Russian tourist visa

Jun 16th, 2009, 08:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Russian tourist visa

Anyone applied for a Russian visa lately? Our family is trying to decide if we can plan a last minute trip to the Soviet Union-St. Petersburg,Moscow,Novgorod for early August. I haven't been there since the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and remember that our Russian visas came to JFK an hour before flight departure.

Because I work for the airlines, I know that the Russian work visa sometimes takes over a month to get. Has anyone applied for the Tourist visa and received it in a timely manner? Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is one of those last family vacations with the kids that are 24 and 27. Thanks!
dutyfree is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 03:40 AM
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Soviet Union-St Petersburg? You should get out more;
The city was called Leningrad back then and there has been no such country since 1991.

Take your completed visa application, a passport style photo(Walgreen's for 10 minute service, visa support(invitation), your passport, and consular fee of $131 to the nearest Russian Consulate and get it back in 7 days. If you want faster service it can be paid for to get it done in as little as same day.
Visa have never taken a month to get, are you referring to getting them through a travel agency? If you deal directly with the Consulate it is fast and reliable, always has been.
am_expat is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 03:46 AM
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Depending on what country you live in you CANNOT deal directly with the consulates/emabassy for tourist visas to Russia any longer. You MUST use an agency.

That said, in Spain it was 5 working days from when the agency received all the documents.
lincasanova is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 09:37 AM
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Expat-sorry for the wrong wording.Consider it an old broad that will always call it the Soviet Union in her head and yes, when I went I visited Leningrad.

Anyway,all of my F/A friends have had to use a service to get the visa and it usually runs about a month so that is why I was wondering about "regular" travelers getting one and how long it would be.(I thought that there might be some reason why it takes longer for crews to get one?)Thanks!
dutyfree is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 11:40 PM
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I deal with visa issues to Russia every day. I assume you are from the US. At least the Russian Consulate in New York has been processing tourist visas in three weeks since around June 10, and will probably continue to do so till September (they quote 4-20 business days). You can get expedited processing for a higher price (3-4 business days).

Regarding different timing for flight crews (who are working on flights to/from Russia), they are normally processed as business visas, which can take anywhere from 2 days to (normally) 3-4 weeks, depending on payment and if expedited service is used.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 11:46 PM
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Thanks Marc for your imput. We live in a suburb of Chicago so will look into it further.
dutyfree is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2009, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Yes, I am from the US but live full time in St Petersburg, for the last 6 years. I deal a lot with visas also and have the registration number needed to issue visa invitations directly in addition to 72 hour visa free visits for cruise ship passenges so I have to be very familiar with Russian immigration law. The consulates vary with work load but San Francisco and Seattle are still working at 7 days for a standard processing time, although their web sites state 4-20 days.
Applying directly in person is of course the best and fastest, and cheapest method of getting a visa provided the tourist has the invitation from their hotel. Now, with recent enforcement changes I can't recommend any visa service for acquiring an invitation. That is now being checked by the federal migration service, a person on a business or tourist visa needs to be hosted by the inviting hotel or tour the law has always stated but was generally ignored for years.
am_expat is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 03:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 31
I recommend for tourist visas. I'm from the Chicago suburbs and usually send my Visa request to the Embassy in DC. Last time I got a Visa in the U.S. was in April 2008, and my understanding is that all requests must be walked to the Embassy, so you must have an agency to process them for you unless you want to fly yourself to D.C. or another Embassy to process them. The Go To Russia offices in the U.S. are in Atlanta, I think, so you just fill out the application online and send your documents there.

I have used Go To Russia myself and my sister has also. They are quite good and can register you in Moscow and St. Pete. The Visa/registration people in the office here in Moscow are actually very good and nice even.

I also recommend the D.C. embassy because they have been very nice as well. Almost impossible to reach by phone, but whenever I have had a problem with my application they have called me immediately upon arrival of my paperwork, which really impresses me. I have always gotten the fastest service paid for. If I paid for 6-10 days processing they did it in 6.
bookwurm70 is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 02:35 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 2
Hello there...I'm an Italian citizen who loves visiting Russia...Recently I found a very useful website which provides invitation for visa very quickly and with a small price...the website is
Have a look of it if you need an invitation to visit Russia
mindthegapNapoli is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 04:22 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
1st time poster, suggesting a particular website...
alanRow is offline  

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