The most popular online travel guide to Russia, since 2001.
  • Register
Welcome to Way To Russia Q&A Talk Lounge where you can get help about Russian visa, trains, travel and any other information you need from our community. For a faster response, you can contact us on Twitter using @waytorussia.

This free independent travel guide to Russia exists thanks to the commission we get when you order these endorsed third-party services or when you buy our book. Please, support us!


Get Our Book:

Our 780-page PDF e-book includes all the essential info you need while you're in Russia. Take it with you on your phone, computer or USB stick.

• Moscow & St. Petersburg guides
• Off-the-beaten track locations
• Getting a Russian visa with no ties
• Traveling Trans-Siberian on the budget
• Russian alphabet and phrasebook
• 200 pages on Russian culture and customs

or learn more about the book...


Private vs. Tourist Visa Application

+1 vote
I have a complicated situation:

I have in my possession a private invitation sent on behalf of the KHL that was mailed out in February and lost in the mail for almost two months. The invitation was from my girlfriend's father, who unfortunately quit his executive position at the KHL just recently.

I also have a tourist voucher from a Russian/American Travel/Visa Application Processing Agency. It appears that on the voucher they have not included a specific hotel name for my "accommodation" while in Russia. My plan has been to stay at my girlfriend and her parents' apartments while in Moscow and Yaroslavl.

I am planning to visit the last two weeks of June to propose to my girlfriend, so I really need to get approved for one of these visa types.

I'm leaning towards tourist and I'm wondering if I should have my girlfriend book a hotel for a night for me and use that as my "place of stay" on the Visa Application Form.

Any help with my predicament would be greatly appreciate!


asked Apr 27, 2015 in Russian Visa by MattyJ (130 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Hi Matt,

Sorry for the delay, but we needed some time to clarify your question.

If you finally received the business invitation, I'd go with it, because it was still valid at the time of issue, and it doesn't really matter the father of your girlfriend has quit his job – seems like a more legit option to us.

The tourist voucher could also work, but I don't know which company you used and if it doesn't have a hotel included, this is a bit weird. The problem here though is that if you're getting a tourist invitation the purpose of your trip should also be "tourism", but you seem to be traveling for private reasons. Don't you want to ask your girlfriend to simply make a "private" invitation for you (it takes 1 month to process though, so it's just enough time) and have it mailed to you by courier, so you can apply for a private visa? In your case it would be the right option, I think.

If the time is a bit tight, you could simply get another tourist invitation, this time with a "homestay" listed as a place of stay. For instance you could request it through our partner company on http://waytorussia.net/Travel/VisaSupport.html – ask them to put the right accommodation after you make the payment (you'll see their contact details on the payment page).

Hope it works out for you and let us know if you need more help!
answered May 14, 2015 by admin (5,930 points)