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How to obtain a Russian Visa in an easy and cost-effective way in 2019

Applying for a visa to travel to Russia from the United States or Canada, whether for work, business, study or tourism, is not as complicated. In this article, I explain how to gather all the documents you need to apply for a visa from your computer, quickly (less than an hour) and profitable.

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Thus, you will receive a Russian visa in a simple and economical way in 2019.

Applying for a visa to travel to Russia from the United States or Canada, whether for work, business, study or tourism, is not as complicated. In this article, I explain how to gather all the documents you need to apply for a visa from your computer, quickly (less than an hour) and profitable.

Hundreds of articles on the Internet explain the process of obtaining a Russian visa, but I did not see any details at every stage of the process, nor how you can finish it yourself without calling for outside help. or intermediaries.

That’s why I want to explain in detail how a US citizen can get a visa for a simple and inexpensive trip to Russia.

INTRODUCTION

I have to apply for a tourist visa for family members and friends in Russia on certain occasions. The procedure for obtaining a visa for Russia is extremely bureaucratic. As a result, many companies take the opportunity to create a relevant business.

Hundreds of articles on the Internet explain the process of obtaining a Russian visa, but I did not see any details at every stage of the process, nor how you can finish it yourself without calling for outside help. or intermediaries.

That’s why I want to explain in detail how a US citizen can get a visa for a simple and inexpensive trip to Russia.

IMPORTANT Notes:

If you are traveling to Russia for a trip organized by a travel agency, the travel agent will probably take care of the whole visa process and only ask for the required documents. If this is the case, the price is higher than if you apply for a visa.
This article explains, step by step, how to get your own US visa. The process is similar to that of other countries:
Canada. Read this guide: How to obtain a Russian visa in Canada. In Canada, there are just a few differences: you must submit and begin by submitting the details of the trip, the destinations, the conditions and the purpose of the visit. When applying for a double-entry tourist visa, it is also necessary to carry a copy of the transport cards or landmarks indicating the complete route of the Russian Federation to the neighboring State. , then back to the Russian Federation.
Great Britain. Read this guide: How to get a Russian visa in the UK.
Australia. Read this guide at every step: How to get a visa in Russia, Australia.
India. How to get a Russian visa in India.

INTRO QUESTIONS

Before registering for the Russian visa application process, it is important to answer certain questions in order to better understand the procedure.

1.1. What is the visa and who should apply for a visa?
A visa that gives a citizen of a foreign country permission to enter, stay or travel through the territory of the Russian Federation. This is a document that requires your passport and looks like this:

If you come from the United States or Canada, you will need a visa to travel to Russia.

However, nationals of almost 40 countries that have bilateral agreements in Russia are exempt from visas (see map). Example:

People with passports of states of the former USSR such as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine, etc. can enter their territory with an ordinary passport from their respective country.
Most countries in South America and Central America are exempted from obtaining a Russian visa.

Please also note that tourists from all over the world traveling on large cruise ships have the right to stay in the Russian Federation for up to 72 hours without a visa, if they are traveling on a ferry or in the area designated by the Program. touristic group. . You have the right to use the ship.

What are the types of visas?

Depending on the purpose of entry, the Russian Federation issues 7 types of visas:

TOURISTIC. This is the most common visa and, as its name indicates, it is provided for services serving tourist destinations. The tourist visa is a single or double entry for a maximum of 30 days. You need a letter of invitation from a licensed Russian tour operator. It can be obtained within 5 minutes (explain below how). The double-entry tourist visa is only provided if the second country is located near another country (CIS country, Baltic states) or a country requiring a return trip through Russian territories, such as China and Mongolia, etc.
Important. Under a simplified visa-visa agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States, US citizens can receive, upon request, a 3-year multiple entry tourist visas starting in 2012, longer than 30 days. The easiest way is to obtain within 30 days a standard visa assistance letter from one of the services mentioned in this article (eg IVisa). Then enter within 3 years of your visa application form. The start date of your visa is the day your visa application begins, but the end date will not be 30 days, but within 3 years (for example, the entry date of 25/10/2018 until the date of obtaining the visa 24/10 / 2021 minus one day).
Private Visa They are provided to Russian visitors living in the territory of the Russian Federation. If you live in a private apartment with a friend or a member of the Russian family, you can apply for a private visa, although the process is slower and more complex:
For stays of less than 30 days, the processing of tourist visas is facilitated. Include only random hotels in the invitation letter, and when you get the visa, you can stay where you want it.
If your stay is more than 30 days (and up to 90 days), you must ask your friend or relative in Russia to send you a private letter of invitation to process a private visa. It can take 2-3 weeks. The Russian Ministry of the Interior must ask for it.
BUSINESS. This type is intended for trips to Russia, which are of a professional nature and have a commercial or professional purpose. The validity of a business visa can be 30, 90, 180 or 365 days (or more in some cases).
This is a type of visa, generally used by non-businessmen in Russia, but who would like to visit the country for more than 30 days (maximum allowed by a tourist visa). It should be noted that business visas are not really intended for travelers, but the Russian authorities have always accepted this practice (it could change someday).
STUDY OF THE COURSE. It is given to people who study in the Russian Federation.
Job. A visa allowing someone to work in Russia.
HUMANITARIAN Issued for the purpose of cultural exchange, cultural events, for scientific/technological, social, religious or humanitarian purposes.
TRANSIT. Accustomed to traveling to the Russian Federation to reach another country.
This visa is not required for foreigners staying at an airport as they do not leave the international zone or for those who fly freely in the area. You will find more information on transit visas in this article.
Latest statistics on visas in Russia:

In 2016, 53.2% were visas for tourism, 26.1% for companies, 7.2% for humanitarian reasons, 5.6% for private visas, 4.2% for work and 1, 4% for studies.
Germany, China, France, Finland, Italy, the United States, and the United Kingdom accounted for 53% of the visas issued by Russia.
These countries are characterized by the number of visas given: Estonia, Latvia, Spain, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Switzerland, India, Netherlands, Turkey, Austria, Czech Republic, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Belgium, Vietnam, Sweden, and Iran.

In general, all types of visas are treated in the same way. The only difference that should be mentioned is the receipt of the invitation letter, which a Russian tour operator must provide for a tourist visa or a Russian company for a business visa. He was invited to you during a visit and must obligatorily in the case of a student visa from the Russian educational institution where the person participated.

Russian visa centers

In recent years, the number of US and Canadian visas in Russia has risen sharply. For this reason and to simplify the process of authorization and processing of Russian visas at the Russian visa center, one of the private companies Invisa Logistic Services (ILS) under the Visa Administration Unit for Citizens of the States -United. In Canada, this company is called VFS Global.

Since then, the Russian visa center is allowed to process a visa to enter Russia. They are available in Washington, New York, San Francisco, Houston and Seattle, as well as in Canada, in the cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal.

When should I apply for a visa?

The visa application and the recruitment of the required documents may take some time. Therefore, I recommend starting the procedure of about 4 to 5 weeks before starting. However, if you have a passport and electronic copies of your documents, as described in this article, the process is possible within 2 weeks (or 3 or 4 days if you use an expedited procedure) to work.

FOR RUSSIAN VISA PURPOSES

When applying for a visa, you must provide the following information:

Electronically completed visa application form (you must print, sign and stick an ID photo)
Passport (must be original). Some visa centers also request a copy of your passport recognition page.
Letter of invitation or visa support (“Confirmation of the travel agency of a host agency or hotel registered in the Russian Federation for tourism”)
Fill out the client agreement form (PDF template).
Then I will explain the progress of your visa. Please note that the visa application form must be completed with the information in your letter of invitation and clearly state the dates of your visit and the cities in which you are staying. For this reason, you must collect your documents and fill out the form once you have all the information needed to apply for the visa.

Have a valid passport

To apply for a visa, you must have a valid passport at least six months after the expiry of your visa. You must also have at least two blank pages. To apply for a visa, you must present your original passport, which will remain in the hands of the consulate or the Russian visa center in a few days. This is because the visa is placed on one of your passports.

You must also submit a copy of the identity page of your passport.

Your passport must not be damaged, for example. B. torn to cover, dirty or broken pages. In these cases, it is best to extend the passport before applying for a visa, as these are usually very strict with the consulate and the visa is not approved if the passport is damaged.

Define your itinerary: cities and hotels

Your visa must include your departure dates and departures, that is, your first and last date of arrival in the country. This means that you need to know the date of your trip before applying for your visa. Once you know your dates of entry and exit, you must describe your itinerary and identify the cities you want to visit, as well as the hotels or apartments in which you live. As a visa application, you must specify the cities you visit and if you have one or two entries. The most common type is an entry visa, but you can also visit St. Petersburg, then go to Finland and return to St. Petersburg. Petersburg (double entry). You can also visit Latvia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan or Georgia. In this case, you must know where you are going and when you are entering or leaving the country.

To book a house, I always use Ostrovok, a Russian reservation platform, in which you can find a wide choice of accommodation and exceptional offers. Booking.com is another good option. I recommend using hotels with free cancellation. If you wish, you can change hotels later.

Receive a letter of invitation or visa support

The invitation letter (also known as the visa support letter) is the most important but also the most controversial document. The invitation letter should not be confused with the hotel reservation. They are not equal. To obtain a visa, there is no need.

 

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The Association for Computing Machinery does not issue formal invitation letters for visas to attend ACM sponsored conferences such as ACM ICMR 2019. We can however issue a visa support letter. The following info should be posted on the conference website:

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