If you’re a US Citizen, getting a visa for a trip to Russia isn’t as easy as other countries in Europe. We’re here to help with a simple guide to getting your visa for Russia. Check out the four easy steps:
1. A Letter Of Invitation
Before you can apply for your visa you need to be granted a letter of invitation, which is also known as a Russian support visa. You can apply online for the ‘invitation’ through companies such as waytorussia.net or Russia support visa.
The Russian support visa is a series of documents that offers a 30-day tourist visa, for single or double entry into the country. The cost for the support visa documents is between $15 to $30, and the documents should be emailed to you within 24-hours.
2. Tourist Visa Form
Once you’ve received the support documents you can then apply for a tourist visa. You’ll need to fill-in the visa form online at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and print it out. You’ll need information from your passport and information from the support documents. The information on the visa application form has to match the information in your visa support documents — you can be denied the visa if it isn’t an exact match.
In order to apply for the visa, you’ll need to provide the address of the hotel or hostel that you’ll be staying at. You can search all accommodation options in cities such as St Petersburg or Moscow using our awesome accommodation search engine.
3. Submit The Documents
Next, you’ll need to submit the visa application form, two passport photos, your passport and your tourist support visa documents. You can submit the documents in person or by post at your nearest Russian consulate or embassy. US citizens will also have to attach a document showing proof of travel insurance for your trip. The visa will cost $160 and be processed in around a week. If you’ve left things a little late — don’t worry! You can get a visa processed in one day for $300.
AllTheRooms Tip: Your passport needs to have at least six months of time left before it expires, starting from the end date of your trip in Russia. You’ll also need two pages of space for the visa stamp and immigration stamps.
4. Register The Visa
Once you arrive in Russia, you’ll need to register your visa (to prove that it has been used). The visa must be registered within 7 working days of arrival and this is a strict law in Russia. Most hotels and hostels will do this for you, at a cost of around $10 (although this can vary, depending on where you are staying). Email your hotel or hostel to check the price.