In this article, I am going to share information about the Russian travel agencies issuing invitation letter for Indian tourists. To me, the process seemed quite cumbersome in the beginning, but at the end, I learned getting a Russian visa invitation letter online is not that difficult. (Read – How to get Russia tourist visa)
While planning my first trip to Russia I came to know that in order to apply for a Russian tourist visa, Indian citizens are supposed to procure an invitation/confirmation letter from a travel agency based in Russia & registered in the Unified Federal Register of Tour Operators (under a reference number). Very few nationals are exempted from this condition.
Do you really need an invitation letter in Original!
Initially, I came to know that while applying for the visa at the Russian Embassy or Consulate the invitation letter should be submitted in original. This means the visa applicant has to get the ‘piece of paper’ couriered from Russia to his address in India by paying hefty charges to the courier agencies. But later on, I got to know that the scanned copy is enough. The Russian consulate in Kolkata confirmed this to me through email.
Russian travel agencies issuing ‘Letter of Invitation’ online
So here are the travel agencies who issue invitation letter for Indian citizens online. You just have to approach their website and fill up the details and make the payment online. Some of them accept payment through Paypal only. All these agencies have different charges. I am mentioning their charges also.
- https://www.russianvisahelp.com/travel/ – 19.99 USD* I used their service
- http://ivisa.ru/en/ – 33.69 USD*
* as on August 2017
Russian Visa Invitation for free!
I approached all of them through email for some queries. Of them, ‘russianvisahelp’ & ‘ivisaonline’ were very prompt. I got the ‘letter of Invitation’ from ‘russianvisahelp’ agency. They sent it through email within few minutes of submitting the application online. For Indian citizens, they charge 19.99 USD for this facility.
After getting the letter of invitation you can approach the Russian Embassy/Consulate or the authorized private agencies for applying for the visa. In my case, the scanned copy of the invitation letter provided by ‘russianvisahelp’ was happily accepted by the Consulate office in Kolkata.