Applying for a Russian visa can be an intimidating and confusing prospect, a little like sitting a final exam for a course you have never been on! But fear not, once you get past all the strange terminology it really isn’t all that hard. Here is my guide.
WHERE TO START
The whole process should take no more than a couple of weeks at most, but you can get express applications but there is more than one part to the application so I would apply at least a month before in case you have any hiccups and to also save money.
The first thing you need to do it decide which visa you need, most people will need the Tourist Visa with Single Entry and this is what this guide covers. This visa is for people wishing to be in Russia less than 30 days and requires a lot less supporting material than many other types.
These are available to buy online from many websites and cost between £20-£30 depending on whether you need it within 24hrs or 15mins. You fill out some basic questions online about where you are staying, travel and dates. You will then receive your document via email (remember to check the junk to if your mail is filtered). We used a website called “Get Russia”
It should look a little like this:
You must register first and can save your progress and return at any time to complete the form.
It must be filled out online and then printed off, then signed, dated and a photo attached.
25. This asks you to list all the countries you have travelled to in the last 10 years, this for me was quite a long list and when I printed it off loads were not shown. I was worried this was wrong but again this is totally fine.
26. This is confusing as it seems it has already asked this question but it is asking you for the names of all the countries other than your current passport which have issued you with a passport.
27. I wasn’t sure what to put here as all my previous jobs had been cash in hand here and there whilst studying so I just left this blank and had no problems, this was the same for my husband who has been in the same job since leaving school.
29. I’m not even sure what they are asking here, but as I said earlier when unsure say nothing. Most people have been involved in some form of charity related activity but mentioning that you did a run for the RSPCA last year will cause more confusion and probably isn’t what they are after!
30. This seems a little obvious but when application paranoia kicks in you start to wonder what they mean and what counts. My husband works in a lab with chemicals but really he just makes pigments for fiberglass so unless you are actually making nuclear bombs then I wouldn’t mention that chemistry set you got for Christmas in 1996!
General advice would be it is better off not to say anything if in doubt, I think the questions are worded in such a way that it’s not always easy to understand exactly what they want! But giving them too much information, even if innocent, will likely lead to delays and complications!
Any other questions about the form just comment below or get in touch direct.
Before sending off just check this list to see you have all you need:
- Passport with at least one blank page and 6mth validity after exit
- Passport sized photo, colour, less than 6mths old, stuck to application form
- Completed and printed Application form, signed and dated (UK takes up 2 pages)
- Payments for fees, service charges and postage
SENDING EVERYTHING OFF!
Once you have gathered everything together and doubles checked it, it is time to apply!
You can apply in person at the London or Edinburgh office but must be able to collect 7 days later. You can also apply to London via a postal service.
Prices (As of Feb 2014, check online):
You can send off using either the 7day or express method which is usually next working day)
- 7 day service- £50 (Visa Fee) + £32.40 (Service Charge)
- Express Service – £100 (Visa Fee) + £39.60 (Service Charge)
- £9.80 (If applying for more than one this must be paid for each passport sent)
Now you are ready to send you application and passport off, remember to always send your passport via secure recorded delivery.
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