FAQ: About Invitations

What is an invitation and why do I need one in order to apply for a visa?
Whatever type of Russian visa you need (with the exception of a transit visa), it requires a specific visa support document. That is an invitation issued by the host that invites you to Russia - tout agency, friend or relative, legal institution or a company-employer.

I want to get a tourist invitation, but the travel dates are inexact so far. Can I give a tour agency rough dates within the same month?
Yes, you may mention rough travel dates within a month. But please, note, some Consulates prefer to have identical information on your invitation, application form and tickets, so this discrepancy might lead to visa refusal.

I have booked a hotel room in St Petersburg, Russia, and received a booking confirmation. Is it enough to apply for a Russian tourist visa?
No, you need to have a tourist voucher and an invitation. They could be issued only by the company registered by the Russian Ministry of Foreigh Affairs and having reference number. Ask the hotel managers if they could assist you with it (most hotels provide this service).

Do I need an original invitation or is a fax/email copy enough?
Some Russian consulates accept only original invitations, while others take fax copies or even e-mail (scan) copies as well.

Who issues business and tourist invitations?
Business invitations are issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by the Passport and Visas Department of the Ministry of Interior of Russia upon requests of accredited companies. Tourist invitations are issued by Russian travel agencies, accredited in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

How fast I can get Russian visa invitation?
A single or a double entry invitation for russian tourist visa can be processed in 1 business day.