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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 29 Jan 2011
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Where Russian Toursit - Business Visas are availlable to Non-Residents.

Please list places where you know or have reliably heard that Russian tourist / business visas are issued to non-residents, as opposed to transit visas which are generally available everywhere. Maybe we could make this a sticky?

For Sure:

Hong Kong
Tehran (as of Mar 2010)

Reportedly:

Trabzon
Tashkent

Daniel
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  #2  
Old 29 Jan 2011
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Russia Transit Visas

Yes, Transit Visas are generally available everywhere but they are only for very short period visas.

Transit Visas are usually for 3 days only.

They are primarily intended for people leaving the 'air-side' areas of airports while changing international flights or making rail journeys originating and ending outside Russia but crossing some Russian territory with or without stopping.

They are possible for Road travellers.

If travelling by road or rail a Transit Visa can be obtained for longer than 3 days but only up to a MAXIMUM possible period of 10 days.

The period of any Transit Visa exceeding 3 days is calculated on the direct distance of your route on the basis of 500km per day. Maximum period 10 days.
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  #3  
Old 30 Jan 2011
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My understanding was that citizens of certain countries cannot get Russian tourist or business visas outside of their home country anywhere. This is meant to be true of British citizens, and I was informed this (and not allowed to submit my visa application) in Mongolia. I could well believe there might be places where they ignore this rule though.


I can add some information about Russian Transit visas which there is very little info about on the web. It's probably of no use for anyone travelling overland by motorcycle, but might as well mention it anyway.

You can get double entry transit visas. I do not know what the maximum time between the two entries can be, but I would speculate probably one month. The visa is written the same as a tourist or business visa though, so you have two entries during a stated validity period with nothing written about having to enter and exit on specific dates. Therefore I have in my passport a transit visa with validity from 02.08.10-24.08.10, "duration of stay 23 days", two entries, and the only other notable thing on it at the bottom "Transit to Kazakhstan and return".

No border guards payed any special attention to this visa, or asked me any questions. We can only guess what would happen if you took a similar visa and used it to stay in Russia obviously longer than the intended train or road journey.
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  #4  
Old 1 Feb 2011
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I am on a expat forum in Moscow and I can tell you from reading that basically the law is now you cannot be issued a Russian visa in a third country for Russia unless you can prove that you have the right to remain there (in third country for over 90 days) in reality that means like permanent residence, year long student visa and this rule seems to be more and more enforced as lots of UK people used to go from moscow to say Riga/Kiev and back but now they appear to be actively be enforcing this rule especially against Uk and USA people
Look at The Moscow Expat Site :: The virtual community for English speaking expats and Russians, Moscow, Russia

Red Tape - Making Russia Easy - Home Page and go to relevant sections and ask a question
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  #5  
Old 1 Feb 2011
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Slightly off topic

Following Sashadidi's post.

The whole Visa system between countries evolves very much from 'tit for tat' retaliation between those countries. This is why different conditions and cost apply to citizens of different countries. (eg. Costs for RUS Visas vary according to your citizenship, even if applying at the same centre with the same documents - see Fees at the Russia Embassy website)

Countries A & B have a spat over something. Country A imposes a condition for citizens of Country B - Country B then imposes similar condition on applicants from Country A. And so it goes on.

The only thing an individual can do to seek change is through protest to their own Country to seek reciprical agreements to make visas easier - or even abolished.



Pity some poor Russians who wants a Visa to visit UK.
They have to attend an interview in person. The UK Border Agency people have kindly provided 5 locations for this throughout Russia.
However the most easterly is Novosibirisk which means a resident of Vladivostock must travel 5700km, nearly twice the distance from Moscow to London, just to apply for a UK visa!
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  #6  
Old 1 Feb 2011
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Hmm. This was meant to be a useful list of embassies / consulates where the residency rule was not enforced, not a discussion on Russian visa policy, and certainly not on transit visas which are not difficult to obtain.

So, yes, the rule is that you can only get the visa in your home / residence country, though anyone who has spent any time in Russia will know that what is written onpaper, and what actually happens can be two different things.

So, please add any embassies or consulates where you have personally received a visa without being a resident, or have had reliable testimony.

In March 2010 I got a 12 month business visa in Tehran, I was in Iran on a 30 day tourist visa (though extended to 90 days).

Hong Kong is well known to issue visas to all

Last week a French friend received a 3 month business visa in Trabzon

In April 2010 I have reliable testimony that two French got 3 month business visas in Tashkent.

In emergencies, you can always rely on a transit visa. But it makes lifefar easier to get a decent visa, and it will be interesting to know where this is possible.

Daniel
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  #7  
Old 2 Feb 2011
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A friend (Japanese nationality) got a 5-day transit visa in Mongolia in 2008.
She exited the west side of Mongolia and entered Kazakhstan a few days later.
A visa for Kazakhstan was required as a condition for getting the transit visa.
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  #8  
Old 2 Feb 2011
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OK, I need to make this very clear it seems...

TRANSIT visas are usually easy to get, but are no use for really exploring Russia.

I am trying to get a list of embassies / consulates which do not enforce the rule that you have to apply for your TOURIST or BUSINESS visa in your home country or country of residence.

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  #9  
Old 3 Feb 2011
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I think it's important what nationiality people are in these examples.

When I couldn't get a tourist visa in Mongolia, it was because I was British. People from other nationialities were being issued tourist visas. eg Australian. Same story in Bishkek, Kyrgizia. No tourist visa for Brits, but other nationialities could, witnessed French people getting tourist visas.
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Old 3 Feb 2011
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Sorry if not contributing to the intention of the thread - which I otherwise commend.

Just because someone obtains a RUS Visa in a country other than where they have residency rights does NOT give any assurance that the next person will get one - be it next week, next year or whenever.

It possibly indicates an inattentive or lax clerk. The next clerk, or even the same one without a hangover, may pay closer attention to the next application and the Regulations and say 'Niet'.

Consequently it seems misleading and unfair to give travellers information of irregularly issued visas. They may use that information as part of the basis of their trip planning and be bitterly disappointed and annoyed.
But good luck to those who succeed.


Nath. Good point. Back to my post Number 5 above.
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  #11  
Old 3 Feb 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony P View Post
Sorry if not contributing to the intention of the thread - which I otherwise commend.

Just because someone obtains a RUS Visa in a country other than where they have residency rights does NOT give any assurance that the next person will get one - be it next week, next year or whenever.

It possibly indicates an inattentive or lax clerk. The next clerk, or even the same one without a hangover, may pay closer attention to the next application and the Regulations and say 'Niet'.

Consequently it seems misleading and unfair to give travellers information of irregularly issued visas. They may use that information as part of the basis of their trip planning and be bitterly disappointed and annoyed.
But good luck to those who succeed.


Nath. Good point. Back to my post Number 5 above.
Yes I am also trying to assist in this and offer advice, I checked the forums and contacts and in the last three months some US and Uk people have got visas in Vilnus and Kiev, they appear to have be "assisted" by letters of invitation (very important to obtain these) issued by one or two "consulting' firms in Moscow and involved some cost. Yet at the same time there are people who have been refused within the same time frame.
(of course we cannot know the actual background to each individual case.)
The rule Copied here from Australia russian Consulate in Sydney states
Visa information. The Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Sydney
Information for non-Australian applicants.


Dear non-Australian visitors! Please be advised that all non-Australian applicants may apply for visa to the Consulate General of Russia in Sydney only upon presentation of proof of residence in Australia or work/study permit issued by Australian authorities valid for at least 90 days. One of the following documents should be submitted to confirm the same: a valid applicant’s Australian visa in passport, Australian Certificate of citizenship, Australian passport, official document from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, letter from employer specifying the start date of their employment or in case of students, letter from University/College specifying the date of enrolment and course details. Certified copies of the documents or copies with originals should be enclosed to your set of documents, otherwise the application won't be accepted.


I have heard of Ozzies and New Zealanders who have a right to remain over 90 days in the Uk being refused Visas as well.and one New Zealander who had problems because he had not resided in the UK for the Last 90 days
Renewing your Russian visa in a country you are not a citizen of... - The Moscow Expat Forums
It seems to be a luck of the draw and the rule is being intermittently applied maybe depending on anything from a hangover(as stated) to feeling bad towards a certain country /nationality on that day, on that basis it would be not the best thing to utterly rely on any Russian embassy anywhere in the World definitely issuing a visa where not residence is involved and would be a risky strategy if you are in a sequence of countries where you may not be able to proceed forward and may cost you big $ if you are refused entry.
Does not appear to be too many ways for visitors to facilitate this visa problem in the usual Russian manner either ($$$) inside or outside Russia.
I have no axe to grind over this issue as I am married to a Russian citizen and can obtain a visa easily and done so many times, I am only trying to help prevent problems for people

Last edited by sashadidi; 4 Feb 2011 at 06:02.
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  #12  
Old 8 Jul 2011
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Hi,

the problem with visas issued only in the country of citizenship applies also for Germany. I have found a workaround though. When I was in Korea I needed a Russian visa. I did sent my passport back to Germany to a visa agency. They did all the paperwork for me and did sent the passport back to Korea (That was 5 years ago).

This time we had a similar problem. We had our passports sent to Italy by the same visa agency. The fee they take (35 EUR) is nothing compared to the time they saved us.
There are a bunch of visa agencies out there, the one we used is Spomer GmbH:
Visum Russland, Belarus, Ukraine, China und GUS-Staaten - Spomer GmbH

Cheers Patrick

PS: I have nothing to do with Spomer GmbH but had a good experience so far (in total 6 business visas to Russia).
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