Russia travel guide

RUSSIA TRAVEL

YOUR TRAVEL GUIDE TO RUSSIA
OCTOBER 17
:: Russia » Russia Red Tape & Visas
Russia Travel Guide

Russia Red Tape & Visas

WHAT IS INVITATION (VISA SUPPORT) LETTER?
If you visited a Russian consular website, you noticed that they were requiring tourist voucher and reservation confirmation for visa processing. In this section, we will try to explain what tourist voucher and confirmation, sometimes referred to as letter of invitation, is; how and where to obtain it, and how much it will cost.

Each type of visa has a corresponding invitation type: Tourist VISA calls for tourist invitation, Business VISA for business one, private for private, and so forth. The invitation, visa support, travel voucher, travel confirmation, or any other name it might be called is a standardized document issued by the part which invites you to Russia. This is a mandatory document to get your visa processed!

WHY AN INVITATION TO RUSSIA IS NEEDED?
According to Russia immigration law, each foreigner must obtain Visa Invitation to Travel to Russia for any reason (personal, studiy, work, business, visit relatives/friends, etc.). This requirement helps Russian authorities to better control illegal immigration and be able to see who comes and leaves the country.

TYPES OF RUSSIAN VISAS
If you want to be precise, there are 11 different Russian visa types: (1) Diplomatic visa, (2) Guest/Private Visit visa, (3) Tourism visa, (4) Work visa, (5) Business/Commercial Visit visa, (6) Student/Education visa, (7) Government Business visa, (8) Humanitarian visa, (9) Transit visa (valid up to 72 hours), (10) Temporary Stay visa, and (11) Refugee visa. Each visa type corresponds to the stated purpose of your visit.

Fortunately enough, more than 75% of all issued visas, fall under two major visa categories:
  • Tourist Visa is your first pick for short, up to 30 day, one-time visits to Russia. Unfortunately, you will need a Business or other type of visa, if you intend to stay beyond 30 days.
  • Business Visa provides you with much more flexibility: multiple entries to and out of Russia, validity for up to an entire year. Business visa is ideal for tourist, who are traveling in Russia for prolonged times, visiting friends, don't need a hotel. Also, this type is a must for adoption traveler.
Officially, business visas are intended for business travelers, who travel to conduct business transactions (e.g. negotiations, contracts, exhibitions, etc.). But again, it is merely exception than a rule - you do not need to travel on an official company's business since the same qualified travel agencies can arrange visa invitation. You do not need to plan a hotel reservations or your itinerary, either. Please be aware that business visa does not imply an employment permit. You need to seek Work visa for employment purposes.

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