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Recent visa experience with Russian consulate in NY

Recent visa experience with Russian consulate in NY

Old Jun 15th, 2013, 10:03 AM
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Recent visa experience with Russian consulate in NY

I thought I would post about my experience yesterday trying to get a visa for Russia by waiting in line at the Russian consulate in NY in case it may help anyone else. I got to the consulate at 9:30 (which is when they are supposed to open for visas) and there were about 12-15 people already in line. The official there didn't let the first people in until close to 10. You have to wait outside exposed to the elements until you get in. They let in 3 people at a time and I didn't get in until about 12:00. At about 11:30, the official started telling people that they stoped letting people in at 12:30 and indicating that people towards the end of line wouldn't get in. Unfortunately, I couldn't get submit my application because I had written the wrong "reference number" on my form. The hotel from which I had gotten my tourist voucher gave me the wrong information about which number was the reference number. However the official was relatively nice and apologetic and suggested that if I went to Staples or somewhere with internet access and a printer and could fix the mistake I could come back between 2 and 3. I didn't do this so I don't know for sure if they would accept visa applications between 2 and 3. In any event, if I could have submitted my application, I could have picked up my visa in 10 business days (regualr processing) or 3 business days (expedited). I would have had to leave my passport there and the pick up is not at the consulate but at the Invisa Logistics Services office on Maiden Lane. I decided to go through a visa service rather than try my luck in person again. Hope someone may find this useful. Happy to answer any questions if I can.
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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Ironically, I was at Invisa Logistics Services office in NYC yesterday to get my visa processed. I went in at 9-ish and was out by 9:20, and had the option of either picking it up or having it mailed to me (extra charge, of course) on July 01. From the sounds of things it was definitely worth the extra $30!

Thanks for posting your experience. It seems like the consulate is definitely trying to get people to use ILS in one way or another.

(And I got to spend the rest of my day in Federal Hall, Winter Garden/harbour area, Central Park, and the Met. Fun!)

I'm just sad that I'll only have four days in Russia. Had I considered the visa issue at the time, I would probably have split my time differently. It is a rather pricy and lengthy proposition to get the visa altogether, albeit no more so than for anyone coming to the US, I know.
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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This is exactly the info I wish I had known before I went and why I posted. I hope other people don't make my mistake.

I also only have 4 days in Russia and I feel exactly the same as you do - had I fully realized the time and cost involved in getting the visa, I either would have chosen to go elsewhere or changed my trip to sepnd more time in Russia.
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Old Jun 15th, 2013, 01:58 PM
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I had a similar experience in getting Russian visas 25 years ago & several more recently. It's been like this forever. In some countries, you can no longer apply in person & you have to go thru a designated visa agency. There have been numerous posts about this.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Thanks. This is good information to know. I was under the assumption that you could no longer drop off your application at the embassy and that everything had to be done offsite through the visa service. So am I correct in reading that you can still drop-off the application at the consulate, but you pick-up your visa at ILS?

As for the elements, I know what you mean. When I got my business visa a few years ago, it rained when I dropped-off and picked-up. This was in January too!
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Thanks for the info Alicefe.

I, myself is in the process of obtaining a Visa for Russia. I plan to visit Moscow and St. Pete for 10 days in November 2013 and would like to know the company you used for this service?
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Old Jul 17th, 2013, 07:06 AM
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I used VisaHQ.com and had no problem with them.
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