Visa Application for Russia

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Feb 13th, 2018, 02:45 PM
  #1
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Visa Application for Russia

I have been wading my way through lots of sites regarding the requirements for a Visa to travel to Russia, but I have yet to find a site with an application (other than ones who want to do it for me). I have generally applied for Visas to other countries on my own (Brazil for example), but I am wondering if with Russia I will have to go through an agent. Any recommendations? We are traveling to Russia in June 2018.
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Feb 17th, 2018, 06:53 PM
  #3
 
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If you live in one of these cities (Wash Dc, NY, SF, Houston or Seattle), your best bet is to apply directly at one of the ILS offices. This is the least expensive and fastest option but you must complete the online form by yourself and obtain an "invitation" from an online source, hotel or tour operator. They are very picky about how you complete the online form - make sure to complete all fields. Otherwise, I would use one of the online agencies that take care of it for you. They are more expensive but less of a hassle.

FYI, Russia is hosting the World Cup for soccer this summer and you may be able to take advantage of the visa free entry available for the World Cup. The visa free entry applies if you buy a ticket for a World Cup event and get a Fan ID. You do not actually have to go the event and you can travel anywhere during the time period. Visa free travel applies for the period that starts 10 before the first match (June 14) and ends ten days after the last match (Jul 15) - so roughly June 4 - Jul 25. I think the cheapest tickets are around $100 but they obviate the visa hassle. I think the tickets may sell out early if you are interested in this approach. Of course, the hotels may be difficult to get during this time in the match cities but outside of that it should not be a problem. There is an extensive forum on FIFA 18 travel on Tripadvisor if you want more information.
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Feb 17th, 2018, 07:16 PM
  #4
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Thanks for the info on the visa free travel. We found out after we had booked our flights that we were going to be there at the same time as the World Cup. Oops! We managed to find a hotel a bit out of town, but at least we have a place to sleep. I will check into the idea of getting a ticket to an event. Sounds like if it is $100, it may be a bit of a wash, but less of a hassle. We don't need a visa for our cruise stop in St. Petersburg, so maybe we can avoid it all together. If not, I will have to do the online application. I can get the invitation easily enough from our guide in St. Petersburg. Always fun wading through all of the details.
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Feb 18th, 2018, 01:55 AM
  #5
 
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You keep saying your hotel is a bit out of town making it sound like itís outside Moscow city limits. Itís not out of town at all, itís just off Prospekt Mira which is one of the main boulevards of Moscow. Itís not the city centre but itís not exactly out of town either.

Iím quite fond of getting visas for the correct purpose of travel, especially for Russia. If you are going as a tourist get a tourist visa. If you are going on business get a business visa. Russia is not the sort of country to enter or worse still try to exit with false reasons for being there. Even with a visa you get scrutinised at immigration. Have you seen the prices of World Cup tickets in comparison to the cost of a tourist visa that will give you entry to Moscow & St Petersburg?

The links provided are the ones you need to apply for the visa yourself.
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Feb 19th, 2018, 10:21 AM
  #6
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Thanks so much Odin. I couldn't tell how close or far the hotel was based on the map I had. Glad to hear it is located well. And I have decided against trying to finagle things to travel without a visa. For one thing, I don't want to get a pass to an event and then not show up preventing someone else from being there. Just need to figure out the best way to get the invitation right now. I may have to try calling the hotel. We're using Tours By Locals and they can't do the invitation. Although they did give me a source that could do it for $10 each, so that's not too bad I guess. I am working on the visa application now - what a lot of questions! Much different than getting the visa from Brazil several years ago. All part of the experience of travel!
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