Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Russian Visa Changes/Former Soviet/Russian Citizens Requirements

Russian Visa Changes/Former Soviet/Russian Citizens Requirements

Old Apr 20th, 2009, 08:26 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Russian Visa Changes/Former Soviet/Russian Citizens Requirements

Pricing/Processing Times:

Recently the price for Russian tourist visas for US citizens issued in less than two weeks has increased. Additionally, the processing times have changed: there is no more same or next day service (quickest is now 3 business days).

New Price
4-20 business days US$131
3 business days US$250
Visa processing agencies will add additional fees to the Consulate charges.
Note: Our experience is that the NY Consulate will generally issue the visa within 10 business days, even though they quote 4-10 business days. Business visas, work visas, study visas are handled differently.

We work with many people who counted on getting a 30 day, single entry the next day in advance of a business trip, and are now advising them to get a one year, multiple entry business visa.

Former Soviet/Russian Citizen Requirements:

Recently the Russian Consulate in New York has started to enforce long-standing regulations regarding the issuance of visas for former Soviet or Russian citizens. In a nutshell, there has to be documentary proof that the applicant has given up their Soviet or Russian citizenship. As their website states, “Applicants who used to be citizens of the USSR or of the Russian Federation and then emigrated from the USSR or from Russia must submit: one of the documents which confirms that they are no longer citizens of the Russian Federation (so called "Visa to Israel" or stamp in their passport saying that they left for "permanent residence abroad" before the 6th of February, 1992 or official document certifying that their Russian citizenship was abrogated), otherwise the applications will not be accepted.”

Another acceptable document is a copy of the applicant’s US Certificate of Naturalization (if it occurred before 6th February, 1992).
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Old Apr 20th, 2009, 11:14 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4,968
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is there any updated information on tourist applications in the UK, presently the process seems more flexible as well as the consular fees lower?
Odin is offline  
Old Apr 21st, 2009, 01:44 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My one entry visa for non-EU is 85 euros applied for here in Spain including agency fees.

I see this is not a bad price afterall!
lincasanova is offline  
Old Jun 8th, 2009, 03:58 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Update: For June-September we expect at least the Russian Consulate in New York will process the 4-20 day visas in 15 business days.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2009, 03:57 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
San Francisco is still doing them reliably in 7 days just as before but their new displayed time is 4-20 days. Never saw one take that longer than 7 days, usually they are done the same day no matter what time you pay for, but they do not give them out until the date promised and the processing fee level paid. If you can contact them by phone or in person(calling is hard except in Seattle where they do answer) and upgrade the processing time, you will find they will give it to you immediately, because it was already done.
The 7 day processing has been $131 since last year.
My most recent visa was 2 weeks ago and I needed to upgrade it from 7 days to 3 to make my flight after it was already in processing. By agreeing to the price increase, and giving them the M/O for the difference, they handed it to me immediately. That has happened to me several times in the past.
am_expat is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2009, 04:11 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Regarding the question concerning UK application fees. It is always lower than US citizen fees because the US puts Russians through more hassles when trying to get visas. Visa fees and processing times are in part a function of reciprocal treatment of Russians applying for visas. When the US added a longer more intrusive application form Russia did the same for Americans only, the rest of the world uses the same old Form 95 they always did.
Fees and processing times for 24 European countries is not regulated by 2 year old visa agreement between Russia and those countries which sets maximum processing times and maximum fees. It is easier and cheaper now for Europeans to visit Russia on shorter notice. Same with Russians applying directly to those countries, it has resulted in a marked increase in tourism between those regions and Russia. The UK did not become a party to that agreement but instead is negotiating their own agreement. There is a very good chance the fees will be lowered and processing times shortened.

Russia is not opposed to the principle of visas at the border as with all the visa waiver agreements with, say the US and EU, but they need to see some sort of fair treatment for Russian citizens. For example when Israel recently dropped visa requirements for Russians visiting it took less than 24 hours for the president to sign an executive order dropping the visa requirements for visitors with passports issued by Israel. Same with Thailand.

If Americans want easier access to Russia and those countries that do not offer visa at the border or visa waivers they need to complain to Washington, not Moscow.
am_expat is offline  
Old Jun 20th, 2009, 10:47 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 478
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also note that the Russian Consulate in New York is using a new application (as of 15 June); make sure that you use the correct, current application for each of the Russian Consulates in the US.
Marc_David_Miller is offline  
Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 08:23 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There has been one change after arrival, there is increased scrutiny of visas to determine whether you are staying with the host that invited you. In the past using a visa service to obtain a visa invitation instead of through the hotel was popular because it could be applied for easily and all would be taken care of with hardly lifting a finger. The only problem is that the invitation was from a hotel or tour operator you have never heard of and will never visit. That is a problem, your sponsor is technically responsible for you and is required to register your visa when you arrive. That chain is broken when you don't stay in their facility or they they not register your stay. Until recently the law was pretty much overlooked by both visitors and immigration officials. Now there are quite a few cases where people using visa services have gotten into trouble for not being where their invitation states is their sponsor/host.
I just had such a problem myself and it was not fun or cheap to resolve. It can ruin your vacation by violating visa and immigration laws despite how lax their enforcement was in the past.
As a tourist, get your own invitation directly from the hotel where you will be staying. When you arrive they will register it without any effort on your part and they will close it out when you leave. Simple, and legal. Don't use a visa service unless it is just to apply in a distant consulate where they are physically located, and even then, use only your own visa support documents(invitation) from your hotel you booked, sent to the visa service for them to apply in person for you.
Some services charge a lot for invitations and registration but real ones are free. The offices of migration control register for free. You can also register at the post office for free in case you are not staying in a hotel that will register for free. Unless it is a super deal on the room charge don't use hotels or mini-hotels that do not register your visa for free. That case is a good indication they do not have permission to host foreign visitors in the first place. If in doubt, ask them if their name is on the invitation and using their own MBT #. If they do not have a Federal Registry number(MBT) they are not authorized to host you as a foreigner.
It is all part of a requirement for proof of financial responsibilty, for your protection, that was introduced 2 years ago. If they did not post the required bonds they are not allowed to legally invite foreign guests.
am_expat is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
OReilly
Europe
7
Jul 18th, 2014 11:48 PM
yestravel
Asia
14
Jan 16th, 2012 05:42 PM
bechan
Asia
4
Oct 10th, 2007 09:17 AM
jkr2006
Europe
4
Apr 9th, 2007 07:52 AM
wftraveler
Europe
6
Nov 6th, 2006 10:25 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -