Be sure that you have a passport to travel to start off. Head on to your local passport application centre and make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork to support your application for a passport. You will usually need to acquire an application form which you will need to fill up and give back. Once you submit your passport application form you will be taken through the next processes to attain your passport. Most countries now use a biometric system which will take and store your image as well as your prints.

Wait for your passport to be released and when you receive that you may begin working on getting a tourist visa to travel. Unless you want to be sent back to your home country, you will need to apply for a Russian tourist visa.

Almost everyone will need a visa to get into Russia, given some recent exceptions. Now if you were entering Russia via a cruise ship, you needn’t apply for a visa because coming in via one is visa free – given that you meet certain requirements. The Visa Waiver Program took effect a few years ago stating that anyone coming in via cruise, as long as they comply with certain conditions of being in an excursion group, will be given admission to the country for a period of 72 hours. Getting a Russian visa is a simple procedure that could go without a hitch as long as you have necessary requirements when you apply for one.

There are several types of Russian visas that an individual can get according to their reason for going to Russia. Since you will be visiting the land of the Czars, like most other tourist travellers, you will want to apply and secure a tourist visa. A Russian tourist visa usually has validity for 30 days upon entry to the country. All the time you will need to go around the beautifully breathtaking city of St Petersburg.

How I apply for one, you may ask. There are a number of avenues you can take when you apply for a visa and this would depend on your patience and resources. You can first go to the nearest Russian Consulate in your home country. You will have to expect it to be a little stressful but it is a lot cheaper than getting the services of a travel agent. If you have the resources, get a good travel agent to arrange everything for you. It will be a little more expensive, but it will be worth the effort and anxiety it will save you.

Whatever sort of visa one is applying for they will first need to secure a letter of invitation. This letter of invitation can come from a friend of yours who lives in St Petersburg or it may come from the hotel you are making arrangements with, the Russian travel agency or the local travel agent you hire to sort out the process. When you get this letter of invitation, you want to go over the checklist of other documents you will need in order to complete the requirements for a Russian visa. Along with the letter of invitation and your application form for tourist visa request, you will have to present your passport, two ID photographs, and travel insurance. If you plan to stay longer than 30 days, the documents you will need to support will be more extensive.

A more convenient and perhaps the most efficient way of applying for a Russian tourist visa are through an upstanding online visa service. Compared to getting a local travel agency the method of getting one is completely hassle free and can be done at the comfort of your home or office. They will be able to assist you with the invitation letter as well as set up accommodations to your liking and assure you of a smooth transition between flights to airport to

Once you arrive in Russia, and if your itinerary to see the wondrous sites will take more than 7 days, you will have to get registered with the Federal Migration Service within the first three business days of your stay. If you stay longer than 7 days you will need to get registered and that is an imperative. You should know this in case you will be staying at a B&B or if you are travelling independently. Registration can usually be arranged with the travel agency you used to get your visa, so don’t forget to ask. However, if you are staying at a hotel, there is no need for you to worry about this because hotels are mandated to register you automatically upon check in or within 48 hours of your stay. Again, make sure that you will be registered by the hotel, although this is usually dine without any inquiry from you, but you just want to make sure.

Keep in mind that the accountability to get your visa registered is in the hands of your host, hotel or accommodations. They will need to visit the local branches of the Federal Migration Services to complete your registration of stay and get your visa registration. When this is accomplished by your host you will be handed back a copy of the registration form. Keep the visa registration on your person at all times when you step out of the hotel or your host home.