The South Ossetian visa is not an easy one to get a hold of these days. Although South Ossetia is close to being fully integrated with Russia, you still need permission to visit from the South Ossetian side, there is a border crossing with Russia and you will need a double-entry Russian visa to make sure you can get out of South Ossetia without problems.
Questions and reports are welcome in the South Ossetia visa Q&A.
There is no visa to South Ossetia, only a permission from the MFA that you are allowed to visit. Permission is granted based on the itinerary you submit, so you will get the amount of days needed to complete your itinerary. Once permission is granted, you will get an e-mail back.
There is no clearance letter like in Abkhazia, but border authorities will (hopefully) know you’re coming. There is no visa system, just a migration card given at entry. You need a multiple entry or double entry Russian visa in order to re-enter Russia.
Entry from Georgia is not possible, see South Ossetia border crossings.
Previously, to apply for permission, you had only to send an e-mail to the authorities. Nowadays, authorities ask for a letter of invitation from a local. Where you may find such a letter of invitation is still under discussion.
The Committee on youth policy, sports and tourism of the Republic of South Ossetia is a recommended option: E-mail: [email protected], Tel.: +7 (8502) 45-23-77.
Current options on the table are the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (Vladikavkaz, ulitsa Revolutsyi, 61, works Tu-Su 10am-5.30pm) and the consular agency of SO in Vladikavkaz (it’s situated on ulitsa Krasodonskaia, 43, works Mo-Fri 9am – 6pm, lunch 1pm-2pm)
For a feeling of what South Ossetia is like these days, read the South Ossetia trip report (2016).
September 2018: The RSO consulate in Vladikavkaz sticks to the rule that a host must invite you at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and they will e-mail the permit in 4 to 14 days to be picked up at said consulate. I had a very nice chat of more than an hour with the man in charge, but they won’t budge on this arrangement and he had no suggestion how to find such a host.