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To those about to fly to R/U/B

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ukraine
Timeline

My wife travelled back to Ukraine to visit family on Saturday. She flew from Atlanta to NY/JFK to Kyiv. Her flight from NY was delayed about 4 hours due to the Icelandic volcanic ash forcing her to miss a connecting flight from Kyiv to Lviv. This forced other flights to fill up and she didn't get out of Kyiv for another 6 hours!

So my advice would be to leave a little more room between flights or have back up plans if your SO is going to be travelling over that way!


Wife's visa journey:

03/19/07: Initial mailing of I-129F.

07/07/11: U.S. Citizenship approved and Oath Ceremony!

MIL's visa journey:

07/26/11: Initial mailing of I-130.

05/22/12: Interview passed!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

Good advice.

Also, if anyone is connecting through Sheremetyevo *ever*, leave at least 4 hours between connections, and 6 if you can manage it.

Why do you say this? Are you talking about the transfer between airports or just general bureaucracy and airport size? Or have you had bad experiences with flight delays?

I have left less time and connected with time to spare. Of course, if you have to switch airports and then are traveling non-stop to the US, you will need some time since they search all bags individually.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline

My wife travelled back to Ukraine to visit family on Saturday. She flew from Atlanta to NY/JFK to Kyiv. Her flight from NY was delayed about 4 hours due to the Icelandic volcanic ash forcing her to miss a connecting flight from Kyiv to Lviv. This forced other flights to fill up and she didn't get out of Kyiv for another 6 hours!

So my advice would be to leave a little more room between flights or have back up plans if your SO is going to be travelling over that way!

My family departs in two weeks and we are watching this very carefully....


YMMV

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Filed: Timeline

Why do you say this? Are you talking about the transfer between airports or just general bureaucracy and airport size? Or have you had bad experiences with flight delays?

I have left less time and connected with time to spare. Of course, if you have to switch airports and then are traveling non-stop to the US, you will need some time since they search all bags individually.

I mean connecting through Sheremetyevo to or from domestic. My first time through, I had a 2 hour layover, and missed the connection to Kazan because it took me over 3 hours to get through immigration. I wound up spending the night in the airport because there's only one flight to Kazan a day. The next time I had a 4-hour layover, and just barely made my connection dude to a combination of immigration, customs, and long lines through security. Going from SVO1 to SVO2 on my return trips wasn't so bad, although I still had less than 20 minutes to spare by the time I actually got to the gate.

Come to think of it, if you can avoid SVO by going through Domodedovo, that's probably a much better alternative.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

Why do you say this? Are you talking about the transfer between airports or just general bureaucracy and airport size? Or have you had bad experiences with flight delays?

I have left less time and connected with time to spare. Of course, if you have to switch airports and then are traveling non-stop to the US, you will need some time since they search all bags individually.

If I were traveling to or through SVO, I'd talk with Aeroflot or the airport itself about the brand new SVO "Terminal 17." My wife used it when she returned home and could book her luggage all the way through rather than having to get her bags at SVO 1 (domestic) I believe. If I remember right, I think she skipped altogether the old hassle of getting from SVO 1 terminal to the international one many miles and a long bus ride apart. That used to be the big deal with connections...getting your bags and getting transportation between terminals.

Anyway, I'd do some research. Things have apparently changed.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
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I agree with Mox. Getting through SVO's passport control center is a crapshoot. Once I got through it in 15 minutes. Once I got through in 4 hours. My average time is about 90 minutes, but there's no way to predict what will happen from time to time. Baggage claim is usually an unpredictable mess too.

If you're connecting through this airport, then give yourself plenty of time.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Russia
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Come to think of it, if you can avoid SVO by going through Domodedovo, that's probably a much better alternative.

I haven't had the misfortune of going through SVO, but I've yet to hear a good story come out of there.

DMV is great though. I've done both international and domestic out of there. Not to mention they have an express directly from the airport to the train station.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

If I were traveling to or through SVO, I'd talk with Aeroflot or the airport itself about the brand new SVO "Terminal 17." My wife used it when she returned home and could book her luggage all the way through rather than having to get her bags at SVO 1 (domestic) I believe. If I remember right, I think she skipped altogether the old hassle of getting from SVO 1 terminal to the international one many miles and a long bus ride apart. That used to be the big deal with connections...getting your bags and getting transportation between terminals.

Anyway, I'd do some research. Things have apparently changed.

Since posting the above, I spoke with my wife and my comments were in error. However, there is a new terminal but it was not fully operational when she traveled. I do remember reading about it somewhere but not clear on how it fits in with the other terminals. It is apparently a large and nice facility. It is up and running now so probably worth looking in to for those soon to travel. Sorry for bad info.

Anyone else know anything?

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

Wow. Those stories are insane. I consider myself fortunate that I never had to worry about connecting flights in Russia. SVO was always my final (or initial) destination.

As for how you might have disrupted the system, who knows. But I'm sure getting one Russian bureaucrat to get off his or her a** and do something constitutes a major disruption, the likes of which President Medvedev might have needed to be informed about. The plane was probably late because they had to mill around and complain for two hours about the "stupid, selfish American" who demands service for his money. Heaven forbid.

Это Россия, indeed.

Edited by shikarnov

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Filed: Timeline

It's crazy isn't it? My trips since then have all been tame by comparison, although I think everyone here knows that a trip to Russia (and probably other FSU countries) *always* has some element of bizarro-world to it.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

It's crazy isn't it? My trips since then have all been tame by comparison, although I think everyone here knows that a trip to Russia (and probably other FSU countries) *always* has some element of bizarro-world to it.

Indeed. The beautiful thing is that my wife is seeing her native country in a new light. She traveled by herself recently (and, while I love her dearly, she's a bit of a country bumpkin), and gets lost easily. In JFK she asked for help, and somebody happily brought her where she needed to be. Upon arrival in Moscow, she was asked for help, and was asked she was unable to read the signs. Sometimes you can only recognize quality (or lack thereof) by juxtaposition. I'm looking forward to her return. I imagine she'll understand more of my perspectives now...

Edited by shikarnov

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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I think it's a requirement to have at least one "interesting" experience over there. Gives ya character! :P


11/13/2009 -- Mailed I-129F

11/17/2009 -- Received NOA 1

02/10/2010 -- NOA 2 Mailed

02/16/2010 -- NOA 2 Received (via email)

02/19/2010 -- Petition forwarded to Moscow

04/23/2010 -- Scheduled Interview - SUCCESS

07/20/2010 -- Entrance to USA POE Anchorage

08/21/2010 -- Wedding

11/04/2010 -- Mailed AOS

01/25/2011 -- AOS Interview - SUCCESS

Member of the RUB group, where high horses meet low brows.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Russia
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The last time I went to Russia I had a crazy experience, but it wasn't anything to do with Russia (even though it started in DME).

I think I already mentioned the story, but the long and short is United airlines canceled the flight, my visa expired that day, so they flew a couple of us to Germany where we had to stay the nigh in the airport there.

So this one was actually the fault of Americans :P even though it happened in Russia.

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