You Need An Invitation Letter For A Russian Travel Visa: Do Not Be Afraid, Here Is A Strategy

April 8, 2021

Why do you need a invitation letter for a Russian visa?

In the visa submission documents, the requirements include: the original invitation letter issued by the Russian travel agency or hotel confirming the reception of foreign tourists (the invitation letter can be printed by yourself, but see below why printing your own may cause visa failure).

Invitation Letter One: Hotel

When booking a hotel, please pay attention to the content in the “Booking Instructions”. Some hotels can provide free visa support invitation letters for tourists (see below). For hotels that provide free invitation letters, please e-Mail or leave a message to the hotel to confirm whether the original invitation letter is delivered to you for free. Some hotels offer free express delivery and some require a certain amount of postage. The postage is generally US$8-15 (about 3-4 weeks for slow delivery) and US$20-25 (express shipment is about 1-2 weeks). If more than one person stays together, theirs can be mailed at the same time and thus you all will save on postage.

Many hotels in Russia can provide visa support. Just click on a few hotels and you can always see visa support services. It is easy to find.

When booking a hotel, in the column of customer special requirements, you must indicate that you need a visa support service (I need a visa support service = Мне нужен услуги визовой поддержки), and ask if the invitation letter is free. Otherwise, the staff will not reply to your email. Note that all related services are contacted by e-mail, a valid e-Mail address must be provided.

If you are booking a hotel that provides visa support, they will send you an email telling you what to do. And generally, the invitation letter will be provided to you within 3-7 working days. You can omit the next step (application invitation letter) and go directly to the third step (visa application form processing)

If you book a hotel that does not provide visa support, you can also apply for a travel agency invitation letter yourself. Proceed as follow:

Invitation Letter Two: Application For Visa Support Invitation Letter

If the hotel you booked cannot provide a visa support invitation letter, then you need to apply for it yourself. Two application websites are provided below:

  • Visa Express is suitable for most friends to apply. It is affordable and simple.
  • Hotel Pro is suitable for applying for business invitations. For travel invitations for unemployed persons or freelancers, it is also recommended to use Hotel Pro to apply. The success rate is higher, but the price is expensive.

Visa Express

This website is generally used to apply for travel invitations. The website is It is convenient and affordable to apply. It is recommended that most friends choose this website. 

The invitation letter required by the Russian Embassy to apply for a visa is the original. In fact, the difference between the original and the electronic version is that the seal of the original is covered with ink pad and the signature is handwritten. The electronic version sent to you by e-Mail is a scanned copy of the original. The author has personally applied for a Russian visa four times at the Russian Consulate, all of which are printed electronically. However, many enthusiastic netizens reported that the Russian Consulate must use the original copy. All private visa do not accept printed copies.

Therefore, if you want to be safe, you can ask the other party to express the original invitation letter to you. Generally speaking, you can sign out. If you want to try your luck and save a little money, just print it yourself and try it out. At least I have never been rejected.

If you want to print the invitation letter, if the format is not revised, the invitation letter sent is as shown in the picture below. I blocked some personal information. Print out at least two copies of the invitation letter on A4 paper. One copy is handed over to the Russian Embassy for visa application and the other copy is carried with you when you travel to Russia.

The invitation letter of Hotel Pro must be printed in color. The invitation letter of must change the logo and frame to black and white, keep the seal and signature in blue before printing. (In order to prevent users from printing the invitation letter to deceive the consulate, OSTWEST has distinguished the electronic version from the original). The electronic version is a color logo, and the original is a black and white logo. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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