Russian visa invitation
It is essential to obtain a visa for the Russian Federation, which is why every Russian tourist needs it: the so-called Travel Voucher. On the pages of the Russian embassy and consulates, it is also called “travel confirmation”. Why do I need this document? What does this travel voucher look like, what information does it contain? Where can I get a travel voucher? And finally: what are the next steps after receiving the voucher. We’d like to provide you with the answers to these questions in this article.
The purpose of the travel voucher
The travel voucher, which many perceive as a bureaucratic obstacle and which is only required for entry into a handful of countries, confirms to the Russian authorities that you are actually traveling for tourist purposes. They want to ensure in advance that there are no other intentions, such as starting work.
For the 2018 World Cup, the visa requirement for ticket holders was suspended, making the procurement of a travel voucher obsolete, but unfortunately this was only an exception.
The good news, however, is that thousands of Russian registered tour operators and accommodations can issue this document. Procurement is therefore easier than ever these days, as a PDF version is now accepted by the Russian diplomatic missions abroad. Without this document, the visa application, which is just as essential, cannot be filled in, which is why obtaining a travel voucher is the first and essential step in getting a visa.
What does a travel voucher look like?
The Travel Voucher does not have a specified exact form, but the documents of the different providers are the same – in any case, “подтверждение” or “туристический ваучер” is above the document. Some predefined elements (see below), as well as a stamp of the tour provider must also be part of the document in any case, which can be delivered either by post in the original, by fax, or as a PDF.
Some of the voucher is issued bilingually in Russian and English, some only in Russian, which makes it difficult for many travelers in this country to confirm the accuracy of the information. This, in turn, should be done, because a single number operator in the visa application, for example, on the date of birth, passport number or travel dates, or a deviation in different documents inevitably means that the entire effort is in vain and the money for the application was invested in vain. It is therefore advisable to choose what the respective voucher looks like when choosing the exhibitor. Online providers often have available patterns on their websites.
The voucher must always contain the following information:
- The number of the travel confirmation is typed or typographically readable;
- Type of visa applied for (one or two times); Nationality; Entry and exit dates for Russia (max. 30 days);
- Name and first name of the foreign citizen to whom the confirmation is addressed;
- Date of birth and gender of foreign citizen;
- Passport number of the foreign citizen;
- Purpose of the trip (tourism, car tourism, tourism with specific purposes, hunting tourism);
- Destination and location; The address of the tour operator and its reference number according to the list of tourist organizations that organize trips to Russia; Additional information.
Where can I get a travel voucher
Package tour operators and larger hotels in Russia usually issue travel vouchers for paying guests themselves, sometimes for an additional fee. In the age of increasingly popular individual travel, hundreds of companies now also offer the voucher online without being a guest or using the services of this company.
A thicket of providers has developed that can issue the necessary documents for relatively cheap money. Many smaller hotels and hostels no longer offer vouchers at all, but often recommend a provider with whom they cooperate. If you find accommodation on your trip via AirBnB, you are inevitably dependent on an online provider.
It is important that the voucher contains the necessary data (see above) and is issued without errors, and that the issuing provider is actually licensed. If these criteria are met, it does not matter who issues the voucher. The sometimes significant price differences are justified by the providers with better service and other costs. But once you have a voucher, it doesn’t matter who issued it. The price ranges from around $ 15 to $ 35 and more.
In the PDF form, the voucher is usually issued immediately or after just a few minutes waiting and sent by email, which considerably simplifies the procedure. However, in this case you need a credit card which you can pay online for the exhibition with.
What are the next steps after receiving the voucher
With the Travel Voucher received and a number of other documents (for example, the international health insurance valid for Russia, a correctly dimensioned passport photo and, in case of doubt, proof of income or account statement), you can finally fill out the actual application online. This in turn must then be signed with the other documents, including travel vouchers, at the embassy or a visa service provider.