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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 3 Jan 2014
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Russian Visa for US citizen

Maybe I should just lie? The requirement to apply for a visa according to travel.state.gov is Hotel reservation confirmation and Tourist services by an approved tourist organization. A) I have no idea where Im staying along the way but I will be entering East of Narva Estonia and exiting north of St Petersburg into Finland.
B) Im not using any tourist organization.
I have a Russian consulate in Seattle so I can go ask them but any advice from those that have gone before me?
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Old 3 Jan 2014
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You can get a business visa. You only have to submit a short list of city names but you must procure the invite document which can be done over the web. We used visalink-Russia.com. It does take a couple weeks because I think they have to mail to Moscow then scan & send. You still have to register when you get to Russia but a hotel will do that for you. IMHO it's worth the flexibility rather than messing with booking hotels & canceling them.
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Old 4 Jan 2014
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Thanks. That's the answer I'm looking for
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  #4  
Old 4 Jan 2014
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3 year multiple entry tourist visa for US citizens

I used Rainier world travel inc out of Seattle area. they went to the consulate for me RAINIER WORLD TRAVEL INC.. They also got my invite letter. It took about 3 weeks and that was sending my passport from Georgia (the country) to Seattle and back.

I didn't ever have any hotel reservations and I didn't stay at any of the hotels on my list. It was never a problem. I crossed russian borders 6 different times this past summer and the only problem with Border police was they had never seen the 3 year visa because it was new last year. So they would always call their superior over to look at it. Other than that, It was a breeze.
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  #5  
Old 6 Jan 2014
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Flyred,

Visit the Russian Consulate website. Things have gotten MUCH easier for a US Citizen to get a business visa. And the new 3-year Visa (as of Sept 2012) makes it even easier.

And you want the 3-year one ! There's less documentation required and it's simpler to acquire.

As a legal resident of Thailand (with a US Passport) I got mine in BKK in 5 days for $160.

ONLY at the Mongolian->Russia border crossing did anyone take notice. And that, according to local officials, was because my Visa had been issued in BKK to an American.

Good luck !
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Old 25 Mar 2014
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I just got a 3 yr tourist visa (am a US citizen), going through Russian Visa Full Service and Support. Russian Visa Online | Russian Embassy - Get travel (tourist visa), business visa to russia. Go to Russia Travel. Get visa for Russia in Russian Embassy and Russian Consulate in London,San Francisco, New York (NY, for $324. They commit to having it back in 13 business days. They take care of the "tourist voucher" (the invite to come to Russia). The application asks for dates of travel (I put down starting 4 weeks from the date I submitted it, ending 36 months later. You have to have 6 months left on your visa: if you don't, they shorten the three years to give you 6 months left. They want the cities you visit listed, but that doesn't go on your visa so not to worry. Any questions, they were happy to answer on the phone. Very professional and efficient. I believe they get ~$100 out of the $324 for the tourist voucher and their effort to process the Visa. Rest are the consulate fees.
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