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bobb

Obtaining Private Visa

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Filed: Country: Russia
Timeline

If anyone is ever interested in how to obtain a Private Visa this is how I obtained mine. I would assume it is the same for anywhere in Russia. I obtained a Private Visa because I stay with Luba. In January 2009 on my visit I had a tourist visa. Not really knowing the full details, and not realizing I should have registered it differently :bonk: , we went to OVIR and were chastised for me having the wrong type of visa. They told my fiancée if it happened again they would fine her.

I scanned my bio page from my passport and sent her this in a pdf file. I could have sent a jpg file just as easily. She went to OVIR and they asked her several questions:

1. Country of birth.

2. The exact place of birth (City, State).

3. Where would I obtain the visa: Country, City, where there is a consulate of Russia.

4. Place of work: the full name of the organization (firm).

5. Position at work – job title.

6. Employer's address (full address of the organization, company)

7. Type of work of company.

8. Cities to visit in Russia.

She had to have her English teacher translate these answers into Russian so she could fill out the form.

It took three weeks for her to obtain the visa. She sent it about a week later by Global Express and I received it in about 6 days. Sent to SF and used normal processing. Had my passport back with visa 13 days later. Figure 2 months, less or more depending how sent from Russia and the processing speed. Company I use in SF cost me $160 - I receive $10 off each time after the first time. They also send me coupons I can give to others to receive $15 off. I paid UPS ground (next day for me because of my proximity to SF) both ways which cost less than $10 total.

The cost for her to obtain the Visa is minimal. Even with her sending it like she did I feel it costs less than paying someone additional for the tourist invitation AND paying someone to register it for you.


Timeline:

17 Nov 2008 - Sent I-129F to CSC

19 Nov 2008 - NOA1

03 Apr 2009 - NOA2 approval (email)

09 Apr 2009 - NVC received

13 Apr 2009 - Sent to Embassy

23 Jun 2009 - Interview date USEM - Posted USEM website 30 Apr 2009

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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If anyone is ever interested in how to obtain a Private Visa this is how I obtained mine. I would assume it is the same for anywhere in Russia. I obtained a Private Visa because I stay with Luba. In January 2009 on my visit I had a tourist visa. Not really knowing the full details, and not realizing I should have registered it differently :bonk: , we went to OVIR and were chastised for me having the wrong type of visa. They told my fiancée if it happened again they would fine her.

I scanned my bio page from my passport and sent her this in a pdf file. I could have sent a jpg file just as easily. She went to OVIR and they asked her several questions:

1. Country of birth.

2. The exact place of birth (City, State).

3. Where would I obtain the visa: Country, City, where there is a consulate of Russia.

4. Place of work: the full name of the organization (firm).

5. Position at work – job title.

6. Employer's address (full address of the organization, company)

7. Type of work of company.

8. Cities to visit in Russia.

She had to have her English teacher translate these answers into Russian so she could fill out the form.

It took three weeks for her to obtain the visa. She sent it about a week later by Global Express and I received it in about 6 days. Sent to SF and used normal processing. Had my passport back with visa 13 days later. Figure 2 months, less or more depending how sent from Russia and the processing speed. Company I use in SF cost me $160 - I receive $10 off each time after the first time. They also send me coupons I can give to others to receive $15 off. I paid UPS ground (next day for me because of my proximity to SF) both ways which cost less than $10 total.

The cost for her to obtain the Visa is minimal. Even with her sending it like she did I feel it costs less than paying someone additional for the tourist invitation AND paying someone to register it for you.

Can you register a Business visa with OVIR?

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Filed: Country: Belarus
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On my May-June 2009 trip to the Baikal region of Russia I went on a tourist visa. The lady at the travel agency I went through to get the tourist visa had listed a hotel in Chita as my invitation sponsor on the application. Instead, my wife's brother and I went to the central migration office in Chita and he just registered me to his flat in Chita. We didn't have any problems or hassles doing that instead of staying in the original hotel listed on the application. So even though I went on a tourist visa I still was able to register at a private home. The lady at the travel agency told us there would be no problem to do it that way and we didn't have any problems. She said that people often change their itinerary during trips and register at places other than those listed on the original visa application.


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Filed: Country: Russia
Timeline
Interesting :reading: I assume this is a kind of "friends and family" visa.

If you are going for a visit and plan to stay at a person's residence you are 'supposed' to obtain a Private visa. It can be done the way peejay says. But, Luba did not have the knowledge on how to do this nor did I think to mention this to her. Whenever I return with her to visit I will have to have one of her brothers, or her son obtain go to OVIR. She will not let it be done any other way because she knows we are supposed to do it this way.

I understand for many it is a hassle and inconvenience. Every situation is different and it will be no hassle or inconvenience for us in the future.


Timeline:

17 Nov 2008 - Sent I-129F to CSC

19 Nov 2008 - NOA1

03 Apr 2009 - NOA2 approval (email)

09 Apr 2009 - NVC received

13 Apr 2009 - Sent to Embassy

23 Jun 2009 - Interview date USEM - Posted USEM website 30 Apr 2009

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

I used to post this information all the time, but everyone said it was too hard or too difficult and that is was so much easier to just pay for the tourist visa. It's not. Plus the 90 days no hotel ####### needed was a huge benefit. I did exactly as you did bobb. However, since I lived within 100 miles of San Francisco, I would bring the documents to the consulate myself and then pick them up two weeks later. So I did not incur any kind of 3rd party processing fees. Also self registering is under $1 in Russia versus paying some third party $30.

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Filed: Country: Belarus
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I used to post this information all the time, but everyone said it was too hard or too difficult and that is was so much easier to just pay for the tourist visa. It's not. Plus the 90 days no hotel ####### needed was a huge benefit. I did exactly as you did bobb. However, since I lived within 100 miles of San Francisco, I would bring the documents to the consulate myself and then pick them up two weeks later. So I did not incur any kind of 3rd party processing fees. Also self registering is under $1 in Russia versus paying some third party $30.

Please post details again. I live in Houston and there is a Russian consulate here. I paid a total fee of $195 to the travel agent just to get a tourist visa. Like many people, I travel to Russia rarely and don't know all the ins and outs. Of course I could have probably filled out the forms and took them to the consulate myself, but I have no idea how to get the voucher and confirmation needed from a Russian tourist company. So I just paid a knowledgeable local travel agent to fill out the forms for me correctly and to do the legwork. I just dropped by her office once to pay the fee (her's and the consulate's), she filled out the forms correctly, and I left my US passport. A week later I dropped by her office to pick up my US passport with the visa in it. Once I got to Russia my brother-in-law registered me to his flat in Chita within 3 days after I arrived. Both of us had to be present at the migration office in Chita with our passports to do that. There may be a cheaper and better way to do it, but the way we did it worked out for us.

Of course my brother-in-law could have obtained a извещение (private invitation) in Chita, mailed it to me, and I could have taken it to the consulate for a home stay visa. It takes several weeks for him to even get the invitation and time for the original to be mailed here to the USA. Not very convenient if you want to travel on short notice. That was how it used to be done years ago and I'm have no idea if that is the current proceedure. My wife did some checking online and made calls to travel agents here in Houston and decided a tourist visa was quicker and easier to get. So we went that route instead of having her brother get and send the извещение.

Of course I am always open to doing something more advantageous in the future if I learn about better options.


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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Filed: Country: Belarus
Timeline

After writing my last post above it occurred to me that I left out an important detail. It is my understanding that a Russian tourist visa can only be gotten for a 30 day stay and with no extensions. My recent trip was for less than 30 days, so a tourist visa was appropriate for this duration of our trip. Longer stays would definitely require a different course of action and a different type of visa. Most likely a home stay visa would be more appropriate for an extended visit.


"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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It is my understanding that a Russian tourist visa can only be gotten for a 30 day stay and with no extensions. My recent trip was for less than 30 days, so a tourist visa was appropriate for this duration of our trip. Longer stays would definitely require a different course of action and a different type of visa.

Good information. I did not know that.


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Travelers - not tourists

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Filed: Country: Russia
Timeline
It takes several weeks for him to even get the invitation and time for the original to be mailed here to the USA. Not very convenient if you want to travel on short notice.

Of course. But if you are not rushed it is very easy and convenient for the private visa. If we are ever in a situation where we need to travel very soon I will do the tourist visa and contact a travel agent in Izhevsk to register it once I have arrived.

If you take the application to the consulate the fee is $131 for 4-20 business days proceesing; $250 3 business days processing. If you are a citizen of any country in the EU other than Denmark, Ireland, or Great Britain it is $50 for 6-10 business days service and $100 for 1-3 business days. The day of drop-off is not a day.

Wonder what Denmark, Ireland, and GB did to piss Russia off.

Edited by bobb

Timeline:

17 Nov 2008 - Sent I-129F to CSC

19 Nov 2008 - NOA1

03 Apr 2009 - NOA2 approval (email)

09 Apr 2009 - NVC received

13 Apr 2009 - Sent to Embassy

23 Jun 2009 - Interview date USEM - Posted USEM website 30 Apr 2009

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Filed: Country: Ukraine
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To answer your question Brad, yes it's like a friends and family thing. Private visa is also called home stay visa on the consulate website (NYC). I went on a tourist visa last year and stayed at Mama's house, but I want to get a Private visa for any more visits and I'm going for a Temp Res Visa to boot.


За Жезни С Смехом

I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.

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To answer your question Brad, yes it's like a friends and family thing. Private visa is also called home stay visa on the consulate website (NYC). I went on a tourist visa last year and stayed at Mama's house, but I want to get a Private visa for any more visits and I'm going for a Temp Res Visa to boot.

Thanks Tnic. How long does a temp res last? And out of pure curiousity, why would you do it? Vika and I talk all the time about taking an extended stay in Ukraine some day. If my work would permit I would go any time (except maybe the hottest part of summer :whistle: ).


3dflags_ukr0001-0001a.gif3dflags_usa0001-0001a.gif

Travelers - not tourists

Friday.gif

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline
If anyone is ever interested in how to obtain a Private Visa this is how I obtained mine. I would assume it is the same for anywhere in Russia. I obtained a Private Visa because I stay with Luba. In January 2009 on my visit I had a tourist visa. Not really knowing the full details, and not realizing I should have registered it differently :bonk: , we went to OVIR and were chastised for me having the wrong type of visa. They told my fiancée if it happened again they would fine her.

I scanned my bio page from my passport and sent her this in a pdf file. I could have sent a jpg file just as easily. She went to OVIR and they asked her several questions:

1. Country of birth.

2. The exact place of birth (City, State).

3. Where would I obtain the visa: Country, City, where there is a consulate of Russia.

4. Place of work: the full name of the organization (firm).

5. Position at work – job title.

6. Employer's address (full address of the organization, company)

7. Type of work of company.

8. Cities to visit in Russia.

She had to have her English teacher translate these answers into Russian so she could fill out the form.

It took three weeks for her to obtain the visa.(this is not correct) She sent it about a week later by Global Express and I received it in about 6 days. Sent to SF and used normal processing. Had my passport back with visa 13 days later. Figure 2 months, less or more depending how sent from Russia and the processing speed. Company I use in SF cost me $160 - I receive $10 off each time after the first time. They also send me coupons I can give to others to receive $15 off. I paid UPS ground (next day for me because of my proximity to SF) both ways which cost less than $10 total.

The cost for her to obtain the Visa is minimal. Even with her sending it like she did I feel it costs less than paying someone additional for the tourist invitation AND paying someone to register it for you.

I've been to Russia 9 times I think, 8 times on a tourist visa and one time on a Home stay or Private visa. We never had any trouble at the OVIR, and in fact they got to know me by name their. It was funny but after a while it was like "Hi, nice to see you again" We were never scolded about the type of visa.

We only did the home stay visa once early on, but found it took too long waiting for the OVIR invitation and sending to me then sending to the embassy and found it to be a bit of a hassle for her visiting OVIR and the additional expense and time mailing it. Please note the red area I highlighted above, as OVIR does not issue the visa, just an invitation that you send to the embassy here to get the visa.

For me it was much easier to just pay $160 or so for the complete package for the visa with invitation and then just stop by the OVIR to register. I will say most of my visits were before they changed the way you need to register as I understand now many people register at the post office. I think I have only visited twice since that change, but I continue to register at the OVIR as they now know me there and it is still OK to do it that way.

My last visit I entered on the tourist visa, but was registered as a temp resident as I am a property owner there (but still limited to the 30 days due to my visa). If you want more details I'll have to ask my wife as I didn't pay a lot of attention while we were at the OVIR that time.

Edited by Neonred

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Filed: Country: Russia
Timeline
Please note the red area I highlighted above, as OVIR does not issue the visa, just an invitation that you send to the embassy here to get the visa.

Ah yes, I meant to write invitation and wrote visa in error.

It may well work for you where you visit as you say. But, in Izhevsk as I pointed out, they were very strict and would not let it happen again without a fine. Everyone's situation is different. I was just trying to provide my experience in obtaining a Private (Homestay) visa.


Timeline:

17 Nov 2008 - Sent I-129F to CSC

19 Nov 2008 - NOA1

03 Apr 2009 - NOA2 approval (email)

09 Apr 2009 - NVC received

13 Apr 2009 - Sent to Embassy

23 Jun 2009 - Interview date USEM - Posted USEM website 30 Apr 2009

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