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Thread: PRP Renewal vs Citizenship processing time & British passport renewal

  1. #1
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    PRP Renewal vs Citizenship processing time & British passport renewal

    So last night I realized in horror that my current PRP expires in 6 months – at the end of July. After telling myself over the last few months that I had to deal with this soon, I let it slip and now need to get on and sort something out urgently.
    I have been toying with the idea of getting citizenship for a while, but at this point, I’m thinking it may be wiser and quicker to just renew my PRP.

    To complicate things further, my British passport expires at the beginning of August.

    I’d be grateful for any information and advice on the following:

    - Is PRP renewal going to be quicker and easier to get than citizenship?
    - How long does a British passport take to renew from Moscow at the moment? (I see the UK site states "6 weeks from when it’s received by HMPO in the UK") Is that correct?
    - Is it best to renew my passport now (and I presume lose up to a month waiting for the new one) or just start PRP renewal/citizenship application and then transfer to new passport in 6 months (or will the powers that be refuse an application on a passport expiring in 6 months?)

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    Hi Sasha. My UK passport expires later this year and I just renewed my PRP (not planning on getting citizenship). I found the renewal process relatively easy, and judging from posts on here about citizenship, that process is more complicated. I thought about renewing my passport first, but then decided to get the PRP stuff over and done with. I did have more than six months on my passport, but I'm not sure it's an issue. If you apply now for renewal (I did so six months in advance of PRP expiry) you will get an answer within 2 months (mine was approved a month after application, but I didn't check on the site until 2 months was up!). The stamp in your PRP will say it has been renewed for 5 years and you then have to go back to Sakharovo (assuming you're in Moscow) with your new passport and PRP to have the PRP stamp transferred to your new passport. I'm going to do all that this summer.

    That said, I guess if you apply for a new passport now it should be back within a couple of months (end March) and you will still have more than the minimum two months before your PRP expires to apply for renewal. I haven't renewed a passport here, so I can't tell you whether the application time they give on the site is accurate, but you could always underline the urgency when you apply and it's not holiday season now, so presumably the average processing time will be a bit shorter. Or you could pay for one-day issue at the Passport Office in London, but that means going to UK for a few days and you would need them to return your old passport so that you can get back into Russia. I thought about the latter option, but am not sure how it works. I think I'll just have to apply once I'm back from my holidays in May and not plan to travel abroad for a while.

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    Sasha (29-01-2019)

  4. #3
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    Thanks for your advice RooRu. Dealing with the Russian authorities is always a step into the unknown, and it rarely goes smoothly, so I'm thinking the sooner I start PRP renewal the better! Once I get that out the way, I'll deal with passport renewal.

    I know a lot has been written about Sakharovo - but if there's anything you can add, that hasn't been mentioned, I would be grateful. I have had PRP for the last 5 years, so there hasn't been any necessity for me to go to Sakharovo, but the mere thought of it fills me with dread. I think I read in the past that you need to go there just to sign up for an appointment for a future date (a month in advance?) in order to come back and submit everything. Is that right?

    I'm about to run out, so haven't had a chance to do a search for fresh information - so if it's been discussed recently, then just let me know and I'll have a search later on for it!

    Thanks again.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha View Post
    I have had PRP for the last 5 years, so there hasn't been any necessity for me to go to Sakharovo, but the mere thought of it fills me with dread.
    I only started dealing with Sakharovo in the past, but, for what it's worth, I've heard that it's way better than it used to be. There are still plenty of retarded things, but they're gradually ironing some things out.

    I don't know the details for PRP renewal off hand, but I have read accounts of the stamp transfer to a new passport being quite painless.

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    Sasha (30-01-2019)

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonLDS View Post
    I only started dealing with Sakharovo in the past, but, for what it's worth, I've heard that it's way better than it used to be. There are still plenty of retarded things, but they're gradually ironing some things out.

    I don't know the details for PRP renewal off hand, but I have read accounts of the stamp transfer to a new passport being quite painless.
    I have done a PRP renewal and a transfer of stamp from the old to the new passport. might be worth for you to check on my posts and the answers or replies that are there. I am an Austrian and i must say I am appalled how long it takes for YOU to get a new passport. I go to the Consulate, fill in a few questions and in 2 weeks the new passport is here. because they are being printed per order in Austria.no more blanks at the embassy and the photo just glued in. actually the biggest - hassle- was to get these pesky -biometric- photos right. but the lady who did it, got it right the first time.
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

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    Sasha (30-01-2019)

  9. #6
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    I too was dreading Sakharovo, but apart from the long journey it is much better organised than the local offices were and there's somewhere to sit, and drink and snack machines, and photocopiers and clean toilets! I posted about the process here - https://forum.expat.ru/showthread.ph...-Renewal/page3 But the main thing for you to know at this stage is that you DO NOT need to go to get an appointment in advance for PRP renewal (I went thinking I needed to!). You just show up with all of your documents and you can apply that day. Details on the thread I copied here, including a list of all the docs they asked me for and some I took which they didn't even want to look at (e.g. my spravka from the bank regarding income). If you didn't do the language test when you got PRP (like me) you need to do it now, but otherwise you should be able to get the documents together quickly.

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    Sasha (30-01-2019)

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RooRu View Post
    I too was dreading Sakharovo, but apart from the long journey it is much better organised than the local offices were and there's somewhere to sit, and drink and snack machines, and photocopiers and clean toilets! I posted about the process here - https://forum.expat.ru/showthread.ph...-Renewal/page3 But the main thing for you to know at this stage is that you DO NOT need to go to get an appointment in advance for PRP renewal (I went thinking I needed to!). You just show up with all of your documents and you can apply that day. Details on the thread I copied here, including a list of all the docs they asked me for and some I took which they didn't even want to look at (e.g. my spravka from the bank regarding income). If you didn't do the language test when you got PRP (like me) you need to do it now, but otherwise you should be able to get the documents together quickly.
    and I would suggest, any tests, payments or whatever is needed that can be done THERE, do it in Sacharovo. once you have it done, they have no reason to doubt anything and docs will be accepted without questions asked. langauge tests, links for what might or will be asked are on this site as well. and -gosposhlina- payments, the cashier ladies know what is needed and are very helpfull. far better than Sberkasse. and dont forget, a smile,a please and thank you will get you far indeed out there.
    There is no greater treasure then pleasure....

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    Sasha (30-01-2019)

  13. #8
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    I decided there's no reason why I can't do the 2 processes in parallel - apply for a new passport and submit documents for PRP renewal at the same time. Doing it this way, I can go along to pick up my new PRP (with new passport) and while I'm there, transfer the stamp from old to new. The British consulate in the past allowed one to have 2 current passports, so if the issuing passport center in Moscow operate under the same principles (and don't cut off corners/cancel my current passport), then I assume that this would work. As such I just emailed to set up an appointment for early next week and received an automated response: "you will receive a response within 15 working days" ! - so the whole process could take over 2 months at this rate! Utterly ridiculous indeed Ben.

    Thanks for the link RooRu - I had a quick read and it looks straight forward. I know in the past I spent a lot of time running around doing medical tests - so glad to see they're not required anymore! Regarding the language tests - it was my understanding that apart from a language test, there is also a history, RF legislation, culture etc test also involved. Is that still the case? Or just language now? I have no problems with the language, but might need to swot up for the rest...

  14. #9
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    Yes, sorry, the test is split into three parts: language, history and law. There are plenty of practice tests online and I just did lots of those and memorised the answers. Plus I had fun testing my husband about Russian history and seeing how much he'd forgotten from school (like me with British history, to be fair).

    Good idea to do PRP and passport in parallel. I didn't even think of that! Outrageous that it could take up to three weeks to answer an email asking for an appointment, as if there are thousands of Brits here trying to renew passports. I'll bear that in mind for the summer.

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    Sasha (02-02-2019)

  16. #10
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    Things appear to be improving at Sakharovo in incremental ways. About a year ago a Dutch friend of mine tried to extend his vid na zhitelstvo a week or so before it the deadline for renewal. At the time, he couldn't get a talon until after the deadline passed for extension and lost his residency status. Had to go back start from scratch, get a visa, temporary residency and now can apply for the PRP. Now it looks like the PRP renewal can be done without this talon application process.

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    DiscoverLearn (31-01-2019), Sasha (02-02-2019)

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