Russia Home Stay or Private Stay Visa Requirements

These requirements are applicable for US Citizens applying at the Houston Office

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 you do not have any blank visa pages in your passport, TDS can assist you in applying for additional pages. 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. If travel Document Systems assists you in applying for a New, Renewal or Second Limited passport as part of this order, the passport will need to be returned to you for a signature before your visa application can be processed. Extra FedEx fees will apply in this case.

 

Please send 2 recent professional passport-type photographs.
The photographs must have been taken within the last six months.
Digital and non-passport photographs are not acceptable.
Passport Photo Guide - Click Here

Please do not attach the Photo to the visa application, TDS will do this for you.

 

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.

 

Option One:

An Official Invitation, issued by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation.
Original Invitation: Sample One

Your relatives or friends (Russian citizens residing in Russia) should provide you with an official letter of invitation bearing your personal data and registered with a local office of the Russian Interior Ministry (OVIR office).  Your host must obtain this certificate for you and send the original invitation to you so you can apply for your visa.

Option Two:

This option is valid for a Single Entry Visa only.

A written invitation from a Russian citizen located in the US, addressed to the Russian Consulate on behalf of their close relative, spouse, or minor who is a foreign citizen, that will accompany them to Russia, along with: 
Sample Two

- Copy of a valid external Russian passport of the inviting party;
- Copy of Green card or US passport of the Russian citizen who is inviting;
- Copy of the husband's passport (wife or children);
- Copy of Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate of the child;
- Copy of Round-Trip airfare with specific dates.

Option Three:

**This option is only for 3 Year Multiple entry visas.

** If you select this option as your Letter of Invitation, ONLY Regular processing (7-9 Business Days) will be available. Rush or Emergency processing options are not available to you.

For a 3-year visa, a notarized written statement on a notary blank from the hosting individual residing in Russia.
The host individual could be either a Russian citizen registered in the territory of the Russian Federation or a U.S. citizen who has the permit to stay in Russia for more than 90 days. (i.e. work permit, student visa, diplomatic visa as an employee of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.) If the host is a Russian citizen, a photocopy of the domestic and internal passport must be attached. If the host is not a Russian citizen a copy of the passport and valid Russian visa must be attached.


A written invitation from your host must be made in Russia on a notary blank, or a notarized written invitation from a Russian citizen located in the USA by providing copies of their valid Internal Russian Passport with registration, valid Russian foreign passport, and their status in the U.S. such as a US Passport or Green Card.
Sample Three

A NOTARIZED Letter of Invitation from the hosting individual, the letter should state the following:
*Surname, First Name.
*Date of birth.
*Citizenship.
*Gender.
*Passport number.
*Address of registration.
*Actual residence of the hosting individual.

Notarized Letter of Invitation must also include:
*Applicant's First name, surname and any other given names.
*Date of birth.
*Citizenship.
*Gender.
*Passport number.
*Multiplicity of the visa.
*Purpose of travel.
*Letter must state applicant wishes to apply for a 3 year Multiple Entry Visa and the period of stay from dd/mm/yyyy to dd/mm/yyyy (e.g. 23 June 2013 to 22 June 2016)
*Location of intended residence of the visa applicant.
*Cities to be visited.

Note: Letter of Invitation MUST be written in Russian.

 

Any minor traveling to Russia must have a letter of consent signed by both of the child's parents or legal guardians. If the minor is traveling with a parent or guardian who is not applying for a visa at the same time a copy of the parent or guardian's Russian visa or certificate of Russian citizenship must be submitted along with the minor's application.

 

 

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.

 

 

Complete and Sign One Online Application Form, plus one copy.

Please Note: The application must be printed on TWO sheets of paper, the Embassy/Consulate will NOT except applications on a single sheet printed back to back.

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.

As part of the visa application process you will be asked to create a Application ID and answer a Security Question, you MUST save the Application ID and Security Question as you will need it should you need to access your application again online to make any changes or corrections your online visa application.

****Please print and send the Application ID and Security Question Answer along with your completed and signed Russian visa application to Travel Document Systems.****

 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.

At the end of the online Russian visa application, you will be asked to select the visa issuing office. You MUST select "ILS WASHINGTON", "ILS NEW YORK", ILS SAN FRANCISCO", or "ILS HOUSTON" depending on which Travel Document Systems location will process your visa. If you select the city without "ILS" the application will not be accepted.


 

 

The Russian Embassy has the right to request, if needed, additional documents/evidence which shows the purpose and length of the applicant's planned trip, the applicant's financial means sufficient for a stay in Russia and the applicant's intent to depart the Russian Federation after the trip, documents/evidence may include:
*A Bank Statement from the applicant.
*A statement from the employer regarding the applicant's wages for the preceding year, half year or month.
*Medical insurance valid in the country to be visited and fully covering the period of the first trip.
*Documents regarding the applicant's ownership of property in the country of his/her citizenship.
*A certificate on the makeup of the applicant's family.
The Russian Embassy also have the right to request additional information and/or documents from applicants as may be needed in particular cases.

 

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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.

The Russian visa is usually issued for a single entry, for the cities specifically mentioned on the invitation, and the specified dates up to a maximum of 30 days stay. The period of stay cannot be extended in Russia.

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

 

TravelDocs Service Fees

Fees charged by Travel Document Systems for our part in assisting you in obtaining your visa.

TypePriceProcessing Time
Regular$100.008-10 Business Days
Rush$170.003-5 Business Days
Emergency$230.0024 Hours

Once your visa order is complete, your documents will be returned to you via FedEx. The below table outlines the possible costs associated with this service.

FedEx Return ShippingFedEx Logo
Continental USA Only Price
Next Business Day - up to 3 passports $32.00
Next Business Day - 4 or more passports $33.00
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.

Consular Fees

These are the fees charged by the foreign government for issuing a visa. Fees are per person per visa.

Type Entry Price Period of stay Validity Processing Time
Regular Single $128.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 90 Days 8-10 Business Days
Regular Double $182.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 90 Days 8-10 Business Days
Regular Multiple $308.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 1 Year 8-10 Business Days
           
Rush Single $218.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 90 Days 3-5 Business Days
Rush Double $326.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 90 Days 3-5 Business Days
Rush Multiple $578.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 1 Year 3-5 Business Days
           
Emergency Single $248.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 90 Days 24 Hours
Emergency Double $356.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 90 Days 24 Hours
Emergency Multiple $608.00 Up to 30 Days Up to 1 Year 24 Hours

Note: All consular fees above include a $5 check writing fee.

Note: The processing times above are estimates only and may be extended by the Embassy without notice during busy periods.

 

TDS Order Form

You must complete the TDS Online Order Form.

The order form gives TDS your name, address, shipping information and payment method. Multiple applicants can be entered using one order form. You only need to complete one TDS order form per request. Please print two copies of the confirmation page. Include one copy with the documents you ship to TDS and keep one copy for your records.

While completing the online order form in this step, you will be asked how you want to pay TDS fees. You may pay our fees online with a credit card or enclose a personal or business check or money order.

We accept American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover

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Ship Your Documents

Please forward the completed requirements to:

Travel Document Systems, Inc.
5353 West Alabama St
Suite 307
Houston, TX 77056

Local Phone Number: 713-975-9200

Urgent applications 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.

STEP Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

By connecting on the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, the US State Department will be able to assist you better in the case of an emergency, such as if you lose your passport or it is stolen while you are abroad.

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About Us

Travel Document Systems, Inc. (TDS) is a leading visa and passport processing agency. For over 30 years we have served travel professionals, tour operators, and cruise lines, as well as corporate and individual international travelers. TDS specializes in travel that involves visas for more than one country.