Getting Russian invitation letter can be very hard and easy depending on how you view it and from what perspective you are viewing it from. It is no longer news that Russia is one of the first choice country for travelers. The reasons for that isn’t far-fetched. Some of the reasons include its famous art and culture, its exquisite cuisine, Russia’s rich history, which are just few of the reasons. However, an important document is needed to make your dreams come through, and the important document is Russian invitation letter.
What is Russian invitation letter, how do you get it, what are the types, and many more questions you might have about it will be answered shortly, but before digging deep, you have to understand what Russian invitation letter is.
What is Russian Invitation Letter?
Russian invitation letter is also called visa support, tourist voucher, or Russian visa voucher. It is an essential document that allows you entry into the Russian Federation, it is compulsory and acts as the basis to enter Russia. It the first document you must have to apply for your visa. Without it, the chances of you getting into Russia is slim if not impossible, although, not all countries need it to get into Russia but for those that do, it is a prerequisite.
Types of Russian Invitation Letter
Now that you have an idea on what Russian invitation letter is, the next thing to understand the types of Russian invitation letter and their meanings.
There are several types of Russian invitation visa, but the common and the most used types are:
- The tourist visa invitation letter
- The business visa invitation letter
- The private visa invitation letter
- The work visa invitation letter
- The study visa invitation letter
1. Tourist visa invitation letter:
This is the commonest, cheapest, and easiest type of Russian invitation letter. The tourist visa invitation letter is valid for 30 days, and it comes with a single entry visa. The price of a tourist visa varies, and it’s dependent on factors like migration risk, and tourist citizenship. You can get a Russian tourist visa invitation from visaexpress.com.
It is mandatory that a tourist visa invitation letter issued by a travel agency should contain the following:
- The data on the passport of the foreign person.
- The travel destinations such as the various cities, in which the foreigner will visit.
- Places in which the foreigner will be accommodated.
- The validity period, and entries that were assigned on the invitation.
Tourist invitation visa letter can be issued by:
A hotel: While some hotels would charge a specific amount for a tourist invitation visa letter, others offer this for free. When a tourist Russian invitation letter is sent to an individual, either by email or fax, or for one reason or the other, the person decides to lodge in another hotel, a penalty fee will be charged. Authorized tour operators of the Federal Tourism Agency of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation: It is important for all travelers to verify the authenticity of their tour operators. Authorized tour operators can be gotten on visa express.
2. Business visa invitation letter:
A business visa invitation letter allows a single, double, or multiple entry visa and is valid for 180 days. It can be issued by:
- Telex: This is the most convenient way of sending a Russian invitation letter. In this case, the invitation letter is sent in the form of a message from Russia to the consulate office in the country where the foreigner stays. This relieves the foreigner from handling any of the documents, as a telex number will be given. This number must be provided when applying for the visa in the consulate.
- Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation (FMS): A delegate will apply for a Russian business visa by sending all the necessary information to the FMS office situated where the company was registered. The FMS office will carry out a background check to ascertain if the foreigner has violated any law in any of his former entries into Russia and if the foreigner has been prohibited from entering Russia. Business invitation visa letter is usually reviewed for 17 days for single and multiple entries. The processing time is normally 10 working days but it takes 21days for multiple entry visa invitation letters to be reviewed.
- Companies: A representative from a company can issue a letter containing the consulate’s office requesting a visa for the foreigner. This letter will also contain reasons justifying the need for inviting the foreigner. It takes a while to obtain this Russian invitation letter, as the authorities will have to check if the companies have been authorized to issue such an invitation. Usually, it takes a day to process this letter of invitation.
Also, a business invitation visa letter can be bought from an authorized travel agency like visaepress.com .
3. Private visa invitation letter:
This type of visa invitation letter is valid for 90 days. It is issued to those who want to visit their families, friends, or relatives. They are not usually issued through an agency. Private visa invitation letters can be gotten through the Russian foreign ministry. To get a private Russian visa invitation letter, the host party will have to submit an application to FMS. The host party must be an individual of Russian nationality or a legal person in Russian who is of legal age before the FMS can issue the letter. The FMS will also take into account if the foreign visiting individual has committed any crime in his or her previous visit to Russia.
- A private visa Russian invitation letter contains the following:
- The number of times the individual has visited Russia.
- Passport of the foreigner.
- The details host or inviting party.
- The individual’s number and the visa validity period.
4. Work visa invitation letter:
Work visa invitation letter is expensive and difficult to get. It could take about 30 working days or more to obtain one. The company in which the foreigner will work is charged with getting the work visa invitation letter. This document serves as the basics for working in Russia and it is valid for 1-3 years. Essential information required to get a work visa invitation letter are:
- The date you will be arriving in Russia.
- 4 Colored and matte photos of yourself in size 3×4 cm
- Photocopy of your passport and educational degree.
- The cities or places you would be staying and visiting.
- The place you will be accommodated in Russia.
- A certificate issued by a Russian notary showing that you can speak the Russian language.
Work visa invitation letter allows multiple entries and it is mostly processed with a work permit.
5. Study visa invitation letter:
This is student visa invitation letter is a type of Russian invitation letter issued for students or anyone who would want to go further in their studies. Such visa are issued from the institute of learning like colleges or high schools. Student visa invitation accepts multiple entry and the validity period is a year. After getting your student visa invitation letter, processing for student visa can commence, and the require document needed for your student visa are;
- International passport valid for six month after leaving your country
- A well written and completed application form
- Your student invitation letter
- A provisional student identification card issued by the same institute or college that sent your invitation letter.
- A health insurance document stating you are fit for the period of your stay in Russia.
If you are a student looking to study in Russia, a student visa invitation letter is ideal for such motive. However, the accepted health insurance document stating you are fit must be from an authorized health organization which Russia recognizes.
6. Transit visa invitation letter:
Transit invitation visa letters are not necessary if you won’t be spending up to three days in the Russian Federation. It does not require an invitation, and they are only issued to people traveling through the Russian Federation. An invitation letter is not needed as they won’t be staying in the country.
Requirements for a transit visa are:
- Your Purchased airline tickets for entry and leaving the Russian Federation;
- Your final destination visa.
Other types of invitation letters are those issued to journalists, scientists, athletes for international sporting activities, international drivers, etc.
How to get Russia invitation letter?
The Russian invitation letter can be issued online by the official website of the Russian Federation, registered companies in Russia, or individuals who are of Russian nationality, or who have legally obtained nationality by contacting the ministry of internal affairs of visa services (OVIR). It can also be issued by organizations in Russia, with a reference number that has been accredited by the Ministry of foreign affairs
How do you know an authentic Russian invitation letter?
Only tour operators that have been certified by the Russian government can issue out authentic invitation letters. Thus, operators that haven’t been authorized would give fake Russian invitation letter.
Below are features to determine if a Russian visa invitation letter is authentic:
- A hotel located in the Russian Federation must have issued it.
- The tour operator or issuant must have been authorized by the Russian government.
- Russian visa invitation letters must be issued in A4 format.
- The invitation letter must be stamped and signed by the inviter or host party.
- The accommodation where you will be staying, your personal information, and the cities you would be visiting should be on the invitation letter sent.
- The receipt to show evidence of payment for the hotel you will be staying in.
- Documents to show payment for the hotels’ services pending your arrival.
Countries that do not need visa invitation letter to Russia
There are some countries that have Visa-free travel to Russia, although citizens of these countries have a limited number of days they can stay in Russia. The number of days that can be spent in Russia also varies from one country to another.
There are four groups of countries that belong to this category, these are:
- Group 1: Countries in this group can stay in Russia for 90 days without a VISA. They belong to the Commonwealth of Independent States. Countries in this group are Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.
- Group 2: Countries in this group are Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Israel, Dominican, Chile, Nicaragua, and Peru. These countries can stay in Russia on the condition that they will have no contact with any form of commercial activities.
- Group 3: Citizens from these countries are allowed to stay in Russia for 30 days. They are not allowed to be involved in any commercial activity. Countries in this group are Thailand, Cuba, Montenegro, and Serbia. A biometric passport is needed for Serbia.
- Group 4: Citizens from countries in this group are allowed to stay in Russia for 30days.
On entering Russia they must provide a tourist voucher or an official Russia invitation letter to officers of the immigration service. Examples of countries in this group are Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Herzegovina. The free visa policy of the Russian Federation has a theory known as “migration risk country.” Migration risk countries are countries that are at war, under terrorist attacks, in poor financial state, or countries that do not have any international ties with the Russian Federation. Citizens from such countries usually overstay their visas. Examples of such countries are Nigeria, Gabon, Algeria, and Egypt.
Russia invitation letter for UK citizens
UK citizens are not part of the four groups of Russia’s free visa policy. Hence, they would require a visa to get into the Russian Federation. A Russian visa invitation letter will also be needed. Luckily visa express offers such a service. It is important to note that getting a Russian invitation letter does not guarantee you a visa. UK visa to Russia can be gotten from the embassy of the Russian federation present in the United States. There are various types of Russian visas that can be gotten from the United Kingdom. The type of visa to be issued is dependent on the purpose of travel. Examples are work, electronic, tourist, private, and business visas.
- Work visa: This is necessary for UK citizens that are seeking to work in the Russian Federation. The validity period for this type of visa is 1 to 3 years.
- Tourist visa: This is intended for individuals who want to visit or travel in Russia. This type of visa is valid for one to thirty days.
- Business visa: This is intended for individuals who seek business opportunities in Russia or for citizens going on business trips. The validity period is between 30-90 days.
- Electronic visa: This is issued for short trips and is valid for only 8 days.
- Private visa: This is issued to individuals who would like to visit their friends staying in the Russian Federation. It is valid for 30-90 days. Although, it is advisable to get a tourist visa instead of a private visa as it is an easier, safer, and more secure option to travel to Russia.
Do I need a migration card?
Upon setting your foot in the Russian Federation, you will need a migration card. The migration card enables you to move freely in Russia and will be registered by the migration record office. This registration is done by the host party or a delegate from the hotel where the foreigner will be staying. However, this registration must be done seven days following the arrival of the foreigner.