I plan on visiting St. Petersburg for the first time in early June 2014. I understand I need a visa to visit Russia. I am Canadian. I have family in St. Petersburg but am trying not to be a burden on them. I understand if I stay with them that they have to invite me to come and visit. If I stay at a hotel they will do this for me. Also I need to register with the Federal Migration Service (If you’re staying for more than 7 working days you must register with the local branch of the Federal Migration Service. Most major hotels will do this automatically. If you’re staying in private accommodation the owner of the property must do this for you.)
So my options are I could stay in a hotel which seems an easier option. My family will probably insist I stay with them but if I stay with my family and they have to invite me does that raise red flags for them with the authorities. So is it possible to get a Tourist and a Guest Visa or is it better to declare only one. I take it the Federal Migration Service is a government organization. Is there only one office in St. Petersburg or are they attached to other government services?
I will contact the Russian embassy here in Canada but any insight into the process would be appreciated.
Regards, Lee Anne