Visas, Invitations & Registration
Most people will need to obtain a visa when traveling to Russia
Your visa will usually be a tourist visa. The first step to getting a Russian tourist visa is to obtain an invitation. This invitation is a document issued by a company authorized to do so by Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This invitation will state which hotel you are staying in & that you have paid in full. Even if you are not staying in a hotel & have not paid in full! There is normally a charge for this service typically €20 per invitation.
I can recommend www.travelrussia.su who for most citizenships only charge €10.81.
Having obtained your Invitation normally delivered through email (though apparently some consulates want the original) you can then apply for the visa. You typically fill out an online form (& then print it out) using your nearest consulate. Here as some links to regional consulate sites:
If you are in St. Petersburg (or Russia) for more than 7 working days you should register your stay. If you are confused by this just ask the company that issued you the invitation. If you do not register you could be delayed in the airport at the ’emigration’ desk & will possibly miss your flight! Typically you register through a hotel or the local company which issued your invitation. Again there is a fee for this service typically 20 euros per registration. It is best to take care of this day after you arrive.
We would be happy to recommend a good local tourist agency that will take care both your invitation & registration. It is conveniently located on Nevsky prospect for registering yourself after you arrive.
Russian citizens need to get a visa to visit all but 20 countries on this planet, so they have no sympathy or understanding when you tell them how insane this process is!