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Russian Visa

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Filed: Country: Russia
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I'd like to get information on getting myself, a US citizen, a visa to Russia. My questions are as follows:

1. How long does it take?

2. I'll be going to visit my girlfriend in Russia and stay with her and her family. Should I get a private visa or a tourist visa?

3. If I get a private visa, I read that my girlfriend will have to send me an original invitation. On FedEx's site I see that it costs $139 to ship from Krasnoyarsk to Dallas. Does this sound about right? It seems awfully expensive for just an envelope.

4. I read that I should book my plane tickets before applying for the visa because they want to see the itinerary. How far out should I book in order to ensure I get my visa before my trip? I'd like to go as soon as possible.

5. Can anyone here recommend an agency through which I should file the application?

Any other tips or advice is certain welcomed.

Thanks!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ireland
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*** Moving from Tourist Visas (which pertains to US visas) to Russia regional forum for country specific answers ***


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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The Russian visa situation is a little bit in flux right now as the law has just been changed due to a new agreement between the US and Russia. In theory, you should be able to get a 3 year visa. Previously, you could get a visa for 30 days by applying online and it would take a couple weeks. When things sort out they should be a lot better, but right now (as of the last couple months), the situation is not clear. Hopefully, someone can relate current experience here but I wouldn't actually count on it.

My advice would be to google "Russian visa." You will get links to several agencies that will do the visa for you by mail. Call some of them up and see what they recommend. You may be able to get a 30 day visa in the interim according to the old system. If you planned stay is not beyond 30 days, that may be the way to go for the time being. On the other hand, having 3 years of validity will likely come in handy down the road.

I have used russia.visahq.com in the past. They are reliable and legitimate but they may not have the exact inside scoop on the new situation. Although the Russian law is in place, it is not clear exactly how it will be implemented (often the case in Russia).

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Filed: Country: Russia
Timeline

I'd like to get information on getting myself, a US citizen, a visa to Russia. My questions are as follows:

1. How long does it take?

2. I'll be going to visit my girlfriend in Russia and stay with her and her family. Should I get a private visa or a tourist visa?

3. If I get a private visa, I read that my girlfriend will have to send me an original invitation. On FedEx's site I see that it costs $139 to ship from Krasnoyarsk to Dallas. Does this sound about right? It seems awfully expensive for just an envelope.

4. I read that I should book my plane tickets before applying for the visa because they want to see the itinerary. How far out should I book in order to ensure I get my visa before my trip? I'd like to go as soon as possible.

5. Can anyone here recommend an agency through which I should file the application?

Any other tips or advice is certain welcomed.

Thanks!

I use visaexpress.net . Normal price (250 with invitation included) and you have your visa in less than 2 wks


N-400

03/28/2016 - N-400 sent
04/07/2016 - NOA1
05/03/2016 - Biometrics done

XX/XX/2016 - Interview letter in mail.
XX/XX/2016 - Interview date.

-------

K1 Visa
Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Consulate : Moscow, Russia
I-129F Sent : 2012-03-28
I-129F NOA1 : 2012-03-30
I-129F RFE(s) : 2012-09-20
RFE Reply(s) : 2012-09-26
I-129F NOA2 : 2012-10-16
NVC Received : 2012-10-23
NVC Left : 2012-10-25
Consulate Received : 2012-10-29
Packet 3 Received :
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received :
Interview Date : 2012-11-20 Submit Review
Interview Result : Approved

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Filed: Country: Russia
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I use visaexpress.net . Normal price (250 with invitation included) and you have your visa in less than 2 wks

Thanks I'm looking at this site now and the prices are great.

I'm curious about where it says:

Invitation, or confirmation, plus voucher of hotel arrangements from a hosting authorized Russian travel agency or a hotel, showing reference number and confirmation number for the visa.

Do I really need to book a hotel even if I'll be staying with my girlfriend?

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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Thanks I'm looking at this site now and the prices are great.

I'm curious about where it says:

Invitation, or confirmation, plus voucher of hotel arrangements from a hosting authorized Russian travel agency or a hotel, showing reference number and confirmation number for the visa.

Do I really need to book a hotel even if I'll be staying with my girlfriend?

In the past you never did. I heard something about how this might change with the new visas, but likely it will come down to some tourist organization that charges a bit of money to issue 'vouchers.' Like I said, it's a bit of a 'wait and see' for the new visas.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
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Thanks for the replies.

eekee, just curious why you suggest a tourist visa as opposed to a private visa?

It's faster and easier.

the best source of information: http://www.russianembassy.org/Embassy_eng/Consulate/tourist_visa.html

In the past you never did. I heard something about how this might change with the new visas, but likely it will come down to some tourist organization that charges a bit of money to issue 'vouchers.' Like I said, it's a bit of a 'wait and see' for the new visas.

My husband had to get a voucher every time when he would come visit me. you're right though: his visa was done through an agency ("travisa" - https://russiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/russia/homepage) and they issued vouchers for an extra $50 or something like that. It doesn't mean that you have to book a hotel and stay there.

Russian embassy is fairly easy as long as you pay money :devil:


Вiрити нiкому не можна. Hавiть собi. Менi - можна ©

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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I never had to get a voucher. I had to get an invitation. The quote states that now an invitation plus a voucher is required. As all have said, this will probably get all swallowed up into some paper you can buy for a little money, but it is different than it used to be. The invitations I used to get were from a travel agency but never mentioned anything about a hotel.

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Filed: Country: Russia
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I never had to get a voucher. I had to get an invitation. The quote states that now an invitation plus a voucher is required. As all have said, this will probably get all swallowed up into some paper you can buy for a little money, but it is different than it used to be. The invitations I used to get were from a travel agency but never mentioned anything about a hotel.

Did you get a tourist visa? I have honestly never heard of any getting an OFFICIAL invitation for a tourist visa. Invitations are only issued by the government and they take like a month to get. I think you got a visa support document http://www.waytorussia.net/Services/VisaSupport/Tourist.html but that is not an official приглашение issued by the Russian government.


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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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Did you get a tourist visa? I have honestly never heard of any getting an OFFICIAL invitation for a tourist visa. Invitations are only issued by the government and they take like a month to get. I think you got a visa support document http://www.waytorussia.net/Services/VisaSupport/Tourist.html but that is not an official приглашение issued by the Russian government.

Tourist visa. No, it's not an official invitation. It's a basic document from a travel agency. My point is that it doesn't mention anything about a hotel. You may be right that everything may go back to the way it was, more or less. In general, I'm just trying to say that there is a change-up going on so any information that is more than a couple months old may no longer be relevant and the OP should be aware of that.

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Filed: Country: Russia
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I've decided to use visahq and am filling out the application online for a tourist visa now. I have a few questions:

1. It is asking for type of accommodation. In reality I'll be staying with my girlfriend, but if I select "Friend" will they deny my visa and tell me I need to reapply for a private/invitation visa?

If I select "Hotel" it asks for the hotel's information (address, phone number etc.). If I select this option, I would need to put false info.

2. It asks "Do you have your own invitation?" I am buying an invitation from visahq. If I select "yes" it asks for all the information, which I don't have yet. So if I select "No" will visahq fill in the required information before sending it off to the embassy or does all the information I put on this application go straight to the embassy without editing?

3. It asks "List all countries who have issued you a passport". So for example when I entered Spain and Ukraine, is that stamp that they put in my passport upon entry considered a "passport"? If so, I should list all countries I've visited even if they didn't require a visa, correct?

Thanks!

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Filed: Country: Russia
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Tourist visa. No, it's not an official invitation. It's a basic document from a travel agency. My point is that it doesn't mention anything about a hotel. You may be right that everything may go back to the way it was, more or less. In general, I'm just trying to say that there is a change-up going on so any information that is more than a couple months old may no longer be relevant and the OP should be aware of that.

Right, that is NOT an invitation and should not be called such, since in a Russian visa context it has a specific meaning. It is the same BS document that everyone here has gotten.

From what I have heard, not much has actually changed in the process itself but there are rumors they might expect more documentation in terms of proof of income, etc.


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