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Bogarde
06-07-2009, 23:41
I am planning to visit Moscow on a tight budget in September and would be grateful for some advice before I embark on the bureaucratic trail. I will be staying with a British friend who is working night and day so will only be able to provide me with a bed and roof over my head while I am there for a couple of weeks.

1. I am based in the UK and will be applying for my visa from the Russian embassy in London. Do I need a letter of invitation or what is the simplest, cheapest procedure to obtain a visa?

2.Registration: I understand that it is possible to register with a company near Kurskaya station for 400 rubles while being able to stay with my friend.
How soon after one arrives in Moscow must this registration be done? Is it necessary to carry one's passport and visa while out and about if one registers in this way?

3. What is the position about bringing currency foreign currency into or out of the Russian Federation at present? Someone told me that you need to have a form stamped at customs when you enter confirming how much foreign currency you are carrying so that you will not have any hassle on leaving.

tasel
07-07-2009, 02:25
You need to get registered within 3 days from your arrival into the country and you should carry the passport always with you, even if you step down out of your building for groceries.
Also you can carry a sum of $3000USD / equivalent in euros without declaring. But you should declare in customs if the amount is above $3000-10000USD/eq.
Above $10000USD/eq. you need a certificate from the bank.

robertmf
07-07-2009, 02:33
You need to get registered within 3 days from your arrival into the country and you should carry the passport always with you, even if you step down out of your building for groceries.
.

Doesn't the hotel keep passport .. or has that changed :question:

XxL0sTxX
07-07-2009, 02:35
What about if i have a friend who wants to come over should i get him tourism

visa ,or Should i just ask the embassy for a visa?

cause i heard i could do that...

And thanx

tasel
07-07-2009, 02:46
If he want to get a tourist visa, he can get a hotel reservation confirmation letter from a hotel and he can approach the local embassy with that. Also, this rule can vary in different countries.

XxL0sTxX
07-07-2009, 02:51
Ahh thanx for the info dude

and keep up the good work :10518:

Rhubard Geoff
07-07-2009, 09:31
I am planning to visit Moscow on a tight budget in September and would be grateful for some advice before I embark on the bureaucratic trail. I will be staying with a British friend who is working night and day so will only be able to provide me with a bed and roof over my head while I am there for a couple of weeks.

1. I am based in the UK and will be applying for my visa from the Russian embassy in London. Do I need a letter of invitation or what is the simplest, cheapest procedure to obtain a visa?

2.Registration: I understand that it is possible to register with a company near Kurskaya station for 400 rubles while being able to stay with my friend.
How soon after one arrives in Moscow must this registration be done? Is it necessary to carry one's passport and visa while out and about if one registers in this way?

3. What is the position about bringing currency foreign currency into or out of the Russian Federation at present? Someone told me that you need to have a form stamped at customs when you enter confirming how much foreign currency you are carrying so that you will not have any hassle on leaving.

Regarding the invitation best bet is to use a visa agency who will do all this for you and organise a single entry tourist visa. I brought my kids in this way and used Russian visa service in United Kingdom (http://www.russia-visa.com/United_Kingdom.php).

Someone like Liga consulting can do your registration.

Cash, I think you can bring $3000 in undeclared and $10,000 declared but why do it unless you have a reason for having large amounts of cash? You can get cash from a bankomat or from a credit/debit card in a bank.

trebor
07-07-2009, 11:05
If cost is an issue you can do the process yourself rather than use a visa agency but it is a hassle. Especially as you haven't been through the procedure before.
I agree with everything else written. The reistration law states you must be registered within 3 working days of arrival in Russia. So if you arrive on a Thursday, that counts as one day. Friday counts as the second day. Saturday and Sunday are not working days, your third day becomes Monday.

I would suggest you bring a mix of cash and cards. Use the card to withdraw from plenty of machines round the city. Keep the cash at home someplace safe for emergency. Only keep enough cash on you for one day.
You must have your passport and registration with you at all times. Visa is stamped in the passport.
A travellers money belt is a good idea.

Also a great source of info is Lonely Planet Travel Guides and Travel Information (http://www.lonelyplanet.com)
Click on Community and Thorn Tree Forum

Best of luck.

Bogarde
07-07-2009, 20:22
Thanks for the information, very helpful to a first timer. Another suggestion is to get a single entry business visa - I could apply for this supported with a letter from my employer here - but I am not clear what advantage, if any, this has over a tourist or private visitor's visa.

If one gets registered with an agency after arriving in Moscow, what exactly are they confirming by the registration?

Markus74
07-07-2009, 22:04
Bogarde,

here are some hints for you out of nearly ten years of experience:

1. Visa
There are big differences among the embassies, even within the Schengen-area. The only trustable source is - in your case - the enbassy of RF in London. Usually they announce requirements on their web page. What you will definitely need is an invitation, a copy of the insurance policy valid for the duration of your stay in RF, a completed form for visa request, two photos. Your passport must be valid throughout your stay plus six months. Above is independently from the visa type. The easiest invitation is for a tourist visa, single entry. Costs in volved about EUR 100. Your friend in Moscow can organize it for you, he only needs a good copy of your pasport (some hundreds of agencies can be found in the internet). Getting an invitation from your employer is possible only if it is a legal entity registered in RF with a permission to invite. This permission if given by the foreign office of RF. I recommend to check this before you apply.

2. Registration
If your friend is registered in Moscow ("propiska"), he can register you. If not he could ask his landlord (or somebody else who is registered in Moscow) to register you. The process is quite simple: Fetch the form sheet at the next post office and fill it out. The one who is registering you, has to go to the post office with his and your passport, the filled in form sheet, the migration card you need to fill out (usually already in the plane) and about RUR 100. That's it.
To get registered you have time three working days, whereas the arrival day counts as the first day.
It is definitely necessary to carry not only your passport but also the registration form and the migration card with you - ALWAYS.
The registration form you have to give back to the person who registered you upon leave. He has to give it back to the post office within two working days, otherwise he gets fined with RUR 2.000.

3. Money
Acc. to current law it is allowed to bring in money for USD 10.000 without declaring. I recommend to put into your wallet approx. EUR 300, the rest into your jacket. You might be asked how much money you carry with you. Doing so you can simply show your wallet "approx. 300 Euros, I think". If you are really a typical tourist, who does not speak russian: DO NOT declare anything, just walk through the green channel, otherwise you start your visit to Moscow with filling out russian form sheets at the airport for three hours at least.
Anyway, you can get cash from the teller at each and every corner, cards are accepted in the super market too, meanwhile. Do not carry too much cash with you. We have the same crime in Moscow like in every other big city in the world.

So, now fetch your things, come to Moscow and invite this community for a couple of beers in return for advisory services ...:beerbros:

tasel
07-07-2009, 22:50
Yes Markus is right. you just walk through the green channel. Also you can use the multinational banks cash dispensers. So take your debit/credit card. You can find Raiffeisen, City, BSGV such banks here.

trebor
08-07-2009, 01:30
Yeah, markus has got it about spot on. I would say before you rush out and buy insurance ask the visa agency if you need to provide proof when applying. I understand Brits don't need it, but they will tell you the latest info.
(I'm not advising you to travel without insurance, you make your own mind up)

Use someone like Russian visa regulations and laws -- the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to on the internet by WayToRussia.Net (http://www.waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/index.html) to send you an invitation support for single entry tourist visa. Their website has a lot of info.

Remember on your visa there is no information about where you will stay in Moscow. You can put your friends address. When you get there i would recomend using a company to register you. Ask your friend but unless he owns the apartment he lives in he will have to ask his Russian landlord who is very unlikely to want to do it.
I can give you an address on Old Arbat that will do it in 10 minutes. (They will register you at a hotel for the duration of your stay) You'll probably want to go to see Old Arbat anyway.
Send me a PM for details.

Then use an agent in the UK to help you to fill in the form and all the documents you need. They will deal with the Embassy as well, which can be a bloody nightmare this time of year. Should take around a week to 14 days get your passport back from the embassy, i believe.

Bogarde
11-07-2009, 23:38
Many thanks to everyone for the very helpful advice. It is much appreciated.

Bogarde
25-07-2009, 00:27
I have managed to negotiate the online visa application process here in London but not without some difficulties. I made three attempts to complete the form on my computer but each time as I worked my way through the questions, the form would dissapear to be replaced with the message, "THIS WEBSITE PAGE HAS EXPIRED". Nothing could bring it back so I contacted the agency who now process visa applications on behalf of the UK's Russian Embassy and was pleasantly surprised to be given 1st.class service by their customer service department. I ended up going to the visa application centre one afternoon and completing the form there, assisted by one of the staff. I then submitted the form, payed the fee and the whole process took just 35 minutes.

Two questions I would be grateful for advice about:

1. I am going on a tourist visa and have a tourist invitation issued by an agency that states I will be staying at an hotel in Moscow, though I will in fact be staying with a friend. Regarding the advice of always carrying one's passport with you, how does that apply if I am supposed to staying at this hotel, as I understand that hotels retain one's passport on arrival?

2. On the question of registration, I plan to use one of the agencies that register one without having to get someone to do so through the post office.
An earlier post said it was necessary to return the registration document afterwards or a fine could be imposed on the person who carries out the registration. How does this requirement operate in the case of an agency?

Kartoshka
25-07-2009, 12:56
1. The invitation will be kept by the visa application centre, and your visa will only state that you are a tourist, so there will be no evidence in your passport that you are meant to be staying in a hotel. Besides, hotels keep your passport only for as long as it takes to register the visa, and then give them back.

2. You will simply need to let the agency know when you are going to leave Russia. They should ask anyway, since, as you say, it will be their problem if somebody ends up getting fined!

moscow2bath
01-08-2009, 17:56
Whatever you do, just register and keep all your papers with you - and copies somewhere.

Don't ever give bribes to the cops. It's like spoiling your kids or pets, they'll just want more from you and others...

Bels
01-08-2009, 19:36
for all visa info application from England refer to the Russian Embassy in London.

Consular Section of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the United Kingdom (http://rusemblon.org/Default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1)

You are on a tight budget, so avoid third party agents if you can.