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Old Sep 9, 12, 8:34 am   #1
 
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NEW Russian more liberal Visa rules (Aug 2014)

UPDATED INFORMATION AND FEES - August 2014
Russian Consulate

Visa processing fees are:

Single Entry or Double Entry Visa:
• $160 - for ten business days(*)
• $250 - three business days(*)

Multiple Entry Visa for one year:
• $160 - for ten business days(*)
• $450 - three business days(*)

Multiple Entry Visa for three year:
• $160 - for ten business days(*)
• $450 - three business days(*)

Transit single Entry or Double Entry Visa:
• $140 - for ten business days(*)
• $250 - three business days(*)

Visa Center service fee is $33.00 per visa.
Consular tariffs remain the same.

(*)The day of submission/delivery is NOT INCLUDED in processing time.

Tourist Visa

To apply for a three year Tourist visa, an applicant should submit a completed visa application form, national passport, two standard passport pictures, Money Order (see points 1-4 of General Information), as well as:
• Confirmation of the hotel reservation, a contract for provision of tourist services, confirmation of reception of the
tourist, and register number from the Uniform Federal Register of the Tour Operators of the Federal Tourism Agency.

Business Visa

To apply for a three year Business visa, an applicant should submit a completed visa application form, national passport, two standard passport pictures, Money Order (see points 1-4 of General Information), as well as:
• Written statement from the host organization, which should give: the full name of the host organization, its official address and contact information, the surname, first name, patronymic, and position of the person who signed the statement (if the host organization is a legal entity or enterprise, an institution, or their affiliate established in the territory of the Russian Federation - the individual taxpayer number), and basic information regarding the visa applicant: the surname, first name, other names, date of birth, citizenship, sex, passport number, multiplicity of the visa, purpose of travel, requested period of entry, location of intended residence of the visa applicant, and the cities to be visited

Information for EU passport holders

On the 1st of June, 2007 the Russia-EU Visa facilitation agreement came into force and according to its provisions visa processing fees are changed for the citizens of the following countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Estonia.

Citizens of these countries should submit national medical insurance certificate valid for Russia or guarantee of medical coverage from a Russian hosting organization for all period of stay. Medical insurance certificate should contain Russian contact number for emergency or assistance.

However these provisions are not valid for the countries which did not sign the Agreement: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway.

Holders of diplomatic passports of the countries mentioned above do not need a visa to enter Russia for 90 days.

The fees are:
• For all types of visa (including multiple entry) for 10 days processing — $50

• For all types of visa (including multiple entry) for urgent (3 days) processing — $100

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The Consulate also has the right to call the applicants for an interview and request, if needed:
•a bank statement from the applicant;
•a statement from the employer regarding the applicant's wages for the preceding year/ half year, or month;
•medical insurance valid in the country to be visited and fully covering the period of the first trip;
•documents regarding the applicant's ownership of property in the country of his citizenship;
•a certificate on the makeup of the applicant's family.

Last edited by ncvet61; Aug 22, 14 at 7:11 am. Reason: Updating Visa Fees
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Old Sep 9, 12, 9:35 am   #2
 
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Good News!

If anyone applies for a Russian visa in the near future, please write up a report for us here. I'm curious what sort of information they would like from applicants for tourist visas. Seems like they still want official invitations ("register number from the Uniform Federal Register of the Tour Operators of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency"?), but just aren't calling it that anymore.
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Old Sep 10, 12, 5:50 am   #3
 
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Looks like for a private visa you just need someone to write you a letter and notarize it.
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Old Sep 14, 12, 7:15 am   #4
 
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I've used Go To Russia in the past as it's an 8 hour drive to the nearest Russian Embassy for me. I checked with them yesterday and their fee is $289, (Tourist) and I must fill out the electronic application on the http://evisa.kdmid.ru/ website, print it and mail it with my passport etc to Go To Russia's office in Atlanta. Before I filled out the Electronic form on GTR's web site.
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Old Sep 20, 12, 12:07 pm   #5
 
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The Russian embassy is now issuing three year multiple entry visas with out the formal invitation from the Foreign Ministry. This is now in effect as of 9 September 2012. There are still some grey areas that need to be worked out but as of this week, they are accepting them. [redacted]

Last edited by oliver2002; Sep 21, 12 at 5:21 am. Reason: removed commercial link
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Old Sep 27, 12, 4:20 pm   #6
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The recent thread speculating and announcing changes to the now implemented new Russian Federation can be found here; it has been closed and is available for archival purposes, as the new program has been implemented.

Essentially, the new visa, which costs $180, may be issued for a period of up to three years, with multiple entries and stays up to six months, tourists, business, private or homestay travelers and humanitarian visitors. Tourists are still required to provide a voucher from a tour operator or a letter from a family member or other host; business travelers, private and homestay travelers and humanitarian workers are required to submit documentation from a Russian business. Other requirements and what may be asked by Russian officials are listed below and on websites discussing the new visa process in depth. (1- 3 day processing can raise the cost to up to $450.)

In essence, the old visa process required an official letter of invitation and was restricted to two entries within thirty days, at which point the visa expired.

Frequent Business Traveler says "Processing requires travelers to surrender their passports, and is expected to take 20 business days, but travelers in a rush can receive an expedited 30-day visa by applying under the old visa program."


The page discussing this on the Embassy of the Russian Federation to the United States of America here discusses it in depth.

DEAR APPLICANTS

On September 9, 2012, the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on the simplification of visa formalities for nationals of the Russian Federation and nationals of the United States of America came into force

and in part:

Code:
When applying for a tourist visa, in addition to the visa application form:
 confirmation of the hotel reservation, a contract for provision of tourist 
services, confirmation of reception of the tourist, and register number 
from the Uniform Federal Register of the Tour Operators of the Federal 
Tourism Agency.
 
In accordance with the
Agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States 
of America on the simplification of visa formalities for nationals of the 
Russian Federation and nationals of the United States of America
 
effective September 9, 2012, the US citizens shall as a rule be issued 
multiple-entry business, homestay/private, humanitarian and tourist visas
(for a stay of no more than 6 months starting from the date of each entry) 
that are valid for 3 years (36 months) from the date of issue of the visa.

The visas shall be issued based on direct written statements (faxed or 
electronic copies) from Russian or American host organization or individuals.

When applying for a visa, in addition to the valid passport, photo and the 
visa application form (submitted on the web site:http://evisa.kdmid.ru) 
the applicant should provide the written statement from the host 
organization or individual (direct invitation) in free form, which should 
contain the following information.
 
Business Visa
When applying for a business visa in addition to the above mentioned 
documents: the written statement from the host organization with the 
full name of the host organization, its official address and contact 
information,the full name and position of the person who signed the 
statement (if the host organization is a legal entity or enterprise, an 
institution or their affiliate established in the territory of the Russian 
Federation – the individual taxpayer number), and basic information 
regarding the visa applicant: the full name, date of birth, citizenship, sex, 
passport number, multiplicity of the visa, purpose of travel, requested 
period of entry, location of intended residence of the visa applicant, and 
the cities to be visited.
US citizen is eligible for a 3-year multiple-entry business visa.
Visa fee - $ 180.00

Homestay/Private Visa
When applying for a homestay/private visa in addition to the valid 
passport and the visa application form the following documents should 
be provided: the notarized written statement from the hosting individual
with the full name, date of birth, citizenship, sex, passport number, 
address of registration, and address of the actual residence of the hosting 
individual, as well as the full name, date of birth, citizenship, sex, passport 
number, multiplicity of the visa, purpose of travel, requested period of 
entry, location of intended residence of the visa applicant, and the cities to 
be visited.

The host individual could be either a Russian citizen registered on the 
territory of the Russian Federation or a US citizen who has the permit to 
stay on the territory of Russian Federation for more than 90 days (i.e. work 
permit, common student multiple visa, diplomatic visa of the employee of 
the USA diplomatic missions or consulates on the territory of the Russian 
Federation).
US citizen is eligible for a 3-year multiple-entry homestay/private visa.
Visa fee - $ 180.00
 
Humanitarian Visa
When applying for a humanitarian visa in addition to the valid passport 
and the visa application form: a written statement from the host 
organization with the full name of the organization, its official address and 
contact information, the full name and position of the person who signed 
the statement (if the host organization is a legal entity or enterprise, an 
institution or their affiliate established in the territory of the Russian 
Federation – the individual taxpayer number), and basic information 
regarding the visa applicant: the full name, date of birth, citizenship, sex, 
passport number, multiplicity of the visa, purpose of travel, requested 
period of entry, location of intended residence of the visa applicant, and the 
cities to be visited.
US citizen is eligible for a 3-year multiple-entry humanitarian visa.
Visa fee - $ 180.00
        
Tourist Visa
When applying for a tourist visa in addition to the valid passport and the 
visa application form: confirmation of the hotel reservation, a contract for 
provision of tourist services, confirmation of reception of the tourist. The 
abovementioned documents must register number from the Uniform 
Federal Register of the Tour Operators of the Russian Federal Tourism 
Agency and the seal of the host organization.
US citizen is eligible for a 3-year multiple-entry tourist visa.
Visa fee - $ 180.00
 

The Embassy and Consulates General of Russia have also the right to 
request, if needed, additional documents/evidence which shows the 
purpose and length of the applicant’s planned trip, the applicant’s financial 
means sufficient for a stay in Russia and the applicant’s intent to depart 
the Russian Federation after the trip:
- a bank statement from the applicant;
- a statement from the employer regarding the applicant’s wages for the 
preceding year, half year or month; 
- medical insurance valid in the country to be visited and fully covering the 
period of the first trip;
- documents regarding the applicant’s ownership of property in the country 
of his citizenship;
- a certificate on the makeup of the applicant’s family.

The Embassy and Consulates General of Russia also have the right to 
request additional information and/or documents from applicants as may 
be needed in particular cases.

The Embassy and Consulates General of Russia make decisions on visa 
application, as a rule, within 15 calendar days from the date of the 
initiation of their processing. The period of time for making a decision on a 
visa application may be extended in individual cases, in particular when 
scrutiny of the application is needed. 

In urgent cases an expedited multiple-entry visa on the base of the direct 
invitation of the host organization or an individual can be issued. The 
period of time for making a decision on an urgent visa application may be 
reduced to 3 working days. When making such a decision a Russian 
Consular officer has the right to request additional documents confirming 
the urgent need of an expedited visa (an airplane, ship or train ticket, a 
«last minute» tourist tour, etc. shall not be considered as such 
documents).

The Embassy and Consulates General of Russia continue issuing single, 
double and multiple visas for the US citizens according to electronic, faxed, 
telex, circular or other instructions from the Russian Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs and local offices of the Russian Federal Migration Service. Procedure 
of issuing visas on instructions/invitations of the MFA and FMS remain the 
same as before September 9, 2012.
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Last edited by JDiver; Sep 27, 12 at 4:46 pm.
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Old Oct 11, 12, 3:24 pm   #7
 
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I just received one of the new, 3 year multiple entry tourist visas. I used Go To Russia Travel to obtain it for me, and it was issued by the Russian Consulate in Seattle. It seems there is some uncertainty on whether or not an official invitation is still required. After reviewing this page at the Russian Consulate's website, I decided to pay for an invitation as it led me to believe that one was still required:

http://www.netconsul.org/important/index.htm

However, when I received my visa, the "invited by" line on it was conspicuously blank. This makes me wonder if the invitation wasn't necessary after all.

All I submitted was the standard 2 page visa application that you fill out online, 2 photos, and a short cover letter specifically requesting a multiple entry visa. No further information was requested of me. I applied with standard processing on 9/18, and it was returned to me via FedEx on 10/9. The issue date on the visa itself is 9/24, and when you hold it up to the light there is a stamp on the passport page underneath it that seems to indicate that it was affixed on 10/3.

In the end the experience was unremarkable, and I got the multiple entry tourist visa I wanted with a 2015 expiration date.

Last edited by emw9000; Oct 11, 12 at 6:35 pm.
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Old Oct 19, 12, 4:03 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emw9000 View Post
I just received one of the new, 3 year multiple entry tourist visas.
Thank you for the report. Can you tell us whether the online application has a "multiple entry" choice now? I believe (I can be wrong) in the past I had to choose "single" or "double" entry when I was filling out the application. Was "multiple" added to the choice?
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Old Oct 26, 12, 5:35 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a7m View Post
Thank you for the report. Can you tell us whether the online application has a "multiple entry" choice now? I believe (I can be wrong) in the past I had to choose "single" or "double" entry when I was filling out the application. Was "multiple" added to the choice?
Multiple has been there for a while now. That's what I check each January as I redo mine. Looking forward to trying this 3 year option though. Thanks to all for the updates.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 1:22 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a7m View Post
Thank you for the report. Can you tell us whether the online application has a "multiple entry" choice now? I believe (I can be wrong) in the past I had to choose "single" or "double" entry when I was filling out the application. Was "multiple" added to the choice?
"Multiple" was a choice for me when I applied through Go To Russia, but I had noticed that some of the other providers had not yet updated the options they provide for tourist visas.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 5:40 pm   #11
 
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My wife and I recently received our 3-year Russian Visas. We went through VisaHQ. Turn around time was 15 working days from the time VisaHQ received our documents until the we received the Fedex return. Total process was 22 days including weekends. The "Invited By" line is blank though we also paid for an invitation.
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Old Nov 8, 12, 1:02 pm   #12
 
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I also recently received a 3-year multiple entry Russian visa. An invitation was unnecessary, I simply asked the hotel to provide visa support, which was very prompt: 24 hour turnaround. Note that if you do this, you must have the hotel stay for the first day you need your visa to be valid for, and if you cancel your hotel reservation for any reason, there is a fee (varies by hotel).
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Old Nov 8, 12, 1:15 pm   #13
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While I am glad the Russia visa process is becoming more liberalised, I still have some problems with it. One of my gripes is I refuse to disclose any of my military service or record; it is really none of their **** business. And the list if countries I have visited the last ten years, is another great big PITA, as it takes a long time to fill out if one has traveled much at all.

Yes, thank you, I know, I have to weigh how much I want to go, it's their country, etc. but it still doesn't mean I can't find it over the top intrusive.
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Old Nov 8, 12, 3:14 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
One of my gripes is I refuse to disclose any of my military service or record; it is really none of their **** business. And the list if countries I have visited the last ten years, is another great big PITA, as it takes a long time to fill out if one has traveled much at all.
Russia does not require these data from citizens of nations which do not require them for their own visas.
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Old Nov 9, 12, 6:41 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
While I am glad the Russia visa process is becoming more liberalised, I still have some problems with it. One of my gripes is I refuse to disclose any of my military service or record; it is really none of their **** business. And the list if countries I have visited the last ten years, is another great big PITA, as it takes a long time to fill out if one has traveled much at all.

Yes, thank you, I know, I have to weigh how much I want to go, it's their country, etc. but it still doesn't mean I can't find it over the top intrusive.
It's tit for tat w/ Russia.... US asks for the same and actually more info. Our visa process, for the US, is far more obtrusive & lengthy.
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