Feb 6, 2020
Once you’ve decided to come to Russia as a tourist to visit Moscow and Saint Petersburg, or on other purposes, you will find that the main document necessary to apply for a Russian visa will be the invitation letter from Russia. In this article we’ll look at different types of invitations, ways to obtain them, and other nuances connected to your Russian visa process.
So, what is the invitation and how do you get one?
An invitation letter is a document provided by the inviting Russian citizen or an official organization upon the request of your Russian host, containing certain data:
The invitation for a Russian visa must be issued by the Russian party. In case you use the services of local travel agencies or your company provides a visa for you, you should still make sure the invitation bears the details of the inviting Russian party.
Invitations can be divided into different types in accordance with the purpose of your trip. Let’s look over the main types below.
A tourist invitation letter/confirmation letter;
A private invitation;
A business invitation letter from the Russian company// a Telex directive by the MFA of Russia// an official invitation by the MIA of Russia (former FMS of Russia);
An official student invitation issued by the MIA of Russia upon request of the Russian educational institution;
An official work invitation for those who are going to Russia to work under a paid employment contract, issued by the MIA of Russia.
Read on to know more about each type.
A tourist invitation, also called tourist confirmation or voucher, is a document which states that you will be received as a tourist by the Russian travel agency registered in the Uniform Federal Register of Tour Operators, and thus have been issued a tour for your trip with provided accommodation included.
This document is required to apply for a tourist visa. Important to know: a simple Russian hotel booking does not suffice to obtain a Russian visa. The tourist invitation is accepted in a high quality printed copy or original. It has two parts, one which is the confirmation itself and another Russian tourist voucher. It contains the following information both in English and Russian:
Confirmation number (Russian visa invitation number normally written on top of the document)
Passport data of the tourist
Purpose of the trip
Dates of travel
Hotels of stay
Information on the Russian travel agency: Full name, Reference number, Contacts
Seal and signature of the CEO
I will guide you through the process of ordering your tourist invitation letter, using one of the most popular online services of Russian visa support. With the help of this service you’ll get a tourist voucher and confirmation for Russian visa online in several clicks without any problems.
Open the website https://russia.support/ Click on the large button “Get a Russian Visa Support” in the middle
Choose the language and currency in the top right-hand corner. Complete the form with your details:
Choose your citizenship in the dropping list. Please, do not indicate your current residence, but only citizenship, as written in your passport.
Choose the appropriate visa category - Tourist
Indicate the dates of your travel. Maximum span for tourism is 30 days. You can state the exact dates when you plan to enter and depart, or add some extra days of stay for any cases of emergency. Please note, it is not recommended buying tickets in advance for your visa, so the dates of your trip can be approximate. Simply do not exceed the 30 calendar days of stay.
If you plan to enter Russia only once during your trip choose single-entry visa type. If you plan to enter Russia, then leave for some days to the bordering state e.g. Georgia, and re-enter Russia afterwards, choose double entry. In case of double entry trip indicate dates above including your side-trips.
If you travel in company with friends or relatives add the number of tourists, you will see the price change accordingly.
Proceed below to the tourist’s information.
Indicate your full name as stated in your passport. In case you have several first and last names, please type them all. If your name contains special symbols please look at the lower line in your passport showing the international version as it should appear on all official documents.
Specify your date of birth
Type your passport number
Proceed to the last part of the form specifying details of your trip.
Enter cities of stay, you can add up to 5 cities for your travel voucher. Please, do not worry if you change your plans later, you will be free to visit other cities with your tourist visa, as well. If you do not find the city you need, write a comment below, asking the manager to add it.
Indicate hotels you are planning to stay in, and their addresses. You can also enter Airbnb booking details for your Russian visa invitation. You can indicate the hotels where you are going to stay most of the time and leave out the rest, if you have too many bookings.
In case you are going on a cruise trip, indicate the name of the vessel and the port of designation, and in comments write that you have a marine cruise booked.
The invitation will be sent to your email in the form of high-quality scan, so you’ll need to write your current email. Please make sure you write it without any mistakes. Note, that sometimes due to your inbox settings your message can go into spam box, so once you order your support, also check your spam messages.
In comments section you can leave any details you wish the manager to know, like a request to provide a special itinerary or write that you might require the original document delivery to your place etc., also, if you require special forms of tourist invitations for Auto-tourism (for travelers entering Russia through road borders) or Aim tourism (for travelers going to special events, fairs, festivals, Trans-Siberian railway tour etc.) mention it in a comment.
Press the CONTINUE button
Check the summary of your order. If you need to make any alterations, click the Change information button. If everything is OK, proceed by clicking Continue.
Once you land on payment page choose the method of payment more convenient for you. The service accepts paypal and Visa/Mastercard payment. For G-pay option choose Pay with Visa/Mastercard, you’ll then see the window offering G-pay or card.
Enter your credit card details, if you choose to pay by card. Process payment.
After you have received the message that your payment went through, wait for the email with your invitation. It will take no longer than 10 minutes to get it. Sometimes the message will go into spam, so make sure you check on that as well. If you have any problems or waiting for too long, contact the support manager by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you get your Russian tourist visa invitation, check all the details and print it out.
Now you are ready to fill the visa form at visa.kdmid.ru and apply with the documents for your tourist visa. Apart from invitation and visa form you’ll need a color photo 3.5x4.5 and a travel insurance for the dates of your trip (you can buy it in any insurance company).
If you plan to come to Russia on business to visit your partners, negotiate, attend business events etc. you will need to apply for a business visa type. The required business invitation can be of different types.
The fastest and easiest to obtain is a simple written statement from a Russian inviting company, which is available for citizens of EU countries, and the USA under the agreement on the Simplification of Visa Formalities. It is printed in Russian on the letterhead of the inviting organization and bears a seal and signature of CEO.
If you are a US citizen you can get such type of invitation for 3 years business visa with multiple entry to Russia, copies accepted.
If you are a citizen of an EU country you are eligible to such invitation either for 1-3 months with single or double entry (copies accepted) or for 1-5 years multiple entry (originals normally requested by the consular officers.
A business letter of invitation from the Russian company should contain the full name of the inviting company, all contacts, TIN number, passport data of the invited person, dates of expected travel, city of stay, purpose of visit, work position of the invited person, address of the employer, guarantees and responsibilities of both the inviting company and the invited person.
In case you want to travel on business, but for some reason you can’t obtain the required business invitation from the Russian company you want to visit, don’t panic, you can get your business visa support letter on RussiaSupport. Check out prices for business invitations here: russia.support/pricelist
Open https://russia.support/ click on Get a Russian Visa Support
Choose language and currency in the top right-hand corner and complete the order form
Choose your country of citizenship in the dropping list
Indicate visa category as Business visa
Choose invitation type - Business letter of invitation
Specify the duration period - for US citizens please choose 3 years
Put the entry date
Complete the information on the invited person according to passport
Upload passport copy. Please make sure it’s of good quality with all information clearly visible. Use jpeg or pdf format of documents
In the following fields enter the information on your employer, name, address of the company, your position
Add up to 5 cities you plan to visit during your business trip.
Choose the Consular section where you plan to submit your visa application
Enter your valid email address
Add comments e.g. if you need delivery of original invitation letter to your place
Check the summary of your order.
If you need to alter any info, click Change information button. If everything is fine, Continue
Effect payment for your order
Choose paypal or enter credit card details. If you have any problems with payment, you will receive the support message from russia.support manager. Also, you can write him directly to email@example.com
After you have successfully ordered your Russian support invitation letter you will receive it to your email within 5-10 minutes along with information on the inviting organization and instructions on further actions. Now you can print it out, or order delivery in case the consulate in your country requires it. Once you have the invitation, fill the visa form at visa.kdmid.ru and apply with all documents for your business visa.
Please note, if you are a citizen of the UK, Ireland and other countries, not falling under the agreement on simplification of visa procedures, the invitation on the letterhead of Russian company is not enough to apply for a business visa for you. You can apply only with an official business letter of invitation issued by MIA of Russia upon request of the Russian company. This invitation is processed within 17 working days and is sent both to you, and directly to the Consular Section of the Russian embassy where you intend to apply for your visa in electronic form.
Alternatively, you can get a telex directive, which is a number, provided by the MFA of Russia upon request of the inviting Russian company.
You can inquire about the possibility to obtain these business invitation support documents in an email to the Russia support manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
If the purpose of your trip is visiting friends or relatives in Russia, you will require an official private invitation to apply for your Russian visa. To get this invitation your Russian relative or friend should submit a petition to the local office of the migration service of Russia, asking to issue an invitation for the foreign citizen, or order such service on the web portal gosuslugi.ru
A set of documents the Russian host should collect include:
A petition in the specified form
A passport of the Russian host
A copy of passport of the invited foreigner
Letters of guarantee of financial, medical and accommodation support in the specified format from the inviting party
Financial statement proving the capacity of the host to provide the above mentioned support
The processing of a private invitation might take up to 20 working days from the application day.
If your Russian relative is going to accompany you in your trip Russia, you won’t need the above mentioned document, but a simple written statement to the Russian Consul in a foreign state, accompanied by the document proving family ties, is enough to apply for a private visa.
If you choose to study in Russia you should contact the Russian educational institution, where you will be doing the course, and ask to provide you the necessary invitation for your visa. The student invitation is granted by MIA of Russia upon request of the Russian university, school or college. It is quite a long process, which might take up to 2 months. You shouldn’t pay any fees for the invitation, as visa support is normally included in the services of the educational institution.
If you intend to perform work under a paid contract with the Russian employer, you will need to get an official work invitation, issued by the MIA of Russia upon request of your potential employer. The processing of invitation for work visa normally takes a long time of 1-2 months.
There can be two types of work visas and corresponding invitations - for standard employment issued for 90 days with single/double entry and extended in Russia, according to your employment contract conditions;
for highly qualified specialists hiring issued for 1-3 years with multiple entry, extended on the territory of Russia.
Please note, that to apply for a work visa apart from the official work invitation, you will need to take the HIV test and provide the negative result to the consulate. The test should be taken not earlier than 90 days before the application.
I hope the information you found in the article will help you to identify your purpose of trip, obtain the required invitation and correctly apply for your visa. If you still have any questions left, don’t hesitate to reach us by email right now. You will get your free visa consultation and help with Russian visa support documents.
Is it necessary to have invitation to apply for a visa? Can’t I simply book hotels and apply?
A hotel booking is not enough to obtain a Russian tourist visa. Currently a tourist invitation/confirmation is the necessary document for visa application.
What if I don’t know which hotels I will stay in, or plan to stay at my friend’s place?
For a tourist visa it’s necessary to indicate hotels of stay in your travel support document, that’s why even if you plan to stay at your friend’s place (but wish to get a tourist visa, instead of a private one), you’ll need to make a booking. In most cases the hotel can be simply booked without the need to pay for it at once, you can make reservation with free cancellation, if you are not certain about your plans yet.
Can I indicate Airbnb instead of hotel of stay?
Yes, you can. Simply put “Airbnb” in hotel name field, and write the address in the field below.
How much does the tourist invitation to Russia cost?
The price of the invitation depends on your citizenship. For countries which do not present migration risk the price varies between $17 -$22
Should I pay for every tourist or is it the price for 1 invitation for all people?
Each tourist must submit a full set of documents to get his visa, including an individual invitation for every person, even little children. When you fill the order form, you can add up to 5 tourists and enter details of each of them. You will receive invitations for each person, and the price will multiply according to the number of tourist invitations you order.
Can I use paypal to pay for the invitation?
Yes. We accept paypal payments, as well as Visa and MasterCard