Russian visa and train bookings
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Mar 7, 2013 5:20 AM Last Post By: indrayu
Mar 5, 2013 7:11 AM
Russian visa and train bookingsI can't access the "New RU Train Sticky": the page just keeps repeating itself, so sorry if the answer is in there somewhere...
I want to travel Moscow-Riga by train in mid-June, and possibly return in mid-July. To get a Russian visa as an Australian citizen, it looks like they want to see all travel arrangements in place with your money and forms. Trouble is, I haven't found a site that books the train trip this far out, and I will be leaving Australia at the end of April. I live in a small regional town; the local travel agent has never booked anyone to Russia before and has no idea what needs to be done.
Does anyone know a booking site or on-line service for Australian citizens that will make the train booking and provide the documentation more than 45 days in advance of travel?(Booked into the Maxima Panorama Hotel in Moscow on arrival from Cyprus and have yet to get a letter of invitation from them. Could they be helpful with onward arrangements?)
Thanks for any help!
Mar 5, 2013 7:43 PM
1There are ways around your dilemma but need to be aware that Russian tourist visas are for a maximum of 30 days and are either single or double entry. If your entire period from when you first enter Russia to when you last plan to leave
is greater than this, you would need a business visa as an Australian.
Mar 5, 2013 9:15 PM
2Generally speaking , you do not need to have the transportation bookings for travel into and out of Russia to obtain a visa. What you need is an official invitation and accommodations voucher.
If, for example, you planned to fly to Moscow, take the train to Riga and then a train to St. Petersburg, you would just need to show that in your itinerary butnyoumdont need to produce the tickets or vouchers for the travel. What you would need, however, is the official invitation and that would need to show your plans to enter and depart, ie a double entry.
Your hotel in Moscow possibly is willing to provide an invitation and accommodations voucher but it will likely only cover the days that you actually stay there so unless you plan to return there after going to Riga, that won't be sufficient. More common solution is to buy an invitation from an Internet based company such as realrussia.co.uk, visatorussia.com, gotorussia.com, etc.
As noted above, if the time from first entry to last departure from Russia is more tha 30 days which it sounds like from your description above, you will need a double entry business visa. You can purchase the official paperwork from the companies mentioned above. Again, proof of transportation is not required but some sort of itinerary is. And the itinerary need not be too detailed - just indicate your plans for how, when and where you intend to enter and depart each time and approximately your travel plans. Note that none of this information is listed on the visa and it is understoorpd that plans can change.
Mar 5, 2013 9:55 PM
3Thanks! If the officials are a bit more understanding than the website implies, that sounds more hopeful.
I was looking at the realrussia site last night: their services are for UK residents or those who have been in the UK for 90 days prior to booking. I'll check the other two companies.
By lucky coincidence, it is exactly 30 days from my planned entry to getting on a plane in Moscow to return to Australia. Presumably, even if there is some sort of delay, they won't stop you on your way out. (My father's family came from places that ended up in Soviet hands.I grew up with stories of people not even born there, going on family visits and being detained by the KGB. It only takes one or two stories like that circulating through immigrant communities to put fear into everyone.)
Mar 6, 2013 1:59 PM
4Presumably, even if there is some sort of delay, they won't stop you on your way out
You presume wrongly, you cannot leave Russia on an expired visa that's why I always recommend that you get your visa valid for slightly longer than you need.
Mar 6, 2013 9:23 PM
5It depends upon the cause of the delay. If it is your fault, ie you missed the flight, then expect problems but if it is some natural event such as the volcanic cloud some years ago which halted flights in Europe, then accommodations will be made. But don't makes plans that require more than 30 days and expect that there won't. Be a problem.
Also realrussia may be able to provide the official invite and accommodation voucher for a fee even if you don't live in the UK. I think the services for residents of the UK are to actually submit everything to the consulate to obtain the visa.
Mar 7, 2013 1:40 AM
Mar 7, 2013 1:55 AM
7Also realrussia may be able to provide the official invite and accommodation voucher for a fee even if you don't live in the UK. I think the services for residents of the UK are to actually submit everything to the consulate to obtain the visa.
That sounds good- I don't mind sending it all off to the Embassy here, but I'm already a bit tired of all the bureaucracy. Trying to make some minor changes to hotel bookings with a 24-hour turn-around time for emailing an office from the other side of the world is taking time away from more interesting things, like achieving a competent kindergartner's level reading in Russian
Mar 7, 2013 4:17 AM
8Look I think you're making this more complicated than it needs to be, you do not need to book any accommodation, flights or trains in advance, just go to Real Russia tell them your plans and they will provide you with the necessary documents that you need to submit with your application. Your visa support or sometimes called invitation will be sent to you in an email, you just print this off.
If you miss a flight and its your fault you will be fined, under 72 hours your embassy can provide exit papers, beyond that you'll need an exit visa at an additional cost of course.
Mar 7, 2013 5:20 AM
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