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-   -   Confused About Russian Visa Requirements (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/northern-asia/confused-about-russian-visa-requirements-66189)

Tom Bon 865 11 Sep 2012 12:41

Confused About Russian Visa Requirements

Im confused about how one manages to travel around Russia for extended periods of time, as I'm finding you need an invitation to get in (understand this), and the location of your accomodation to be stated as well (don't understand this!).
I wish to ride from Georgia to St Petersburg but don;t know how I'm supposed to specify all my accomodation prior!?
Previous backpacking I've just made it up as I went.

Apologies for such an elementary question.


navalarchitect 11 Sep 2012 13:19

It's all to do with the visa type. You don't want a "Tourist" visa as you might think but a "Business" one - which despite its name doesn't really need a business purpose.

Getting a business visa for 3 months (or longer) is relatively easy if somewhat beaurocratic and a bit expensive. The necessary Letter of Invitation can be bought on line (I used Stantours but there are many others) and after that it is simply visit the embassy in Sydney and spend more money.

Search this site and you'll find the full details or PM me and I'll send you my mobile (I'm in Newcastle) so I can talk you through it.

Oo-SEB-oO 12 Sep 2012 22:24

just go to waytorussia.net
all your answers are there, straight forward and worked out just fine for our visas.

Tirpse 17 Sep 2012 08:09

Whhen you apply visa to Russia you can basicly have three different kind of visas: Culture, tourist or business visa.

I have had two of those kinds, culture and business visa. i suppose it depends little bit which agency you use to apply visa what visa you get. I always apply one year, multientry visa (as i live about 300 km from Russia and do every year several trips there with motorcycle). I know some finnish motorcyclist once run into problems when some of the group had business visa and they were on motorcycle trip. They had to drive to nearest border guard/police station to clear things up. People from same group with tourist or culture visas had just paper check on the spot. So if someone recommends i would advice to apply tourist or culture visa.

When you apply Russian visa you are normally asked to enter three different locations of your travel. Those locations are not normally never checked so just put some cites where you might visit Like St.Petersburg, Moscow, Volgograd.

You need to have letter of invitation to Russia. There are lot of companies writing those letters.

Tom Bon 865 19 Sep 2012 15:18

Great help, Thanks guys

craig.iedema 19 Sep 2012 23:50


I see you are listed as from Wollongong, so I am guess you are an Aussie, like me.

I got a LOI for a six month Multi Entry busisness visa from Stantours (mostly because of all the advice I got for free) and sent it to Russian consulate in Sydney. About 2 weeks to turn around. No issues with any entry or exits, which did three of.

monche 24 Sep 2012 15:20

2 months ago we got the tourist visa for one month with 2 entries.
Invitation is easy to get by internet (we paid 10€/person) and it covers all your stay in Russia.
But a very important thing ,if you travel by motorbike, is that, in both the invitation and your visa request, must indicate "autoturism" (intead of "tourism") and the invitation must have a remark where indicates you are travelling with your own motorbike. So, be as clear as possible when you talk with the travel agency to request the invitation.
At least, this is for UE citizens

muppet8mycat 25 Sep 2012 07:27


Originally Posted by Tom Bon 865 (Post 392241)

Im confused about how one manages to travel around Russia for extended periods of time

Hi Tom
You don't say what the duration of your trip is but mention extended visit.

Just so you know the tourist visa is only valid for 30 days and outside of your own country you can only apply for a new transit visa which is valid only for 10 days.

So if you plan on going for more than 30 days go for the more expensive business visa if possible, but an application for this may not be successful.
I applied for one and could not get it, so had to settle for the 30 days double entry tourist visa.

If you overstay your visa it’s really not as bad as people make out, you don’t get arrested, deported, shot or sent to a gulag :helpsmilie: You must turn yourself in (don’t risk getting caught or it will be worse) if the lapsed time is quite short (a few days) the immigration office will deal with you. If it’s a lot longer (34 days like me :oops2:) the immigration office will take you to court. However this is also not so bad (even though I panicked at the time, hind sight is an amazing thing) I got a new transit visa and told to leave the country (and sternly warned to make sure I was OUT by said date) got a 2000 rouble fine, and banned from returning to Russia for 6 months. So no train smash, but it is a hassle and will cost you (however it was worth it in my case)

You now have more information if needed. I am not recommending it, just giving you some details, but hopefully you will get out in time.


Tom Bon 865 13 Oct 2012 23:02

I guess I will be less than 30 days? I'm planning on entering at the Georgian border and riding to St Pete so 30 days should be ample.

Has anyone been to Volgograd? Is the steppe all farmland now? I'm really interested in travelling up the Volga, but less so if it's just 2000km of cabbage farms...

Thanks again (especially Lorraine) for all your help


colebatch 18 Oct 2012 09:00


Originally Posted by Tom Bon 865 (Post 396401)
Has anyone been to Volgograd? Is the steppe all farmland now? I'm really interested in travelling up the Volga, but less so if it's just 2000km of cabbage farms...

Yes a lot of people have been to Volgograd

Some bits of ride report and photos here on the region:

Siberian Extreme 2010 - Back for More - Page 59 - ADVrider

colebatch 18 Oct 2012 09:30

2012 pics
The ground around the Volga is a bit sandy on the western bank, but good,fast hard pack on the eastern side of the river. It pretty much flat steppe all around.

Here are pics from offroad adventure riding thru the Volga region this year:






Landcruiser Paul 24 Nov 2012 09:58

How do you get around the fact that you have to register within 3 days with your location and then re-register when you move place.

I worked all over Russia for many years and want to go back to do the drive from oz to UK via Russia

cyber-zebb 24 Nov 2012 10:50

rules as of 2011 is you have register within 7 working days so with a bit of thought you get 9 days , they dont seam to be as uptight about it as they used to be if you have gaps in your registration just tell them you have been camping , if i have large gaps in mine i try to register again a few days before i leave so there is something more upto- date to show them at the border

craig.iedema 24 Nov 2012 20:11

We only had ours checked once at Tashenta, crossing into Mongolia. The good thing is that most hotels will do it, so just sleep at a hotel once a week.

We had a 2 week gap in ours (stayed with friends) and had no issues when we left at Vladivostok.

Landcruiser Paul 25 Nov 2012 10:03

Cool, where did you ship to after Vladivostok?

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