Private tour guide St. Petersburg russia    Email:    Phone: +7 911 164 6424

Visa Free for cruise ship passengers

I offer Visa free shore excursions for cruise passengers staying for less than 72 hours in port.

Please see my Visa Free page for more details of the visa exemption scheme.

Russian Visa and Registration


Visitors not arriving to Russia by cruise ship must have a visa. It gives much more flexibility than the Visa-Free scheme, but unfortunately it is somewhat complicated and costly.

I can help you through the process of getting a Russian visa.

The Process:

Obtaining a tourist visa consists of 3 steps:

  • Firstly you need to obtain a so called "invitation" or "tourist voucher". I can provide this by email.
  • Next you apply to the Russian embassy. In many countries you can do this online/by post without actually visiting the embassy in person. You will need to submit a fairly basic application form, passport style photographs and the embassy fee.
  • Finally if you spend more than 3 business days here you are required by Russian law to register with the migration authority. I can do that for you too.
Usually after getting an invitation it takes 2 weeks to process a visa at Russian Consulate. You may process it also quicker but the cost will increase immensely. That is why the receipt of Russian visa usually takes about 2½ weeks.

Useful tip: You can process your visa far in advance of your trip and that is what I advise you to do. Nobody knows what new requirements Russian bureaucrats will invent tomorrow, but once you have your visa no one will cancel it.

My Charges:

An invitation without registration costs €25 per person.
At €50 per person you will get both invitation and its registration after arrival.

Free Visa from a 4-5 star hotel:

If you plan to stay at 4-5 star hotel, you will probably get both an invitation and the registration service for free.
Other, cheaper hotels, will most likely charge for the invitation and registration service.

Please consider that when you order an invitation from me, you can get it for any period of time up to 30 days and then plan your stay in Russia the way you like it. Hotels will only issue you the invitation for the days you paid to stay in their hotel. This means you won't be able change you plans. For example if you wanted to arrive a day earlier on a cheaper flight you would need to apply for another visa. Additionally should your departure from Russia be delayed, perhaps by ill health or missing a flight connection, you will likely face a mountain of bureaucracy, hassle and costs to leave the country if your visa has expired.

Visiting other cities:

If you plan to visit other cities after St. Petersburg you will need to register again in each of the cities.
I offer a registration ONLY in St. Petersburg. But if you order visa from me I will provide you with details of partner companies in other cities that can assist with registration.

Information for invitation letter:

If you plan to use my services to order an invitation I need to know the following about each person:
  1. Passport number
  2. First name (as it is written in your passport!)
  3. Last name (as it is written in your passport!)
  4. Date of birth
    Please name the month with a word (e.g. 3-Jan-1966) because "03/04/1953" might be understood as either 3rd of April or 4th of March. You will be refused a visa if your date of birth in the invitation is incorrect.
  5. Place of birth
  6. Sex
  7. Citizenship
  8. Dates you want your Russian visa for
Useful tip: I do advise you to add several days before and after actual dates of your stay. Imagine that something happens to force a change in your plans at the last minute. There is NO CHANCE to change the issued invitation and/or visa - you will have to restart this complicated and expensive process from the beginning.

At the Russian Consulate:

The Russian Embassy may have a website in your country. Listed below are some of the popular ones.
If you can't find the link for Visas, please check under Consular services.

United States of America
Great Britain
New Zealand
South Africa

Please email me if your country isn't shown and I will send you the address, phone number and website link.

The usual requirements for the embassy are shown below, but do vary from country to country so I strongly suggest that you checkout the Russian consulate website for your country before applying.
  1. Your passport (Attn! Must be valid 3 months beyond intended stay),
  2. Three matted finish passport-size photos
  3. Invitation you have got from me
  4. Consular fee
  5. Proof of medical insurance
  6. Filled in application form
In many countries you can complete the whole process by post without ever going in person to the consulate.
 +Tatiana Collins+