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View Full Version : Help a confused (American) newbie out?



lechatbleu
21-08-2012, 18:35
I feel like these are stupid questions I should be able to find the answer to, but I've come up with nothing, and this is my first time doing this. I was told I need a 3 month, single entry business visa. I have (or soon will have) all the documents I need. My question is, what do I do next? If I'm reading the embassy website correctly, I need to either present myself in person, or use one of their recommended visa processing agencies.

I live in Minnesota, so I'm nowhere near any of the consulates. I can travel to Washington DC, but if I do so, the website says it could take 4-20 days to process...I can't stay in DC that long, so would I have to either stay or return in order to pick up the visa when it's...processed?

If I use one of the processing companies, do I just send the documents to them and they handle everything and send it all back to me?

Also, once everything is processed, will the visa be good for a specific date? A specific period? There's a good $1500 price difference in plane tickets for weekday vs. weekend, so I'd like to have at least a few days flexibility.

Any advice would be appreciated...

DavidB
21-08-2012, 18:48
Your documents can be mailed directly to the processing company which the Embassy has contracted out to: http://www.ils-usa.com/mailing/

The visa will have the same date range that your invitation has listed on it. You can enter and leave on any day within that period. Make sure you write the same dates on the application form in case your plans change and you would like to leave later (up to the exit date printed on the visa).

Swordfish90293
21-08-2012, 18:48
If you're that much in the dark, and it can seem complicated, go with an agent. GOTORUSSIA has several offices and they'll be very patient and abswer all your questions. It will cost you...

DavidB
21-08-2012, 18:51
Also make sure you choose the right processing centre for your state. I'm not sure if it matters any more, but it did previously: http://www.russianembassy.org/Embassy_eng/Consulate/consulates_us.html

FatAndy
21-08-2012, 19:02
There's a good $1500 price difference in plane tickets for weekday vs. weekend, so I'd like to have at least a few days flexibility.
Within visa validity period ( = invitation dates) you're flexible - enter any day and leave any day, as DavidB said. Consult kayak.com, expedia.com, anywayanyday.com or other ticketing aggegators for options. You may do some economy on non-direct flights (1 or 2 stops), but, keeping in mind 9-13 hours of direct flight from US to Moscow, it may appear very tiring.

DavidB
21-08-2012, 19:05
keeping in mind 9-13 hours of direct flight from US to Moscow, it may appear very tiring.

You haven't lived until you've done 27 hours with 3 stops in the middle. :D

FatAndy
21-08-2012, 19:10
Well, no - longest experiences were with SVO-LAX-SVO, 2 times, 13 hours one way - though enough time for 2 times to drink and 2 times to suffer from hangover :D
And it's for us, cool guys. Here is tender lady, maybe it's her first experience with intercontinental transport ;)

lechatbleu
21-08-2012, 20:03
Well, no - longest experiences were with SVO-LAX-SVO, 2 times, 13 hours one way - though enough time for 2 times to drink and 2 times to suffer from hangover :D
And it's for us, cool guys. Here is tender lady, maybe it's her first experience with intercontinental transport ;)

No, no, I've done that before (including the drinking and the hangover-ing) just as a tourist and with someone else handling the legalities...

Thank you for the advice though, it seems it might be worth the cost of a processing company just to make sure I don't screw anything up and delay myself further.

DavidB
21-08-2012, 20:08
Thank you for the advice though, it seems it might be worth the cost of a processing company just to make sure I don't screw anything up and delay myself further.

Someone else recommended CIBT: http://www.expat.ru/forum/showthread.php?p=1045213#post1045213