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  #1  
Old 3 Nov 2005
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Paperwork for Russian Federation

I am planning a two to three month tour in the Russian Federation entering the country at the border with Vyborg in Finland around August 2006. I am from the UK and hold a British (EU) passport. Can anyone help with the following questions?:

1. It seems that a business visa is the only option (due to the length of the stay). Does anyone know whether you can have problems when presenting this visa at the border or to the authorities (e.g. the police) because it is fairly clear (particularly with the laden bikes) that you are a tourist and not on business?

2. I read somewhere (The Lonely Planet I think) that you need an "auto-tourism visa" to bring the bike in. Has anyone any experience of this visa? Does it exist? Obviously I am aware of the need to have a carnet.

3. I was hoping to bring GPS into the country. I have read in one publication that you are not permitted to bring GPS into the country. I also read somewhere else that GPS is permitted but only if you have a permit. Can anyone shed any light on this?

4. I believe that you need a Russian translation of your drivers licence. Is the international drivers licence sufficient or do you actually need to have your licence translated?

Many thanks. All advice and any experiences will be gratefully received.

Tom.
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  #2  
Old 3 Nov 2005
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Hi Tom,

having been in Russia this summer, I can make following comments:

ad 1.)
reggistering my visa in Altai region was denied because I could not provide my LOI expressively including Altai Republik. (Also, authorities in Gorno-Altai warned not to go too close to the mongolian border without registrated visa, this would caus "serious problems". I did not try it.) Apart from this, only the fact that I was travelling on a business visum was mentioned in some hotels.

ad 2) "Obviously I am aware of the need to have a carnet." For Russia, no carnet is needed.

ad 3.) I was hoping to bring GPS into the country.

Had no problems with bringing GPS into Russia, even declared it at the border. Somewhere here there is a long thread about this.

ad 4.) "I believe that you need a Russian translation of your drivers licence."

I believe, this applies only to drivers licenses without photo. I further believe, I got this information from the forum somewhere.

I did not have any problems with just showing my international drivers license.

Regards

Lars
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  #3  
Old 4 Nov 2005
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Might be worth you contacting the Russian embassy and asking them a few questions,though when i tried 2 years ago i never got any reply! I ended up paying one of those companies to sort out my visa and invite. But next time i'll go down to London and knock on thier door because there was a report on the news about a month ago that the Russian and British governments had reviewed the whole thing.As far as i heard the need for an "invitation" from a Russian source(just a money making scam in my opinion) was not needed now,and certainly for business travellers the visa thing was a lot easier too.You could always get your local rag to do you a letter saying that you were a "reporter" on their behalf.....hey presto,instant "business" trip!

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  #4  
Old 4 Nov 2005
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I travelled there in May and there was no problems. NO Carnet needed, just compulsory insurance at the Border and UK photo licence. Look on the Country info for russia, there is a guy on there who's name escapes me, who travelled from the same direction as you intend. I used the same Visa service guy I always use and he is brill. If a letter of intro is needed he can sort it for you. Getting a russian visa is a ballache so I would let someone else do the work and pay a bit for the priviledge.

The Visa centre is in Southsea, Portsmouth. His number is 07949602616

andy
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[This message has been edited by moggy 1968 (edited 04 November 2005).]
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  #5  
Old 5 Nov 2005
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Like Lars, I also traveled in Russia this past summer, in my case from Vladivostok to Latvia via motorcycle. Comments on your questions:

1. I used a business visa and was obviously not in Russia on business, and at no time was this ever questioned in any way. My impression is that the "business" designation is meaningless.

2. In all the preparations for my trip, I never heard ot an "auto-tourism visa." I did have to register my bike after entry into Russia in Vladivostok and was given a registration paper.

3. I used my gps throughout Russia without it ever being questioned, even though it was usually in full view at police checkpoints. As precautions, I did not declare it upon entry into Russia (it was in my luggage, which was not hand searched upon entry) and the one time I was asked what it was at a checkpoint I replied it was an electronic compass. An officer did comment on it at a couple of checkpoints, calling it a gps, but there was no indication of concern about it by the officers. It is my impression that the law about a gps being illegal is a holdover from the Soviet days and it is no longer enforced, as is the case with a number of laws (but I could be wrong about this).

4. The International Drivers Permit has a page in Russian, and that seems to be all that is required. However, I was only asked for the IDP a couple of times - my Idaho drivers license seemed to usually be sufficient, which obviously wasn't in Russian.

Hope this is of help. Good luck.



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  #6  
Old 5 Nov 2005
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For any stay more than 30 days you need the business visa which you should be able to get through an agency. You need a Letter of Introduction for Toursit visa so I expect business is the same.

No carnet

Need International Drivers licence (get from motoring organisation)

You recieve paper work for the bike at the border, no bike visa necessary.

Check the dates of insurance purchased at the border.

cheers

alec

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  #7  
Old 6 Nov 2005
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The two people above who said you need an international driving licence are both from outside europe. If you have a uk photo licence you do not need an international driving licence. The AA or RAC can advise you on this and also requirements re triangles, spare bubs first aid kits etc.

Andy
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  #8  
Old 7 Nov 2005
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Moggy I met some Swede's who came out of Russia, they did not have international drivers licences. It was not a problem to get in but they were fined by the police for not having them everytime a licence was asked for! The photo licence from home was not enough. This was in 2003 so maybe its changed. For the equivalent of 7 greater british pounds (in AUS) an Int'l licence is no great expense and saved alot of hassle. The policemen always looked to find CIS or Russia on the list of countries in the document.

Within 500 metres of entering Russia i was stopped and the policeman checked, Russian Insurance, Registration, Int'l licence, passport, visa and Custom documents for the bike. Not having any was fineable/ bribable.

Oh and you dont really want to be a Journalist, would be better to get a business visa doing something else. Most countries consider them to be trouble makers or just unwelcome.

cheers alec
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  #9  
Old 12 Nov 2005
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Thank you all for such comprehensive answers to my questions. Just to clarify, I actually think that I knew that no carnet is required for the Russian Federation, but I will need to get one for certain countries that I am visiting after that.

Tom
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Old 13 Nov 2005
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I don't know if all of them have it, but my international permit has a Russian page in it. The police at checkpoints seemed to like being able to read what I showed them. I don't think I ever showed my home country license (which I doubt anyone coud read anyways as it is all in Japanese).
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Old 13 Nov 2005
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full of great info about russia (thanx 4wheels) :
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb...ML/000093.html
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  #12  
Old 6 Dec 2005
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Hello Tom
Sorry I didn't see your post earlier.
If you want further information, please leave a thread on the North Asia forum. This is the one which I regularly access. Also best to see www.waytorussia.net for an excellent russian site - I post there as DITTRICH and have made alot of posts about taking cars into and out of russia.
I may also travel to Russia next summer in early august (but by car - hence 4wheels). I travel to russia every summer for about 4 weeks on holiday. I was thinking of going via murmansk but I've just seen that the Ukraine have abolished visas for UK citizens so a trip to the Crimea may well be on the cards. Sort of Poland, Ukraine - Crimea, Russia - Sochi - Moscow, Finland, Sweden, Denmark - and Eurotunnel!
Regards
Les

Edit: You will have to extend your temporary import permit. Customs at the Finland border only give it for 10 working days. My visa was a private visa - yours will be business BUT would it make a difference? I don't know. Now, to extend the t.i.c. you need to register - your migration card - they stamp the back and put details. The customs will need your migration card to process the extension and guess what the extension can only be granted up to the end date on your migration card. You have 2 options - waste 1/2 day to extend your t.i.c. or go without and face the fines/bribes. I went for the t.i.c. option 'cos even though I speak russian and have a russian license, better to have all documents in order. I cannot stress too highly the benefits of having all your documents in order. The 'company' which issues the invitation to russia should ideally be based in StP so you can properly register your visa there (for the WHOLE of your stay) Then pop down to the customs in StP to extend your t.i.c. take some cash roubles £100 s/be more than enough. Take someone who can speak russian. See www.waytorussia.net transportation section and the above will be put into context - don't believe what they say about the 10days - its real - I know!

[This message has been edited by 4wheels (edited 06 December 2005).]
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