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Document Requirements

These requirements are applicable for Non-US Citizens applying for a Russian Business visa in San Francisco

The first step with any Russian business visa is to obtain your Letter of Invitation document, this document must be in hand before you start your visa application form as information from your Letter of Invitation is needed to answer several questions on the Russian visa application form.

Click here for a sample an E - Invitation issued by Travel Document Systems.

Once you receive your Letter of Invitation depending on the type (see examples in the invitation section below) it can be emailed to you or the original must be sent to you by mail for submission to the Russian Consulate or Embassy for visa processing. Whichever format of invitation is obtained by your host on your behalf you cannot apply for a visa without this document.

Travel Document Systems can assist in obtaining this document for you, we can provide one Letter of Invitation covering multiple cities, single or multiple entries with validities ranging from 1 month to 3 years making it a bit easier to manage the overall paperwork and process required to apply for a Russian business visa.

Whether Travel Document Systems acquires the Letter of Invitation for you or you supply your own, you cannot proceed any further in the visa application process without obtaining this vital first step.

Please send TDS your current valid and SIGNED passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the expiration of the visa you are applying for, and MUST have at least TWO blank pages that are listed as VISA pages. Foreign Embassies cannot issue a visa on a page not labeled as a Visa page. Amendment and Endorsement pages in the back of the passport cannot be used for issuance of a visa.
A visa cannot be stamped on a page even if only one Small Stamp is on the visa page. If your passport is NOT valid for at least 6 months beyond of the expiration date of your visa, you must renew your passport and then we will secure your visa with the new passport.


Please send one recent professional passport-type photograph for single and double entry. Multiple Entry Visa requires TWO passport photos.
The photograph(s) must have been taken within the last six months.
Digital and non-passport photographs are not acceptable.
Passport Photo Guide - Click Here

The photo must not be smaller than 1 3/4" x 1 3/4". The photo must have a white or gray background only.


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Photocopy of Alien Registration Card (Green Card) -or- evidence of legal status in USA (valid visa plus I-94 in passport).



An Official Letter of Invitation from Russia, issued by the Federal Migration Service or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia is required to apply for a Russian business visa. A letter of invitation is considered to be the first step in applying for a business visa to Russia.

Effective August 17th 2015: The Russian Government has began a Pilot E-Invitation Program, this program is designed to replace the requirement to submit an original hard copy invite. Using the new E-Invitation Program means the original invitation will not be required and your invitation will be sent to you via email. TDS recommends requesting your invitation using the E-Invitation method. Below is a sample of the old original invitation (Sample One) and the new E - Invitation (Sample Two).

Original Invitation: Sample One

E-Invitation: Sample Two


Official letter of invitation issued by the Federal Migration Service or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Russia, arranged for by your host organization in Russia. If your invitation was issued using method One you must send Traveldocs the original invitation as part of your visa application documents. If method Two you can send a copy of the emailed invitation to Traveldocs as part of your visa application documents. If the official Russian visa invitation was submitted directly to the Embassy of Russia or Russian Consulate by "Telex", provide a record of the telex visa invitation number.

Information from the invitation is needed to complete the Russian Visa Application Form.You must have the invitation, or have the information from your host, before you can fill out the Russia visa application form.

Traveldocs can assist with the Invitation process, please click on the banner below for more information or the invitation order form link to get started.

TDS is able to obtain an original Official Letter of Invitation for you. Since it is required to obtain your Russian Business Visa, Complete our simple online order form first.


Visa Application Preparation

Traveldocs offers an optional Russian visa application completion service to assist our clients.
The fee for this service is $55 in addition to the service fees and government fees when applying for the visa. 

  1. Complete the simple to use Traveldocs online questionnaire.
  2. Scan and upload a copy of your valid passport and hotel confirmation and voucher.
  3. Submit the completed questionnaire.
  4. We will complete and return your visa application within 24 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays.
  5. We will contact you if any information provided is missing or incomplete.
  6. We will email you your completed Russian visa application; please proof, sign, and date the application before sending it to Traveldocs along with all other required documents for visa processing. 
If you have any questions, please contact 888-874-5100 for assistance.
This is an optional application service. 

Complete and Sign One Online Russian Visa Application Form.
This application is hosted by the Russian Foreign Ministry. We recommend allowing up to an hour to complete as the website and application form can be difficult to use.

. Send your Application ID and Password to TDS in case of corrections.

. The application must be printed on THREE or FOUR sheets of paper, back to back forms are NOT accepted.

For a guide to completing the Online Russian Application please Click Here

 Common Errors to Avoid

The very first question on the electronic application site asks “Country (select the country where you will be applying for your visa)”. Be sure that you select “UNITED STATES" from the dropdown menu.

Question 10: Date of Entry and Date of Departure from Russia - the dates on your visa application MUST match the dates on your Letter of Invitation. (If your invitation date of entry has already passed please call traveldocs for assistance in answering this question. 

Question 22: If applicant is applying for a Business/Humanitarian visa the applicant MUST state the hotel and full address where applicant is going to stay. If the applicant states that he/she is staying in a private residence he/she MUST include an agreement of rent. If applicant hasn't decided yet about a place to stay he/she should write the address and name of the inviting organization in Question 22.

At the end of the online Russian visa application, you will be asked to select the visa issuing office. You MUST select "Russia Visa Center WASHINGTON", "Russia Visa Center NEW YORK", or "Russia Visa Center HOUSTON", "Russia Visa Center SAN FRANCISCO" depending on which Travel Document Systems location will process your visa.

The online Russian Application functions only with Internet Explorer Versions 7.0 and above and Mozilla Firefox Versions 3.6 and above. Browsers such as Chrome and Safari are not compatible with the online Russian Application.



NON-U.S. CITIZENS: Submit proof of medical insurance which provides coverage for your entire stay in Russia. A copy of your medical card is acceptable.

If you are a European Union passport holder, in addition to a copy of your insurance card submit a list (Sample) of hospitals and or clinics with their Full Name, Address and Phone Number you could visit if needed in each city covered under your medical insurance plan.



Please send a copy of your round trip airline tickets, or itinerary or e-ticket, or letter of confirmation from a travel agent. The itinerary must show the applicant's name, date of arrival and departure from the country, and flight information. The Embassy does not recommend purchasing your ticket prior to a visa being issued.



When applying for a visa it is necessary to provide documentation that you no longer possess Russian Citizenship, such as:

Copy of USSR passport with a stamp stating you left for permanent residence abroad, dated prior to February 6th 1992.

Copy of a Visa to Israel issued prior to February 6th 1992.

Copy of a Certificate of Naturalization issued prior to 1996

Document confirming the renunciation of your Russian citizenship.

Copy of the main pages of a passport of a former USSR state, issued after February 1992.

Written statement of explanation in the case that you have no documentation.

In accordance with Russian law, visas can not be issued to Russian citizens with expired passports. We remind you that in accordance to Article 12 of Russian law "On citizenship of the Russian Federation", children born to two parents who are Russian citizens automatically gain Russian citizenship regardless of the place of birth. In this case visas are not issued and they must apply for Russian citizenship or have their information written into the passport of one of their parents or obtain a Russian passport.



If you were born in a state of the former Soviet Republic or Ukraine you must supply a copy of your Soviet or Ukrainian passport along with a letter stating when you immigrated to the US.



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Your Hosting company or organization in Russian must request your letter of invitation through the Russian Ministry of Interior or Authorized Russian issuing agency appointed by the Russian Government.
Your visa will reflect the dates as well as number of entries specified on your letter of invitation.
The invitation must bear an official signed seal of the authorized issuing Ministry of the Russian Government.

The invitation must be from a Russian company or organization and not from a representation office of a foreign company there. Please make sure that your inviting company is duly registered in Russia and is not a 100% foreign investment company. Travelers name and the name of the inviting organization must be clearly stated on the invitation as well as the dates of your visit and cities to be visited. Handwritten invitations or those which appear to have been altered in any way are not accepted.

If the visa support/invitation has been sent by the Ministry of Interior   directly to the Russian Consular office in San Francisco CA by Telex, please note that no processing begins on the application until the Consulate confirms receipt.

It is recommended that you carry copies of your visa support with you to Russia.

You must register your visa at a local OVIR or Police Station within 72 hours of arrival in Russia.

Embassy requirements and fees are subject to change without prior notice.


Shipping Instructions

Please forward a printed copy of your order confirmation for a Russian Business visa for Non-US Citizens and all required documents to:

Travel Document Systems, Inc.
50 California St
Suite 1575
San Francisco, CA 94111

Local Phone Number: 415-399-1515

Urgent applications for a Russian Business visa should be shipped to TDS using only the FedEx Company.

Please use FedEx Priority Overnight. Do NOT ship "First Overnight." This will delay the delivery of your package.

Once your order is complete, your Passport with the visa sticker/stamp will be returned to you via FedEx Overnight.

FedEx Return ShippingFedEx Logo
Continental USA Only Price
Next Business Day - up to 3 passports $36.00
Next Business Day - 4 or more passports $39.00
Saturday Delivery $41.00
Alaska, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, USVI Price
Next Day Letter (No Saturday Delivery) $39.00
International Price
Call for a quote. Call.