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Private Visas and Invitations


Private visas can be issued if you have family or friends in Russia willing to jump through hoops of fire. These visas can be good for up to three months and are single-entry only. While some enquire about these visas as a possible way to save time or money in getting a visa, these are, in the end, not cheap or easy.

A private Russian citizen will have to go to their local Department of Visas and Registrations (OVIR) or Division of Passport and Visas (PVS). They will need to stand in line, get a form, fill it out, pay a fee, and turn it in.

The host will need to know:

  • Your Full Name;
  • Address;
  • Nationality;
  • Passport Number and Date of Birth;
  • Your Date of Arrival/Departure in Russia.

The "Personal Invitation Certificate" may be issued by the Russian government within about 45 days they may take as long as three months, or the application may be denied.

If it is issued, it will need to be physically mailed to your (you must have the original at the consulate). Mailing can take an additional 2-4 weeks if you use regular post (though that might not be a good idea with such an important document) or it can be quicker if you use FedEx, or DHL (but this will cost you about $100).

Private Russia citizens will really only do this for those they know and trust well as, not only is a it a pain, they will also be theoretically responsible for you if you overstay your visa, are found without registration, break any laws, etc…

Terms and prices for issuing the actual visa depend on the Russian consulate/embassy, but usually the price is a bit lower than for business visas, while the processing period is longer. To get professional advice and/or help regarding this type of visa from an authorized Russian travel agent in your country please click here.

Required Documents:

  1. Your original passport, which will be valid for at least 6 months after intended your departure date from Russia, and which has at least 2 blank, adjoining pages for the visa.
  2. Two completed and signed copies of the Russian visa application form.
  3. ONE passport-size photo, signed on the back.
  4. Personal Invitation Certificate
    The host will need to know:
    • Your Full Name;
    • Address;
    • Nationality;
    • Passport Number and Date of Birth;
    • Your Dates of Arrival/Departure in Russia.

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This is a non-government site and whilst every endeavour is made to ensure the information is correct and up to date, there may be changes which we are not aware of. It is always a good idea to check the latest regulations. You should confirm details with your local Russian Consular Office.
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