Russian Visa Questions

Old Mar 5th, 2010, 07:23 AM
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Russian Visa Questions

1. If I'm visiting both Moscow and St. Petersburg, do I need to have a letter of visa support (invitation) from both of my hotels, or only the first one?

2. Do I need to register within 72 hours of having arrived in Moscow/St. Petersburg? If possible, I'll try to stay at a hotel that registers for me, but how can I double-check that it's been done? As with my first question, do I register in both cities/hotels where I'm staying, or is the first one enough?

3. I'm not sure when to apply for my visa. With other countries, after application, the visa was good for a certain period of months (e.g., three months, six months). Is that how it works with Russia? Or do I tell them when I'm arriving and then it's good for 30 days following that date? If I plan to visit Russia in August-September of 2010 (only 10 days total on the ground), can I apply now? Do you think it's problematic to straddle two months, or doesn't it matter? If the visa is good beginning on my estimated day of arrival, what if my flight is cancelled/delayed and I enter Russia a day or two later?

fluffnfold is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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You may find these sites helpful:

My info is probably a bit out of date. I believe you only need one LOI, but strictly speaking you're supposed to have reservations for all your nights in Russia.

If you're staying in hotels, they should register you, and when I was there you did need to be registered in each place you stayed more than 72 hours, may have changed since.

Your visa is good for specific dates.
thursdaysd is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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When we went through this process last year, we only needed one hotel letter for the visa processing. Once we got to Russia we registered with every hotel in which we stayed, even though I believe it is true the requirement is 72 hours or more, but we did it just to be safe. Most hotels automatically asked to do it anyway, not a big deal at all.

More info from our trip in our Russia posts at
katrinab is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2010, 05:03 AM
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Visa-support letter (invitation)is maid only for the period of your staying at the hotel. So you need to ask visa-support letter from both your hotels for dates you plan to stay there. Most of hotels provide this service free of charge. You can be asked only for credit card details as the guarantee of your arrival.
For visa application I'd say 2 months in advance is ok. But you should verify it in Russian Embassy there you plan to apply Visa.
The hotel must register you upon arrival no matter for how long you stay there. You can stay only for one night but should be registered. This service is extra charged. The price is usually 3.5-5 Euro per person per stay. Some hotels include this price in the rate of accommodation, others- do not include. I think you don't have to double check it for it would be illegal for the hotel not to register you.
Helvetiahotel is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2010, 02:32 PM
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It is not necessarily true that your first hotel cannot arrange an invitation that is valid for your entire visit.

After I made my hotel reservation on line I emailed them to ask about the invitiation. My hotel had some affiliation with a more general travel company and it was that travel company who provided the invitation that covered the entire trip. They did charge 10 euro for the invitation. Ask your hotel by email what they can arrange for you. Mine had a form to fill out for dates of arrival and departure, passport information, cities you would stay in, etc. and then they sent me an invitation based on that information.

I understand that you do need to state specific dates but also that you should allow some extra days at the end of your time on your visa for the case where your flight is cancelled or some other reason your departure from the country is unexpectedly delayed.

And there is a maximum time for tourist visa. Find the website for the Russia embassy in your home country for more details.
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