View Full Version : tourist visa or private visa?

16-11-2008, 16:10
i was wondering..

can you only apply for a tourist visa if you are staying in a hotel?

or can you apply for one if you are staying with friends/in a apartment?

as im planning on staying at my friends apartment and i wasnt sure how long a private visa would take? some places say it takes up to 3 months!

has anyone used a private visa before and if so, what length of time does it take? as im going to moscow the beginning of january!


16-11-2008, 17:53
You can apply for a tourist visa if you are coming to Russia for 30 days or fewer - it doesn't matter where you're going to stay during that time. Of course you will need to register, but there are agencies who can handle this if you aren't staying in a hotel (almost all hotels will arrange it for you). A private visa is only worth getting if you want to stay longer than 30 days, because it's a lot of hassle for the person inviting you.

17-11-2008, 10:49

From my experience having friends from UK to visit. They are best to use a tourist visa and pay the visa company to register them. There is a company in London called Real Russia, they will organise your tourist visa within 2 weeks and will also organise your registration for some extra cash - it's about 10 quid. When you arrive in Russia you just need to scan a copy of your immigration card (that you get on the plane) and e-mail it to their Russian office. They will then get you registered and e-mail you back the registration form. Easy as that!

Hope that helps

17-11-2008, 18:09
hello Rennie,

thank you for your help, i have actually heard of this company 'Real Russia', the problem in having is that the place im planning to stay at a private address (as im staying with friends), and i have read that you can only apply for a tourist visa you have paid for your accommodation for the entire length of your trip. From this i assumed that tourist visas are only valid for those staying at hotels...?

If this is not the case and you can apply for a tourist visa whilst staying with friends at their home then i will hopefully do that!

thank you

18-11-2008, 10:59
You can apply for a tourist visa without having a hotel booked no problems - there is no requirement to have even your flights booked to get a visa (for UK folks anyway). The only thing different is you need to do your registration through them and pay a bit more cash!

Seriously it is very easy - check out their website under tourist visa - it gives you all the details and takes you to the seperate section to sort out your registration if not staying in a hotel!

I would recommend that you apply well in advance as in January it is the Russian holidays and the processing times at the consulate can take longer when they come back from holiday break! You can apply now and get your visa to start whenever you want as the visa is valid for 90 days.