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Author Topic: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa  (Read 5602 times)

Offline numberonegood

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Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« on: May 13, 2011, 01:16:14 PM »
I know the Russian visa process can be a little hectic because you must have an "invitation" from your hotel.  Does anyone have any tips on getting a visa? 

I'd especially like to hear from people getting their visa while in Korea.  Is it true you can go through one of the travel agencies (e.g. Hanatour) to get the visa instead of going directly to the Russian embassy? I did this when getting my Chinese visa and it was so much easier.  Thanks everyone!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 12:31:56 PM by sepeterson211 »

Offline Damien

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Re: Getting a Russian Visa in Korea
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2011, 01:21:20 PM »
It's all about who you know lol. I went to Moscow while living in Germany almost 3 years ago. Other Americans were making fun of me for applying for one, because they had been waiting for over a month. My Russian friend's Aunt works for the Russian government in Moscow and I got mine in just over two weeks lol.

I don't know about going there from Korea though. I can send him an E-Mail and let you know.
“If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.” -Goethe

Offline bebouchard

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Re: Getting a Russian Visa in Korea
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2011, 01:47:15 PM »
Strasvitiy!

I actually did get a Russian visa while living in Korea several years ago. I was going there for work, so my employer sent the invitation. I remember the process as being long and complicated, but I think that was because I was getting a business visa. If you are only going to Russia for a holiday, it should be much easier (but don't hold me to that!)

I don't know whether Korean travel agencies can help with getting an invitation for you, but there are several Russian agencies that offer this service--for a fee of course. I found a site called expat.ru extemely helpful while I was living in Moscow. They have some information on their site about getting a visa and links to some agencies http://www.expat.ru/s_visas.php.

I do remember that the Russian embassy in Seoul is near city hall, but is quite well hidden from the main road. Also, if you are getting a multiple entry or business visa, you will have to have an HIV test.

Good luck. It has been a while since my Russian adventures, but if you have any more questions, I will try to help as best I can.

Offline numberonegood

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Re: Getting a Russian Visa in Korea
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2011, 02:00:12 PM »
Thank you both for the information.  Damien, if it's not too much trouble to email your friend, I'd appreciate any suggestions he has.  Bebouchard, it's good to know that it's at least possible to get one from Korea.  Did they speak English at the Russian embassy?

Offline wondershot

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Re: Getting a Russian Visa in Korea
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2011, 04:27:32 PM »
The Russian Consulate is indeed tricky to find. A map is here: http://www.russian-embassy.org/english/consular.html



Pass through the back guard gate. You'll see sort of a glass box. That's the entrance. Enjoy your walk there, it's a very scenic area.

I used a Russian travel service to get my invitation. As for the visa, it took me about three weeks from the time I dropped off my passport until I got it back. The staff speaks English, most of them.

Make sure you ask for the maximum duration of stay on your tourist visa. And make sure it overhangs your departure time by a couple days. You don't want to try to leave Russia on an expired visa-- the border officials are very strict about these things. It's a vestige of the Soviet times.

Be aware that you can get a three day tourist visa simply by visiting Vladivostok via ferry.

Offline wondershot

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Re: Getting a Russian Visa in Korea
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2011, 04:30:17 PM »
Oh, and use these forms for your visa.

http://www.russian-embassy.org/english/consular_03.html

Offline exit_everything

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Tourist Visa for Russia (with less than 3 months on an E2)
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 02:16:03 PM »
Hi everyone,

I am coming across some issues trying to get a visa for Russia following the completion of my contract in late July.

I am an Australian in Daegu. I have 10 weeks left on an E2 visa.

My plan is to head to Beijing and travel on the trans-Manchurian (stopping in Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, and Kazan) to Moscow. The trip will last from 30th July to 15th August.

I know that there are ways around the Chinese visa with less than 6 months on the ARC. However, I am having some problems finding an agent who wants to help me get a Russian visa with under 3 months on my ARC. I am travelling independently so need to purchase an invitation rather than have a train tour company manage it.

I have contacted Kangsan and they say it is impossible (which I know isn't true!)
Hana Tours in Daegu don't handle Russian visas.
Xanadu in Seoul 'don't guarantee anything' but seem to be my only option (and it's a bitch/expensive to get up to Seoul just for processing).

My question is: has anybody dealt with similar issues and found a way through? Anybody in Daegu or Busan?

Cheers!

Offline goulash

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Re: Tourist Visa for Russia (with less than 3 months on an E2)
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 06:06:50 PM »
I'm finding your question confusing. How does your ARC or E2 visa have any relevance to your request for a visa from another country. Isn't it just your Aussie passport that's needed? As long as it has 6 month's validity, you should be able to get any visa you are entitled to as an Australian citizen.

Anyway, if you have someone who can speak Korean, and can help you, then my travel agent has always been able to help me with any problems I've had in the past, and also gets the best deals I've ever been able to find.
박지연
02 7227 634

Hopefully she can help you out.

Offline exit_everything

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Re: Tourist Visa for Russia (with less than 3 months on an E2)
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 06:34:57 PM »
You can only apply for a Russian visa in your own country (except Hong Kong I believe). So I am technically applying as a resident of South Korea.

Thanks for the contact. Where is she situated?

Offline goulash

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Re: Tourist Visa for Russia (with less than 3 months on an E2)
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2011, 06:39:15 PM »
Fair enough.
To be honest, I'm not sure. Can't even remember which company she works for. It's been a while since I traveled out of Korea. By the area code, it looks like Seoul.

Offline numberonegood

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Re: Getting a Russian Visa in Korea
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2011, 06:52:49 PM »
Great!  Thanks for the info!

Offline Russteacher

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Re: Getting a Russian Visa in Korea
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2011, 08:28:14 PM »
I used Kangsan Travel in Busan to get a visa. For that I had to leave my passport with them and they took a photocopy of my alien card too. It took two weeks to get the visa and it cost 100,000 won. But they got the so called 'invitation'. It used to be that you had to get a proper invitation from inside of Russia but nowadays some travel agents know travel agents inside Russia and they can simply 'buy' an invitation for you. I did this in July 2007.

I guess that there must be some travel agent in Itaewon who could do that too. Just walk in and ask.

Also, when you're in Russia you have to register to the local authorities when you arrive in a town. 95% of hostels can do that for you but if they can't, it's pretty important to get it done anyway. Also, hang onto any train tickets since they go overnight and are evidence of where you spent a night at.

Also, I heard that there are rogue policmen who demand to see a foreigner's passport, make up BS reasons as to why they won't give it back so the foreigner has to pay a hefty bribe. I've heard that having a printout of a color scan of the details page of the passport on your person can be just as okay and if they really needed to see your passport, they'll have to come back to your hotel with you.

I did the Trans-Mongolian railway back in 2007. Loved it! Moscow was pretty cool but everyone told me that they liked Saint Petersburg much more. Lake Baikal was my highlight of the trip. Get to Olkhon Island if you can.

Best of luck,R.

Offline numberonegood

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Re: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 02:46:43 PM »
I've also come across this link for getting an invitation if you are having problems:

http://www.waytorussia.net/Travel/VisaSupport.html

The website is well respected by travelers to Russia, but I haven't tried this service so I can't vouch for how reliable it is.

Offline ojones

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Re: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 07:25:49 PM »
Kangsan Travel in Busan can definitely sort out a Russian visa + invitation, even if there's only a month left on the ARC card. But the price they quoted me is pretty outrageous (I'm from UK don't know if that makes a difference) it was about 250,000 won or something! I'm sure there's a cheaper place that can sort it out... good luck

Offline numberonegood

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Re: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 12:28:27 PM »
So much great info. Thanks everyone!

So I ended up going to my local Hanatour to see if they could do the visa for me.  It turns out they could and I have my visa in my passport now. 

It took a little over two weeks for the entire process.  I had to fill out a two page form about addresses, jobs, schooling etc.  It was a surprisingly painless process but not a cheap one.  It cost me 150 000 won to get the visa.

I'm Canadian, so prices and hassle may be different for different nationalities.

Offline KingKrang

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Re: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2011, 08:17:10 PM »
Eh, in a situation, Kangsan quoted me 276,000 for the visa... I'm intrigued though, my arc expires in under 2 months but they said it could be gotten... blue bear quoted me 150,000 but they told me the Russian embassy told them I needed 6 months left on my arc... so I'm a little nervous but still going ahead with blue bear, but wheres the other 126,000 going? Greasing someones application at the Busan consulate?

(Edit October 28, 2010)

Shout out to Blue Bear Travel in Gwangju, they came through for me and got me my Visa, which arrived by mail Today. Sweet.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 06:15:30 PM by KingKrang »

Offline toni

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Re: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2012, 11:50:18 AM »
How many months did you have left on you alien card KingKrang?

Offline KingKrang

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Re: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2012, 08:38:14 PM »
I think just 1 month

Offline iselynjenniep

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Re: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2012, 04:48:22 PM »
i went to the russian consulate in seoul today! it was a bit complicated to find using the map from their website. it's on the same street as the seoul art museum. we waited about an hour because there was a guy in front of us (must have been a travel agent) who had like 200 passports to submit at once. annoying!
if you are an american citizen, you must submit:
-one visa application
-one photo
-invitation form agency/hotel
-passport
-144,000 won
my boyfriend has an ARC and he could get his back the same day (but we didn't want to wait, so he's going back next week). i don't, i am only here on a tourist visa right now, so mine won't be ready for two weeks.
PM me if you want any more info!

Offline kiruchka

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Re: Travelling to Russia/Getting a Visa
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2012, 12:28:21 PM »
Hello.

I am looking at going to Vladivostok and Kamchatka this summer for 2 weeks. The only issue I have is where do I register my visa in Russia if Im staying with friends in Vlad not at a hotel? And then I also have to make sure the visa includes my travel to another city? Or should i just forget about travelling to more than one place? Its driving me nuts!!


 

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