The following are essential in order to get a Russian visa:
- A passport, valid for 6 months beyond intended stay
- A visa application form
- An invitation letter
- A completed migration card
Additionally, you should bring 3 passport-size photos and the application fee to your Russian Consulate. Sometimes a proof of medical insurance is also required. Before applying for a visa, check with the Consulate to receive the latest updates on the required documents.
Visa Support: Invitations to Russia
You need a different type of invitation for every type of visa. The invitation or visa support can be issued by a travel agency or a professional company.
An invitation for a business visa can be supplied by a Russian company which has accreditation with the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Internal Ministry. It is also possible to get a business invitation by the request of an international organization which has accreditation with the Consular Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For a tourist visa, you need an invitation called a tourist voucher. Be sure to provide a hotel booking confirmation if this is not incorporated into your tourist voucher. A travel agency can usually issue the invitation on the same or next day of your reservation. Also consider that you may be charged extra for this service.
In the case of a student visa, the place of study will usually manage the invitation process for you. You must submit all of your data and documents to the school or university. They will pass it, on your behalf, to the immigration officials.
While travel agencies can provide you with a tourist invitation, permission for a private visa must be obtained from the family or friends inviting you.
After you receive your invitation you have to complete your visa application. Go to a Russian consulate or embassy or send the documents certified mail. Be aware that German, Latin American, Asian and African citizens can only apply for visas at the Russian Consulate in their native countries.