Everything You Need to Know About Russian Visas: Interview with the Office Director of ILS Seattle, Tatiana Macke

Please note that the Seattle ILS Office has closed. For more information, please contact your closest ILS Office. Check here for details: www.ils-usa.com. (updated June 2018)
The resumption of Yakutia Airlines’ Alaska – Russian Far East Service is attracting more adventure travelers and outdoorsmen from North America to Kamchatka and Yakutsk.  Do Americans need a Russian visa? How much does it cost? What are the most common mistakes made when applying for a visa? Find out these and other details in the article below.

To obtain a Russian visa is easier than you might think. New Russian visa rules, which entered into force September 9, 2012 intend to reduce complications for U.S. travelers. There are several types of visas, but for most travelers, a tourist visa is sufficient. Getting a Russian visa involves 3 steps: invitation, application and registration. Russian Visa Application Centers have been established across the US to simplify and expedite the process of obtaining a visa to Russia. We are interviewing Tatiana  Маcke, Director of ILS Office in Seattle, who will share some tips and recommendations on how to make this process smooth and successful.

Tatiana Маcke, Director of the Russian Visa Center in Seattle. Photo Courtesy: The Russian Visa Center

Tatiana Маcke, Director of the Russian Visa Center in Seattle. Photo Courtesy: The Russian Visa Center


Invisa Logistic Services is a nationwide company with five offices located in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Houston, and Seattle. All of them are staffed with highly qualified employees who are willing and ready to assist you with Russian visas and passports.

As of March 2018, the Russian Visa Centers offer consultations regarding the process of applying for and renewing of Russian international (foreign) passports including the process of filling out application forms, scheduling appointments, and compiling the required documents to be submitted to the Russian Consular Division in the United States. Also we are helping Russian Citizens to confirm their Russian Citizenship if their Russian passports are expired for future renewal their passports you can find more  details on our website www.ils-usa.com.

For more than three years since our company was founded, we have processed over 500,000 business, humanitarian, private, tourist, work, student and transit visas to Russia.

All Americans and other foreign visitors need to have Russian visas to visit Russia. Invisa offers its clients speedy service that meets their needs by:
• Simplifying the process
• Minimizing costs
• Enhancing clients’ experience

You can apply for Russian visas in any of the 5 offices either in person or by mail. All the information about how to apply for Russian visas as well as the required documents is available on our website www.ils-usa.com.

Staff at the Russian Visa Center in Seattle. Photo courtesy: The Russian Visa Center

Staff at the Russian Visa Center in Seattle. Photo courtesy: The Russian Visa Center

Q: How long does it take to get a Russian Visa?

Obtaining a Russian visa takes between 3 and 10 days.

Q: How much does it cost?

The pricelist is available on our website www.ils-usa.com. The cost for Visa processing, including Consular fees, ranges from 193 to 483 USD. In addition, our company can offer you an extra service for an extra payment such as making corrections in application forms, expediting processing, making photos, providing notary service, mailing, etc.

Q: Where do you get an invitation for the Visa? Must all applicants have an invitation or voucher?

All applicants are supposed to have invitations. It could be Letter of Invitation, or a voucher from any hotel or travel agency, a written statement from a business company or from any Russian citizen, or telex, or FMS Invitation. Examples of written statements are provided on our website.

Photo Courtesy: The Russian Visa Center

Photo Courtesy: The Russian Visa Center

Q: Once you get an invitation, you can now fill out the application form, correct? Do you have any specific requirements for US citizens?

You are supposed to fill out an application form on our website https://visa.kdmid.ru and submit it to ILS Seattle (or any of the 5 ILS offices), then print, sign and bring it to our office together with the other required documents which are as follows:
• Your original Passport. Make sure that your Passport is signed, and you have AT LEAST 2 blank pages for Russian Visa. PLEASE check the expiration date of your Passport. It should be valid for at least 6 months after your Russian visa expiration date.
• Letter of Invitation.
• One photo.  We can actually make photos in our office.
• Payment. We accept money orders and cash.

All US citizens can apply for a 3-year visa. Please be advised that all the pertinent information is available on our website www.ils-usa.com.

Photo Courtesy: the Russian Visa Center

Photo Courtesy: The Russian Visa Center

Q: Once you have the invitation, your passport, photos, and other supporting documents, and you have filled out the application form, what do you do next?

You are supposed to bring all those documents to our office and apply for a Russian visa either in person or by mail. You can make an appointment on our website www.ils-usa.com which is strongly recommended to avoid waiting time. You can also come to our office without an appointment during our business hours. We are open on Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm with a lunch break between 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm.

Q: Do you need to have a visa interview? 

Sometimes the Russian Consulate may invite a person to come directly to the Consulate for an interview. In this case, we will contact you directly and notify you about the exact time of the interview, and inform you about the kinds of documents you are supposed to bring with you. However, such situations are infrequent. Most of our clients receive visas without an interview.

Q: Do you need to register a Russian Visa upon arrival in Russia?

Yes, you are supposed to register a Russian Visa. If you are going to stay in a hotel, please keep in mind that all hotels will register your Russian Visa automatically. If you are going to stay in someone’s apartment, you will have to go to the closest post office in Russia, and they will register your Visa.

Q: What are your top 3 tips for a smooth Russian Visa application?

-The easiest and the most important tip is to read the instructions step by step to be informed about how to fill out an application form on our website www.ils-usa.com.
-Read all the questions very carefully and answer them providing the EXACT information required.
-The most important thing is to submit your application form to ILS SEATTLE (or any of the 5  ILS offices); otherwise we will not be able to locate your application in our computer system.

Q: Can one apply for a Russian Visa with the help of a travel agency?

Yes, you can apply for a Russian Visa via any travel agency. You can locate them on GOOGLE. Please be advised you will be charged extra for their service in addition to our fees.

Q: How can one apply for a Visa by mail?

You can obtain all the information about how to apply by mail on our website www.ils-usa.com on the MAILING PAGE. Make sure that you sign and send us Customer Agreement Form and Service Order Form – they are listed on our website on the MAIL SERVICE PAGE.

Photo Courtesy: The Russian Visa Center

Photo Courtesy: The Russian Visa Center

Q: What are the most common mistakes and problems experienced by Visa applicants?

The most common mistakes and problems are as follows:
– Passports are not signed, and if this is the case, we have to send them back to the applicants because all passports must be signed!
– Each passport should have AT LEAST 2 blank pages for a Russian Visa.
– Make sure to provide your full residential address and business address including state and zip code.
– Make sure to provide a money order MADE TO ILS.
– Sometimes people send us family pictures with their dogs near the fireplace, or pictures from their vacation on the ocean shore wearing bathing costumes. Make sure to send us an official passport size picture with a WHITE background, the kind that is good for USA passport.
– THE MOST IMPORTANT RECOMMENDATION IS THIS – Please read our website www.ils-usa.com and follow all the step by step instructions about how to apply for a Russian Visa.

In order to serve our customers more efficiently, we have opened Call Center in Washington DC.
Please feel free to call the Call Center should you have any questions or concerns at 202-827-0880 on Monday through Friday during business hours from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EST.


The Invisa staff would like to extend their appreciation to all the partners and customers. Our goal is to smoothly guide you through the process in an efficient and timely manner. We believe that our work is important for making it possible for foreign visitors to have a first-hand experience of  Russia, its culture and people. More importantly, we believe that our work helps to promote understanding, bring people together, and strengthen the ties between Russia and the United States.

Seattle area travel agents specializing in travel to Russia and processing Russian visas include:
Travel Flex
701 Fifth Avenue, Ste # 4200
Seattle WA 98104
TEL: 206-441-1106 
EMAIL: travelflex@gmail.com
Red Star Travel
123 Queen Anne Ave. N., Ste 102, Seattle, WA  98109
TEL: 206-522-5995
FAX: 206-522-6295
EMAIL: travel@travel2russia.com





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