This page only outlines invitation details, please make sure to review the “HOW TO APPLY” page first for a full list of requirements.
To apply for a private visa it is required that you present any of the following invitations:
1) Invitation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs or its offices. The Ministry issues such invitations at the request of the host organization/person. This method should be used if the host person is in Russia AND you don't qualify for methods 2 and 3.
Invitations issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs come in print or electronic forms. Print invitations must be presented in original. Electronic invitations may be presented as copies.
2) For U.S. citizens only: Notarized direct invitation letter from a Russian citizen permanently registered in Russia, or a U.S. citizen permitted to stay in Russia for a period longer than 90 days (e.g. permanent residents, bearers of multiple student or work visas).
Direct invitation letters must include: full name, date of birth, citizenship, sex, passport number, address of registration, and address of actual residence of the hosting individual; full name, date of birth, citizenship, sex, passport number, multiplicity of the requested visa, purpose of travel (GUEST/ГОСТЕВАЯ), requested period of entry, location of intended residence of the applicant in Russia; and the cities to be visited.
Copies of the host’s internal passport and its registration page is required if the invitation is notarized by a foreign (non-Russian) notary office.
3) For close relatives (spouse, minor children) of Russian citizens (only if you are not eligible for a 3-year visa as per the requirements above):
If you intend to travel to Russia together with a Russian citizen who is your close relative he/she may in person submit a special application requesting a private visa for you and/or your common minor child. This application does not require notarization and must be signed only at the time of appointment.
Applying for this type requires both the applicant and the host to appear in person (minors under 18 are exempt from this requirement). The host must present a valid Russian passport (international or internal) and documents confirming kinship (marriage and/or birth certificate) and their copies.
If the relative you're visiting is already in Russia and/or the 3-year visa invitation requirements are met, please use methods 1) or 2).
4) In case you have a recently deceased, or seriously sick close relative (parent, child, spouse or sibling) in Russia, or you require urgent hospitalization in Russia you can apply for a private visa with “PRIVATE” purpose of travel.
As invitation you can use one of the following documents:
i) official document from a Russian hospital confirming serious medical condition of your close relative, or the need for your urgent hospitalization, or
ii) a copy of death certificate of a close relative.
In addition you are required to provide documents (and copies) proving kinship as well as a request letter addressed to the consul general for a single- or double-entry private visa indicating the planned dates of entry/exit and reasons as per the documents mentioned above.
Such applications are prioritized and processed in the most expeditious manner possible.
Please note that the information in all kinds of invitation must fully correspond to the information in the applicant’s and host’s passports. Invitations containing errors will not be accepted.
II. Validity period
Single and double-entry private visas are issued for up to 90 days. Multiple-entry private visas for U.S. citizens are valid for up to three years and allow 180 days of stay per visit.
III. Information for U.S. citizens
We recommend that US citizens apply for 3-year multiple-entry private visas regardless of the type of invitation, dates, number of entries and period of stay indicated in the invitation. Such visas allow you to stay in Russia for up to 6 months per visit, the number of visits is unlimited.
When filling out the application online, please indicate a three year period of stay starting from the date of entry in your invitation. 3-year multiple private visas are issued with “GUEST” purpose of travel only.
IV. Information for guests of permanent employees of foreign diplomatic and consular missions in Russia
Applying for a visa to visit permanent employees of foreign diplomatic and consular missions in Russia requires invitations issued only by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
When filling out the application online, please indicate “GUEST” purpose of visit.
For guests of permanent employees of U.S. diplomatic and consular missions only:
Guests of permanent employees of U.S. diplomatic and consular missions in Russia may apply for either 3-year multiple or single/double-entry private visas using direct standardized invitations (available at such missions). Notarization is not required.
When filling out the application online for a multiple visa, please indicate a full three year period of stay (e.g. 15.05.2019-14.05.2022) starting from the date of entry in your invitation. The purpose of visit is “GUEST".