Russian Tourist Visa Invitation Application

Author: waytorussia (on 29 Sep 2022)
In order to get a Russian visa, you need to get a Russian visa invitation document (also known as visa support) first. 
Special Military Operation update (09/2022). While we are aware that many people might not want to travel to Russia for personal, moral, or political reasons, we decided to keep this service available for those who need to travel to Russia for humanitarian reasons, to see their friends and relatives, or even to visit the country as a tourist. As we stated at the beginning of the conflict, we don't think that isolation is the best strategy as it will only lead to further escalation and radicalization. That's why we decided to keep this information available for those who want to travel to Russia for humanitarian purposes, to visit their friends or relatives, or even as a tourist. Obviously, we recommend you to monitor the current security situation and to be aware that there is a law in Russia which criminalizes any public dissent from the official government take on the conflict. However, luckily, Russia is not North Korea yet. At the same time, we also want to bring to your attention to the rumours that the citizens of so-called "unfriendly" nations will have to get special exit visas to leave Russia (most EU countries, USA, Canada, Australia, and others — all the "Western" world, basically). These rumours appeared as the foreign embassies in Russia advised their residents and nationals to leave Russia as soon as possible (29 September 2022). Aggravated by the high prices for the flights out of Russia and land borders being closed down. All this happening in the context of a military operation that has all the chances to escalate. That's why we recommend you to check the current situation and take the precautions necessary and avoid traveling to Russia if you think the situation might escalate and it may be hard for you to leave Russia.
The tourist visa invitation is comprised of a tourist voucher and a reservation confirmation – usually one letter-sized document. The tourist voucher is a confirmation that there is a local travel agency in Russia that will be responsible for you during your stay. The reservation confirmation shows that you have accommodation during your stay (this is a formal requirement and there is no law that forbids you from staying somewhere else, for example, in a private apartment). 
Before you fill out any visa support application at any company, please, check the following advice

before you apply for the Russian visa support (invitation)...
  • When you fill out an application form for Russian visa support, at any company, we recommend you to provide as much specific information as possible: where you're planning to stay, where you're going to travel. However, you can keep your dates open: you can travel any time within the visa validity frame.
  • After you make the payment, you should usually receive your visa support document within 48 hours. Should the consulate require originals when you apply (which is very rare), you should check that they can be sent to you by standard post or using courier delivery (standard postage costs apply). You can also change your invitation type to the Telex, which can be sent directly to the Russian consulate, so you can avoid dealing with post.
  • You will then need to print out the invitation and submit it to your nearest Russian consulate, along with the completed visa application form (available directly at the consulate or online on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
  • The data that you provide in your visa application form should be exactly the same as in the visa support documents that you will obtain (e.g. if you're getting a tourist visa the purpose of your visit should be "tourism", not "visiting friends" for which you'd need to get a private invitation mailed to you by your friends).
  • This visa support / invitation, along with your visa application form, valid passport, 2 photos and a valid travel insurance for the duration of the trip (except if you're from the UK) are all the documents you need to get a Russian visa.
  • For longer stays and multiple trips, apply for "business" visa support. US citizens can also use this form to apply for a multiple 3-year long multiple-entry tourist visa. In order to do that, you still need to get an invitation for up to 30 days below, and to then specify a 3-year period in the visa application form that you submit to the consulate visa the Russian visa processing center. In this case this visa support / invitation you get is simply to confirm your first trip, but your tourist visa would enable you to stay 90 days out of every 180 days in Russia if you're traveling as a tourist.
  • If you don't know where you're staying yet, if the hotel is not on the list in the form below, or if you're staying with friends or camping, you can still choose a hotel from a list of suggested hotels provided by the agency. You are not obliged to stay there, the reservation can be cancelled.
  • You will not be tied to any specific hotels or itinerary. Even though the cities and hotels should be listed both on your visa support documents because you need to have a preliminary itinerary to apply for a Russian visa, there is no law or regulation that says you cannot change your itinerary once you get your visa. The hotels and cities you are going to visit will not be listed on your visa, so you are free to travel and stay where you want within the time span of your visa validity (except for restricted military territories and secret objects, of course).
  • This service is provided not by WayToRussia.Net but by our carefully selected third-party providers. You will get their full contact details after you submit the form in case you have any other questions. They are so good that we use them ourselves for our family and friends; they are processing thousands of invitations for our readers every year successfully. The price is the same as if you use them directly, but we get a commission from every order you make, which helps us run this independent information resource about Russia.
    You also get our backup in dealing with the providers when ordering through WayToRussia.Net
  • If you have any questions while filling out the form, please, click the ? marks in the form below, read our Russian Visa Guide, or tweet @waytorussia

After You Get Your Visa Support...

You might be also interested to get
Travel Insurance (needed for your visa)
• Our Way to Russia Travel Guide Book (PDF download)
Book a Hotel in Russia (lowest price comparison)
Book a Train Ticket
Rent a Car (for journeys between different cities)
• Get a Cheap Flight
• Get a Travel SIM Card with unlimited internet




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