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atethepaint
08-09-2009, 20:07
It was a bit nerve-wracking applying for a visa to Russia, especially after having read so many horror-stories of out-of-control bureaucracy and corruption. Being from Canada, I was told that the Russian embassy would make it difficult because Canada and Russia aren't "getting along" (an Arctic dispute...last month Russia flew a bomber into Canadian Arctic airspace and Canadian F-18s "escorted" it back out).

The embassy website stated that there was a mandatory 15 business day waiting period to process visas for Canadian citizens, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received my visa in 5 days with no hassles!

With my OLI, a letter from my employers in Moscow, a $75 fee and an HIV/AIDS test I was able to get the visa without so much as a second look at me.

Perhaps that letter said something (it was all in Russian). Perhaps the embassy staff really don't give a damn. Whatever the reason, with hardly any effort on my part I now have a shiny Russian visa in my passport!

Next week I'll test passport control at the airport.

Bels
08-09-2009, 21:15
I used to get my visa on the sameday and now it's next day. And Britain gives more stick to Russia than Canada does. But I must admit that the visa costs are a lot more than you paid.

Did you go to a Russian Embassy in Canada?

AndreyS
08-09-2009, 21:38
Hey, guys, is Russian visa indeed that shiny?

Bels
08-09-2009, 22:13
Haven't you seen one, nice shiny and glossy, and can't read a word on it. Much prettier than my current residency permit which is simply a black smudgy stamp.

And that's a fair enough question, as I have no idea what a British visa looks like.

tasel
09-09-2009, 09:47
They are not shiny with glossy finish, instead they have shiny strip as in the 10 ruble currency bill.

AndreyS
10-09-2009, 23:31
And that's a fair enough question, as I have no idea what a British visa looks like.
I just zapped through my passport and came to an inevitable conclusion:
All EU visas look the same (incl. British), with differences only in country name which is printed in with a computer printer.

tvadim133
10-09-2009, 23:37
It was a bit nerve-wracking applying for a visa to Russia, especially after having read so many horror-stories of out-of-control bureaucracy and corruption. Being from Canada, I was told that the Russian embassy would make it difficult because Canada and Russia aren't "getting along" (an Arctic dispute...last month Russia flew a bomber into Canadian Arctic airspace and Canadian F-18s "escorted" it back out).

The embassy website stated that there was a mandatory 15 business day waiting period to process visas for Canadian citizens, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received my visa in 5 days with no hassles!

With my OLI, a letter from my employers in Moscow, a $75 fee and an HIV/AIDS test I was able to get the visa without so much as a second look at me.

Perhaps that letter said something (it was all in Russian). Perhaps the embassy staff really don't give a damn. Whatever the reason, with hardly any effort on my part I now have a shiny Russian visa in my passport!

Next week I'll test passport control at the airport.

Congratulations! Super! I do not think that in the letter there was something special (just invitation and explanation for what purp. you are coming)!

tvadim133
10-09-2009, 23:38
Haven't you seen one, nice shiny and glossy, and can't read a word on it. Much prettier than my current residency permit which is simply a black smudgy stamp.

And that's a fair enough question, as I have no idea what a British visa looks like.


Not shiny and glossy, but readable. :)

Bels
10-09-2009, 23:41
I just zapped through my passport and came to an inevitable conclusion:
All EU visas look the same (incl. British), with differences only in country name which is printed in with a computer printer.

Yes I would imagine that is likely as we are uniform and the same now. Perhaps you can kindly ask why the Russian government tries to separate the British from the rest of the EU by charging a much higher visa fee to the British subjects in comparison to the other countries in the EU.

Perhaps they consider the British to be the leading country of the EU, and much richer :)

AndreyS
10-09-2009, 23:57
Yes I would imagine that is likely as we are uniform and the same now. Perhaps you can kindly ask why the Russian government tries to separate the British from the rest of the EU by charging a much higher visa fee to the British subjects in comparison to the other countries in the EU.

Perhaps they consider the British to be the leading country of the EU, and much richer :)

Perhaps it goes with High street consumer prices. ;-)

k2file
15-09-2009, 21:40
Yes I would imagine that is likely as we are uniform and the same now. Perhaps you can kindly ask why the Russian government tries to separate the British from the rest of the EU by charging a much higher visa fee to the British subjects in comparison to the other countries in the EU.

Perhaps they consider the British to be the leading country of the EU, and much richer :)

24 EU countries signed a visa accord with Putin a couple years ago that limited costs, reduced processing times, and standardized the application. Russians used to have to get a visa to Finland to visit most of Europe, now they can apply directly to the country they are visiting and usually without an in-person interview.
The UK decided to drop out of the original visa negotiations and work out their own agreement with Russia. They were predicting 2 years ago that the agreement would be ready within 18 months but it still has not been completed. Once it is, the price for consular fees will go down and processing times reduced.
There will likely never be a new agreement with the US since most of the old guard in the State Department don't know that Russia and the USSR are not the same. Reading articles written by high ranking officials, it is common to see the terms "USSR" and "Russia" used interchangably, just like in the rest of the press.