UK Visa for Russian Citizens and Girlfriend in 2023: Fees & Tips

UK Visa for Russian Citizens 2023: This comprehensive guide details the application process, fees, and entry requirements for multiple UK visa categories specifically tailored for Russian nationals and girlfriends. Whether you’re considering a tourist trip, furthering your education, or joining a family member, this guide outlines the costs and timelines. For example, a 6-month tourist visa is priced at US$129, while student and spouse visas cost US$467 and US$1,980 respectively. An additional US$322 is required for priority services. Average processing time is around 3 weeks following biometric submission.

UK Visa for Russian Citizens and Girlfriend in 2023: Application Fees and Entry Requirements from Russia
UK Visa for Russian Citizens and Girlfriend in 2023: Application Fees and Entry Requirements from Russia

1. UK Visa from Russia 2023

Can Russians Travel to UK?

Russian citizens who intend to visit, work, or study in the UK must secure the proper visa. Visa requirements differ based on the visa type.

UK Visa for Russian Citizens Cost

The cost of a UK visa for Russian citizens varies according to the visa type. Specifically, tourist visas cost US$129, student visas US$467, and spouse visas US$1,980.

UK Visa Processing Time in Russia

In 2023, standard processing times for non-settlement visas such as tourist, study, and work visas typically range around 3 weeks. Opting for priority service can reduce this time to 5 working days for an additional US$322.

The standard processing time for spouse, partner, or family settlement visas post-biometrics is up to 12 weeks. Priority service is available, reducing processing time to 6 weeks for an added fee of US$738.

The super-priority service fee for next-working-day processing is US$1,231, although this service is currently unavailable in Russia.

Cost of Travel to UK from Russia

Traveling from Russia to the UK requires a budget ranging from US$1,750 to US$5,225 per individual for a 7-15 day trip. Main costs include:

  • Visa Fee: Starts at US$129 for a short-term visa.
  • Priority Service Fee: Optional, approximately US$322.
  • Flight Cost: Typically between US$700 and US$1,200.
  • Living Expenses: Budget for accommodation, meals, and internal travel within the UK.
  • Travel Insurance: Costs vary based on the level of coverage.

For solo travelers, the estimated expenses are between US$1,750 and US$5,225. Couples can expect costs ranging from US$3,500 to US$10,500, while families of four might spend anywhere between US$7,000 and US$21,000. These figures are for reference and should be verified for current pricing. Currency exchange rates between the Russian Ruble and British Pound will also impact your budget.

How long can a Russian stay in the UK?

Visitor visas permit Russians a stay of up to 180 days per UK visit. For other visa types like spouse, student, and work visas, the length of stay corresponds with the visa’s validity. Extensions are possible by meeting Leave to Remain (LTR) requirements. Pathways such as the Skilled Worker and Innovator visas can lead to Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR), eventually progressing to British citizenship.

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    UK Visas for Russian Citizens
    Snapshot of UK Visa for Russian Citizens: Success Rate, Application Fee, Processing Time, and Priority Service Cost

    2. UK Tourist Visa for Russian Citizens 2023

    Can Russians Visit UK?

    Russians must apply for a visa to enter the United Kingdom. The only exception is for Russians with dual citizenship from visa-exempt countries like the USA, Australia, New Zealand, or EU Member States.

    Standard Visitor Visa from Russia to UK

    The standard visitor visa allows Russians to engage in various activities, including tourism, family visits, business engagements, and short-term studies. Understanding the eligibility criteria is crucial before submitting an application.

    Essential Criteria: UK Visitor Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens

    UK immigration officials assess multiple factors such as the purpose of the visit, financial stability, and plans for accommodation and departure.

    In the year ending September 2022, a total of 34,833 Russians applied for visitor visa UK. Out of 32,594 resolved applications, 27,520 visit visas were granted to Russian nationals, and 3,613 applications were rejected. Therefore, the UK visitor visa success and refusal rate from Russia are 84.43% and 11.08%, respectively.

    Cost of Visit Visa from Russia to UK

    In 2023, the UK visa application fees from Russia are categorized as follows: US$129 for a 6-month visa, US$484 for a 2-year visa, US$862 for a 5-year visa, and US$1,077 for a 10-year visa. All these visa categories limit your stay to a maximum of 180 days per visit.

    The standard visitor visa processing time is approximately three weeks. However, applicants can opt for expedited services. A one-week priority service is available at a charge of US$322, and the next working day super priority service is priced at US$1,231.

    Tourist Visa to UK from Russia

    Application Process

    The application process for a UK tourist visa involves completing online application form, paying the visa fee, and submitting biometric data at a visa application center. Additional supporting documents are also required.

    Required Documentation for Tourist Visa to UK from Russia
    • Proof of intent to return to Russia, supported by employment or educational commitments
    • Bank statements verifying adequate funds for the stay
    • A detailed travel itinerary and proof of accommodation, such as hotel reservations

    Show Money for UK Tourist Visa for Russian Citizens

    Applicants must prove they have sufficient funds—typically between GBP 3,000-5,000—to cover all expenses for the UK trip. The required amount varies depending on the number of travelers and the trip’s duration.

    Can My Russian Girlfriend Visit Me in the UK?

    A Standard UK Visitor Visa is required for your Russian girlfriend to visit the UK. The process involves an online application, payment of the visa fee, and biometric data submission.

    London Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens

    The standard visitor visa is suitable for trips specifically to London. The procedure involves completing an online form, document verification, and biometric data submission.

    Other Visit Visa from Russia to UK

    • Marriage Visitor Visa: If you intend to marry or register a civil partnership in the UK, the Marriage Visitor Visa is your go-to option. UK Visa for Russian Citizens Cost 2023: US$129. Duration: Up to 180 days.
    • Private Medical Treatment Visa: Should you be traveling to the UK for private medical treatment lasting between 6 and 11 months, you’ll need to apply for a Medical Treatment Visitor Visa. UK Visa for Russian Citizens Cost 2023: US$257. Note: Attendants must apply as visitors.
    • Visiting Academics: Russian academic professionals planning to engage in research or educational exchange can opt for a 12-month Academic Visit Visa. UK Visa for Russian Citizens Cost 2023: US$257.
    • Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE): For specific short-term paid tasks like lecturing or assessing, the PPE visa is available for up to 30 days. UK Visa for Russian Citizens Cost 2023: US$129.
    • Parent of Child Student Visa: For parents whose children are enrolled in fee-paying day schools in the UK, a 12-month Parent of Child Student Visa is available. UK Visa for Russian Citizens Cost 2023: US$684.
    • Transit Visas: For brief transits through the UK en route to another country, a transit visa is needed. Airside Transit Fee: US$45; Visitor in Transit: US$82.

    Note: Holding a standard, marriage, or medical visitor visa negates the need for a separate transit visa.

    3. Study in UK from Russia 2023

    Can Russian Students Study in UK?

    The UK Student Visa permits Russians to pursue a range of educational opportunities in the UK, from higher education to Student Union roles.

    Key Requirements: Student Visa from Russia to UK

    For a successful UK Student Visa application, Russians must satisfy specific criteria. These include a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from a UK institution and proof of English language proficiency, commonly through an IELTS exam. Financial solvency for tuition and living costs is also mandatory.

    Different visa types like Child Student Visa and Short-term (English Language) Visa have distinct requirements. Adherence to the rules for each visa type is crucial.

    In the year ending September 2022, a total of 2,038 Russians applied for student visa UK. 1,852 applications resolved, 1,790 student visas granted to Russians, and 27 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK student visa success and refusal rate for Russians are 96.65% and 1.46%, respectively.

    UK Student Visa Fees for Russians

    The standard UK Student Visa fee is US$467, with a processing time of around 3 weeks. Expedited service is available for an additional US$322.

    All students must also pay the Immigration Health Charge (IHS) at £624 annually.

    Short-term English Language Visa from Russia to UK

    The short-term study visa is designed for Russians studying English in the UK for 6-11 months, costing US$257. A 6-month course costs US$129.

    Work Rights for Russian Students

    Post-Study Work Opportunities

    Russian graduates can avail a 2-year post-study work visa. PhD holders can get a 3-year visa.

    4. Family Visas for the UK 2023

    UK Visa for Russian Citizens under Appendix FM

    The family route is for those Russians who can apply for a UK visa because of their relationship to a person settled in the UK or a British citizen. This includes spouse settlement visa, adult dependant relative, parent of a British Child visa etc.

    Key Criteria: Family Visa from Russia to UK

    Applicants must satisfy essential requirements, such as a genuine relationship with a UK resident, financial stability, and English language proficiency. An Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is also mandatory for all applicants.

    Family Visa Statistics

    In the year ending September 2022, a total of 620 Russians applied for family settlement visa UK. 340 applications resolved, 314 family settlement visas granted to Russians, and 18 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK family (spouse) settlement visa success and refusal rate from Russia are 92.35% and 5.29%, respectively.

    Spouse or Partner Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens

    • Criteria: Applicants must follow the Appendix FM of the Immigration RulesUK Spouse Visa Requirements include proving a genuine relationship, financial stability, secure housing, and English proficiency.
    • Duration & Progression: The visa is initially granted for 33 months and can be extended after 30 months. Applicants can seek Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) after 5 years, provided they continuously meet all conditions. An exceptional 10-year route to settlement is possible if specific criteria like financial stability or English proficiency aren’t fulfilled.
    • Fees: The base UK visa fee Russia for spouse applications is US$1,980. For expedited 6-week processing, an additional fee of US$738 is required, totaling US$2,718.

    Other Family Visa from Russia to UK:

    • Fiancé(e) Visa: For Russians planning to marry or engage in a civil partnership in the UK. The visa lasts 6 months. After marrying or forming the partnership, they can switch to a spouse or civil partner visa. UK Visa Fee Russia 2023: US$1,980.
    • Parent of a British Child: For Russians with sole guardianship of a British child. UK Visa Fee Russia 2023: US$1,980.
    • Adult Dependent Relative: For Russians needing extended care from a UK relative. UK Visa Fee Russia 2023: US$4,184.
    • Returning Residents: Russians who were previously settled in the UK and wish to return. UK Visa Fee Russia 2023: US$684.

    5. UK Work Visa for Russian Citizens 2023

    UK Entry Requirements for Russian Citizens: Work Visas

    The primary route for Russians seeking UK employment is through the Skilled Worker Visa. Other options include visas like Innovator, Startup, Global Business Mobility, and Health and Care Worker.

    Essential Criteria: Work Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens

    To secure a UK work visa, Russians need to meet varying requirements based on the type of work visa they are applying for.

    For most employment-based visas like the Skilled Worker visa, obtaining a job offer from a UK employer registered with the Home Office is crucial. The employer then provides a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS). Additional standard prerequisites include passing an English language test and providing evidence of adequate financial resources. However, for business-oriented visas such as the Innovator Founder Visa, a job offer is not required; instead, applicants must secure an endorsement from an approved endorsing body and present a viable business plan. Regardless of the visa type, demonstrating a genuine intention to work or conduct business in the UK is essential.

    In the year ending September 2022, a total of 6,671 Russians applied for work visa UK. 5,723 applications resolved, 5,027 work visas granted to Russian nationals, and 635 applications rejected. Therefore, the UK work visa success and refusal rate from Russia are 87.84% and 11.10%, respectively.

    Skilled Worker Visa

    Russians can work in the UK under the Skilled Worker Visa. This visa is for those sponsored by a licensed Home Office sponsor for specific skilled roles. It offers a path to permanent UK settlement. The cost of the UK work visa for Russian in 2023 stands at US$805 for up to three years and US$1,590 for longer durations.

    Skilled Worker (Shortage Occupation) Visa

    This is a specialized category of the Skilled Worker Visa with reduced fees. The cost is US$617 for up to three years and US$1,214 for durations longer than three years.

    Health and Care Work Visa

    This visa is specifically designed for qualified doctors, nurses, or allied health professionals from Russia who are sponsored by a licensed Home Office sponsor. It also provides a route to permanent UK settlement. The UK Work Visa for Russian cost for this category in 2023 is US$318 for up to three years and US$617 for more extended periods.

    Global Business Mobility Visa

    A brief overview of UK work visas available for Russians under the Global Business Mobility category, along with their 2023 fees.

    1. Senior or Specialist Worker: For high-level managers or specialists transferring to a UK branch. UK Visa Fee Russia 2023: US$805 for up to three years, US$1,590 for over three years.
    2. Graduate Trainee: For individuals in graduate programs leading to specialist roles in the UK. Fee: US$333.
    3. UK Expansion Worker: For specialists or senior personnel expanding a business into the UK. Fee: US$333.
    4. Service Supplier: For individuals providing services as per UK trade commitments. Fee: US$333.
    5. Secondment Worker: Specifically for Russians seconded to the UK for high-value contracts or investments. Fee: US$333.

    Quick Guide to Other Work and Business Visas:

    Below is a brief overview of various UK visa categories along with their associated fees for Russians looking to work or do business in the UK.

    1. Start-Up Visa: For Russians starting an innovative business in the UK. Fee: US$487.
    2. Innovator Visa: For Russians with innovative, viable, and scalable businesses. Fee: US$1,334. Requirements include an endorsement, £50,000 investment, and B2 IELTS level.
    3. Innovator Founder Visa (Introduced April 2023): Replaces older Innovator and Startup visas. Streamlined for international entrepreneurs with endorsement-based approval. Leads to potential permanent UK residency for family members. Endorsement Fees: US$1,290, Application Fees: US$1,334
    4. Investor Visa: For high-value Russians investing in the UK. Fee: US$2,109.
    5. High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa: For Russian graduates from top-50 global universities seeking employment in the UK. Fee: US$920.
    6. Scale-Up Visa: For Russians with a job offer from an authorised UK scale-up company. Fee: US$920. Leads to potential UK settlement after 5 years.
    7. Global Talent Visa: For Russians who are leaders or potential leaders in academia, research, arts, or digital technology. UK Visa Fee Russia vary: US$587 (Approval Letter for initial application), US$215 (Main Applicant with Approval Letter), US$802 (Main Applicant without Approval Letter and for Dependants).
    8. T2 Minister of Religion Visa: For Russians intending to undertake preaching and pastoral work. UK Visa Fees Russia 2023: US$805
    9. International Sportsperson Visa: For elite Russian sportspersons or coaches contributing to UK sports. UK Visa Fees Russia 2023: US$333 (up to 12 months COS) or US$805 (more than 12 months COS).
    10. T5 (Temporary Worker) Visa: For Russians in various sectors, such as seasonal, religious, or creative workers. UK Visa Fees Russia 2023: US$333.

    6. UK Visa for Russian Girlfriend 2023

    Entry Requirements for Girlfriend Visa UK

    If the purpose is tourism, then the pertinent UK visa for Russian girlfriend is the standard visitor visa. However, if the intentions are to get married then a Russian girlfriend needs to apply for UK marriage visitor visa. Nevertheless, if the intentions are to live permanently together and settlement in the UK then a Russian girlfriend needs to apply for fiancé or spouse/civil partner visa.

    UK Visa for Russian Girlfriend Cost

    The cost of UK visa for Russian girlfriend depends on the type of the application. If the Russian girlfriend is applying for tourist or 6-month visit visa, then the cost of UK visa is US$129. However, if the Russian girlfriend is applying for spouse visa, then the UK visa cost is US$1,980.

    Can My Russian Girlfriend Work in the UK?

    Russian girlfriend cannot work in the UK on a visitor or tourist visa. However, if Russian girlfriend is on a family settlement visa, then can work in the UK. Moreover, for working in the UK Russian girlfriend can apply for work visas such as Skilled Worker, Health and Care Worker, Global Business Mobility etc.

    UK Visa Invitation Letter for Girlfriend

    Writing an invitation letter for a UK visa for a girlfriend involves outlining the purpose of the visit, relationship details, and support assurances. Below is a sample letter to guide you.

    [Your Full Name]
    [Your Full Address]
    [City, State, Zip Code]
    [Phone Number]
    [Email Address]

    [UK Visa Application Centre Address]

    To Whom It May Concern,

    Re: Invitation Letter for [Girlfriend’s Full Name], Passport No: XXXXXXX

    I am writing to confirm that I wish to invite my girlfriend, [Girlfriend’s Full Name], to visit me in the United Kingdom for [length of the visit, e.g., 2 weeks] to [purpose, e.g., spend holidays and engage in tourist activities]. She will be staying with me at my residence for the duration of her visit. I am a [Your Nationality] citizen and a [Your Occupation].

    We have been in a genuine relationship for [length of your relationship, e.g., 2 years]. I am financially stable, earning an annual salary of [Your Salary], and am fully capable of accommodating and supporting her during her stay in the UK.


    [Girlfriend’s Full Name] will be staying at my residence located at [Your Full Address].

    Financial Support:

    I will bear all financial responsibilities for her stay, including the round-trip airfare, internal travels, accommodation, and her daily expenses.

    Sponsorship Documents:

    I am providing the following documents to support this invitation:

    1. Photocopy of my passport and UK residence permit.
    2. Bank statements for the last 3 months.
    3. Proof of address (utility bill or lease agreement).
    4. Return flight booking confirmation for [Girlfriend’s Full Name].

    Her travel details are as follows:

    • Arrival: [Arrival Date]
    • Departure: [Departure Date]
    • Flight: [Flight details]

    I earnestly request you to grant her the necessary visa to visit me in the United Kingdom.

    Yours faithfully,

    [Your Full Name]

    Please note that this is a sample letter and you might need to tailor it according to your own circumstances. Attach all supporting documents to substantiate the facts stated in the letter.

    How to Apply UK Visa in Russia?
    UK Visa for Russian Citizens 2023: Steps to Successfully Apply for a UK Visa in Russia

    7. How to Apply for UK Visa from Russia?

    UK Visa Requirements for Russian Citizens

    A comprehensive guide tailored for Russians outlining the steps to apply for a UK visa. Follow this guide from determining your visa type to getting ready for your UK trip. Note: The estimated cost is based on a UK visitor visa, and priority service could shorten the process to 15 working days from 30.

    Total Time: 30 days

    Step 1: Determine the Visa Type

    Firstly, ascertain the specific visa category that aligns with your reason for traveling from Russia to the UK.

    Step 2: Create an Online Account

    Proceed to the official UK government website focused on visas and immigration. Register an account on the UK Visas and Immigration platform.

    Step 3: Fill Out the Application Form

    Complete the relevant online application form, making sure that all details align with your supporting documents.

    Step 4: Pay the Application Fee

    Once you’ve completed the form, the system will navigate you to the online payment gateway to finalize your application fee.

    Step 5: Assemble Your Supporting Documents

    Depending on the type of visa, collect key documents such as your Russian passport, proof of financial status, and UK accommodation details.

    Step 6: Schedule a VAC Appointment in Russia

    Russians are not qualified to use the Immigration App for identity verification. As a result, it’s vital to book an appointment at a UK Visa Application Centre (UKVAC) in Russia.

    Step 7: Attend the VAC Appointment

    Arrive at the Visa Application Centre with all your supporting documents and undergo the biometric verification as per your appointment guidelines.

    Step 8: Await Visa Decision

    Post-submission, your application enters the processing stage. You will be informed once the decision is made.

    Step 9: Passport Collection or Delivery

    You can either collect your passport with the visa from the VAC or opt for a courier service for delivery.

    Step 10: Prepare for Your UK Journey

    With your visa secured, plan your UK travel and familiarize yourself with the terms of your visa.

    Estimated Cost: 129 USD


    • Application form
    • Valid Russian Passport
    • Recent passport-sized photos
    • Invitation letter (if applicable)
    • Payment for visa fee in USD
    • Proof of UK accommodation


    • Internet access
    • Russian Passport
    • Financial documents

    Materials: Photocopies of original documents, Printed application confirmation, Postal envelope (if mailing documents)

    UK Visa Application Centres in Russian Federation

    • Moscow Visa Application Centre: Delta Plaza, Bldg 1, 2nd Syromyatnichesky Lane, Moscow, Russia, 105120
    • St. Petersburg Visa Application Centre: Business center ‘Preobrazhensky Dvor’, 1st floor, 26, Liteiny prospect, St. Petersburg, Russia, 191028
    • Rostov-on-Don Visa Application Centre: Liga Naciy, 91 Suvorova street, Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 344022
    • Ekaterinburg Visa Application Centre: 70, Bolshakova street, office 601, 6th floor, Ekaterinburg, Russia, 620142
    • Novosibirsk Visa Application Centre: 57, Sibirskaya street, Novosibirsk, Russia, 630132

    For further details please refer to find a visa application centre.

    8. VFS Document Checklist UK Visa

    UK Visa Supporting Documents Checklist from Russia

    Primary Documentation

    • Valid Passport: Must be valid for the duration of your UK stay.
    • Application Form: Completed on the UK Visas and Immigration portal.
    • Proof of Accommodation: Details of your UK stay.
    • Financial Proof: Evidence of financial capability.
    • Travel Itinerary: Outline of travel plans.
    • Proof of Ties to Russia: To show intent to return.
    • English Language Proficiency: When required, generally via an accredited test.

    Note: The list outlines essential primary documents for all UK visa categories. Check specific guidelines for additional requirements based on your visa type.

    Documentation Based on Visa Type

    • Work Visas: Includes employment offer and Certificate of Sponsorship.
    • Study Visas: Requires Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS).
    • Family Visas: Requires relationship proofs.
    • Tourist Visas: Additional trip details may be necessary.

    For UK-Based Sponsors

    Providing documents from a UK sponsor can enhance your visa application, particularly for sponsorship-required visas like family or work visas.

    • Letter of Invitation
    • Sponsor’s Immigration Status
    • Financial Documents
    • Accommodation Proof
    • Relationship Evidence

    Remember: Sponsor documents are supplementary; meeting the primary visa criteria is crucial.

    9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    UK Visa for Russian Citizens 2023 Fees and Requirements: Key Points

    Do Russians Need to Apply for UK Visa?

    Russians need to apply for a visa if they intend to visit, work, study, or settle in the UK. UK visa requirements for Russians depends on the type of application. For instance, if Russian passport holders are applying for UK visit or tourist visa, then need to meet the requirements of Appendix V for Visitors, Immigration Rules.

    How much is UK Visa Fee in Russia?

    UK visa fee requirements in Russia depends on the type of application. For instance, UK tourist, student, and spouse visa fees in Russia are US$129, US$467, and US$1,980, respectively.

    How Long Does It Take to Process UK Visa in Russia?

    In 2023, non-settlement visit, study, and work visa application processing time in Russia is usually 3-weeks. UK priority non-settlement visit, study, and work applications processing time from Russia is normally 5 working days. The additional cost of UK priority (non-settlement) visa service from Russia is US$322.

    What is Spouse Settlement Visa Processing Time for Russians?

    The UK settlement visa processing time after biometrics from Russia for spouse, partner, family applications are usually within 12 weeks. Spouse priority settlement visa processing time for Russian passport holders is 6-weeks. The additional cost of UK priority settlement visa service from Russia is US$738.

    What is Super Priority Visa Processing Time in Russia?

    Super-priority service fee in Russia is US$1,231 to process UK visa applications by next working day. However, the super priority service is not operational in Russia.

    How long can Russians stay in the UK?

    On a visitor (holiday or tourist) visa Russians can stay in the UK up to 180 days per visit. Russians on a spouse, student, and work visa in the UK can stay up to the validity of the visa. Russians on valid spouse, work, and student visa can extend their duration of stay in the UK by meeting the relevant leave to remain (LTR) requirements. Family and some work routes such as Skilled Worker, Innovator etc. also enable Russian migrants in the UK to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and subsequently Naturalisation and British Citizenship.