How to apply for a Russian visa, Russian consulate requirements

If you already have an idea about all the steps you need to take to get a Russian visa and selected the type of visa you need, the only thing left is to get all the paperwork together and apply for the visa at aRussian consulate. Here's what you need to do next: 
What Documents are Needed to Get a Russian Visa

Russian Tourist Visa requirements: 

1. A valid passport with at least one blank page (for the visa), the expiration date should be not earlier than 3 months after your visa validity ends. Sometimes you may be required to present two photocopies of your passport (copy all the most important pages of the passport -- showing your name, birth date, photo, passport number, expiration date).
2. Russian visa application form completed and signed (it's available in a Russian consulate for free, you can download a sample here - Adobe Acrobat format).
3. Three passport-type photographs (make sure you have no glasses and hats on).
4. For individual travelers: a letter of invitation (also called "visa support" or "tourist voucher and tourist reservation confirmation") issued by a Russian travel agency authorized in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), or directly from a Russian hotel, showing the reference number of the company in the MFA and the confirmation number for the visa (see Types of Visa section).
5. Shengen countries, Estonian, and Israeli citizens need to present aninsurance valid in Russia (usually already included on your credit card policy).
6. French citizens sometimes are also requited to present bank statements for the last 3 months and a copy of their return tickets (as well as insurance, as above). 

Most Russian consulates do not require originals of the invitation papers: a fax or a scanned copy (sent to you via e-mail) is enough. Only the consulates in Switzerland, Sweden and sometimes in Germany ask for originals. Also note that a consulate has the right to request the originals of the papers, if they need them.

For cruise passengers or group travelers: the Russian visa should be arranged with your cruise organizers. You will be able to leave the port only together with the cruise organizers.