If you have decided to travel to Russia for business or leisure and you are not a member of the countries of the former Soviet Union, you will undoubtedly need a Russian visa for your trips. There are two main visas required by travelers to Russia.
Even if you are traveling for purposes other than tourism, you will still need to obtain a tourist visa. This applies to short visits of less than 30 days.
A tourist visa for Russia is obtained by invitation, sponsorship, or another assistance letter from a hotel or travel agency. The hotel or agency must register the message with the consular services of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is illegal to obtain an invitation from a hotel if you are not going to stay at this hotel at all. Russian travel agencies generally boast of this law simply because they can use a sponsorship document and then register your visa later without the need to book a hotel stay. Some hotels will give you a letter for a 30-day stay, even if you only booked a two-night stay with it.
It is a flexible visa that gives you multiple entries into Russia for up to one year. If you are a regular visitor to Russia, this must be the visa you get. Even if you are not a frequent visitor and want to stay longer in Russia, you must apply for a tourist visa. By law, this visa is for people who visit Russia to work, but again, there are legal loopholes that allow people to get around them. Some people use permission for personal visits without having to book hotels. But that does not allow you to work in Russia even if you are there for an extended stay. The only Russian visas that will enable you to receive compensation for your services are your work visas.