This summer, 2015, I will be travelling to Russia from the United States. A Russian friend invited me but now he will not be able to be in Russia during our trip. We are considering staying at private apartments through Airbnb, which would require our host to register us. However, this host would obviously not be the person who invited us.

Will we have any trouble attempting to register a private visa with someone other than the host on our invitation?

  • I have never stayed with the person(s) who invited me. Never had a problem with it.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented May 10, 2015 at 9:19

2 Answers 2


As someone who has undergone the registration process many times (including as recently as the end of 2014), I can tell you that the "invitation letter" (or anything to do with your invitation) is completely irrelevant to the registration process - it is NOT on the list of documents required to register you as a foreigner. The person registering you can be anyone (but they do have to have proof of ownership of the property where you're being registered).

  • not the "proof of ownership of the property", but "propiska" (registration) in that property. Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 9:31
  • Hmm... I'm pretty sure they asked for proof of ownership as well (it was a separate document they asked for, and "propiska" is just a stamp in the internal passport). But I could be wrong.
    – Eugene O
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 22:48
  • I've done it many times, they check just "propiska", though may be in a different police stations they might ask for proof of ownership as well... but I think, they shouldn't. Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 6:28

As stated here -- How can I get an 'invitation' to Russia? -- the invitation letter is more like tradition rather than, as Eugene stated, a required document to register.

From personal experience, the invitation letter is really more of a subtle 'tax' to add on to your typical visa application; many 'invitations' can be bought for a small fee, even if you don't stay in that particular hotel/hostel/room.

  • It's not really a tax if it goes to the invitation company rather than to the government, is it?
    – gerrit
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 8:27

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