Personal Visa to Russia
Maximum Stay: up to 3 months.
Number of Entries: 1 or 2.
Important: The visa suits you best if you are going to Russia to visit your friends or relatives who have to send you an invitation for you to get the visa. This type of visa is harder to get, and it may take up to 3 months.
How to Get a Visa: If you are not going to stay in a hotel, but rather prefer to come to Russia and stay at your Russian girlfriend's, friend's or relative's place, you have to get a Personal visa. You should remember that if you get a Tourist visa (which is easier to get) and come to Russia to stay with your friends or travel to other cities where you don't have registration, by doing that you break the law and you may have to pay a fine. You will need to have an invitation in order to get a Personal visa. Only a Russian citizen can send you an invitation. In order to get such an invitation your Russian friend will have to provide some information about his/her job and income to the Russian authorities. He/she will also need to have a scanned copy of your passport, to know how long you are going to stay and which cities you are going to visit. The process of acquiring an invitation is long and complicated, and it may take up to 45 days to receive such an invitation because it should be confirmed by Russian authorities and registered in the place where your friend lives. Your Personal visa will be issued to you by a Russian consulate or an embassy where you'll take your invitation and other required documents (passport pictures, passport, etc). Upon your arrival to Russia, you will have to get a local registration within 3 business days.
Since getting a Personal visa is much more difficult than getting other types of visa, many foreigners prefer to get a Tourist or even a Business visa to come to Russia. If you decide to do so, make sure to comply with all formalities and get proper registration.