We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

"Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

Which Moscow hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
75 posts
26 reviews
Save Topic
"Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

My hotel in Russia will supply a "Visa Tourist Visa Invitation" for about $20.00 per person faxed or nearly $38.00 sent by mail. I contacted a visa company here in the USA and was told that they could and would provide the invitation for $18.00. They also said that a faxed invitation would not be sufficient so therefore I would need to pay $38.00/person from the hotel in Russia. It seems easier to just pay the $18.00 to the company in the USA but I don't want any problems when I arrive in Russia. I arrive in Russia on April 1 and will be there for 5 days as a tourist. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

Plymouth, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
4,899 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

I would seriously question your hotel...is this is a fairly maajor one? Most major ones will do for free. You will not have any issue if you go ahead and have a visa company provide this...this is done all the time...

As for faxed, which also makes me question what level hotel this is, most major hotels will send an e-mail with PDF you can then print out, and these ARE for sure accepted.

St. Petersburg
Level Contributor
150 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

I can tell you just about St. Petersburg. It used to be free service. The previous summer majority of the hotels charged for the service something in-between 20-30 US $ per passport depending on the level of the hotel. Such visa support letters always are e-mailed. In Moscow prices are higher, so 38$ sounds more or less within the limits.

The American company as far as I understand makes a reservation for you in the partner’s hotel, gets invitation through that hotel and after it cancels the reservation. Once again as far as I know this way works perfectly but it’s not very official. Hotels which make money in this way always keep it in a secret. You can try. In any way when you come to Russia with visa no one would ask you how you managed to get this visa.

Good luck!

Plymouth, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
4,899 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

I just checked 5 different hotels- and only one shows a ($5!!!) charge for this - all DO indicate a rather steep charge if one subsequently cancels reservation. Marriott, with 4 properties in St. Petersburg and about 10 in Moscow also does not charge. Note: hotels in St. Petersburg do charge for registration when one checks in - around $6.

Note re: the $20-$38...even aside from my different findings re: this in St. Petersburg, Russia is in fact cognizant of "the market" , so these excessive fees will drive everyone get their visa support thru a visa agency as part of the overall processing. As for the mechanism for visa support issued by visa agencies, the larger ones associated with a tourist agency with ties to hotels. As for the "legality", this has been debated often here, and to date, I believe increasingly, and maybe in light of what you are indicating, most are using the "one-stop" shopping of the visa agency - without any problems.

I can't wait for the new visa stuff "agreed to" by Clinton and Lavrov back in November to be ratified by Russian Duma (the last step) so hopefully some of this nonsense will go away!

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
1,643 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

Use a visa service. Why fool around with a hotel faxing-emailing and so on. I have used Red Star Travel (Seattle Wa), for years and have had no problems at all. One application and your done. Other than the cost? Why bother? The cost and or faxing issue from the hotel sounds a little strange to me? Also, I am not crazy about giving out my charge card info to someone in Russia! Mafia-scam central. Have a good time. AIM.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
75 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

Thank you for all your messages!

Plymouth, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Moscow
Level Contributor
4,899 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

Note re: CC scams..so how would he go about getting reservation in the first place? Bottom line is they try to charge you anything at all, go the visa agency route...and maybe pick a different hotel next time assuming there is one!

County Tipperary...
Level Contributor
346 posts
213 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

Im a little confused!

I will be booking the Novotel Moscow city Centre for 3 days in Moscow in May. Does anyone know if they will send me a letter of invitation as a matter of course?....if so...then presumably I add this LOI to my application and send this and my passport to the Russian Embassy in Dublin? Do i need to add Flight Info too?

P

Coventry, United...
Level Contributor
1,080 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

No, you need to request it along with a tourist voucher your hotel will simply assume you got already otherwise.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
1,643 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

Re Ebertsj, maybe I should have gone into more detail? If you book a room through one of the major on-line hotel sites, then I would be ok with doing so. But it sounded to me as if he was dealing direct with the hotel? And it all seemed a little fishy to me, (the charges-faxing etc). It seemed to me as if someone was trying to keep his reservation off the books; ie, not using the hotels email & such. So what I ment was I would not give my charge card info in this way! If a bad employee got ahold of his card? He's toast. AIM.

County Tipperary...
Level Contributor
346 posts
213 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: "Russian Tourist Visa Invitation"

Thanks Michael, do you think that if i request the LOI from a "top" Hotel such as the Novotel that it will be forthcoming?