Friday, June 24, 2011

How to get a Russian Tourist Visa

When planning a trip to Russia, keep in mind that getting a Russian visa can take weeks unless you want to pay a considerable amount of money. Express processing is $250 plus the visa service fees.

The Russian Consulate does not accept mailed in applications, so unless you live near one of the Russian Consulates, you will need to use a visa service.

A very good reliable visa service that I have personally used is A Briggs. They have a line dedicated to Russian visa applications. Call 1-800-417-4023 to talk with a Russia Visa Specialist. I highly recommend their service.

For you Russian Visa application you will need the following:
  • A valid passport with at least two blank pages the is valid for 6 months after your return date
  • Visa application form carefully completed and signed with your signature in blue ink. As of July 1, 2011 only electronic visa applications will be accepted.
  • A passport size photo (no teeth showing with a white background) affixed to the form
  • A computer-generated flight itinerary from your travel agent, airline, or online booking agency or a copy of your ticket. The itinerary must show the applicant's name, date of arrival and departure from the country, and flight information.
  • Consular Fee. A regular Tourist Visa is $140, and takes two weeks to process, providing all your information is correct.
  • An invitation issued by an agency recognized by the Russian government. This can be issued by the Russian tour company or agency you are dealing with. Also most visa services provide this document for a fee. If you have a hotel reservation, you must provide a hotel confirmation and hotel voucher each with a Russian Government seal affixed thereto with the confirmation and reference number. This confirmation and voucher together serve as your invitation.
The Russian Consulate does not accept credit cards, but most visa services do making it possible to pay by credit card.

For more detailed instructions visit A Briggs Russian Visa Application instructions.

P.S. For shipping choose FED EX, not USPS if you need it expedited.
Get ready Russia here I come!


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