A Russian Private Visa invitation letter is a relatively difficult document to achieve. The Private visa is meant for people who have friends or relatives in Russia, but getting the invitation letter means that your friend/relative (Russian citizen or a foreigner with a permanent residence permit) has to go to the local department of Migration police, fill in a form, and then that form is signed and stamped by an authorized person.
What you should know is that getting a Russia Private visa invitation letter can last up to 3 months and the bureaucracy is tedious. That is why we recommend that you travel to Russia on a Tourist or Business visa. Getting the invitation letter for any one of those is more convenient, and you can get it in as little as 30 minutes. iVisa can facilitate the application process.
How to get a Russian Tourist/Business visa invitation letter
If you choose to take the easier way, iVisa will help you complete the application process as fast as possible. But before you fill in the form, make sure that you have the following:
- Passport – if you want to apply for a Russian invitation letter, you need to hold a passport that is valid for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in Russia. Do not forget to check the expiry date before you apply.
- Accommodation information – you need to have proof that you have a place to stay while in Russia. You do not have to book a hotel before you apply, but you need to be able to provide the accommodation information.
- Established travel dates – if you do not know the exact travel dates, you need to be able to provide the closest approximation possible. You do not have to book a flight before you apply.
- E-mail address – iVisa will send you the Russian invitation letter via e-mail in PDF format. You need to print it out in color before you take it to the consulate.
- Means of payment – iVisa accepts multiple methods of payment so that you can use the one that is most convenient for you. Credit and debit cards are allowed, but you can use PayPal, Alipay, or WeChat as well.
After you put together all of the above, you can proceed and fill in the application form. If you need assistance along the way, iVisa provides excellent customer support. The service is reachable 24/7 and is free of charge.
The form has three steps. The first one asks for your personal information, passport info, and some details about your trip. You must also select the visa type and the processing time for your application. As for processing, you are given three choices:
- Standard processing – your application is processed within 24 hours, and you are charged $30.
- Rush processing – your invitation letter is ready within 12 hours, and you must pay $55.
- Super Rush processing – you receive your Russian invitation letter in just 30 minutes, but you need to pay $80.
Remember that the processing time options and fees above apply when you need a Tourist invitation letter with a single entry and a 30-day validity period. If you want a double-entry Tourist visa or a Business visa, the processing time options and the fees are different. Check out the application page for more info.
The second step of the form requires you to make the payment and revise your form, while the third asks for the documents that support your application. When you are done, hit the submit button and iVisa takes it from there.
At the end of the day, the choice is entirely yours. However, keep in mind that getting a Russia private visa invitation letter takes longer and implies more effort on behalf of your friend or relative. You can spare them that by applying for a Russia invitation letter with iVisa and getting a Tourist visa.