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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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  #1  
Old 21 Sep 2012
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Get Russia Business Visa while travelling?

Hi,
I'm planning a trip through Asia for next year and want to go through Russia.

My qu: is it possible/easy to get a Russian business visa en route or do I need to get it in the UK (home country) before I go?

The reason I ask: I plan leave UK in March 2013 and to be in Russia Feb-May 2014, but it's only possible to get a business visa valid for up to 12months. So if I can't get a visa from elsewhere, I would have to return to the UK at some point rather than getting it before I leave. This isn't necessarily a problem but it will probably impact what route I take...

If I've misunderstood the visa situation let me know!
Thanks
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Old 21 Sep 2012
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Assuming you only have UK citizenship I suggest you look at the Website of the compulsory Visa Handling Agents for the Russian Consulate in UK.
Russia Visa Information - UK - All About Your Visa
Its semi interactive, in that it provides differing information for differing citizenships applying in UK. There are similar sites in a number of other countries.

Basically, UK citizens can only apply in UK or in other Countries where they have, and can demonstrate, a Right to be there for longer than 90 days specific to them. (ie. not the EU general right to be anywhere)

A Business Visa is the only one to consider because Tourist Visas are never for more than 30 days and involve more paperwork. However be aware even a 'Year Multi Entry Business Visa' for UK citizens only allows 90 days in 180 days in Russia. That means stay out for 90 days after you have been here for 90 days.

BUT

you will always hear of someone who 'beat' the system.

This comes from lax staff and the 'Golden Rule' of Russia that "everything is available and can be bought".

The trouble is recognising the opportunities, communicating, negotiating and trusting them - in their own language.


Long term, I recommend playing it by the printed rules. Risking your entire journey on the whim of a beligerent, bent clerk is too high a price.
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Old 22 Sep 2012
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I would suggest that you find out if the UK issues concurrent passports to its citizens. A quick Google search seems to indicate that they do, as do many western nations, expressly for this purpose.

That way you can just send one to UK for the Visa while you still have one to travel on.

A secondary benefit is that this makes getting multiple visas quickly a lot easier as you can submit both passports at once.

Just be aware that in and out of Kazakstan (if plan to go there) they like to see the visa for the next country and get a bit funny if you suddenly produce a second passport (but in our case didn't stop us).
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Old 22 Sep 2012
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Thanks for clarifying.
Looks like a trip back home to get another visa is in order, which isn't a problem. I'd be needing lots of extra gear for the return visit to Russia anyway so I can take it with me when I get the visa...
I've asked about getting a second passport in the past and I'm sure it wouldn't be possible for this.
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Old 22 Sep 2012
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Sorry - another question... about the 90 days in 180 rule.
Assuming I have a multiple entry business visa, can I enter Russia for say 60 days, leave for say 30 days and re-enter for another 30 days?
This would mean I was only in the country for 90 days in a 180 day period, but that I had not been out of the country for 90 days in between the two visits?

Thanks.
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Old 22 Sep 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by takeonafrica View Post
Assuming I have a multiple entry business visa, can I enter Russia for say 60 days, leave for say 30 days and re-enter for another 30 days?
That would certainly be OK. I did exactly that in my visa days here.

The rule was introduced to stop people living here permanantly and combining their annual holiday with obtaining a new visa.
Border guards were left to check dates manually from the Passport stamps and the 'passive' dates list within the computer. But they were too lazy to check and merely contented themselves if they saw previous entry/exits as a semi-regular life style.

A year or so ago it was announced the computer list was now 'active' instead of 'passive', and would flag up if one was outside the 90/180.
But I have not heard of them catching anyone exceeding it.
Shorter visits are no problem - it's the totals that need to be watched

It is a complex one and no-one seems to know how exactly it calculates (if indeed it does!) and would deal with, say, someone staying out for the first 90 days then entering for 180 days and leaving for 90 days. In hindsight it seems to qualify OK, but this is Russia.....

Also it is unclear if the 180 days are fixed as each half the visa life or if it a straight 180 day period that can move around within the 360 day visa period.

I think the probable answer is that any single entry should not exceed 90 days straight and that before re-entering there are 90 absent days around it, before or after.
This fits in with the automated Migration Cards issued by the computer at airports (road border ones are still done by hand) which forward date for 90 days.
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Old 23 Sep 2012
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just be aware if you have 2 passports with Russian visas in them the later one cancels out the first one` IE` you cannot have two Russian visa`s running at the same time


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