The Woes of a Russian Visa

Posted by  Daniël Cronk   in       10 years ago     379 Views     Comments Off on The Woes of a Russian Visa  

Who would have thought that getting a visa would be so much work and so much money... for those of you who don't know, a visa is a stamp or sometimes a sticker which indicates that a person is authorized to enter the country in which the visa was issues. It is subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. Some countries do not require a visa in some situations, such as a result of reciprocal treaty arrangements. Most countries attach various conditions to the visa, such as the the time that visa is valid, the period that the person may stay in the country, whether the visa is valid for more than one visit (single entry, double entry, multiple entry). The possession of a visa is not in itself a guarantee of entry into the country that issued it and a visa can be revoked at any time.

Visa Requirements:
1. A completed visa application form (one per person) available at the Consulate or visa services.
2. A valid passport which should have at least two clear visa pages. Should be valid for at least 6-months after departure from Russia.
3. One passport size photo of the applicant which should be stapled to the marked space of the application form.
4. A standard tourist confirmation from a hosting authorized Russian travel agency or a hotel, registered with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a voucher from your hotel or travel agency in Russia.
5. A cover letter from yourself, containing the following information:
a. applicants name or alphabetical list of a group
b. dates and points of arrival and departure in and from Russia and means of transportation
c. itinerary in Russia
6. If applying by mail. The Consular Division no longer accepts mailed applications. Applicants unable to be present in person are referred to the following visa agencies:
a. PVS International CIBT, Inc. Travisa Visa Service, Inc. www.pvsinternational.org
b. CITB www.cibt.com/russianvisa
c. TRAVISA RUSSIA www.travisarussia.com
7. A money order or cashier's check payable to the Russian Embassy for visa processing. Please, note that we do not accept cash or any other checks.

The visa processing fees are:

For single entry visas are:
$131 for 4-20 business days processing;
$250 for 3 business days processing;

For double entry visas are:
$131 for 4-20 business days processing;
$250 for 3 business days processing;

Visa processing fee is not refundable

*Please, note, that drop off day is not counted as business day!

On top of the above Visa fee, which is payable to the Russian Embassy, the travel confirmation which can be obtained from hotels or various Russian visa service companies run about US$30. Then, the fee which is paid to the Visa Processing Company (#6 above) runs about $50.... then you have to pay UPS or FedEx to ship your visa to the appropriate place and back $70. . . For this visa it is going to cost almost $300 . . . YIKES. . . . Stay tuned for more about the Russian Visa Debacle.



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I am very passionate about traveling. My goal is to visit as many places and experience as many things as I can during my short journey on this earth.