All applications for Russian visas (with the exception of a transit visa) require a specific visa support document – a visa invitation. This is often called ‘visa support’ or ‘invitation letter’, and must be issued by the party inviting you to Russia.
It is vital to bear in mind that the validity and type of Russian visa you are issued should be strictly adhered to. Once you are in Russia, you can neither change your visa status (e.g. from tourist to business, business to educational, or vice versa), nor extend the validity of your visa (except in an emergency). In order to do so, you will have to leave the country and apply for a new visa.
Our company can provide you with a single or double entry humanitarian invitation within 20-25 working days. Our rates are among the lowest offered online.
• It is always better to ask the Russian embassy/consulate directly whether they accept copies of invitations which have been sent to you by fax or email, or whether they only accept originals. You should specify this to the company or individual arranging your visa invitation to ensure that your invitation and visa are processed without any problems or delays.
• The cost of visas can vary, as well as the processing time. For instance, a tourist invitation costs about USD 30 and takes between one hour and one day to be issued, while a business invitation is more expensive (from about USD 50), as it requires some fees to be paid to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and takes longer to issue (as a rule, allow 15–30 days).
• Please note that a letter from your friends or business partners cannot be regarded as official support documentation, and is therefore not valid for obtaining a Russian visa. An invitation can only be issued by a company or organization authorized by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.