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Thread: New law: Russian visa without FMS invitation?!

  1. #1
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    New law: Russian visa without FMS invitation?!

    New Federal law No. 24-FZ dated 9 March, 2010 came into force which allows Russian citizens who have foreign family members (spouse, children, parents) to make a visa handwritten invitation for them by means of writing a simple letter (application) addressed to the consul. This letter is supposed to be used instead of an official (FMS) invitation.

    See the official publication:
    http://www.rg.ru/2010/03/12/pasport-izmenenia-dok.html

    Here is the important extract from the law:

    15 августа 1996 года N 114-ФЗ

    РОССИЙСКАЯ ФЕДЕРАЦИЯ

    ФЕДЕРАЛЬНЫЙ ЗАКОН

    О ПОРЯДКЕ ВЫЕЗДА ИЗ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ
    И ВЪЕЗДА В РОССИЙСКУЮ ФЕДЕРАЦИЮ

    Принят
    Государственной Думой
    18 июля 1996 года

    (в ред. Федеральных законов от 18.07.1998 N 110-ФЗ,
    от 24.06.1999 N 118-ФЗ, от 10.01.2003 N 7-ФЗ,
    от 30.06.2003 N 86-ФЗ, от 29.06.2004 N 58-ФЗ,
    от 15.06.2006 N 89-ФЗ, от 18.07.2006 N 121-ФЗ,
    от 30.12.2006 N 266-ФЗ, от 10.01.2007 N 4-ФЗ,
    от 01.12.2007 N 310-ФЗ, от 04.12.2007 N 327-ФЗ,
    от 06.05.2008 N 60-ФЗ, от 13.05.2008 N 65-ФЗ,
    от 22.07.2008 N 127-ФЗ, от 23.07.2008 N 160-ФЗ,
    от 03.12.2008 N 237-ФЗ, от 03.12.2008 N 250-ФЗ,
    от 09.02.2009 N 4-ФЗ, от 28.06.2009 N 125-ФЗ,
    от 21.12.2009 N 331-ФЗ, от 21.12.2009 N 337-ФЗ,
    от 27.12.2009 N 374-ФЗ, от 09.03.2010 N 24-ФЗ,
    с изм., внесенными Постановлением Конституционного Суда РФ
    от 15.01.1998 N 2-П, Федеральным законом от 30.12.2008 N 322-ФЗ)



    Статья 25. Основаниями для выдачи иностранному гражданину визы являются:

    4) решение руководителя дипломатического представительства или консульского учреждения Российской Федерации о выдаче иностранному гражданину визы, принимаемое по заявлению в письменной форме гражданина Российской Федерации о совместном с ним въезде в Российскую Федерацию членов его семьи (супруга (супруги), несовершеннолетних детей, нетрудоспособных совершеннолетних детей), являющихся иностранными гражданами, либо принимаемое в исключительных случаях по заявлению в письменной форме иностранного гражданина;
    (в ред. Федерального закона от 09.03.2010 N 24-ФЗ)


    As official web-sites of FMS and MID keep silence regarding the new law and new visa opportunities, the following questions remain open:

    1. The wording of the law which says about joint entry into Russia of a foreigner-visa-holder (escorted by the Russian family member) is not clear. Does it mean that the entry will be refused if a Russian spouse will be absent due to sickness or other reasons?
    2. What is the minimum allowed validity period of visa issued based on handwritten invitation?
    3. How many entries will be allowed?

    Any information regarding the above is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for this - it is amazing how they feel able to announce a new law, but seem to be completely unprepared as to how to actually implement it.

    But it does look like a step forward, possibly based on the process of harmonising rules with the EC.

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    Looks interesting but only for close relatives, I always used to get my wifes cousin to invite us in days gone by , funny never any problem, they just issued the invite(no questions about return tickets, money for support, will you return home etc!!) but when they want to go to NZ it was always like KGB question time from the New Zealand embassy, Funny in theory russians would be more demanding but no, but now they get given visas to NZ no problem.
    Looks like it could useful if you have a Russian spouse etc but who knows about
    length of stay and still have to register Visa and can you travel anywhere with it, I would think so but who knows

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    It works!

    Russian consulate in Milano seems to be issuing 3-month 1-2-entry private visas based on the handwritten applications of a Russian relatives:

    http://www.rumilan.com/news.sdf/2341

    http://www.rumilan.com/article.sdf/r...s/vidyviz/2342

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    It also appears to be working in London.
    http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk/

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    If this is of any help I have contacted Russian Embassy in New Zealand and they confirmed this.

    They said the procedure is basically the same as with getting a guest visa except you don't need an invitation from Russia anymore.
    You write a letter to the consul plus you need to enclose your marriage certificate (translated and apostilled if not in Russian) and a copy of your permanent registration in the Russia (which is in the domestic pasport)

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    Funny to see how people here read only half of the text!

    Even on the English website quoted above in this thread (after all, expats don't speak Russian, sometimes...), I can read:


    In view of the changes to the Federal Law "On the procedure of entering and leaving the Russia Federation" on 15th August 1996 № 114-FL effective from 12th March 2010, applications will be accepted from citizens of the Russia Federation lawfully staying in UK, to issue visas for members of their families who are foreign nationals (spouses, children under the age of 18, incapacitated children of any age) to enable them to enter the territory of the Russian Federation accompanied by the citizen of the Russia Federation, who signed the visa request form. The applications can only be submitted for the issuance of a single entry/double entry private visa effective for up to 3 months. The minimum time for processing such applications is 5 working days.

    All the required documents (except of a private letter of invitation, issued by a Russian Federal Migration Service agency) must be provided as per "General Requirements" section of this website.

    Also the following requirements have to be met:

    1. Citizen of the Russia Federation must be present in person at the time of application submission to sign the visa request form (this must be signed with presence of the Visa Centre officer). Hence, no postal application can be accepted. Presence of their family members is not required.



    So this concerns only Russian citizens who have RESIDENCY abroad, and they must go with the applicant to the Russian consulate to fill the application.

    In other words, it does not concern most of expats living in Russia with their Russian wives.

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    It looks very much like a personal invitation visa. What's the difference? Is it quick and painless without any visits? I doubt it.

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    Beat me to it!

    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Funny to see how people here read only half of the text!

    Even on the English website quoted above in this thread (after all, expats don't speak Russian, sometimes...), I can read:


    In view of the changes to the Federal Law "On the procedure of entering and leaving the Russia Federation" on 15th August 1996 № 114-FL effective from 12th March 2010, applications will be accepted from citizens of the Russia Federation lawfully staying in UK, to issue visas for members of their families who are foreign nationals (spouses, children under the age of 18, incapacitated children of any age) to enable them to enter the territory of the Russian Federation accompanied by the citizen of the Russia Federation, who signed the visa request form. The applications can only be submitted for the issuance of a single entry/double entry private visa effective for up to 3 months. The minimum time for processing such applications is 5 working days.

    All the required documents (except of a private letter of invitation, issued by a Russian Federal Migration Service agency) must be provided as per "General Requirements" section of this website.

    Also the following requirements have to be met:

    1. Citizen of the Russia Federation must be present in person at the time of application submission to sign the visa request form (this must be signed with presence of the Visa Centre officer). Hence, no postal application can be accepted. Presence of their family members is not required.



    So this concerns only Russian citizens who have RESIDENCY abroad, and they must go with the applicant to the Russian consulate to fill the application.

    In other words, it does not concern most of expats living in Russia with their Russian wives.
    Exactly! This is what I read. I also checked with the Visa Processing Co in London just to make sure that I'd got it right. It's of very little use unless you reside in the UK together and want to travel to Russia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Funny to see how people here read only half of the text!

    Even on the English website quoted above in this thread (after all, expats don't speak Russian, sometimes...), I can read:


    In view of the changes to the Federal Law "On the procedure of entering and leaving the Russia Federation" on 15th August 1996 № 114-FL effective from 12th March 2010, applications will be accepted from citizens of the Russia Federation lawfully staying in UK, to issue visas for members of their families who are foreign nationals (spouses, children under the age of 18, incapacitated children of any age) to enable them to enter the territory of the Russian Federation accompanied by the citizen of the Russia Federation, who signed the visa request form. The applications can only be submitted for the issuance of a single entry/double entry private visa effective for up to 3 months. The minimum time for processing such applications is 5 working days.

    All the required documents (except of a private letter of invitation, issued by a Russian Federal Migration Service agency) must be provided as per "General Requirements" section of this website.

    Also the following requirements have to be met:

    1. Citizen of the Russia Federation must be present in person at the time of application submission to sign the visa request form (this must be signed with presence of the Visa Centre officer). Hence, no postal application can be accepted. Presence of their family members is not required.



    So this concerns only Russian citizens who have RESIDENCY abroad, and they must go with the applicant to the Russian consulate to fill the application.

    In other words, it does not concern most of expats living in Russia with their Russian wives.
    In the text of the new law nothing is written about RESIDENCY. So I think that If a Russian spouce stays abroad based on a short-term (may be tourist) visa, it should be enough for Russian consul.

    I am not 100% sure that it will work, but you can also try to discuss and bargain with the consul to provide the handwtitten invitation of the spouce with the signature notarized by a Russian notary public. Such notarization is easy and quick.
    In this case may be presence of the spouce abroad is not needed?
    You can call to the Russian consul and try to discuss such option.

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    Yes it is not *written* about residency, you are right.

    Now, if the Russian wife has to ask for a visa to go abroad to make her british husband an invitation to enter Russia, LOL...

    It seems that the presence of the Russian half IS requested: [...] о совместном с ним въезде в Российскую Федерацию means that both should enter Russia together. So they are supposed to be together outside too...?

    Or a letter with notarized signature?! Sent by courier to the guy in UK or USA? Finally, better and cheaper to use an usual visa... tourist, private, business, etc. Nothing new indeed


    Quote Originally Posted by rosstis View Post
    In the text of the new law nothing is written about RESIDENCY. So I think that If a Russian spouce stays abroad based on a short-term (may be tourist) visa, it should be enough for Russian consul.

    I am not 100% sure that it will work, but you can also try to discuss and bargain with the consul to provide the handwtitten invitation of the spouce with the signature notarized by a Russian notary public. Such notarization is easy and quick.
    In this case may be presence of the spouce abroad is not needed?
    You can call to the Russian consul and try to discuss such option.

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    Regarding [...] о совместном с ним въезде в Российскую Федерацию means that both should enter Russia together - you are right that they supposed to enter Russia together. But nothing in this law or other laws is written about the requirement of actual presence of a Russian spouse abroad at the moment of making the visa application. Moreover, nothing in the legislation is clearly written about liability of a foreigner who will enter Russia alone without Russian spouse.

    If to compare the notarized letter and standard private 3-month FMS ivitation, the FMS one is very burocratic - you need to wait 1 month to arrange it. But notarisation of a signature takes 15 minutes and not so expensive.

    Tourist and commercial visas are easear to arrange but they are more expenseve and they can be any time recognised as not corresponding to the real (true) purpose of visit and may be cancelled by FMS, because it is obvious that the real purpose of visit of foreign husban to Russian wife in Russia - is private purpose.

    However, please mind that this idea of notarized letter is not practically proved to be working yet.
    If someone has a chance to talk to a Russian consul, you can ask about this option.





    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    Yes it is not *written* about residency, you are right.

    Now, if the Russian wife has to ask for a visa to go abroad to make her british husband an invitation to enter Russia, LOL...

    It seems that the presence of the Russian half IS requested: [...] о совместном с ним въезде в Российскую Федерацию means that both should enter Russia together. So they are supposed to be together outside too...?

    Or a letter with notarized signature?! Sent by courier to the guy in UK or USA? Finally, better and cheaper to use an usual visa... tourist, private, business, etc. Nothing new indeed

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    According to the visa processing office in London the Russian spouse has to be present when handing in the application. The person being invited doesn't have to be, but the one doing the inviting has to be.

    There is nothing about residency, but the spouse has to obviously provide evidence of legal status in the UK. I'm not sure about the visitor visa being enough. Technically, yes, but in practice....?

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    Somebody! Please tell me the difference of this new law. It has always been the way that a russian can personally invite someone for three months. But it was and is a hassle!!! No you can't simply post an application through post and internet, or teephone. What you must do is run around for them and queue!!! several times in many cases,

    So please tell me. Is the new law good news. And I am sorry for being a sceptic in Russian redtape in saying that it rarely is.

    So what is the positive of this new law, compared to personal invitation. Where are the pluses. It would be nice to hear that the period 6 months , rather the previous three months, but I doubt it.

    Spouses of Russian really do neeed a special invitation, whilst they are apply for temporary and permanent residency. There is a major problem in this area, as many Russian families really are suffering over the very slow process of staying in Russia for more than three months, when the process of application of residency takes much longer. Russian families are suffering. The Russian woman may well be pregnant and can't work, or she may have a two or three year old dependant child, and can't work herself. The husband is under great expense of going back to his country, without sufficiant income to support his or her family.

    Can you problems?? As they are great!!!! Russian families suffering!! Women and children!! Has the prpblem been sorted with this mess of redtape. I doubt it very much!!

    So when yo give us some redtape news. Please give useful redtape knowledge>
    Last edited by Bels; 05-04-2010 at 20:50.

  15. #15
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    Bels,
    It's good news for people living outside of Russia who are married to russians and want to visit Russia ..
    Let's say me and my wife are living in England...Now I don't need to go to a company to get an invite(save money)my wife just needs to write out an invite for me and go alone to the Russian Embassy..


    It's a start, The visa issue is going in the right direction..Soon it will get even easier..

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