Russian Visa Support Documents
If you are traveling to Russia with tourist purposes you need to apply for a tourist visa in the country of your citizenship or permanent residence. We provide Russian visa support documents free of charge to all our clients who book a tour or accommodation with us. On this page, you can find a description of how we normally reserve tours and issue these documents. Please, note that we assist with short-term Russian tourist visa only.
International flights. First of all, we advise to choose a departure date for your trip. You can check online or in a ticketing office if there are air tickets available for international travel to Russia and back for the particular dates you have chosen. After that, we adjust a tour program or any our standard itinerary to suit your travel arrangements. International flight details are stated both in visa support documents and in application form.
Tour reservation. Once all international flights are reserved we send out booking requests to all the service providers involved. This particularly concerns hotels throughout your stay in Russia. Then, we allow some time until the hotels confirm our reservations. Detailed travel itinerary including arrival and departure flights as well as all of the hotels are being listed in your invitation. Thus, hotel and air ticket reservations should always precede visa support letters.
We never issue invitation documents without stating real hotel bookings that we have actually done for our clients. Our common rule here is that we provide visa support for guests who reserve more than half of nights with us during their stay in Russia. If clients book only a short segment of the trip, we kindly ask them to request these documents from a travel agency that is in charge of the major part of their program. Usually, this does not cause any problems.
Making a deposit. We normally require 30% of the tour cost to be paid after tour or travel-related services are booked and confirmed. Our policy is that we always collect a deposit from tourists after the program is all settled and before invitation is issued.
Visa paperwork. When deposit is paid we provide to our guests with all necessary visa support documents for obtaining Russian visa. The set of documents include: 1) invitation letter, 2) tourist voucher and 3) the letter of confirmation. This is enough to have Russian tourist visa granted.
Generally, people who reside in North American and European counties ask for copies of the above mentioned letters. We can either email scanned copies or send it by fax. Russian consulates in some Asian and African countries, e.g. India, Pakistan, Kenya, require originals only. If requested in advance, we mail Russian visa support documents via regular post at no extra charge. Regular mail would probably take some 2-3 weeks to reach any destination around the globe. We can also ship those with DHL or any other express mail service, but we will ask you to cover these expenses.
Application process. Since we are located in Irkutsk (Russia), but not in any of our clients’ home countries, we will not be able to assist in processing your visa. All of our customers successfully do this by themselves. One will need to submit his passport, passport-size photos and visa application form along with the above mentioned three documents to any Russian consulate. Then, the consulate processes documents and some time later returns it to an applicant with Russian tourist visa granted. Of course, we cannot guarantee the outcome, but none of our clients have ever been refused Russian visa before.
We would also advise anyone who is planning to visit Russia to phone the closest Russian consulate in advance to find out the details of the application procedure including: 1) how long it takes to process documents and 2) what date an appointment can be scheduled to. It often requires 5-10 days to issue visa once application is submitted. However, some consulates accept documents only once a week (e.g. Russian consulate in the Philippines does this on Wednesdays), others schedule visa appointments for the whole month ahead (e.g. Russian consulate in Madrid, Spain). You may want to check how long the formalities would take.
Please, locate closest Russian consulate at the web-site of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Feel free to contact us any time once you have more questions on that.