VISA FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVELER

Old Jul 6th, 2005, 03:45 PM
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VISA FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVELER

Has anyone tried to obtain a visa as an independent traveler? I am asking a company on line to send us the invitation-support documents, but they did not reply. I looked at the embassy site for Tourist Visa, and one of the requirement on the application is a "Cover Letter from your Travel Agency in the USA". We are not using a travel agency. We have already booked our flights to Saint Petersburg and reserved an apartment. Can anyone advise? we are going in mid September, can we get a visa in time? thanks for any info.
mimifromgeorgia is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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I checked the website

http://www.russianembassy.org/

and it's my understanding you're on the wrong page. You should apply for Homestay Visas (Visitor's Visas)
it's the next button on the menu.

Strange, the URL won't change... let me try to copy it for you
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 04:17 PM
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The following documents should be submitted in order to obtain a visitor’s visa:

1.
A completed visa application form (one per person) available at the Consulate or from travel agencies and visa services.


Visa Application for US citizens (download)
Visa Application for non US citizens (download)

2.
A valid passport which should have at least two clear pages for a visa.

Please note that the so-called “Green Card” i.e. “Resident Alien Card” is not valid for entry into Russia.

3.
One passport-size photo of the applicant which should be stapled to the marked space at the upper right-hand corner of the application form.

4.
Original OVIR permission - IZVESHCHENIE.

Your relatives or friends in Russia should obtain IZVESHCHENIE for you from local authorities (OVIR) and send it to your address in the USA. IZVESHCHENIE is valid within one year from the date indicated therein. The period of stay in Russia is shown in a separate paragraph and must not exceed 90 days.

In case of emergency (unexpected illness, death of relatives) visas can be obtained upon submitting a certified cable from a doctor of a Russian clinic or a copy of death certificate.

5.
If you apply by mail you should enclose a completely-addressed stamped return envelope or prepaid waybill, bearing your account number and showing yourself as both shipper and recipient regardless of delivery address. We do not accept waybills marked ‘bill sender’, ‘bill third party’, ‘bill credit card’ or C.O.D. If you fail to follow the above mentioned requirements, your visa application will not be processed. If the papers are not acceptable for any reason or some documents are missing, we will return them by regular mail. When forwarding your documents to us, please, specify “attention: visa section”. We do not accept documents for international delivery!

If you apply personally you should get a pick-up slip from the visa officer and present this slip to pick up your visa when it is ready or refer to its number to check out the status of the application. Please, note that we do not accept visa documents, delivered to the Consulate by courier services.

6.
A money order or a cashier’s check payable to the Russian Embassy for visa processing. Please, note that we do not accept cash, company or personal checks. Charge for bounced checks is $20.00. The visa processing fees are:

For single entry visas are:
$100 for not less than six business days processing;
$150 for not less than three business day processing;
$200 for next business day processing or two business day processing;
$300 for same day processing;
For double entry visas are:
$100 for not less than six business days processing;
$200 for not less than three business day processing;
$250 for next business day processing or two business day processing;
$350 for same day processing;

Visa processing fee is not refundable.

Please, note, that drop off day is not counted as business day!

Visa processing starts only after we have collected all necessary documents.

Same day or next day processing is only available if the volume of work technically permits.

If you apply by mail, please, allow one more day for processing.

Any visa applicant may be interviewed by a consular officer if necessary.

FainaAgain is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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We provide complimentary Russian visa support for our customers - [email protected]
Aleksei is offline  
Old Jul 7th, 2005, 11:45 AM
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I went independently and got my own visa. It took some research, but wasn't too difficult once I figured it out.

A number of commmercial websites explain the process step-by-step. Here's one that I liked, from one of the online agencies that offers visa support:
www.waytorussia.net

And here's a consulate page that gives visa info:
www.consulrussia.org

If you are renting an apartment through an agency, can they get you the visa support? I stayed at a mini-hotel, and they faxed me my visa support. Visa support for a tourist visa consists of a confirmation from your hotel or apartment rental agency plus an official voucher from an agency in Russia registered with the appropriate government department. My hotel got me the voucher from a registered agency.

Once you have the visa support and your application filled out, you can either deal directly with a Russian consulate in the US or pay a US visa agency to do it.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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You know, I just realized that I'm not really sure that a confirmation of an apartment rental (as distinct from a hotel reservation) is acceptable as part of visa support. But those websites I posted should help. Sorry.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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I obtained a visa as an independant traveler. I stayed with a family so couldn't use a hotel as my base. I went through a company called, "gotorussia.net" and was very pleased with their service. They will sponser your VISA and they were great. I had to register with their office once I arrived in Moscow, but it was not difficult to find, and I imagine the one in Petersburg wouldn't be out of the way either.
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 12:01 PM
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Forgot to meniton, you will be able to get one in time. I didn't apply for mine until a month before I left but had it in pleny of time. If you decide to use, gotorussia.net you can pay a little bit more to get it back within certain times. (up to as close as overnighting it)
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Old Jul 8th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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My husband and I are moving to Russia this summer, and I have obtained a business Visa through visatorussia.com

We are pleased, and have used them several times before. (My husband is Russia, I am American) You have plenty of time to get your Visa, but I would definitely get the ball rolling.
hookemoph is offline  
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