa. This will cost you are EUR 250-300 and take around three weeks to be delivered.
You will need to do this in your home or resident country. It is impossible to do on the road. You can do this yourself, but it’s far easier to do through an agency. There are Russia specific agencies in most countries. As I’m from France, I used Alpha Visa in Paris. But if you’re from Germany for example, you will have to find an agency in Germany.
You can get a single or double entry visa and this will cost you around EUR 200, but for the price difference it’s far better to just get a multi-entry as we live in uncertain times and you never know if you’ll need/want or have to dip into and out of another country.
It’s not a difficult visa to obtain, but you absolutely must apply for it from your home country. I tried in four different countries and found it impossible.
In the end, I had to send my passport from Georgia to France by DHL. You can get it back in 10 working days, but expect to pay extra.
During the Russia-Ukraine war, July, September and October 2022, we crossed four borders in three months.
The borders were:
Georgia to Russia – Verkhnii Lars Верхний Ларс. Expect a very long queue and it’s unorganised. But you won’t have any problems as it’s a friendly border. It will take around eight hours to cross.
Russia to Kazakhstan – They checked our visas for quite a while, but were friendly. It will take around two hours to cross.
Kazakhstan to Russia – Pogranichnyy Post Rk. This is a very smooth border with no queue and friendly police and FSB. There were a few questions for around 10 minutes but very safe. It will take around one hour to cross.
Russia to Mongolia – App Tashanta border. This is a high-level border. The police are friendly but expect intense interrogation by the FSB (around one hour). It will take around four hours to cross.
Mongolia to Russia – Altanbulag border. Very friendly border and smooth process. The police are mostly Russian but with Mongolian blood, so there’s a totally different behaviour. No FSB. It will take around two hours to cross.
Russia to Estonia – Friendly border with no questions asked. It will take around two hours to cross.
Russia Transit Visa
I don’t think it’s possible, or if it is, then not easy to get a Russia transit visa on the road nowadays, the only exception being Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. I would recommend a double entry visa or a multi-entry three-month visa instead. Especially considering Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan are closed.
For when it is easier again, check the Russia Transit guide.
About the author
Rémy Dezelus is 35-year-old Frenchman riding his Yamaha Tenere 700 round the world. You can follow his awesome adventures here:
- Insta: @rideandfly_
- Web: polarsteps.com
Read more on motorcycle travel in Russia
Thanks for checking out the Russia Tourist Visa Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on riding in Russia that we recommend you read next.
Liked that? Try these next…