Saturday, 4 April 2015

Visas: Russia

NOTE: British passport holders need to apply in person, in order for their fingerprints to be taken. You will also need a double entry visa, regardless of route, or even multiple entry business visa (pricey).

We are planning on applying for this one during mid May. The reason being that we will luckily be in Edinburgh, and therefore able to apply in person at the centre there. Until that time, here's a general overview of the process:

  1. Apply for an LOI through any seller you choose.
  2. Complete the online application form through VFS Global.
  3. Take your printed out form, LOI, passport, passport photo (35 mm x 45 mm), and a photocopy of passport with you to the VFS Global centre in either London or Edinburgh.
  4. Take a queue token, wait in the 'holding area', have your documents processed, and your fingerprints taken. Then it's the waiting at home game.
  5. VFS Global process the documentation and send it to the Russian Embassy for approval (or not), the turn around time is typically 5 day. Once processed you can either collect your passport in person (from the VFS centre) or have it securely posted back to you (at a cost of around £10).
This process is different to how I have previously applied for a Russian visa, but there should be plenty of similarities. We will most likely apply for the LOI and fill in the application form by the end of April, so expect an update then.

Update: having read, re-read, re-re-read, and slept on it, I've decided that the best course of action for us is to get a 90 day double entry business visa. This means we will be able to spend up to 30 days in a 90 day window in Russia. One of the reasons behind this is that we can not be fully certain of entry/exit dates. Furthermore, the business visa allows for a flexible 'itinerary-less' journey.

The actually cost of applying for the visa is still the same (VFS costs of £104), it is just the LOI that costs more, roughly 30 pounds. We also have various timings to keep to, and we don't have the flexibility in time off work to have our fingerprints taken whenever. Other factors include LOI processing time, and the fact that LOIs won't be issued so many months in advance (unless you pay more).

Some facts about what we are doing:

  • Double Entry Business Visa
  • LOI support through Real Russia (£57.50)
  • Anticipated fingerprinting date: 25th May
  • LOI application on 1st May (12 working days processing)
  • Russian visa start date: 4th August
  • Russian visa end date: 1st November
I appreciate this a rambling update, really only specific to our situation. I'll break down the facts soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment