If you have booked or are booking your accommodation in Russia through Airbnb (or similar apartment rental platforms) and you need an invitation letter to process your visa to Russia, there are different authorized Russian tour operators that will allow you to obtain the letter of invitation in 5 minutes. In this post I’ll explain how to do it.
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One question I get asked very often is how to get the invitation letter if you are staying in Airbnb apartments, or similar platforms like Wimdu, Tripping, CouchSurfing, Interhome, HomeAway, VRBO or HomeStay.
Getting an invitation letter or visa support to Russia, if you are staying in Airbnb apartments (or similar platforms) is as simple as getting it if you stay in hotels.
Apartment hosts can’t issue tourist invitations. Only authorized hotels or Russian tour operators can issue tourist invitation letters.
In some cases, the apartment hosts can get you an invitation letter through one of these tour operators or authorized agencies, in exchange for a price. However, it is quite frequent that the hosts are not willing to perform this procedure. Also, if you are staying in apartments in several cities, you will have to request a letter of invitation to each of the hosts. This involves time and money.
However, if you want to get the invitation letter in 5 minutes in PDF format ready to print, it is best to request it directly from one of these authorized Russian tour operators.
For this, I have used several of these three Russian tour operators on different occasions: iVisa, Russia Support and HotelsPro. The price of the invitation letter is around 16-17 euros.
Below I’ll explain step by step how to do it with a real example. It’s easy.
Step 1. Book your accommodation on Airbnb
Obviously the first thing will be to book your accommodation on Airbnb or similar platforms like HomeAway, Wimdu, Intehome, etc.
Once the reservation is made, you will have to look at only one piece of information: the address of your apartment. Below you can see a confirmed real reservation of an Airbnb apartment in Moscow. The address of this apartment is: Ulitsa Bolshaya Polyanka, 30.
Step 2. Fill in the invitation letter request form
When filling out the invitation letter request form, in the “Hotel” field, you must specify that it is an Airbnb apartment (or another platform), as well as your address, as follows:
- City: Moscow
- Hotel: Airbnb apartment – Ulitsa Bolshaya Polyanka, 30
If you are also going to stay in St. Petersburg or other cities, you must also specify your apartment in these cities and their address. For example:
- City: Saint Petersburg
- Hotel: Airbnb apartment – Vladimirskiy Prospekt, 14
The iVisa form can be filled out through this link:
2.2. Russia Support
The Russia Support form is filled in through this link:
The HotelsPro form you have in this link:
Step 3. Download the invitation
After filling out and making the payment of the invitation letter, you can download the invitation letter for the apartments you have booked. An example of an invitation letter from iVisa is below:
In the example of invitation letter (also called visa support letter or tourist confirmation document) I indicate the 4 data you will need to fill out the visa application form:
- Name of organization: Visa Centre, LLC
- Address: Leninsky Avenue 153 А office 706 St Petersburg 196247
- Reference number: 015681
- Confirmation number: in the above example is 106233 but note that it is different for each visa support.
Step 4. Fill out the application form
There are two types of application forms: a longer one for UK, USA, Canadian, Australian and Georgian nationals, and a shorter one for the rest of the countries.
The application form for UK, USA, Canadian, Australian and Georgian nationals, which is filled out through this link, would be as follows in the accommodation section:
The application form for the rest of nationalities (Indian, European, Chinese, Japanese, etc), which is filled out through this link, would be as follows in the accommodation section:
As you can see, in this application form it is not necessary to indicate the name of the accommodation, only the information of the authorized agency that invites you (in the example, Visa Service LLC) and the cities that you will visit.
You can find a more detailed explanation on how to apply for the visa to Russia is in this section: Visa to Russia.
If you have booked Airbnb apartments for your trip to Russia, I hope this article has been useful, so you can get your invitation letter quickly and economically.
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