Cheap hotel in Moscow that provides Letter of Invitation for tourist visa?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Oct 29, 2012 2:55 AM Last Post By: rforensky
Oct 26, 2012 1:02 PM
Cheap hotel in Moscow that provides Letter of Invitation for tourist visa?Anyone recommend a cheap hotel in downtown Moscow that provides letter of invitation for a tourist visa?
Does the invitation include the entirety of my stay in Russia, or only for the time I will be staying at the specific hotel providing me the letter of invitation? In other words, if I'm only in Moscow for 3 days, but plan to spend a month backpacking across Siberia, can the letter of invitation accompanied with my first hotel reservation apply to my time in eastern Russia? Or I have to register at each hotel I stay at?
Forgive me for the question. It's just that visa regulations have changed for US passport holders and I'm not sure if domestic formalities with registering have changed as well. I doubt it though.
Oct 26, 2012 5:58 PM
1Ok. let me start by simple fact that Russian visa application is idiotic. And here is why:
1. LOI - just a stupid formality, any hotel will sent it to you in PDF. Any at all. I got mine from hostel where I paid about 10e for night in Moscow. If you want you can buy one online fe here http://www.waytorussia.net/Travel/VisaSupport.html
2. Registration. Hotel is required to register your passport, no exceptions. But ask them about it beforehand, some hotels charge for that even though most have it as free service (same with hostels). Worst case scenario is you registering it by yourself but if you do not speak Russian it might pose a problem as cops usually dont speak other language than Russian. But by the law if you stay somewhere for more than 7 days (3 previously) you have to register. But frankly, I forgot on that when I was in Petersburg and wonder of wonders, border guard on Finnish borders never cared. They even asked me what was thee registration paper I got in Moscow. Might have just got lucky, dont count on that. Worst case scenario - you´ll be fined. If you stay less than 7 days, you must have some proof. Like train ticket or even bill from groceries. Once again, non-sense.
3. Fill out your application by black pen. They turned me around when I presented it with blue one. Bloody beaurocrats and pencil-pushers.
Oct 27, 2012 4:15 AM
2A foreigner can't register themselves, the must be done by the person or organisation you are staying with, if they don't they are the ones facing a fine not the tourist.
The consulates that accept applications hand written are becoming fewer and fewer, many now require you to complete it online then printed off and submit it via an application centre, this is the case in both the US and UK for example.
Oct 28, 2012 2:57 AM
3Cheap hotels and hostels generally don't provide the invitation for free. If you won't a free invitation, make a reservation for a Marriott hotel, get the invite and then cancel the reservation.
Otoh this invite will only cover the days that you are at the hotel. Whether that will be sufficient for the purposes of obtaining the new three year visa with 180 day stays or not, I can't answer. Instead, I would suggest paying the 30 USD and buying an invitation for a company like traveltorussia.com
Please report back your experience.
Oct 28, 2012 3:45 AM
4If you won't a free invitation, make a reservation for a Marriott hotel, get the invite and then cancel the reservation
This is a bad idea, hotels are wise to people doing this and will never issue a free invitation without you providing credit card details. If you cancel you will be charged for the invitation, considerably more money than if you'd just paid an agency in the first place, a $113 in the Marriott's case.
Oct 29, 2012 2:55 AM
5Unfortunately I had to cancel my winter trip due to personal circumstances. But if a future reason has me traveling to Russia, I'll keep everyone's advice in mind.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$226.06 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$20.91 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$178.46 per night