Russian Tourist Visa in Seoul (American Citizens)

I could not find much info about this online when I was looking for it, and since I’ve posted my experience on a few forums I’ve gotten a lot of feedback and questions. So people need to know!

You can get a Russian tourist visa at the consulate in Seoul without being a Korean resident (I am just here on a tourist visa now). If you are a resident and have an ARC, the visa can be picked up later that day. If you are not a resident, you have to wait two weeks.

Check out their website here to get a map to the consulate. The map is a bit confusing (definitely not to scale) and there are tourist maps posted around the neighborhood which conflict with the map provided by the consulate, which makes it even more confusing! So… Take exit 10 from City Hall subway station and turn right at Paris Baguette Cafe. After you pass Seoul Art Museum there will be a little park area with exercise machines on your left. Go around the left side of the park and when you get to the back, turn right and the consulate is at the end of that alley.

There are also phone numbers (we didn’t call before but they do speak English) and email addresses (but don’t even try, they won’t reply) on the website. You can only apply for a visa on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 9:30am and 12:30pm.

There is no number or other organized waiting system. Just go to the main window and pray there’s not a travel agent with 200 passports to submit in front of you! (Grrrr.)

If you are an American citizen, you must submit:
-One visa application
-One passport photo
-A copy of your invitation from a Russian travel agency or hotel (we went through Lupine Travel for our Trans-Mongolian trip)
-Your passport

Good luck!

Update: Make sure you check your visa when you get it! Mine actually had a mistake on it (says I am male instead of female). Apparently mistakes are common and mine wasn’t a big deal. When I left the country the immigration official asked if I was a male and I said no! (See how to read your visa here.)

Another thing I was really confused about while visiting Russia was whether I had to register my stay/visa. I read/heard that I didn’t have to if I didn’t stay in any city for longer than seven days. But a lot of people recommended that I register in at least one city anyway. I didn’t, because I didn’t want to spend the money and no one asked me about it when I left the country. Whew! Also I was paranoid about police asking to check my passport or visa to try to fine me (I read about this online) but during our two weeks in Russia this never happened. So don’t worry; don’t be as paranoid as I was!



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11 responses to “Russian Tourist Visa in Seoul (American Citizens)

  1. Derek

    Great post!

    One question though was it just the invitation letter from Lupine Travel or did you have to get the travel voucher they mention on their website with hotel bookings, etc too? Did you also submit a copy of your flight in/out? Just wondering as I’m taking the ferry and train and have no tickets for in and out. Plan to go soon since through a travel agent it’s like 270,000W. Thanks!

    • Jen Pace

      just the invitation letter.

    • Derek

      I wanted to update that I went to the Russian Consulate last week. The above was a great resource and I was able to find it no problem. Though did ask the Korean guard where the side road was as I thought it was the road, but it was a little walkway through the park (definitely not well marked!). I got there at 9:15 (opens 9:30) and there were a few travel agents there with bags of passports waiting till 9:30 for the doors to open. Luckily the one had me go first as I just had my passport. The person behind the window asked if I wanted it today and I said yes and 124,000W and 15 minutes later I had my passport in hand when they brought it up and put it in the second window (I had heard it’d be 70,000W, but that’d probably be 2 day or 3 days service). All I needed was my invitation letter, passport, application form, photo (3 by 4 inch), and money. I bought my letter off this site for $20 US and had it in less then 8 hours:

      Also note that whatever dates you give them are the entry/exit dates that will be on the visa. If I had known this I would have given myself a bit more leeway than I did.

      Thanks gain for the above post, definitely helpful!

  2. Thanks for writing this post!! It’s definitely helpful 🙂 When you applied for your visa, how many months were left on your ARC? My friends and I have been hearing that we can’t get Russian visas in Seoul unless we have 6 months left on our ARC…….and we all only have about 2 :/

  3. Chuck

    This is so useful!
    Did they require the original invitation letter, or is a copy okay? (I found a company in Sweden or thereabouts that can give me an invitation for 15 euros, but if I’d need it delivered, I may as well go to a travel agent nearby, even if it is 60,000 won.)

  4. tourist_usa

    is it possible to get visa same day ? us citizen from seoul, from your stories sounds that it is possible

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