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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 12 Apr 2007
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Visa extension in Russia

Hello,
I am American so the tourist visa is for only 30 days. I will be in and out of Russia this summer, traveling from Vladivostok to Mongolia and then west through kazakhstan, Russia again, Georgia and Turkey by motorcycle.
Will I be able to extend my visa.
Anyone with experience?
bill.
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  #2  
Old 12 Apr 2007
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I have not heard of extending Visas and believe they can only be applied for out of the country - not once you are there. Friends who live there have to leave once a year to renew their Visas.

If I am correct I suggest you obtain a Multi Entry Business Visa for sufficient period (up to 365 days) before getting there or apply for another tourist Visa once in Mongolia to commence at about the time you plan to re-enter Russia. Being American does not involve any special requirement, I think they treat us all the same these days. Their disputes are with others.

The border with Georgia and Russia has been closed for some months due to trade tensions between the two. Check this regularly, or reroute from Kazakhstan - Russia, north of the Caspian Sea - Ukraine or Belarusse or Baltic States. If you must go through Turkey and Balkans you will have to go through Azabahjahn and Armenia but that means going through the Chechnia region of Russia. All Embassy advice to westerners is to AVOID CHECHNIA. An underground civil war is going on and once that is resolved they want seperation from the Russian Federation, which they are unlikely to get without a lot more bloodshed.
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  #3  
Old 13 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Shockley View Post
Hello,
I am American so the tourist visa is for only 30 days. I will be in and out of Russia this summer, traveling from Vladivostok to Mongolia and then west through kazakhstan, Russia again, Georgia and Turkey by motorcycle.
Will I be able to extend my visa.
Anyone with experience?
bill.
You need 2-entry or multyentry visa for that. Do you have exactly such type of visa?
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  #4  
Old 13 Apr 2007
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Hello Shustrik,
OK, I can get a 2 entry visa good for 30 days. I think I have to get two of them to cover all my days in and out of Russia. Mongolia and Kaz-stan may even make that not enough.
I could skip a couple of weeks between ending one and starting the next to make the final day later. We will be many weeks in Mongolia and Kaz-stan
Bill
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  #5  
Old 15 Apr 2007
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Correction to my earlier post. Sorry folks.

The Georgia/Russia border has not been closed to non Georgians or Russian passport holders. Other passport holders CAN cross the border - subject to whatever visas may be required.

And now, within the last week or so, Russia and Georgia are beginning to issue Visas to each other's citizens which will allow even them to cross the border.

But in this part of the World, with these age-old protaganists, things can change very quickly.
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  #6  
Old 15 Apr 2007
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business visa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Shockley View Post
Hello,
I am American so the tourist visa is for only 30 days.
Don't get a tourist visa.
Get a 3-month multiple entry business visa.
Then you need one visa.

Stantours, way to russia, and others can provide you with the invitation you need for a visa.
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  #7  
Old 16 Apr 2007
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I would go even further and get a 6 month multi entry Russian visa ... its easy to pass 3 months in that part of the world and the last thing you need is time pressure on your back if you get a breakdown. Almost every journey I have read about going through Russia ends up in a mad scramble to get the the border on time.

The 6 month visa will require an AIDS test result, but apart from that, its the same as the 3 month visa ...

I keep advising people to get longer term multi entry visas for Russia ... if you go to all the hassle of getting a russian visa, then you might as well get a long term heavy duty one and not have to worry about (a) crossing another Russian border, or (b) running out of time.
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  #8  
Old 16 Apr 2007
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I did not need to provide an HIV test result when I applied for my russian visa in 2005 (German passport).

Since I wanted to avoid the effort to get an invitation from a russian company, I thought about getting that 30 day tourist visa, but found out that this one is not extendable (forgot the source though). Invitations are easily obtained from the St. Petersburg Youth Hostel: Russian Visas

I actually met a couple who went from the russian border to Mongolia within those 30 days, but from what I heard, I would not recommend trying it. Too much stress. Note that you already need 2 to 3 business days to extend your temporary registration for the bike, which is usually issued for 2 weeks only.

Personally, I ended up buying a six month business visa via an agency for an enormous 459 Euros. In exchange, I had no hassle at all, I did not even sign a form. For me, it was well worth it, spent 4.5 month in russia in the end.

Lars
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  #9  
Old 16 Apr 2007
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Bill,
Russian business visa is your best choice...contact David at StanTours and he'll sort it out for you. The're about the cheapest you'll find around...
But if you're in the US, and StanTours can't help you, then WayToRussia is your best option...
After all my visa research and route search, that was the most practical solution. You have to apply a couple months ahead of time, so keep that in mind.
As far as entering Georgia from Russia...I'm not sure about that...you may be able to exit kazakhstan into Azerbaijan and then to Georgia...and Ukraine is somewhat of an option as well.
Hope that helps...I'm going the opposite direction as we speak...
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  #10  
Old 16 Apr 2007
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There is some confusion (as with much of Russian bureaucracy) about an HIV certificate.

True some websites say this, but the London Russian Embassy Website Russian Consulate says it is only required if an 'Entry Only' visa is being applied for. ie Immigrant or intending to live there more or less permanantly.

Indeed, I am now on my third 'Year Multi Entry Business Visa' (last one issued 4 weeks ago) and an HIV test was not mentioned. But if Colebach's girlfriend wants me to take a test, I will go rushing to get one now !


WC. Maybe meet up for a over there some time?
Although there might be a brief visit before then, I'm next certain to be in town for a week or two in mid June, having ridden there via Peter.
Then riding south to the North Caucusas for a week or two in the hills south of карачаебск (Kаrachaebsk), in a remote village, лесо-кефарь (Leco-Kefar). A traffic jam there is when a cow and a chicken meet on the track - it happens every two or three weeks!
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  #11  
Old 17 Apr 2007
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Hi Bill,

Landed my 6 month multi entry visa today.

Obtained invite from Way to Russia or $US150 and obtained the actual visa from NZ consulate for about $US260. I think its worth the extra cost, which is pretty insignificant considering all the other costs of extended RTW motorcycling...

Apparently it's impossible to extend your visa, but that's just from what I've read on Way to Russia

Strongly recommend you get the 6 month multi.

We'll see you in Vlad for a cold glass of finest Russian .

Mark.

Jane and Mark - Russian Traverse 2007

Last edited by bartman10; 17 Apr 2007 at 00:30. Reason: Link fix
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  #12  
Old 18 Apr 2007
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US Gov ate my passport

Hi everyone.
Well the tag line says it.
I have sent in my passport to get extra pages and it has disappeared into a black hole at the State Department.
New USA regs make a passport necessary for flights from Mexico and Canada so everyone wants one at once.

The delays are enormous even with Expedited service for extra $$. No one can say when to expect the work to be completed.
I wanted and planned on the business visa but I was short on pages...now i am in the ringer.
The business visa takes more time to get so maybe I have to do several tourist visas...if i get a passport.

This country of mine is a little messed up in case you world wide travelers didn't know it.
Simple things are becoming very difficult unless you want to join the army and go to Iraq....that travel is being encouraged.
bill.
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  #13  
Old 18 Apr 2007
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Hi Bill,

I'm real sorry things are not going quite a smoothly as you'd hoped...

I hope that you work it all out before your bike needs to get shipped.

All the best.

Mark and Jane
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  #14  
Old 19 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Shockley View Post
Hi everyone.
I have sent in my passport to get extra pages and it has disappeared into a black hole at the State Department.
I know this is not any help you now Bill, but adding pages to a passport can be done at embassies abroad. It usually only takes a couple days then (at least that is the case here in Tokyo).

You may also consider getting a business visa when you are in Mongolia. If you have all the papers ready when you arrirve in UB, it should not take too long to get the actual visa.
From your route, you will still have to to into Russia again twice (there is no direct access to Kazakhstan from Mongolia, I believe)
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  #15  
Old 19 Apr 2007
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Hello Chris and everyone,
Thanks for the concern, it helps with the frustration.
I was down to one page in my passport. I just forgot to check it.
Not enough pages to get a visa in the USA for Russia and get through Russian customs. No place for stamps.
I trusted that the process here would be done quickly here.
That is not the case.
I have tried to call the passport office for 2 days.
No one is available to help. I was on hold for two days for hours.
No one ever came on the line.
This is embarassing for me to admit as a citizen.


Chris, are you sure I can get another visa in Mongolia for Russia if I am an American.
Do the Russians have some more difficult rules for us?
bill.
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