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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 13 Jun 2005
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LOI (letter of invitation) : tourist visa changes in "ex uss

hello,

i ve heard and read that some countries of "ex ussr" are changing their rules to get a tourist visa : before, most of them required a LOI (letter of invitation) in order to get a tourist visa.

more and more, in some of those countries, you don t require a LOI anymore to get a tourist visa.

it depends also on your nationality and also maybe in which country you apply for your visa.

1 or 2 french friends recently applied for "ex ussr" tourist visas from france or europe :

kazakhstan, kirghistan, uzbekistan : didn t need a LOI.

russia : still need.

turkmenistan : still need and still hard to get a LOI : therefore, most people just take a transit visa (no need LOI).

tajikistan : don t know.

afghanistan : no need.

what are your recent experiences, according to your nationalities and the countries where you applied ?

thanx to all in advance for making that clear and helpfull together :-)
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  #2  
Old 13 Jun 2005
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Here's my experience (very current, from last few months preparing for my trip);

I'm Australian, and here's my experience by country;

Russia , LOI required
Kazakhstan, DO NOT need LOI
Kyrgyzstan, DO NOT need LOI
Tajikistan, LOI required
Uzbekistan, LOI required
Turkmenistan, LOI required
Iran, need "authorisation", easily obtainable from www.iranianvisa.com (that's where I got mine anyway).

Hope this helps.

Adrian
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  #3  
Old 13 Jun 2005
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cheers adrian

to be even more complete : since usually in this region, tourist visa last one month maximum only, some overlanders make visa extensions or/and apply for business visa that last longer and also allow double or multiple entries.

for russia, www.ryh.ru seem to have a good reputation for LOI etc ... especially for one month tourist visa.

mongolia : no need LOI for the majority of nationalities, i guess.

in this region, especially for "the stans", David Berghof : http://stantours.com/ seem to have a good reputation for LOI etc ...

feel free also to share these "business visa, visa extensions" experiences and also to indicate your "LOI agent" (well, the travel agent or whoever who managed to get you a LOI) for each country/experience.

as you noticed with adrian experience, there are differences between nationalities : for example, australians need a LOI for ouzbekistan, french don't ; australians need "authorisation" for iran, french don't. So, pls mention your nationality and the countries where you applied for your visa (there could be also differences) to avoid "misundertandings".

no problem also to talk about visas experiences in iran or pakistan, since it s often on the same itineary as the "stans" : well, if we respect the structure of the regional forums, it s more into southern asia forum but :-)

thanx again to help people going there
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  #4  
Old 21 Jun 2005
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Multiple entry Russian visa LOIs I use www.visalink.ru. A 1 year multi entry business visa gives you loads of time and as many border crossings as you can handle.

For Ukraine, I use http://travel-2-ukraine.com/visa-support/default.htm. They can do single / double entry tourist visa documents for $30 / $50, for 6 months.
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  #5  
Old 21 Jun 2005
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thanx , also from "liketoride2" :

I've just received my Russian visa using www.Russia-visa.com, which is the website for the company OLNA, Inc., based in Arlington, Va. The experience was totally positive, simple, and problem free.

see on http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000704.html

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  #6  
Old 21 Jun 2005
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I got my 'LOI' or authorisation for Iran through key2persia.com they are a travel agency based in Shiraz and will email you a letter for about 30 US dollars. You don't need to pay (and can't anyway) until you get to their office in Iran. With this letter i received my Iranian visa next day in Delhi.
As an Aussie, the procedure for the Stans was the same as listed above.
Sean

[This message has been edited by seanh (edited 21 June 2005).]
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  #7  
Old 22 Jun 2005
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Hi

I notice that for Russian Visas of 3 months and longer, one requires a HIV - Certificate. Where is the test made? Would I just need a certificate from my doctor, or is it done at the embassy / upon entering the country? I guess they want an up-to-date certificate - any idea on a timeframe?

Finally, is the test done by blood or oral swabbing?

Cheers

Dan
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