Russian Visa Confusion

Oct 11th, 2017, 01:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1
Russian Visa Confusion

Hello all,

I'm planning a holiday (Christmas/New Year's) trip to Russia with my roommate, who is from Yekaterinburg (I am American). We plan to visit Moscow, the Golden Ring cities, St. Petersburg, and of course, Yekaterinburg. My trip is 32 days long and I have a bunch of visa questions. The visa process is so confusing, I'm not sure how to navigate it and could really use some help.

- Do I need to list every hotel I'll be staying at on my visa application form? I'll be staying with my friend's family for part of the time, which is a complication. Can I just put my first hotel (in Moscow) on the form and have them register the visa after I arrive?

- Is the duration of my trip (32 days) a problem? I heard that for Americans, our tourist visas are automatically 3 years. Is that true, and do I need to do anything differently from the 30-day visa option?

- Is it better to try to visit the consulate in person rather than mailing everything in?

- If you mail in your visa forms, do you usually include a cover letter of some kind or just dump all the required paperwork in an envelope and send it off to the consulate? Sorry this is a dumb question, I just don't want my passport to get lost in a pile of papers at the consulate if I send it by post.

Thank you all so much for your help!
grapplegirl is offline  
Oct 11th, 2017, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 11th, 2017, 01:55 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,377
No one here is an expert on Russian visa policy..
Contrast the consulate .
danon is offline  
Oct 11th, 2017, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,548
There are agencies that handle the visa application for you - everything. You FedEx them your passport in a certain time frame, with a completed application, and they do whatever is required, address any questions that need to be answered properly, and send back your passport and your visa. Of course, they charge a fee for this.

I haven't gotten a Russian visa, but a friend of mine did when she went to Russia last year, and she used one of these agencies and said it was super easy. Probably cost her an extra $100 plus however. You can find the agencies easily by googling.
Andrew is online now  

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