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  #1  
Old 15 Jan 2011
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St. Petersburg loop

This summer we are planning to ride from Amsterdam to Norway, Sweden, Finland and then into Russia and back to Munich to fly home.

Is it easy to pick up any necessary Russian entry papers in Helsinki or do we need to take care of things before we leave Canada?
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Old 16 Jan 2011
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Couple years ago I got my letter of invitation and so on all set before leaving the States, but figured I'd tidy up odds and ends and collect my visa in Estonia. Nuh uh, bad idea. While I was meandering my way up there, the Russians got offended by something my government did elsewhere in the world and retaliated by making it more difficult to collect visas away from home. They told me I could collect my visa in a month if I waited around in Tallin. I respectfully declined.

My advice: do it all at home if you can. The visa process tends to be murky, changeable, and subject to whims of individual officials. However: mileage certainly varies.

Mark
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Old 16 Jan 2011
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My recommendation is Do it in advance before you leave.
There is some rule that you should do application when you are in your home country.

More info Embassy of Canada to Finland
Welcome and have a nice ride.
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Last edited by Capo Sakke; 16 Jan 2011 at 08:46.
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Old 16 Jan 2011
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Ah, yes: it comes back to me slowly. The official rule, then as now, was that you need to get your visa in your home country. However there were at least a few consulates which did not subscribe to this rule, of which Tallin was one. I assume it's still true that Russian consulates have their own individual personalities and protocols, but I'm not in a position to guarantee this.

I got curious and dug around among the bookmarks on my former computer. Here's the site I used for visa information and invitation: [http://www.waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/Insider.html]. You can poke around on other pages on that site; very informative, and they seemed reliable. You'll note that they list the Toronto consulate as one of the really troublesome ones worldwide.

Good luck.

Mark
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Old 16 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
The official rule, then as now, was that you need to get your visa in your home country.
For Russia correct, except you can also apply for visas in countries other than the 'home' country of your passport if you have some residency right to be in the country where you are applying.

Staying in a hotel, or with a friend, is insufficient. They will want to see documentation of your rights such as a Work Permit, Residence Permit, etc..
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Old 16 Jan 2011
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Thanks for the great information. The waytorussia link was a great resource. I think we'll give St Petersburg a miss at this time. Next year we'll pick up the bikes in Munich and ride east to Japan via Russia so we'll catch St Petersburg then. This summer maybe we'll take a ferry from Helsinki to Tallin and back to Munich skipping Russia.
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'84 R100RT 141,000 km (Dad's!)
'89 R100GS 250,000 km (and ready for another continent)
'07 R1200GS Adventure 100,000 km (just finished Circumnavigating Asia)


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Old 16 Jan 2011
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If you need any help or place to stay just throw PM. I will be in Finland almost all summer this year.
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