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kinoglaz
15-04-2008, 15:38
Hi, i'm an EU citizen, from Italy, and my visa is expiring in a few days.
Someone (and the russian law...) says that if you are an EU citizen you can have the visa issued in any country of EU, but the voice is spreading everywhere that you have to return to your home country even if you are EU citizen.
Now, i'd prefer not to go back to Italy, and I have these two chances to renew my visa: go to London (preferred) or to Riga. Which is better? Do they still issue visa to EU citizen?

Thanks

ElenaN
15-04-2008, 16:10
Hi Kinoglaz!
Foreigners can receive Russian visas only in their own country (citizens of EU - in any country of the EU). To receive the visa in the third country one will have to present residence or work permit.
But UK does not make part of Shengen, so I think it is better to apply for visa in Riga.

SalTheReturn
15-04-2008, 16:15
Hi, i'm an EU citizen, from Italy, and my visa is expiring in a few days.
Someone (and the russian law...) says that if you are an EU citizen you can have the visa issued in any country of EU, but the voice is spreading everywhere that you have to return to your home country even if you are EU citizen.
Now, i'd prefer not to go back to Italy, and I have these two chances to renew my visa: go to London (preferred) or to Riga. Which is better? Do they still issue visa to EU citizen?

Thanks

vai a Genova che fanno tutto presto!!! fossi in te non rischierei...

Bels
15-04-2008, 19:57
Here we go again. Britain is a major member of the EU. If you are a member of the EU, no problem.

Russian Consulate (http://rusemblon.org/logon_en.htm)




VISA GENERAL INFORMATION from the Russian Embassy in London.
I've boldened the most interesting bits.

Applications may be submitted in person, by an agent or by mail. An application form may be completed by the applicant or by a person acting on his behalf though it must be checked and signed by the applicant in person. The Consulate will not accept handwritten applications and only accepts printed application forms readable by our computer systems.

Failure to meet these requirements may result in refusal of the application.

Schengen States, Estonian and Israeli passports' holders should submit a copy of their health insurance certificate valid in Russia for all period of the trip.

USA passports' holders are required to fill in a special visa application form.

French passports' holders should also enclose copies of their bank statement for the last three months, travel insurance valid in Russia and a copy of their return tickets.

Citizens of Australia, Israel, Turkmenistan and USA cannot apply for the same day visas unless they have a residence permit in the UK. The visa processing time for these citizens will take from 10 to 14 days,

If you are going to Tajikistan your invitation should be confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country.

Your application can be considered only after you have submitted all necessary documents and can provide evidence to substantiate information given in the application form. The granting of entry clearance is at the discretion of the Russian Consulate. Visa fees are paid for consideration of your documents and they do not guarantee that a visa would be issued.

It's not obligitary for a British citizen whille applying for a visa but much advisable to have a health insurancee certificate which covers all the period of his stay in Russia.

Entry to Russia may be refused and airlines may not carry passengers holding passports with less than six months validity. At the border visitors are expected to complete a migration card; to keep it during the trip and return it at the border point when leaving the country. Visitors should be registered within 3 working days of arrival in Russia with the local branch of the Migration Service. Most major hotels will do this automatically. Visitors need not be registered if their visits last less than three days.

Applications should be submitted from 08.30 to 12.00

Same-day / next day visa processing is only possible if the volume of work technically permits it.

Processing time, requirements and fees are subject to change without prior notice.

When you receive your visa make sure that all information is correct. The Consulate is not responsible for any misprints or errors in the visa not brought to its attention before your departure from the UK.

The Consular Department of the Embassy is committed to attend you with courtesy and respect. We ask you to treat our staff accordingly. We shall not deal with visitors who act aggressively or use offensive language.

Bels
15-04-2008, 20:01
Hi Kinoglaz!
Foreigners can receive Russian visas only in their own country (citizens of EU - in any country of the EU). To receive the visa in the third country one will have to present residence or work permit.
But UK does not make part of Shengen, so I think it is better to apply for visa in Riga.

Totally wrong!! EU citizens have rights of residence and work in any EU member country with out any form of visa or residential permits.

Read the above post from the horses mouth.A representative of The Russian government.

I suggest you go ahead and get your visa in London.

Proper Bostonian
15-04-2008, 20:07
If foreigners can receive visas only in their own country, why does the Russian Consulate in the UK list information about U.S. citizens having to fill in a different application & waiting 10-14 days? If it can't be done, how can this be?

How did Elis (an American) receive a visa in Genoa?

I'll need to decide where to go soon & this has me pretty confused. I would rather not return to the States.

Bels
15-04-2008, 20:17
Join the club :( Ive been confused for the past 10 months from some of the posters here. Americans have been posting here positive posts here about getting visas from ondon since December 2007. I'm just wondering if Amricans have had the guts to continue applying for visas in London for this year 2008. Why don't you phone or email them in London, they are very helpful, and much more well informed than the stories some members here are getting from their confused agents.

Do it direct, and save yourself a lot of time, stress, and money.

Judge
15-04-2008, 20:18
If foreigners can receive visas only in their own country, why does the Russian Consulate in the UK list information about U.S. citizens having to fill in a different application & waiting 10-14 days? If it can't be done, how can this be?

How did Elis (an American) receive a visa in Genoa?

I'll need to decide where to go soon & this has me pretty confused. I would rather not return to the States.

If i'm not mistaken,americans can stay in the England up to 90 days,if this is the case then americans can get their visas in England.You must be allowed to stay up to 90days in the country that you are doing your visa run.
Bels got the info from the horses mouth,so it must be right.I always say the best way to check is to phone the embassy up first and ask.

Judge
15-04-2008, 20:27
Proper Bostonian , check with the russian embassy in Finland,A canadian mate of mine phoned them up the other day and they told him that they will do his new visa for him.Check with many embassies( in the EU) first,you might find one that will help you.

Proper Bostonian
15-04-2008, 20:47
Actually I sent emails to London, Dublin (S7 Airlines has a cheap airfare to Dublin) & Berlin (cheap airfare with German Wings) today. If I don't hear from them in a few days, I'll call them though past experience tells me this is extremely frustrating. Will also try Finland. Thanks.

Bels
15-04-2008, 22:57
If foreigners can receive visas only in their own country, why does the Russian Consulate in the UK list information about U.S. citizens having to fill in a different application & waiting 10-14 days? If it can't be done, how can this be?

How did Elis (an American) receive a visa in Genoa?

I'll need to decide where to go soon & this has me pretty confused. I would rather not return to the States.

You won't be the first American who went to USA due to uncertainties here. Now what if for example the Americans decided to go back to the USA just to be on the safe side, of which a few have already done. And then for them to discover they didn't have to. How upset would you feel about this?

Come on Expats , we have a responsibility here, we must get confirmation from these Russian embassies in EU countries, especially London as it appears to continue to be the favourite. Copied and pasted e-mail answers would be great, if they came from an EU Russian Embassy.

Back to the original thread writer who is Italian. No problem for you as you are an EU member. There's no doubt that you can apply to the Russian Embassy in London for a visa. And if you want to pay I think it's 160 you will get it sameday. Do it in the morning and pick it up about 4pm. And then back to Russia the next day :)

Judge
15-04-2008, 23:04
Proper Bostonian , what kinda visa run are you going on? An American mate of mine is leaving for The Ukraine this week,he's going for a 3 month visa,all he needs to do to get the visa in one day is to make the registration for ukraine,he's got mates who can sort the registraion for him over there.

Bels
15-04-2008, 23:14
Proper Bostonian , what kinda visa run are you going on? An American mate of mine is leaving for The Ukraine this week,he's going for a 3 month visa,all he needs to do to get the visa in one day is to make the registration for ukraine,he's got mates who can sort this out for him over there..


I'd like confirmation from another who has experienced this one in Ukraine. There has been a few posts on visiting Ukraine for visas, these post have been contradictory, some positive, some negative. We need positive data on this subject also. Tallin is also another idea, another local U member.

Is this three month visa a personal invitation visa?

Judge
15-04-2008, 23:23
I'd like confirmation from another who has experienced this one in Ukraine. There has been a few posts on visiting Ukraine for visas, these post have been contradictory, some positive, some negative. We need positive data on this subject also. Tallin is also another idea, another local U member.

Is this three month visa a personal invitation visa?

My mates invite is through an agency,and the invite wont be ready on time,he leaves tomorrow night and the invite will be sent to him by train or post when it's ready.

The thread starter in this thread just did a visa run to Ukraine,it worked for him.

http://www.expat.ru/forum/travel-visas-registration-residency-status-more/73112-visa-facts.html

Bels
15-04-2008, 23:41
I'm sorry Judge , the thread starter is not kapione, I am well aware of his venture and it's good news.This thread starter is a newbie, and he's Italian. His problem has been solved, he doesn't want to apply in his own country in Italy,and his first preference is London, and problem solved. No problem he can apply in London, and if he does he may go for the one day express service. Problem solved and I hope he reads his posts and lets us know.

In regards to Americans etc. Unfortunately they have to wait for this process, I can't remember how long, but they to wait perhaps fourteen days or so. I've had a few beers, and I can't remember.:redcard: Am I holding a can of beer or a red card :)

SalTheReturn
15-04-2008, 23:46
If foreigners can receive visas only in their own country, why does the Russian Consulate in the UK list information about U.S. citizens having to fill in a different application & waiting 10-14 days? If it can't be done, how can this be?

How did Elis (an American) receive a visa in Genoa?

I'll need to decide where to go soon & this has me pretty confused. I would rather not return to the States.

Elis has italian passport

Judge
16-04-2008, 00:03
I'm sorry Judge , the thread starter is not kapione, I am well aware of his venture and it's good news.This thread starter is a newbie, and he's Italian. His problem has been solved, he doesn't want to apply in his own country in Italy,and his first preference is London, and problem solved. No problem he can apply in London, and if he does he may go for the one day express service. Problem solved and I hope he reads his posts and lets us know.

In regards to Americans etc. Unfortunately they have to wait for this process, I can't remember how long, but they to wait perhaps fourteen days or so. I've had a few beers, and I can't remember.:redcard: Am I holding a can of beer or a red card :)

My mistake, I meant the thread starter in the link I posted.

Bels
16-04-2008, 00:31
Elis has italian passport

If you are correct, it explains a lot. Now the question is,that if the Russian Embassy is out of date with the quotes I have pasted from their web-site. For the moment it appears that Americans can apply to London for a visa, and it probably can do it from any other EU country.

Ukraine appears dodgy, as they appear to change rules all the time,like the Russians.

So I'm not sure about Ukraine. But Britain and EU Europe are more professional normally.

It's only the Russian regulations that continue to be confusing and probably every month.

If elis has an Italian passport then no problem , but I have a feeling that Americans etc can apply in the U, in particular ondon. Prove me wrong , and I'll hate you if you do.:)

Proper Bostonian
16-04-2008, 08:19
"Come on Expats , we have a responsibility here, we must get confirmation from these Russian embassies in EU countries, especially London as it appears to continue to be the favourite. Copied and pasted e-mail answers would be great, if they came from an EU Russian Embassy."


If I receive any email replies I will certainly post them and would appreciate others doing the same. If would be really nice to get something in writing from them; positive or negative I'd at least be in the know. Will keep everyone posted on what I learn. Thanks for support.

Proper Bostonian
16-04-2008, 08:47
Proper Bostonian , what kinda visa run are you going on? An American mate of mine is leaving for The Ukraine this week,he's going for a 3 month visa,all he needs to do to get the visa in one day is to make the registration for ukraine,he's got mates who can sort the registraion for him over there.

I am thinking that I would like to do a personal invitation if it's possible because it's a heck of a lot cheaper. Why pay an agency for an invitation if it will only give me 90 days - the same as I can get with a personal invitation.

I'm a bit hesitant about Ukraine though I will seriously consider it if it's the best option. Kapione had written that the agency in Ukraine charges $200 for residency & registration + $450 for visa & support. That's $650 plus travel, plus at least 2 nights in a hotel; plus I would suspect (though not sure) I would need an invitation from a firm in Russia for a commercial visa (I use Liga).

I suspect I will need to leave Moscow twice before receiving my TRP & am interested in doing this as cheaply as possible. IF this Ukrainian agency provides residency for one year, it might be worth it as it would cover both trips in & out. Seems silly that they'd only provide residency for 3 months.

My husband & I are thinking we'd like to combine my June departure with a vacation. We did this last year (before the new rules) & it worked out great. Would love to go to London (haven't been there in years); it's just so darn expensive there. Either way, I surely do not want to fly to the States twice.

Delta Airlines stinks. I have lots of mileage points & it should be 50,000 pts. for a r/t between Moscow & the States. Sure, try getting a flight using only 50,000 pts. I've checked June, Sept., & even Dec/Jan., but nothing.

Thanks everyone.

Proper Bostonian
16-04-2008, 08:50
Elis has italian passport

Sal, I believe you are incorrect. As I recall, Elis has a USA passport; her husband has an Italian one & they were both able to get new visas in Genoa.

kinoglaz
16-04-2008, 11:18
Thank you for the answers...

I also called some UK agencies that works with visas: some told me no problem to have visa issued in London, but one wrote me: " Please note, that due to new consulate regulations, one can apply for a
Russian visa in the country of citizenship or in the country of past
90-day-residence. You will have to return to Italy and have your visa issued there." So I'm still confused.

I also contacted an agency in Riga, here is the answer:
"Unless you are German and probably Dane, there is almost no problem to get (purchase) a Russian visa in Riga.
Just look around to see a sign VIZAS on any travel agency`s door and step in. There are some of them on Merkela street (opposite Central station-Origo mall), and also Ekspress-L company inside this building, a door next to ticket window 24. No need for invitation etc., just passport, photo and money. You will receive a passport with visa sticker and a tourist voucher from some Moscow`s (or St.Petersburg) travel agency (sometimes real one, sometimes tricky, never fake). Depending on agency in Riga you can use this Moscow (or St.Petersburg) company for registration in Russia (generally for a fee) unless you will live in hotel. Do not know current prices for the service. Consular fee is quite high. Allow about 2 days for the service starting early on Monday, Tuesday (Wednesday could be already a problem to get your visa this week)."

Today I'm calling the two consulate (London and Riga) directly, and I'll let you know their (definitive I hope) answers.

Hope that it will be helpful.

Proper Bostonian
16-04-2008, 11:58
My husband just now spoke with the Russian Consulate in Berlin. He was told "no problem" for me as an American to get a new commercial visa or personal invitation visa there. Will take 7-10 days. Not bad. I've never been to Berlin & hotels & airfare there are much cheaper than London.

I admit I always get nervous about misinformation, but guess I'll have to put aside my paranoia.

Will continue to update & decide where I'll as I get more info.

Bels
16-04-2008, 12:28
Thank you for the answers...

I also called some UK agencies that works with visas: some told me no problem to have visa issued in London, but one wrote me: " Please note, that due to new consulate regulations, one can apply for a
Russian visa in the country of citizenship or in the country of past
90-day-residence. You will have to return to Italy and have your visa issued there." So I'm still confused.

I also contacted an agency in Riga, here is the answer:
"Unless you are German and probably Dane, there is almost no problem to get (purchase) a Russian visa in Riga.
Just look around to see a sign VIZAS on any travel agency`s door and step in. There are some of them on Merkela street (opposite Central station-Origo mall), and also Ekspress-L company inside this building, a door next to ticket window 24. No need for invitation etc., just passport, photo and money. You will receive a passport with visa sticker and a tourist voucher from some Moscow`s (or St.Petersburg) travel agency (sometimes real one, sometimes tricky, never fake). Depending on agency in Riga you can use this Moscow (or St.Petersburg) company for registration in Russia (generally for a fee) unless you will live in hotel. Do not know current prices for the service. Consular fee is quite high. Allow about 2 days for the service starting early on Monday, Tuesday (Wednesday could be already a problem to get your visa this week)."

Today I'm calling the two consulate (London and Riga) directly, and I'll let you know their (definitive I hope) answers.

Hope that it will be helpful.



Yes very confusing indeed, Danish and German of who are in the EU, Danish who refused the the 2007 visa agreement along with Britain and Ireland, why on earth would any EU member have problems with getting a visa in any EU country.

I'd stick with getting your information direct with the embassies. and stay clear of info from confused agents.

ElenaN
16-04-2008, 13:27
Thank you for the answers...

I also called some UK agencies that works with visas: some told me no problem to have visa issued in London, but one wrote me: " Please note, that due to new consulate regulations, one can apply for a
Russian visa in the country of citizenship or in the country of past
90-day-residence. You will have to return to Italy and have your visa issued there." So I'm still confused.

I also contacted an agency in Riga, here is the answer:
"Unless you are German and probably Dane, there is almost no problem to get (purchase) a Russian visa in Riga.
Just look around to see a sign VIZAS on any travel agency`s door and step in. There are some of them on Merkela street (opposite Central station-Origo mall), and also Ekspress-L company inside this building, a door next to ticket window 24. No need for invitation etc., just passport, photo and money. You will receive a passport with visa sticker and a tourist voucher from some Moscow`s (or St.Petersburg) travel agency (sometimes real one, sometimes tricky, never fake). Depending on agency in Riga you can use this Moscow (or St.Petersburg) company for registration in Russia (generally for a fee) unless you will live in hotel. Do not know current prices for the service. Consular fee is quite high. Allow about 2 days for the service starting early on Monday, Tuesday (Wednesday could be already a problem to get your visa this week)."

Today I'm calling the two consulate (London and Riga) directly, and I'll let you know their (definitive I hope) answers.

Hope that it will be helpful.

I adviced you to choose the consulate in Riga because some clients of my compagny complaned about confusing rules at the british consulates... My compagny issues a lot of invitations (tourist and business) every day and we always advice our customers to check twice directly with the consulate if they want to apply for Russian visa in the UK.
As for Riga it is very simple. You can just get the invitation from russian agency and go with it to the consulate. Besides some agencies can register your visa fo free, as we do, you just have to send your agency copies of your visa, migration card and passport after entering Russia, and the next day your registration is ready!
Please share the info you get from the consulate because I do not want to frighten the clients of my compagny by difficulties in the UK consulates if it is not so any more.

Proper Bostonian
16-04-2008, 13:56
FYI, after seeing Elena's response I decided to perhaps call the Russian consulate in Riga. I have gone there in the past, but thought I would not be able to get a new visa there.

Here's one of the things that came up in my search for the embassy's address:

"Any traveler to Russia, even in transit, is advised to obtain a visa prior to entry into Latvia. The process of obtaining a visa at the Russian Embassy in Riga can be lengthy, and involve surrender of the passport for an undetermined period of time."

The above was taken from the US State Dept site. Of course, it doesn't say one can't get a visa....

Latvia (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_947.html)

SalTheReturn
16-04-2008, 17:56
it is ridicolous, why not even agents know how things are?

anyway i can personally understand getting to the US is gonna be expensive for some of you, but if your country of residence is within easy reach (ie. Italy, Germany, etc...) I would not risk and get there for my visa.

My 2 cents. Good luck to the all of you, luckily I do not deal with this crap any longer.

Bels
16-04-2008, 19:02
I adviced you to choose the consulate in Riga because some clients of my compagny complaned about confusing rules at the british consulates... My compagny issues a lot of invitations (tourist and business) every day and we always advice our customers to check twice directly with the consulate if they want to apply for Russian visa in the UK.
As for Riga it is very simple. You can just get the invitation from russian agency and go with it to the consulate. Besides some agencies can register your visa fo free, as we do, you just have to send your agency copies of your visa, migration card and passport after entering Russia, and the next day your registration is ready!
Please share the info you get from the consulate because I do not want to frighten the clients of my compagny by difficulties in the UK consulates if it is not so any more.

What confusing rules have the London based Russian had in the past four years for EU members or for example Americans. I would advise all who don't want to apply in their own country of residence to go to London. One other reason is that their rules are written in English and Russian, they all speak English, and the forms are in English. Hence no language barrier problems, and they have the reputation of being efficient and helpful.

Are you advising Americans to go to Riga? I think they have more rights in the UK, as there always has been a closer political relation with the USA compared to other countries. Judge is probably right when he says that Americans have an automatic right to stay in Britain for 90 days. Another advantage for Americans, because other countries are not so friendly.

For example it's a lot easier for me as a Brit to have long stay in Florida, with no visa. I once had a 10 year visa for the USA, and it was so straightforward and I got it sameday.

Judge
16-04-2008, 22:47
Judge is probably right when he says that Americans have an automatic right to stay in Britain for 90 days. Another advantage for Americans, because other countries are not so friendly.

.

Before anyone takes my word about this, they should phone up and check about being able to stay 90 days in England.

Bels
16-04-2008, 23:05
Before anyone takes my word about this, they should phone up and check about being able to stay 90 days in England.

Some Americans have stated this, and an Ausralian here also has stated no problem. Smetimes I wndr if its a good idea to get an editor here and collate all the useful informative posts here on this site, and of course omit the ones we are uncertain about, and putit in a new thread as a sticky. Because all the facts given here are mixed up with heresay, and it must be very difficult for readers to search and find what they are looking for. We know this, because for example we get questions of what we are doing is continiously repeating ourselves. At the same time we must be careful, because as we have learnt w can be out of date within months here, laws change on a regular basis in Russia.

One piece of advise, ignore statements of I heard from a mate of mine about this and that, or this is what my agent told me. Let us stick to the hard facts.

And please don't scare any nationality about visas, unless you are using your own official experience, or quoting from the horses mouth so to speak. Let's have facts from now on, not gossip.

kinoglaz
17-04-2008, 10:26
I called the embassies in london and in riga. In london they were very polite, and told me that I can apply for a visa there without problems.
In Riga they were very polite too, but they told me that they don't know if it's possible for me to have a visa issued there. After a while, they gave me the home phone number of a person called Sergej, who maybe could know something about it. I called him, his wife told me that he was just gone to the drugstore, and to call back in an hour or so. Very funny situation.
So, I'll try in London next week, and I'll let you know.

Bels
17-04-2008, 10:46
I called the embassies in london and in riga. In london they were very polite, and told me that I can apply for a visa there without problems.
In Riga they were very polite too, but they told me that they don't know if it's possible for me to have a visa issued there. After a while, they gave me the home phone number of a person called Sergej, who maybe could know something about it. I called him, his wife told me that he was just gone to the drugstore, and to call back in an hour or so. Very funny situation.
So, I'll try in London next week, and I'll let you know.

As usual, authorities in Britain are more professional. What!!! an embassy who doesn't know how they issue their own visas :(
Go to London I say, I've heard of no complaints from there so far. And I never went anywhere else but London and never had a problem. Play it safe.

kinoglaz
09-06-2008, 16:09
Ok, I made it in London.

Here's the situation: if you are an EU citizen, you can apply directly to the consulate in London without any problem but one: the queue in front of the consulate, at least two hours... You have to be there very early (really hard if you had fun all the night as I did...)

So I applied via starvisa services agency, (Star Visa Services Ltd - Russian Visas, Russian Consular Services & More (http://www.starvisaservices.co.uk)), reliable and professionals, not so cheap however, but in London nothing is cheap... So I finally had my visa issued, without going back to Italy...

Hope this helps...

Sumarokov-Elston
09-06-2008, 21:08
As this thread has to do with London, can I ask: when British citizens apply at London/Edinburgh, are they now receiving year-long business visas with the "90/180 days" rule stamped on them?

Bels
09-06-2008, 21:34
Yes! as from last year as from about November 2007 they were. Since then I have had residency, and I have seen no confiirmation of those having the right to stay in Russia for longer than 90 days in 2008. But I don't know now as being up to date. But there are no claims of restriction on the Russian Embassy website in london, there appears to be no changes in this area. Perhaps Britain, Ireland and Denmark are exempt by refusing to sign any agreement with Russia, I just don't know for this year.

But it does appear to be more successful for all EU members and North Americans to be more successful with their visa. Does that mean that the officials are more intelligent and better informed here, and do they have better local courier agents there also???

I simply don't know now, but London still appears to be the place to have more success.