Getting the invitation letter for Russia in order to obtain a visa is an important and mandatory document you must have before applying for a visa and traveling to Russia. This voucher serves as a key document to use to apply for the Russian visa. In this article, I assist you in ensuring you get it issued in a simple and quick way. I have done this several times for both my family and friends.
Let’s look first at the basics.
What is the Letter of Invitation to Russia or Visa Support?
This very important document is pretty much essential to obtaining a visa for Russia. Also called a tourist voucher, it is an indispensable requirement that must be presented as part of the visa application. It is an invitation from a person or company that invites you to visit them in Russia for a short period for tourism, business, studies or a private visit.
- The Invitation Letter is mandatory to get a visa for Russia. Therefore, if you do not present it, they will not process your visa and they will reject your application. The invitation letter must correctly contain the names and surnames, passport number, the nationality of the guest and the planned dates for your trip to Russia.
It should be noted that the Invitation Letter is NOT your hotel or accommodation reservation in Russia. You do not need the reservation of the accommodation to get the visa. But YES the letter of invitation or visa support is essential.
Types of invitation letter for Russia
Depending on the reason for your trip to Russia, the most common is the Invitation Letter for tourism purposes. I am going to focus on this as the most requested document. In addition, it is ideal if you plan to stay in hotels or apartments such as Airbnb.
How to get the invitation letter to Russia
- You can apply on the iVisa website: a secure, reliable website with 24-hour customer service. The process is simple and you have all the steps to easily complete the application and have the letter issued. Make sure you fill out the form with all the required details and that’s it, they’ll be in charge of managing your invitation letter to Russia and they’ll send it to you promptly by email.
- With the hotel or hotels: once you have reserved your accommodation in Russia, another option is to ask to have the invitation letter for each hotel booked. Some hotels do it for free although many do charge a fee. If you change hotels, you will have to pay for a new letter of invitation and so on. Therefore, I recommend the option of using iVisa as that is what I use for a simple solution and you will see why.
Currently, there is no official Russian website to get the invitation letter. Only authorized agencies and registered hotels can issue them.
Invitation letters for transit visas
If you are going to obtain a transit visa, you do not need a letter of invitation to Russia. You just have to have valid travel insurance, return tickets showing why you are transiting in Russia and the visa of the country to which you are going.
Staying in several hotels in Russia
It is typical that people want to visit several cities in Russia and therefore, you will have several hotels or accommodation booked. In these cases, there is no problem, as, with the authorized iVisa website you can put the cities, names, addresses and telephone numbers of all hotels you will visit. This whole process will be explained to you in the simple steps below to obtain the letter of invitation to Russia.
Important: your invitation letter must include the first and last day you plan to be in Russia. These are the dates that you will be given your visa to Russia.
Requirements to obtain the invitation letter
The items that you must have to hand to manage the invitation letter application are:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months from arrival in Russia.
- Details on the accommodation: Airbnb or Booking.com for example. You can reserve accommodation for Russia here.
- Bank card or Paypal for payment.
Steps to obtain the Tourist Invitation Letter to Russia with iVisa
The first thing is to enter the iVisa website.
After putting your nationality and destination: Russia. You will see a page similar to this: Get your invitation letter for Russian visa now. In this initial page you must choose the option “Tourist Invitation Letter” or “Business Invitation Letter” and then click on “Apply Now”.
Step 1: General information
Complete your Email, dates of arrival and departure from Russia, contact telephone number. As well as the data of the applicant: name and surname; Nationality in your passport, date of birth, gender, passport number, date of issue and expiration date.
Then, type of visa: tourist invitation letter (30 days 1 entry or 30 days double entry) or business invitation letter. In the identification number, enter “not applicable” or your ID number.
How much does the Invitation Letter to Russia cost
Depending on the invitation letter of either Tourist or Business, you have the following prices:
- 30 day and 1 Entry Tourist Invitation Card: USD 25
- 30 day Tourist Invitation and Double Entry: USD 35
- Business invitation card: USD 75
These rates are for a normal processing time of 5 working days. If you want a faster response you can choose: Express Processing (in 3 days) or Super Express Processing (in 24 hours). Each option costs an additional amount to the normal rate.
Step 2: Review and pay
In this section you should review all the data and information of your passport and dates to check that they are correct. It is important to ensure you rectify any mistake as this can deny you a visa to Russia. On this same page you must make the payment with a bank card or Paypal.
Once the payment is made, the form will be automatically saved and you will receive an order number.
Step 3: Continue with the saved request, information about your accommodation
To complete this part, you will need your accommodation reservations from booking.com, Airbnb, homestay or other platforms. If you have not booked yet, use this link to search and book accommodation in Russia.
In this window you have to choose the place where you will apply for a visa to Russia. In this example I have put Spain – Embassy of Russian Federation in Madrid or in Barcelona. The only two cities in Spain that process visas for Russia.
The field “country that issued the passport” should be filled in, as it is good to put the nationality of the document that you are going to present to obtain the visa.
This is where you will fill in the details of the cities you are going to visit, the name of the hotel and the address: Airbnb, booking, Expedia, etc. If you then change hotels it should not be a problem, but it is recommended to keep the reservations until you have at least obtained the visa.
Once you have put this information, click on “Send Completed Request”. You will then get a confirmation window and the message that your request has been received.
Now all that remains is to wait for the Invitation Letter to be sent to the email that you indicated.
Print the color invitation letter
When you receive the invitation letter to Russia via email in PDF, I recommend you verify the information (names and surnames, passport number and dates in Russia) are correct. Also, read the instructions sent to you and print the letter in full color to present it along with the other documents with your visa application.
I hope that with this service you have been able to obtain your letter of invitation to Russia and I hope you have a good trip. If you have questions or doubts, remember that you can ask them in the comments.