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View Full Version : Obtaining a student visa for U.S. citizen outside of the U.S.



sashitaski
18-01-2008, 00:48
Hi All,

I am a U.S. citizen, married to a Russian citizen. During the next academic year, I will be pursuing a Master's in Russia. The program will start in the beginning of September. However, I want to go to Moscow earlier, in about the middle of June, so that I can be with my husband and also work prior to the start of my program. I talked to the people at the program where I will be studying, and they cannot apply for a student visa for me more than 45 days before the start of the program. Thereofore, I would need to apply for a 3-month business visa first. My question is about what options I have when the time comes to leave Russia in order to get my student visa. I'm assuming the same rules apply, i.e. you can only apply for a visa in a country where you're allowed to stay more than 90 days? Or can you now apply anywhere if you wait 10 days?
Going back to the U.S. just to get my new visa would be very expensive. Going to London (where I would also have to pay for food an accommodations) would be even more expensive.
So does anyone know for sure if the same rules apply to student visas?
Then my next question is, if I go to Kiev for 10 days, can I get it there?
Also, I am a dual citizen, of the U.S. and Germany. Is there any way I could, for example, enter on a business visa in my German passport, leave the country, and then re-enter the country with my U.S. passport (with a student visa--which I would have sent/brought to me from the U.S.)?
Or any other options?
Thank you!
Alexandra

sashitaski
25-01-2008, 03:15
Has anyone on this board actually tried this option? I was trying to avoid going this route, but now after reading about the new "5-day rule..."
To change my visa I would need to leave Russia for 15 days now. When you figure in accommodations, food, transportation, it gets quite pricy, plus there's all the lost time...

And I'm guessing the cheapest option is Kiev? If they would even issue me the visa there... When you go there to apply for the visa, do they keep your passport for the whole 10 days? Because that basically means that, even if I wanted to go somewhere else in Ukraine, I wouldn't be able to! (to go on the train and also on some bus/marshrutkas to other cities, they require a passport). This is crazy!

So now I am again considering the dual citizenship option. Is there anyone I can ask (Russian embassy?) who could give me a definitive answer about if this is possible? I talked to the institution who is issuing my student visa, and they said they don't think that should be a problem, but no one can ever be sure.

Anyway, I would ideally leave my U.S. passport in the U.S., have them issue my student visa, and then they would mail it to me DHL or FedEx to Kiev(to my friend), for example, I would pick it up and then cross the Russian border. A few more questions about that:
1) If I go by train, how would I leave Ukraine on one passport and enter Russia on another? Do they just take your passport once to stamp you out/in at the same time, or is this actually possible?
2) When filling out a visa application for my German business visa, when it says "Have you been to Russia before?" do I put down all the previous trips on my U.S. passport, or only the trips with my German passport (none)?
3) When you go through passport control in Russia, do they pull up some kind of profile of YOU, or just what is associated with said passport? In other words, would they see right away that I have recently had two visas issued to me (and the same question for the Russian embassy).

Although in theory this does not seem illegal, you never know with Russia, and I have no intention of doing anything that might get me into trouble, so if anyone can offer any good reasons that I didn't think of why this wouldn't work, please let me know!

If it's a bad idea maybe I'll just have to go to the U.S. after all...

Thanks