Visa Invitations & Visa Support

General information

To enter Russia for any purpose, most non-Russian citizens must possess a valid passport (which expires on or after December 01, 2017) and valid Russian entry visa issued by a local Russian Embassy or Consulate. It is impossible to obtain an entry visa upon arrival, so travelers must apply for their visas well in advance.

Travelers who arrive in Russia without an entry visa, will not be permitted to enter the country, and face immediate return to the point of embarkation at their own expense.

To have a visa issued, an official visa support document processed by Russian governmental or officially authorized companies is required.  

Visa support, i.e. visa invitation, is a document that allows you to obtain a visa to Russia  based upon the purpose of the trip and the duration of stay in Russia. Please, note that visa invitation cannot be used in place of a visa.
To obtain your actual visa, you have to submit Russian visa support's original or copy along with required paperwork to the local Russian Embassy or Consulate of your choice.

Visa support by St. Petersburg University

The hosting university Saint-Petersburg University will provide a visa support document (visa invitation) for all PIERS Symposium participants needing one.  If a family member(s) or partner will also be traveling, then it is recommended they have a Tourist visa.

Please, be aware that in accordance with Russian migration rules, PIERS Symposium participants needs to have the Humanitarian visa to be allowed to give a presentation both oral or poster.

On the basis of visa invitation from Saint-Petersburg University, PIERS Symposium participants obtain single entry visa for the period of their visit.

To receive a visa support document

Please visit Visa-Invitation Request page (the URL will be available after login on piers.prg) or complete and submit an Application for Visa Invitation (also available on your personal account page on and send it by e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. along with a scanned copy of your passport ID pages (i.e. the two side-by-side pages with your photo and personal data).

Please fill the forms in English only!

When entering the dates of your visit (in the application form) be sure to add extra days (1-2 days) at both ends of your period of stay (Please consult Tours & Excursions site for post-symposium tours). This is recommended so to avoid possible complications if, for example, changes occur when booking or purchasing travel tickets, or your departure is delayed or rescheduled. Once dates are fixed in a visa invitation, they cannot be changed. If you chose to change the dates of your visit after visa support procedures have started, then the procedure for a new request must be done from the very beginning.

After submitting the request you will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail, and when processed, you will receive an e-copy of your visa support invitation and the original document will be sent to you by regular or express post.

With the visa invitation issued, you will then be able to apply for a Russian entry visa.

Important Dates & Deadlines

Please, be aware that the visa invitation issuance procedure is a time-consuming process. For example, for non-EU citizens it can take up to 1 month to issue an invitation. Therefore, we recommend that requests for a visa support document be made well in advance. See estimated processing times and deadlines below.

Estimated processing time for Visa Invitation

European citizens:

  • Processing time = 5 to 7 working days
  • Deadline for submitting visa support forms – April 03, 2017
  • Responses for last minute requests expected by mid-April, 2017.

Non-European citizens:

  • Processing time = up to 30 days / 4 weeks.
  • Deadline for submitting visa support forms – March 15, 2017
  • Responses for last minute requests expected by end-March, 2017.


Please, feel free to contact us for visa support issues via e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

List of consulates of Russia:       Consulate Locator       Russian consulate info       By country and by city

Visa free travel to Russia:       Visa House