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home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

London
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home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

Hi, I will be doing a home exchange with a couple in St Petersburg. Just wondering how I go about getting a letter of invitation? Do they send me one or do I buy one and if so what address do I use?

Thanks

New York City, New...
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1. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

I'm wondering the same thing. I booked the Hilton Moscow and have been unsuccessful with contacting anyone from the hotel for a letter of invitation. Anyone else has tips?

Plymouth, Minnesota
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2. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

As for JingLi's question, for a tourist staying in a hotel, things are very "easy"- either the hotel can send this to you (SHOULD BE FREE from the Hilton!) via e-mail literally within a day or 2. OR, some folks just go thru a visa agency for their visas and have them handle this as well...

As for home stays, WAY different - and time consuming, and hassle. The people you are staying with have to go to their local agency and apply for this. In the past, this has taken a bit of time (weeks). Then, the worst part by far. For private invites, a PHYSICAL copy of the documents is required...as in, takes time to get this. I would never count on regular mail for this, so if you want certainty, you might well be "forced" to use a courier services (like Fedex) to get the paperwork from Russia to you here in the states...

Moscow, Russia
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3. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

> I booked the Hilton Moscow and have been unsuccessful with contacting anyone from the hotel for a letter of invitation.

You mean you have filled out the form below, sent it to them but they are not sending anything back?

…hilton.com/resources/media/hi/SVOHFHI/en_US…

Coventry, United...
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4. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

>>>Hi, I will be doing a home exchange with a couple in St Petersburg. Just wondering how I go about getting a letter of invitation? Do they send me one or do I buy one and if so what address do I use?

It's much simpler and far quicker to buy an invitation from the internet. The invitation will list a hotel in St Petersburg, but don't worry you'll still be able to stay at a private address. How long do you intend on staying in Russia?

https:/…tourist

Plymouth, Minnesota
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5. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

I forgot one other thing micheal's post reminded me off...with a private visit, your "host", once you arrive, has to then "register" you (what hotels do seamlessly without the tourist even knowing)...while not a huge problem, it is yet another hassle.

To that point, if you get the invitation mentioned and of course do not stay at ANY hotel, then you will have to take full responsibility for getting registered. I only know of how this works with one of the visa agencies I have used (reputable)...you go to their affiliate's office once you arrive and they handle...for a nominal fee...but, this is one angle that can get a little tricky...my responses are partly based on a hunch you will be there more than a week...if not, then you can likely sneak by as michale suggests

London
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6. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

Hi thanks for all your help. We will be staying one week so as I understand it we will not need to register as that is fewer than 7 working days.

I am a bit concerned about putting a 'fake' address for where we are staying on the letter of invitation - is this usual? does anyone check?

Thanks

Coventry, United...
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7. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

>>> I am a bit concerned about putting a 'fake' address for where we are staying on the letter of invitation - is this usual? does anyone check?

No....no one checks these things, my last three trips to Russia I had hotels listed on my invitation, but I stayed in private accommodation. I think there was a time when I used to worry about this sort of thing too, but experience has made me little wiser.

You're a UK passport holder? Then relax you will have no problems.

London
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8. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

Thank you that is reassuring.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

Thanks!!!

St Petersburg Russia
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10. Re: home exchange - how do I get a letter of invitation?

This might not be as simple as it seems. If it is a home exchange, are the registered owners going to be there? A private visa requires that the sponsoring host be in control of your activities, as your supervisor. If anything happens, they will be responsible and must deal with authorities on your behalf.

Depending on the district, private invitations can be pretty quick and free, a week is not unusual and it allows for 90 days in-country which makes it popular with people visiting friends or families in the homes the entire trip. I have used that method a number of times in the past and it is no where as difficult or time consuming as the foreign visa sales companies claim.

Hilton will send the visa support without a problem, any reputable hotel will.