Nearly all visitors need a visa, which will require an invitation. Tourist visas are generally single entry and valid for up to 30 days. Apply as soon as you have all the documents you need (but not more than two months ahead). Processing time ranges from 24 hours to two weeks, depending on how much you are willing to pay.
It's possible to apply at your local Russian consulate by dropping off all the necessary documents with the appropriate payment or by mailing it all (along with a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope for the return). When you receive the visa, check it carefully – especially the expiry, entry and exit dates and any restrictions on entry or exit points.
A third option is to use a visa agency. While more expensive than doing it all yourself it's a great way to delegate the hassles to someone else. Some agencies charge very reasonable fees to submit, track and collect your visa.
The most annoying part of the visa process is the need to provide an invitation (also called visa support) from a hotel or travel agency. If your hotel doesn't offer this service – most do but you'll usually have to pay for it – then you'll need to get in touch with a travel agency. You'll normally need to fill in a form online and give your planned travel dates, but you can leave generous room with these to allow yourself some flexibility. Invitations are normally processed within a week.
On arrival you will be issued with an immigration card, which is normally filled out for you by the immigration officer's printer. This will be stamped along with your visa, and one half of the card will be given to you, while the immigration officer will retain the other half. When you are checking in at a hotel, you’ll have to surrender your passport and immigration card so the hotel can register you with the OVIR (Office of Visas and Registrations). Usually they are given back the next morning, if not the same day.
Types of Visa
The primary types of visas are tourist visas (valid for a 30-day stay) or business visas (for 30- to 180-day stays). The specific requirements of Russian embassies in each country differ slightly, so check with the website of the embassy you’re planning to apply through. Be aware that unless you live abroad, you won’t usually be able to obtain a Russian visa anywhere but in your own country. Generally for all visas you’ll need to submit your passport, a photo, an invitation from either a hotel or a travel agency in Russia, a completed application form (downloadable from the embassy website), and in most cases a certificate of health insurance coverage.
Letter of invitation
If you need a formalletter of invitationin order to obtain a
visa, to raise travel funds or for administrative purposes, please
apply by email to ICMPM 2017 firstname.lastname@example.org. The provided name must
exactly match that on your passport. If you are presenting a paper,
include the title. However, you do not need to wait until your paper
is accepted to request a letter of invitation. ICMPM 2017 reserves
the right to ask for further information regarding e.g. the company
or affiliation of the applicant to ensure the validity of requests.
Note that invitation letters will be issued 1) only to applicants
who have apaid conference registration, and 2) only for the time of
the conference including the weekends, namely from Dec 2-4, 2017.
Such letter of invitationdoes not include any commitmenton the part
of ICMPM 2017 organizers to provide financial support of any kind.
All letters of invitation will be sent in PDF form to the email address provided. If a paper letter is required, please respond to the email, and the letter of invitation will be sent complimentary to your postal address through regular airmail. Note that ICMPM 2017 won’t use expensive express mail services, so that your letter may take a few weeks to arrive. You are responsible to take care of your own visa application. ICMPM 2017 organizers will NOT send letters of invitation to consulates or contact them in any other way.