Before you go to Russia you should check with a Russian local consulate if you need to obtain a Russian travel visa. Most foreign visitors still need a Russian travel visa, but some don't.
There are several types of Russian visas. The main types are tourist visa, business visa, visitor's visa, and transit visa. A Russian visa is usually valid for the period written in the invitation, except for the visitor's visa that can be valid for up to 3 months.
To obtain a visa in your country, you need to submit the necessary paperwork to the Russian Consulate. In order to issue the applicant a visa, the Consulate requires a Russian visa invitation that can be issued by a travel agency or another organization authorized by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The type of invitation depends on the type of visa you are applying for. The most popular types of invitation are tourist invitation, business invitation, and private invitation.
A tourist invitation is necessary to obtain a tourist visa to Russia. This type of invitation involves 2 documents, which are a tourist confirmation and a hotel voucher. These documents contain information on your stay in Russia and our company.
A business invitation is required for business visas. This type of invitation is an official letter issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its regional representatives, or special local offices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The letter should contain the official seal, the legal address of the agency, the signature, and the name of a person, officially authorized to invite foreigners to Russia.
A private invitation is required to obtain a private (visitor’s or homestay) Russian visa. This type of visa is given to foreigners who come to Russia for a personal visit. To obtain this visa, you need a personal invitation certificate from a person living in Russia. This person should go to a local OVIR office, get an application form, fill it in and submit it to immigration officials for consideration. It takes about 45 days to get the invitation.
Invitations should be submitted to the Consulate along with other paperwork required by the Consulate. Most consulates accept copies of invitation sent by fax or e-mail. Sometimes consulates ask for original invitations. In this case, documents must be sent by mail. Note that a private invitation can be sent only by mail. This type of invitation cannot be faxed or e-mailed.
E-visas do not require any invitations and consular fees.
Recently the electronic visas had been available for the citizens of some countries to travel to the Far-Eastern region of Russia, Kaliningrad, and Saint Petersburg. By 2021, electronic visas are available for the residents of the same countries for traveling all over Russia. But currently, the issuing of electronic visas is suspended due to COVID-19.