Trans-Siberian Visa Service

Trans-Siberian Visa Service Overview

You are most likely to need a Russian visa for any Trans-Siberian Railway trip. Next up are visas for Mongolia, China as well as Belarus, depending on your nationality and the route of your trip.
Once you have booked a tour with us we will provide you with the essential Russian visa invitation (included in our standard tour price) and guide you through the whole visa application process.
If you are visiting Hong Kong in person, we can help arrange a visa for China, but you’ll have to apply for your Russian visa yourself at the Russian Embassy in Hong Kong if you don’t have an HK ID card.

Our partners in Moscow offer a Belarus transit visa service if you will be traveling to Eastern Europe after your Trans-Siberian trip.
If you can not take advantage of our visa service, we can send the visa support documents so you can make the visa applications yourself at your local embassy.

Which Visas?

You are most likely to need a Russian visa for any Trans-Siberian Railway trip, as well as visas for China and perhaps Mongolia.
You may not need a Mongolian visa if you travel on the Trans-Manchurian route, travel from Moscow to Vladivostok, or if you are a Canadian, German or US Citizen as well as other exceptions.
You will probably need a China visa and if you plan a double entry trip, e.g. to Hong Kong and back again or to Mongolia and back again, you will need a double-entry China visa.
You may also need a Belarus transit visa if you plan to travel overland between Russia and Eastern Europe, read more on the Belarus Visa page.

Our Visa Service ~ Who Qualifies?

Our visa service is only available to our customers that book a Trans-Siberian package with us. We do not supply visa invitations if you do not book a tour/accommodation with us.

Where to Apply?

It is best to apply for the visas in your country of residence before you start your travels, but bear in mind (Chinese and Mongolian) visas are often only valid for three months before date of entry. The Mongolian visa is quite straight-forward and you can apply at any embassy around the world. The Russian Embassy has very strict requirements and normally you have to apply in your country of residence. This is definitely the case in China (Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou) and you must have a valid Chinese residence visa in your passport. There are some exemptions and the rules are often interpreted differently on a whim!

Beijing

We can apply on your behalf for the Russian visa and Mongolian visa through our representatives in Beijing. Furthermore, we offer a postal visa service if you are already in China and cannot visit an embassy closer to your registered address. If you are living in Beijing it is relatively easy to visit the embassies in person, see our usual address page for more information, but if you are busy during the working week our guides in Beijing will be able to help with the legwork.
The Mongolian consulate in Beijing is very busy, particularly in summer, and the application can take more than three working days so plan on this only with plenty of time or as a last resort.
If you travel through Eastern Europe and require a Belarus visa then you can apply at the friendly Embassy in Beijing, the less friendly embassy in Moscow, or at other locations including the little publicized consulate in Singapore.

Hong Kong Connection

Our Hong Kong monkey Kelvin can help with China and Russia visas (note that the Russian Embassy allows us only to apply on behalf of HK residents). There is a Mongolian Consulate in Hong Kong but you need to apply in person. The Russian Embassy has a long list of countries listing who can/ can not apply and for some nationalities you will need a Hong Kong entry clearance for more than 90 days. To apply for a Russian and Chinese visa in Hong Kong, you must actually be in Hong Kong at the time of application as the visa office checks for a valid entry stamp in your passport.

Apply yourself

If you can’t take advantage of our visa services, you can obtain your own visas. A lot of countries now offer a postal visa service either directly or through official agents, or else local visa agents can help with the whole process. Don’t forget we will still be here for advice and to provide the essential Russian visa invitation.

When to Apply?

You will need a bundle of visas if you plan to travel overland across several continents. Visas can generally be obtained in any order, but often not more than two months in advance of travel. Some embassies only allow application in your country of residence which can be problematic when you are on the move. The embassy will require your passport for up to one week each in some cases and so juggling your passport between the relevant embassies can be tricky. Also check below for the Embassy Holidays in 2020! Visas are generally valid for only three months after issuing, so don’t apply too early.
The Russian visa application can be a difficult process, especially for UK and USA nationals. The regulations in both Hong Kong and Beijing are strict and frequently changing, especially when they are busy, or a new consul starts working! Depending on your circumstances, it may be best to apply for the visas before you leave your country of residence. Each visa normally takes around one week, although expensive express applications are often available.

Embassy Holidays in 2020

The Embassy will require your passport for up to one week each in some cases and so juggling your passport between the relevant Embassies can be tricky, especially when embassies are only open certain days of the week, close for national holiday dates and often observe other holiday dates of their host country.

Feb 23 till Feb 25 -Defender of the Fatherland Day

Mar 8 and 9  -Woman’s Day

April 19 -Orthodox Easter Day

May 1 -Spring and Labour Day Holiday 

May 9 till 11  -Victory in Europe Day

June 12 -Russia Day 

Nov 12 -Russia Day 

Jan 1   -New Year’s Day

Jan 25 till 27   –Bituun (Lunar New Year)

Mar 8   -International Women’s Day

Jun 1   -Mothers’ and Children’s Day

Jul 11 till Jul 15   -Naadam Holidays

Nov 16   -Ghengis Khan’s Day

Nov 26   -Republic Day

Dec 29   –Independence Day

Jan 1   -New Year’s Day

Jan 24 till 30   -Lunar New Year / Spring Festival

March 8   -International Women’s Day

Apr 4   -Tomb Sweeping Day / Qing Ming Jie

May 1   -Labour Day

Jun 25   -Dragon Boat Festival

Sep 13   -Mid-Autumn Festival / Zhong Qui Jie

Oct 1 till Oct 4   -National Day / Gui Qing Jie

Oct 7   -Chung Yeung Festival

Jan 1   -New Year’s Day

Jan 25 till 28   -Lunar New Year / Spring Festival

Apr 4   -Tomb Sweeping Day

Apr 10   -Good Friday

Apr 11   -The Day following Good Friday

Apr 13   -Easter Holiday

May 1   -Labour Day

May 12 and 13   -Buddha’s Birthday

Jun 25   -Tuen Ng Festival / Dragon Boat Festival

Jul 1   -SAR Establishment (HK handover)

Oct 1   -National Day

Oct 2   -Day after Mid-Autumn Festival

Oct 25 and 26   -Chung Yeung Festival

Dec 25   -Christmas Day

Dec 26   -Boxing Day

Jan 1   -New Year’s Day

Jan 7   -Orthodox Christmas Day

Mar 8   -International Woman’s Da

Apr 2   -Union Day of Belarus and Russia

Apr 28   -Radonitsa / Ancestor’s Veneration Day

May 1   -Labour Day

May 9   -Victory in Europe Day

Jul 3   -Independence Day

Nov 7   -October Revolution Day

Dec 25   -Catholic Christmas Day