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Derek & Rita

sending money to russia (moscow) bitcoin?

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I'd like to hear from those of you who have experience - what's the most inexpensive way to send money to russia from usa? I have been looking into various ways... so far, MoneyGram works good - sberbank is just about everywhere. I am just getting tired of their fees. I was thinking about using Bitcoin, but I'm not sure if it would be any easier, and they (the exchanges which happen to work in russia) would charge fees for withdraws which would make MoneyGram cheaper.

What's everyone else do? I was thinking of maybe getting a bank card for her with my bank. I don't know that it would be possible to do that without her showing up here to add herself to the account though. Bitcoin seems promising, but she has to go through the process of opening a bank account, and then opening an account on an exchange like paxum which requires two forms of photo id... and sometimes those transfers can take a few days to complete. Paxum has a MasterCard, though I have no idea if they will send one to Russia, and even then they charge $2 per withdraw, which isn't bad - but then the ATM itself will charge a fee (even though most say they don't for foreign banks - they do). If she lived in SPB or Novosibirsk, there is a BTC exchange there, but that's quite a ways to travel.

So, any ideas?

Yes, I know - dont transfer money to people you dont know, yada yada yada... She's my wife and I have a two month old child with her, been there many times. For better or worse, we are together.

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I've been happy with Western Union and their delayed service (48 hour). I send usually about $600 a month for the care of my mother in law (now in hospice) and it costs $19 for the delayed service. The hospice program is a private service, thus the rather high cost for Ukraine.

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Why are you sending so much money?

RED FLAG!!!!


Русский форум член.

Ensure your beneficiary makes and brings with them to the States a copy of the DS-3025 (vaccination form)

If the government is going to force me to exercise my "right" to health care, then they better start requiring people to exercise their Right to Bear Arms. - "Where's my public option rifle?"

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The topic is covered well here.


Ирина и Скотт (Iryna and Scott)

Feb 25, 2008 - Sent K-1 petition to VSC

Feb 25, 2008 - Received NOA1

May 30, 2008 - Received NOA2! Woo-hoo!

Jul 18, 2008 - Interviewed in Kiev. Everything went well!

Jul 24, 2008 - Visa received. Yippee!

Jul 31, 2008 - Visited my girl, and we spent my birthday in Odessa!

Aug 05, 2008 - We both arrive in America. Hooray!

Oct 31, 2008 - Married!

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Why are you sending so much money?

RED FLAG!!!!

This is a hospice that my brother in law found for my mother in law. She has stomach cancer and won't be leaving this facility in this lifetime. You would have to meet my mother in law to know why we are doing this. Unfortunately my BIL is unable to work in Ukraine because he is still a Russian citizen and Ukraine is giving him a hard time. Imagine, born in Kiev but can't get the government to let him return to citizenship. It sucks big time for him. :angry:

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We looked into bitcoin briefly, and I just decided that not only is the bitcoin exchange rate too risky to stuff cash into even briefly, but the fees are higher than iKobo. I admittedly didn't delve too much into it, so maybe you can find a place

Start here if you're interested in pursuing it further. (NOTE: I'm NOT recommending the sites linked. In fact, I'm recommending *against* Bitcoin. Buyer beware.)

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=30517.0

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This is a hospice that my brother in law found for my mother in law. She has stomach cancer and won't be leaving this facility in this lifetime. You would have to meet my mother in law to know why we are doing this. Unfortunately my BIL is unable to work in Ukraine because he is still a Russian citizen and Ukraine is giving him a hard time. Imagine, born in Kiev but can't get the government to let him return to citizenship. It sucks big time for him. :angry:

My post was directed at the OP. Shoot, you're married already. You've been scammed for a long time!


Русский форум член.

Ensure your beneficiary makes and brings with them to the States a copy of the DS-3025 (vaccination form)

If the government is going to force me to exercise my "right" to health care, then they better start requiring people to exercise their Right to Bear Arms. - "Where's my public option rifle?"

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Get her a Citibank US card. Then she can use Citibank ATMs over there.

Without a SSN, I'm not sure it's possible to legally add a foreigner to a US bank account. I tried in the past and was denied.

That said, you could just open another account in your own name, give her the card, and xfer money to it when needed.

Did you suggest Citibank to reduce ATM charges? I think that only applies to withdrawal of dollars, so you might want to confirm the fees in advance if your girl wants to pull rubles. I usually find myself pulling rubles, just to save the pain of finding a reliable exchange kiosk. Though reliable, Citibank gives horrible exchange rates. Make that criminal. 29.79034 rub/$ today vs CBR's rate of 30.3626 rub/$. Almost 2%!

BTW, practically any US-based ATM card is accepted here, though they might freeze your card after a withdrawal (it's happened to me literally dozens of times).

In any case, good luck!


Our timeline:

01/11/12 - Submitted I-130s to Moscow USCIS in person

01/12/12 - Had interview with Moscow USCIS officer to establish bonafide marriage

01/12/12 - I-130s approved and passed to US Consulate

01/13/12 - IV Unit in Moscow received approved petition

01/23/12 - We received confirmation that I-130s were approved by USCIS

01/24/12 - We received package notification from post office

01/26/12 - Picked up "package" - notifications from IV Unit with case numbers

01/26/12 - Set interview date online

02/01/12 - Passed medical exams

02/02/12 - Received police record

02/09/12 - Interview... APPROVED!

02/13/12 - Visa delivered

02/23/12 - POE Chicago

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I have been using Western union now for 6 months without any problems on my end. My wife has been treated bad when picking up money at bank. But its been good for both of us and easy to do. I tried to send her a prepaid visa card where I could load money on as she needed but it never got to her so I tried again and same thing. The post office sait it was probably still at customs. Magnetic strip is a problem. And of course I didn't put any money on it before sending so only lost $5 cost of card. The western union works good because I am always just scrapping together enough money for her rent at last minute and send it money in minutes so the landlord don't throw her out in the streets. I thought the CC would be good for food money but can't get it there. Hope this helps

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...I tried to send her a prepaid visa card where I could load money on as she needed but it never got to her so I tried again and same thing. The post office sait it was probably still at customs. Magnetic strip is a problem.

...

This is true. As I've mentioned in previous posts, you need to send the card sandwiched between some photos. This has worked for me that last 3 times.


Ирина и Скотт (Iryna and Scott)

Feb 25, 2008 - Sent K-1 petition to VSC

Feb 25, 2008 - Received NOA1

May 30, 2008 - Received NOA2! Woo-hoo!

Jul 18, 2008 - Interviewed in Kiev. Everything went well!

Jul 24, 2008 - Visa received. Yippee!

Jul 31, 2008 - Visited my girl, and we spent my birthday in Odessa!

Aug 05, 2008 - We both arrive in America. Hooray!

Oct 31, 2008 - Married!

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I have been using Western union now for 6 months without any problems on my end. My wife has been treated bad when picking up money at bank. But its been good for both of us and easy to do. I tried to send her a prepaid visa card where I could load money on as she needed but it never got to her so I tried again and same thing. The post office sait it was probably still at customs. Magnetic strip is a problem. And of course I didn't put any money on it before sending so only lost $5 cost of card. The western union works good because I am always just scrapping together enough money for her rent at last minute and send it money in minutes so the landlord don't throw her out in the streets. I thought the CC would be good for food money but can't get it there. Hope this helps

Western Union is reliable but the fees are very high IMO.

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