Russia is well known as the world’s largest country and has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism. Take the chance to explore this land of natural variety and rich cultural heritage whenever you like.
The country that spans eleven time zones and two continents, and which coast reaches from the pacific to the Arctic ocean has seen rapid international tourism growth over the past decade. Cruises on the big rivers and long journeys on the famous Trans-Siberian Railway have become more and more attractive for adventurers from all over the world
Russia has major historic cities. Moscow, the capital of Russia is where the Kremlin, Red Square, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and the Bolshoi Theater are located. Lots of Moscow’s former industrial areas have become interesting cultural spaces, undoubtedly worth visiting. Moscow is Russia’s most foreign-friendly city. All metro stops are announced in English and most signs have translations.
St. Petersburg, usually referred to as the “cultural capital” of Russia, is also a must-visit. the city is adorned with cultural attractions and features the Hermitage Museum, imperial palaces, and is the host of the world’s popular White Nights festival.
What is the Russian tourist invitation letter?
Also known as Visa Support, refers to a document that confirms you have been invited to Russia by a hotel or travel company accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
When applying for a Russian tourist visa for American Citizens, it is a requirement to submit an invitation letter as part of the application. It’s also mandatory to have a valid passport and contracted medical insurance for the duration of your visit before you fill in the visa application form.
Russian Invitation letter consists of :
- Touristic voucher: This document proves that you have contracted a hotel service in Russia. This part should be filled with your data and the places you will visit. The voucher should also have a description of the hotel service and detailed proof of your payment.
- Confirmation of the Admission of a foreign tourist: As its name indicates is the hotel’s confirmation of your visit, as well as your personal information and the description of the accommodations in which you will spend the night.
Requirements of a tourist invitation letter
These are the requirements to apply for the invitation letter:
- Valid passport (for a minimum of 6 months from your arrival in Russia)
- Credit/debit card or Paypal account
- Current Email Address
- Arrival and departure date
- Accommodation details
- Specify which cities you will visit during your stay in Russia
- Number of tickets required for your trip
- Proof of financial status (if required)
Costs of an invitation letter
When applying for a Tourist Visa, there’s no government fee in the processing of the invitation letter for American Citizens. However, the letter must be generated by a hotel or an authorized tourism agency, and they do charge money for it.
The majority of hotels will charge a sum that can go up to USD 60.00 for submitting Invitation letters and only some 5 stars hotels will generate it for free. Remember that if you’re planning to stay in different hotels during the trip, you’ll have to ask for invitation letters on every one of them.
Some tourism and Electronic Visa agencies can process your letter too. This way it can usually be obtained more economically for less than USD 25.00. If you are short on time and need to get it right away, rush submitting fees on some electronic Visa companies can go up to USD 80.00 for a processing time close to 30 minutes.
How to proceed after receiving the invitation letter
After printing your invitation in color, mail it to the Russian Embassy anthe along with the rest of the required documents. Normally, these includes:
- Color Printed passport size photo.
- Medical insurance
- Proof of finances
- Flights information
Contact the embassy closest to you before you send anything, they’ll give you a detailed request of the needed documents.
After your documents have been checked, you will be interviewed at the embassy. Then, if your visa has been approved, it will be delivered to your address.
Is it necessary to book a hotel to request the invitation letter?
It is not necessary to book a hotel to request your invitation letter. However, you may be asked to provide a copy of your booking confirmation if you previously designated a hotel as your accommodation in Russia when you filled in your application form.
What’s the difference between a Russian Invitation letter and a Russian tourist Visa?
The tourist invitation letter is one of the documents that must be sent with your Russian visa application.
This Invitation is not a Visa and only serves as a document that the Russian government requires to apply for a visitor Visa.
Can you enter Russia with the invitation letter?
No, American Citizens need a Tourist Visa to enter Russia. The Invitation letter will just get you some steps closer to having your Visa ready.
Does the invitation letter guarantee the approval of my Russian Tourist Visa?
No, the letter is just a document that the Russian government requires to apply for a Visitor visa. –
Which Vaccinations Do I Need?
Yellow Fever vaccine is recommended if traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
The United States is currently not listed as a country with risk of yellow fever, but, if you are flying from another country, be sure to check this requirement.