visa for Russia
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Dec 21, 2012 4:53 AM Last Post By: wanderingjohn
Dec 19, 2012 4:42 AM
Dec 19, 2012 6:56 AM
1You don't need flights to get a visa.
The visa is expensive for US and UK passport holders and takes a while to arrange. You can't just apply for the visa and book a hotel. You need an invitation. Hotels will provide this for the dates that you are staying there only, but in general hotels in Moscow are expensive so most people stay in hostels and hostels often don't supply the official invitatation.
Russian visas are date specific. They are good only for the dates on the official invitation which usually become the dates on the visa. You can enter after the date on the visa but you must depart on or before the date on the visa.
Read the website of the Russian consulate in the UK, the agency that handles Russian visas (they outsource issuing visas) and a site like realRussia.co.uk for more about the invitation and the costs.
Usually you can't apply for a tourist visa more than about 90 days prior to entry.
Dec 19, 2012 8:31 AM
2The way most arilines work nowadays is the earlier you book, the better the chance of cheap seats. Occasionally airlines slash prices at the last minute to fill an otherwise empty plane but more often you get the best prices by booking early.
For Russia, you may well find that you can buy tickets well over 3 months in advance. Your worry is that you may have wasted your money if you are then refused a visa. No way to get a flight refund in that case. OTOH if you try to get the visa first then all the cheap flights are gone.
Well don't worry. Regular tourist visas are almost never refused provided your paperwork is in order - which is entirely under the applicant's control. They don't just refuse visas for no reason, so you're not taking a big risk by grabbing the cheapest tickets well in advance.
Dec 19, 2012 10:25 PM
Dec 20, 2012 4:05 PM
I'm still traveling on my Eastern Europe/Balkan trip. I did get my Russian visa in Kuala Lumpur within 24hours (the Russian Embassy in KL gave me this option for US$100). I was using waytorussia.net for my invitation letter. It works out ok and they're very prompt. You only need to be very specific with the visa application on your date of entry in Russia (at the point of entry in Russia). Pls take note it's date of entry/arrival NOT date of departure.
Dec 20, 2012 9:21 PM
I don't believe that this is correct information. The departure date is fixed on the invitation and is indicated on the visa. You must leave on or before the departure date on the visa. It is not 30 days from who you enter. It is 30 days maximum and you only get 30 days if that is what the invitation says of it the consulate in being kind.
OP - Russian visas are a little more complicated but lots of people apply for them and it is rare to hear of anyone being denied a visa although sometimes people need to resubmit the application because of errors in the process. If you are interested in seeing this part of the world, I would let the application process prevent you from going.
Dec 21, 2012 4:53 AM
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