Almost all tourists travelling to Russia require a tourist visa, which entitles visitors to a 30-day stay in the country. In order to obtain a visa, travellers need to be “invited” by a hotel. If booking accommodation in advance, your hotel can easily provide this for you. Should you not wish to book accommodation ahead, you can easily obtain a letter of invitation through a visa agency for a fee, which states that you will be staying at a randomly selected hotel. There is no obligation to actually do so once in Russia. Once you arrive in the country, your hotel will register you. Note that it’s important to register your visa within seven working days of your arrival. The Russian government has outsourced the application process to ru.vfsglobal.co.uk in the UK and www.ils-usa.com in the US. Various agencies also offer specialist help with obtaining Russian visas.

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