Applying for a Russian visa outside country of residency
I have been stiffed by Ukrainian Ferries as they have discontinued their line from Kerch to Poti. This means I would have to take a ferry from Odessa to Batumi unless...
I've heard that Russia has opened its border with Georgia. As I am in Lviv I was thinking of getting a Russian visa. Only thing is I'm not sure it is possible to get a Russian visa outside ones country of residency. Has anyone ever done this before?
Four years back I wanted to pick up a Russian visa enroute. I found that there were certain consulates which were doing this, and many which were not. Russian consulates were, at that time, operating semi-independently, like little fiefdoms--making their own rules.
The rumored easiest place to pick up a visa was Tallin. I got my letter of introduction straightened out beforehand (using a visa service), but by the time I got to Tallin on my bike some sort of diplomatic crisis had erupted between my country and Russia. Instead of a few days, they told me it would take a month...and it was already almost October. I decided to bypass Russia.
The folks with the most reliable, up to date information on all of this were the visa agency I used for the LOI. I can't remember which one it was, but if you google Russian visa (or something similar), you'll find the several big ones which can do stuff on-line. It'll cost you, and you really want to know where you'll need to go for the visa itself, and what the current odds are.
Hope that's helpful.
According to the 'rule book' it firstly depends on your citizenship (Passport Nationality) as to if you need residency in the '3rd country' of application.
For some Nationalities one can apply anywhere - for other nationalities you can only apply where you have a specific, proveable, Right to be there for more than 90 days.
I suggest you look at the sites of the Russian Embassy official Visa Application Centres such as in London Russia Visa Information - UK - Home Page
These are interactive in that they give detailed requirements for various Nationalities applying in UK. There are similar sites in other major countries.
But some Consulates (and their paymaster 'private' agencies) appear to operate true to the traditional addage "you can buy anything in Russia".
However, anyone can apply for a Transit Visa, anywhere - if you don't mind keeping to the very limited validity period based on a daily distance allowance, to reach the next country (for which you must already have and show a Visa).
I think you have two options - mail your passport home with all the necessary paperwork. The visa agency in London through which all visa applications are made is quick and efficient in my experience (if you have a UK passport / residence).
Get a transit visa. I got a 10 day transit visa last year on the spot in Uralsk, Kazakhstan. There was no fuss about daily kilometres, though it wasn't cheap. However, I was refused a transit visa in both Tashkent and Bishkek, so don't count on this. Your chances in Ukraine may be higher though, as it borders Russia. Don't forget also that there may be more than one place in Ukraine where you can get a visa, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odessa perhaps?
Thanks guys that's all great information. Went to the Consulate today. Between us we have an Australian, Austrian and Great Britain passport. It goes like this:
Australian visa (10 day processing) requires no Ukrainian residency permit US$55
Australian visa (2 day processing) requires Ukrainian residency permit US$110
Austrian visa (10 day processing) requires Ukrainian residency permit US$50
Austrian visa (2 day processing) requires Ukrainian residency permit US$100
GB visa (10 day processing) requires no Ukrainian residency permit US$75
GB visa (2 day processing) requires no Ukrainian residency permit US$145
Might try to wrangle a transit visa as per your idea Daniel (thanks for that). Will let you know how it goes.
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