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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 22 May 2009
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Russian Visa - Help me out with this easy question!

I'm not getting very sensible answers from the russian embassy nor am i getting very sensible ones else where. I just want a simple anwser!

I need a Russia Tourist Visa (I will be in Russia for less than thirty days) and will be leaving home mid July and entering Russia mid August. To complicate things further i will be not home until early July.

Do i need to get a LOI or can i just march up to the Russian Embassy in London and get a visa? What is the cost and how long does it take? If i do need one where should i get it and how much should it cost!
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  #2  
Old 22 May 2009
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You will need a LOI . Like many other embassies the Russian has outsourced its visa handling to a company check on theire webpage . Dont think you can apply directly at the embassy any more. Easiest way to get a visa is to go with a agency that provides you with a LOI.

Some agencies do not do this and require you to get one yourself. I am applying for my Russian Visa throug a company in Scotland as they had cheap prices and provided the LOI

Visas

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  #3  
Old 22 May 2009
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Joe

Irrespective of how long you're planning to be in Russia for, you will need an LOI in order to obtain your visa.
As Kebabtomten correctly says ... going through an agency is the only practical way forward. There are a number of such agencies around - try Googling "Russia Visa Loi"!

I'm currently using Scottstours ...... see HERE

Enjoy your trip
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  #4  
Old 24 May 2009
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Less than 24 hours for a tourist visa LOI (and 1200 rubles - about 24 quid) from my regular agent ... VisaLink.ru
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  #5  
Old 25 May 2009
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if you are riding or driving you will need an Auto Tourist Visa. i used RealRussia and it cost me about £120. takes about a week.excellent service. Andy
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  #6  
Old 25 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysr6 View Post
if you are riding or driving you will need an Auto Tourist Visa. i used RealRussia and it cost me about £120. takes about a week.excellent service. Andy
I have never in all my time moderating this forum, hosting travelers, and visiting Russian myself heard of a auto visa!
The only place on the 'net I could even find something about it is on the RealRussia site. Does your visa really say auto visa? Or is this something RealRussia is using to charge an extra fee I wonder...
Either way, I doubt that you "need" a so-called auto visa.
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Old 29 May 2009
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I dont know anythıng about auto tourıst vısas and whether or not ıts a scam, but Ill just chıme ın that I got my cultural vısa for Russıa from RealRussıa and they were really helpful and well organısed. Also great websıte whıch allows you to upload your passport scan etc to theır sıte and updates vıa emaıl automatıcally at dıfferent stages of the process. From what I could see they were also cheaper than any other agency.

Scottsvısas I used for an Azerbaıjan vısa and wasnt so ımpressed, not as good or helpful and they seemed really expensıve (would have cost almost double for the same Russıan vısa I got wıth RealRussıa).

Only my experıence.
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  #8  
Old 29 May 2009
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Auto Tourist Visa?

Hi, the information i have about Auto Tourist Visa came from RealRussia , it did not cost any more money and once agian i can only recommend their excellent service. i assumed this was the norm. Andy
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  #9  
Old 30 May 2009
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Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
Less than 24 hours for a tourist visa LOI (and 1200 rubles - about 24 quid) from my regular agent ... VisaLink.ru
Sibirsky Extreme - a fantastic project and website. Really bold and brilliant. Ta!
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  #10  
Old 8 Jun 2009
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Caminando; thanks very much sir !

Auto Visa; Agree with Chris, never heard of one in my life, and been to Russia over 75 times on 15-20 different russian visas.

120 quid is a huge amount for a tourist visa LOI ... or does that fee include the visa service at the embassy too?

I will say unequivocally that you do not need an 'auto' tourist visa, if such a thing even exists. Any valid visa is fine to enter and ride in russia, regular tourist visa, business visa, work permit, whatever. You do need insurance, and Russia now accepts the green card for this purpose. Else buy it at the border.
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  #11  
Old 27 Jun 2009
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Auto Tourism Visa....

I've just used Realrussia for my Visa. When explaining to them that I was entering Russia on a bike they said I should go for the auto-tourism visa. It DOESN'T cost any more, but what they do is supply details of your bike (make, model, colour and numberplate) to the Russian embassy with your visa request. That way the Russians record that you'll be entering their country on a bike, and have a record of what bike you bring in.


Where it says "PURPOSE OF ENTRY" you get "ABTOТуризм" (which reads "Auto-tourism") instead of "туризм" (which reads "tourism").
NO details of the bike appear on the VISA, just the word changing above.

Hope this helps!

p.s. the £120 is for the LOI, Visa, Embassy submission and a very, very helpful service. I'd recommend them (they are the ONLY company I've used to get a Visa - so no comparisons with others, but went out of their way to double check details and help me understand the entire process.... very helpful).
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  #12  
Old 27 Jun 2009
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Interesting about the auto tourism visa. I have had many many Russian visas and never heard of one, and you certainly don't have to have one of these--a normal visa works just fine.

Also, I don't really see what the advantage of the auto tourism visa would be for the traveller, maybe less paperwork at the border (but I doubt it). I suspect that whether you have an auto-tourism visa or not, you'll still have to fill out the paperwork for the temporary customs import.
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