Russian visa - Invitation
There are several types of Russian visas but for every type you need to have an official invitation of special type.
First one and one of the most popular is tourist invitation. In most cases it is a confirmation letter with the info about booking, pre-payment of your Russian travel arrangements. The second document you need is a tourist voucher. The documents are obtained with the help of your tour operator, Russian hotel (approved by government), Russian travel agency.
The second type of visa is a private visa. This type of visa is available if you have Russian relatives or friends. They are able to receive the private invitation with the help of their local passport office and visa service of Russian Federal Migration Service.
The third type is business visa. The business invitation can be organized by any Russian company. In most cases you need to have the original copy of such invitation.
If you are going to study in Russian the obtaining of so called student visas is organized by Russian educational institution. The universities and schools of Russia are familiar with Russian visa obtaining process to help you.
Receiving Russian visa
After receiving an invitation you have the right to apply for Russian visa. The price of Russian Consulate is about 100 USD for most of the countries in the world. The citizens of European Union pay 35 Euro. You will need the following documents: Russian visa application, your invitation, passport, two passport-size photos. At last you have received your Russian visa. First of all check it for any types of errors (especially your name and passport number).
On entering Russia you fill in a migration card a half of which will be kept by you after your passport is checked. You need to be rather careful while keeping it otherwise you’ll have problems with registration and for sure while leaving the country. Your visa should be registered within 3 days. This can be done at the hotel or at the travel agency (for some payment).
Every time you come to the next town and stay there for over 3 days you need to put a new stamp. The more stamps you have the safer you are. You’d better keep all the tickets as well so that you might be able to prove the date of your arrival to some diligent policeman. Being greedy for fines they often walk near Moscow train stations in order to catch hurrying or disorganized tourists.