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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 27 Feb 2012
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Russian Business Visa

Can anyone give me some advise regarding obtaining a 6 month business visa for Russia. I am in the early stages of planning a trip from the UK to Magadan via Kazakhstan and Mongolia next year. I would obviously need a multi entry visa but I am retired so cannot supply a company letter. Are there other forms that are acceptable to get a letter of invitation such as bank statements that you can successfully aquire a 6 month business visa.
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  #2  
Old 27 Feb 2012
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A number of points -

For British Resident Citizens,

Visas-
- you can only apply for a 90 day (almost 3 month) Business visa (single or double entry only) unless you have had another visa within the previous 12 months.
- subject to having had (and presumably used) a previous Visa, you can apply for a one year ME Business Visa.
- any visa over 90 days still has a 90 day in 180 visit restriction. That means you can't come back in for another 90 days if you used uo the full first 90 days here.
- you can only apply in UK - unless you have Residency Rights, written specific to you, in the country where you are applying. So no getting a new similar one in, say, Mongolia
- the Visa's validity start/end dates are as you tell the inviting organisation and cannot start more than 45 days (I think it is) in advance of the Visa application/issue date.

Invitations-
-These must come from a resident Russian organisation - agencies get them from about 50Euro.
-as far as an Employers letter, being 'self employed' is an acceptable alternative. Ask the Embassy's Visa handling agents about supporting documentation
Russia Visa Information - UK - All About Your Visa They give advice but do not obtain anything like invitations - you need other agencies. Or just 'borrow' a letterheading from a friend. (I was still using my old Company letterheading 8 years after we closed it down!). The Embassy only check the paperwork looks good, not enquire if it really is.

Other-
- UK citizens do not need health insurance due to NHS reciprocal arrangements
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  #3  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Yes, being self-employed or even retired is perfectly acceptable for a business visa. You can imagine that like most places, they are always looking for potential entrepreneurs or investors. And before you can invest, you have to go to take a look don't you? I have just received my second 1-year multi-entry business visa. Except for a simple letter from me, outlining in very broad terms my business interest in Russia, no other documentation was requested. YMMV.

My first visa application was also for a 1-year multi-entry visa and it was issued with no problems. I had never had any other visa for Russia before that. Also, I wasn't able to use the first one due to a change of plans, but reapplied for a second one, and had no issues with that one either.

Heading out April 18. I think I might actually get there this year!
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  #4  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
My first visa application was also for a 1-year multi-entry visa and it was issued with no problems.
So was mine - 7 years ago.

The 'first' visa rule was introduced in the last year or so - certainly for British applicants.

Rules and conditions vary according to each Applicants citizenship - which is why I put on post "For British Resident Citizens" - which is what the OP indicated.
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  #5  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Many thanks for the information. I know next year is still a long way off and things can change. But being aware of the problems is better now than 45 days before your planned trip. I'm sure there will be a way round it, as I have been wishing to do this trip for a lifetime.
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  #6  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boycie View Post
next year is still a long way off and things can change.
It's possible, but what I hear is that an easing in rules for British is unlikely for the forseeable.
There is strong talk of a 3 or 5 year Visa becoming available to Americans in a year or two's time. The detail is still speculative. Probably it would keep the 90/180 - just save the need of renewing so often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boycie View Post
I'm sure there will be a way round it.
You could get a single entry BV (90 days) and fly here for a few days sometime later this year. That will then entitle you to get a 1 year MEBV next year. With a 1 year MEBV you can play the 90 days better as time in Kaz and Mongolia will not be eating into a 'first time' 90 day BV.

And I'll be happy to show you round 'my' town including parts not on the normal tourist circuit! But you will have to like a Beer or two.
Hotels are not cheap - the air fare would be about £200 - £300.

But your main trip will happen.
You will have an amazing time and you will meet the most generous people in the World (but sadly not so much around glitzy, brash, 'loads-of-dosh' Moscow)

A HUBBer said "Those who have nothing give you the most"
How true.
(I must look back to see who it was and give him proper credit)
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  #7  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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hi , you try this agency they got my multi entry business visa last year as "self employed" Real Russia — Hotels, Trains, Visas, Tours, Trans-siberian experts


Siberia is nothing like us old godgers were lead to believe during the cold war , the people are so curious and friendly , several people along the way offered food lodgings , their time and most of all their friendship . One old lady who "lent us" her bathroom and shower fed us twice and on leaving would accept nothing from us and because she had very little she baked a loaf of bread for us to take on our journey !! .
The people will help with anything fix the bike find a room for night , take you to the road you need and all that is expected is a little of your time, a smile and a handshake . Terrific place and i will go back
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  #8  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post

A HUBBer said "Those who have nothing give you the most"
How true.
(I must look back to see who it was and give him proper credit)

That may have been me......
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...a-russia-58646

Last edited by strimstrum; 28 Feb 2012 at 23:57. Reason: Added Link
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  #9  
Old 29 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strimstrum View Post
That may have been me......
That was it.

Truest words about Russia on HUBB, ever. I have quoted (or misquoted!) them several times and not just here.

Thanks Strimstrum. I will acknowledge it in future.
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  #10  
Old 29 Feb 2012
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Thanks very much for the invite and tour. I was there in 1980 in the cold years. I guess it is an option if nothing else turns up but with my wife coming as well its double the costs. But then ultimate happiness doesn't always come cheap. As for friendly folk, when we cycled India and Nepal we found the poorest people are the most generous. But as a bird watcher the Russian taiga and the Central Asian steppes are our Mecca.
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  #11  
Old 1 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
For British Resident Citizens,

- subject to having had (and presumably used) a previous Visa, you can apply for a one year ME Business Visa
Balls

I didn't know this.

Can anyone else verify they have obtained a visa for 6 months/1 year without having been to Russia before?

Tony, do you think if we bought a visa and dont use it that it will still count? Cant really afford a holiday this year whilst planning to leave next year.

Just looking at the options.

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  #12  
Old 1 Mar 2012
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Griff
I have just looked at Russia Visa Information - UK - Home Page

They are the Russian Embassy's official visa handling agents you have to go to with visas applications (other than diplomatic and long term).

A few months ago I checked there to confirm for someone else about the requirement to have had a previous visa in the last 12 months before you can apply for a 12month MEBV.

It was there then, but I can't find it now! I do see that the Business Visa page is dated 2012 so it may have been removed since I looked.

I suggest you contact them for clarification on this point. Ensure they understand you are a UK passport holder looking to apply for a first visa and want a 1 year MEBV.
And please report back - I don't want to keep repeating old, obsolete, rules. Thanks.
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  #13  
Old 1 Mar 2012
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the link i gave above has a forum Viewing a thread - Business Visa Scrutiny

try looking in there if not ask the question in there , i know i got a multi entry business visa last year and that was my first visa for Russia .

The other way round is get a cheap flight into Russia stay a night on a tourist visa and back , don't forget Kaliningrad so maybe a real cheap flight into Poland or Lithuania then into Kaliningrad, just an idea !!
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  #14  
Old 1 Mar 2012
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I emailed the RUS embassy here in the UK straight after posting. They were no help when I asked about getting my UK trailer into Russia though so not holding out much hope!

Kaliningrad I looked at, might be an option. we will see what the embassy comes back with. A short break may be good to test out the russian we have been learning

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  #15  
Old 1 Mar 2012
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Sorry for opening this can of worms, there seems to be a little ambiguity. But it's a problem that needs clarifying earlier on in ones planning stages. But you guys are the experts and I will take heed of your words.
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