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Applying for Russian VISA in Poland


james_warszawa 5 | 9  
24 Feb 2009 /  #1
Hi,

I'm a UK citizen travelling through Europe and one of my next stops is Russia.

Because I knew I was travelling for a long time, I wouldn't be able to apply for the Russian VISA at the Russian Embassy in my home country (England), so I knew I needed to get it en route. I know I need a tourist VISA (with invitation) to get into Russia so I made sure I had all the requirements needed to apply.

I had all the requirements as specified here: warsaw.rusembassy.org/rusvisa.html#tourist

Except, when I visited the VISA office in Warsaw, they told me I also needed to have Polish residency, and be a resident, living here in Poland, for at least 90 days. They couldn't even consider my application otherwise.

I don't know if any of this is true. It is the strangest thing I've ever heard. The simplest thing would be to fly back to UK, get it at the Embassy there, and then come back. However, I would like to avoid doing this and would like an alternative solution.

Has any other British / English (or EU members) had experience or difficulty with getting a Russian VISA in Poland or another foreign country??

I've looked all over the Net and I'm not finding any useful information in relation to my situation.

Thanks.
Sasha 2 | 1,083  
24 Feb 2009 /  #2
The simplest thing would be to fly back to UK, get it at the Embassy there, and then come back.

Yes, I think it's the easiest way. That's fair enough that Polish Government is being overcautious at that point. When they issue you a visa of different country they take some responsibility upon themselves.

Has any other British / English (or EU members) had experience or difficulty with getting a Russian VISA in Poland or another foreign country??

I don't know about EU members but as for Americans they usually have no problem at all while applying for Russian visa (it's much easier than to get american visa for Russian citizen). You may also reduce the time of getting it if pay. I hope this helps you a bit.

If you need any more info you think I could help you with, don't hesitate to ask. :)

Sasha, Moscow
OP james_warszawa 5 | 9  
25 Feb 2009 /  #3
Does anyone know the exact requirements? The Warsaw Russian Embassy site makes no mention of EXTRA requirements for EU citizens applying for a Russian VISA whilst in Poland.

There should be some info on this, as I am sure, I am neither the first nor the last person to try and get a Russian VISA in this way.

Any help would be appreciated.

Does anyone know of any VISA websites or forums where I could also ask this question, and maybe get a more informed response?
Trevek 26 | 1,702  
26 Feb 2009 /  #4
There are visa websites, just Google.

If you're not resident in Poland they'll probably tell you to return to UK and apply there. I am resident and e-mailed Russian Embassy in London. They told me to contact Warsaw... that was 3 months ago and still no reply!

What they want is proof of entry and exit and proof of where you are staying (usually an official hotel).
Borrka 37 | 594  
2 Mar 2009 /  #5
James I suggest to contact: kalinka.pl/?id=oferta/wizy

It's an excellent tourist office for the ex-Soviet Union.
Not very expensive and they will do all what possible.
However I'm not sure about their English language skills.
Their Russian was good enough lol.
Tyskie 1 | 27  
8 Mar 2009 /  #6
James, have a look at waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/HowToApply.html

It states: "Normally, you can apply for a Russian visa at the country where you live. But if you're traveling at the moment, for example, you can apply anywhere else in the world, unless, you're from Germany or some Asian countries (except Japan). The nationals of Germany and of some Asian countries (except Japan) can only apply for a Russian visa in their own country. Also, the nationals of other countries (the US, European countries, Australia, New Zealand) can not apply for a Russian visa in Germany unless they have a permit of stay in Germany that exceeds the period covered by the Russian visa. Those measures might seem strange, but it's done because German officials issue German visas to Russians only inside Russia (and not in the other countries). So, it's sort of what they call "diplomatic" reciprocation and it's sad it's still happening, because it restricts the travel...

Anyway, there is a way round all this red tape stuff: either you can send all your docs by post, or (if it's not possible) make a special trick.

Imagine, you're in Germany, but you're a national of some other country. How would you get a Russian visa? You need to do three simple things. First, you should register in a place you stay in (ask a hostel, for example), the hostel will give you a special paper saying you have a registration in this hostel. Make sure this registration is valid for longer than your Russian visa (i.e. if you want a visa from 1 July to 20 July you should have your registration from, say, 20 June to 20 August). Second, (after you're registered) go to the government office (e.g. a town hall) to get the special permission to live in this country. You can say that you're a student, who's looking for education opportunities in their country, or that you'll stay more than 3 months, etc. This permission is a stamp in your passport and generally doesn't mean anything and it's only for some period of time (3 months). Third, after you have this stamp, you can go to the Russian consulate, show them the stamp, and they'll have to make a visa for you. It works and you can try it in any other country as well."

Would you be going by road or train via Belarus or the Ukraine (you'd need a transit visa then)? Or flying directly from Poland?
OP james_warszawa 5 | 9  
9 Mar 2009 /  #7
Thanks for the info. I will check that out.

I would be going by train. The added complication is that I expect to also travel from Belarus (another country where I need a VISA and have bizarre application requirements) through into Russia.

If this makes things more complicated than necessary, then I will travel from Ukraine and into Russia. AFAIK, EU citizens no longer need VISA for entry and exit into Ukraine.

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