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Visiting Russia w/ Russian spouse - what visa?

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Hi all!

It's been awhile but I'm so glad to see that my ~favorite~ VJ forum is still holding up strong!Yay

:luv:

For those who have visited Russia with his/her Russian spouse:

- What kind of RU visa did you apply for? Tourist, Personal/Homestay, Biz? Or other?

- If you applied for a tourist visa, what was the turnout? Approved/denied? Problems?

Sorry for such lame questions but it's eating at me. Thanks so much.

:star::star::star:


As of:


June 26, 2012 - The Hubbs received his 10-year Permanent Residency Card (aka THE Greencard) in the mail today!




At long last, this highly stressful leg of our journey has come to a close - for now - and we couldn't be more grateful and appreciative for all the tremendous help and support here on VJ! Without VisaJourney I doubt we would be where my husband and I are today! Thanks to all!



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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
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I used a tourist visa. Easy to get and not expensive.


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Filed: Country: Russia
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All they want is your money. They don't care if the spouse is Russian. There's not the same fear that the US has about people overstaying, at least in regard to people from the US. Tourist visas are pretty simple to get.


Первый блин комом.

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Tourist visa is the way to go. It's around $200. You pay a service company (google "visa russia" and you'll get several) and they take care of all the paperwork for you. You FedEx them your passport and they'll ship it back in about two weeks with the visa inside.

Best way to go if you're going to/through Moscow as the company will take care of registering your visa as well.

In Russia, you not only have to have a visa, you also have to register your visa wherever you're staying. If you move around, you have to register it within 72 hours of reaching your new destination.

If you're going to a smaller city or village somewhere away from Moscow it may be worth getting a homestay visa. You can have your in-laws send you an invitation letter and you can apply through the embassy or you can pay these same service companies to "make" an invitation letter for you and handle it all.

Business visa is about the same, the advantage is it's usually either multi-entry or lasts quite a while. But you pay for that. It's a little more expensive than the others.

Registering the visas in a small town ranges from easy and quick to extremely difficult and expensive. Your mileage will vary.

However, don't worry too much about it. Even if you don't register or there's some kind of problem or you overstay or whatever, $20 will fix just about any problem you have. They're not worried about Americans staying in Russia without visas. You will get asked to "pay the fine" if your visa is unregistered but, then again, you may be asked to "pay the fine" even if it is.

I would suggest just getting the $200 special from the service companies as it's the cheapest and easiest way to do it. If you're going for a long trip and staying in a small town, perhaps go the home-stay route. If you're rich, just get a business visa.

Good luck!


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Filed: Country: Russia
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Also remember that homestay visas take a while to get. If you want to travel to Russia say, in July, a homestay visa wouldn't work well. I believe it generally takes about three months, from what I recall reading here, but others who have gone through the homestay process would be able to tell you for sure.

But yeah, in Moscow or SPb you can generally get registered by the company who made your voucher. If you're going somewhere else, you might want to do a specialized search for the city + visa russia to find a place that will do it and register you in the city you're going to.


Первый блин комом.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Russia
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Also remember that homestay visas take a while to get. If you want to travel to Russia say, in July, a homestay visa wouldn't work well. I believe it generally takes about three months, from what I recall reading here, but others who have gone through the homestay process would be able to tell you for sure.

But yeah, in Moscow or SPb you can generally get registered by the company who made your voucher. If you're going somewhere else, you might want to do a specialized search for the city + visa russia to find a place that will do it and register you in the city you're going to.

With Home Stay visas, your host (the person who invites you) has to actually register you with the local authorities when you arrive. What some forget is when you leave, your host has to notify the same authorities you've left. If they forget, there is a fine of around $75. I speak from experience. And that was 3 years ago.

I'd keep it simple and go with a tourist visa.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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I used the home stay visa and spent 47 wonderful days with Irina. (Retirement helps.) We met in Moscow and flew to Kaliningrad Oblast. Except for one time other than the airport, train and registering my visa I was not checked or asked for papers except the normal airport and train station items as I left for Poland.

When we arrived by bus in Mamonovo Irina went to fine a taxi as it was about a mile & a quarter to her apartment. Some kid about 20 in civilian clothes ask something. I did not understand what he was saying and as he did not produce ID I was waiting for Irina to come back and find out what he wanted. He went down the street about 50 feet and got a soldier who was waiting for his wife. The 40 year old sergeant who had smiled at me minutes before came and ask for my visa so I gave him the Visa and Migration card. He laughed the shoved them in front of the kids face bumping his nose as Irina came back in a panic. The sergeant said, “Welcome to Russia. Have a good day”, and left shaking his head. Kid had though I was a spy because Mamonovo is on the Polish border.

Everyone else upon finding I was American said, “Welcome to Russia, Have a good stay here”. This included a group of soldiers at a bus stop one day as we waited.

Now a real experience about how tough it is on Americans in Russia. Honest to God truth real life story of what happened to us.

Sunday Sept. 27, 2009 we went to Yunost Park in Kaliningrad City. Irina said she had never seen security on the gate before. As we approached the gate I pointed to my knees and left hip as they have been replaced. One of the guys nodded his head and I could read his lips as he read the patch on my Jacket. “Owner Operator Independent Drivers Driving Association Life Time Member”. They knew I was American because I was wearing cowboy boots and shirt.

I stepped through the metal detector and knowing it went off I stood waiting for them to search me as I get that all the time here in the US. Irina said “Let’s go they said they do not need to search you”.

A few minutes later while sitting on a park bench talking to Irina and who walks by none other than Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina. Just the wife of one of the most powerful men in the world, the former 1st lady and wife of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. No security people within 150 feet on her way to give school children awards. Irina told me who she was after she walked by. Yes we saw her on the news that night and the next day. I have 2 pictures of her I took of her standing on the library steps talking to another woman taken minutes before and found pictures of her on the internet giving the awards after I came home. I had no idea it was her when I took them.

It was the Russian equitant of the US Secret Service at the gate going in to Yunost Park and they knew I was American by my cowboy boots, shirt and jacket. Try that in America with US SS protecting a 1st Lady here.


First email 2004-09-05

Visit her in Russia 2009-09-18 to 2009-11-02

I-129F Sent : 2010-07-14

I-129F NOA1 : 2010-08-11

Touch : 2010-08-18

NOA2 :2010-01-13

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
Timeline

Irina thought we had another day and we were fined too.


First email 2004-09-05

Visit her in Russia 2009-09-18 to 2009-11-02

I-129F Sent : 2010-07-14

I-129F NOA1 : 2010-08-11

Touch : 2010-08-18

NOA2 :2010-01-13

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