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March 7, 2014

How to get the russian visa and not die trying..

It may be nothing new for those who were super clever to guess the cities that we will be visiting this year in our last post. Probably, also not for those who already knew it because we couldn´t keep our mouths shut. And definitely, it will be nothing special for those who were involved in our visa process but, and despite the latest conflicts with Ukraine, we are the happy owners of two plane tickets to Moscow, Russia, where we will spend 4 days with our friend Paul :)

Foto

Our first and main goal was to get the visa as soon as possible and without problems... Not an easy thing to do but impossible is nothing ;). There are lots of companies that offer some help to apply for it. Sometimes, they are a bit expensive but you avoid having to go several times to the consulate and probably some headaches too ;) Because I had some free time, we decided to apply on our own.

Since we are not citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany and we were not planning a trip to Hungary or Spain during the limited working hours of the Russian Embassy/Consulate in our countries, we decided to apply from Germany and see how far we could get.


What did we need to apply for the Russian Visa?

- Original Passport valid for 6 months beyond stay in Russia, with at least two adjacent blank visa pages available.

- A recent picture. Size 36mmx45mm - head and shoulders, face forward, neutral expression, in color, and with a plain/white background. The applicant must not wear glasses in the photo unless the photo in the original passport includes glasses.

- An invitation letter from a Russian company/organization in Russia or voucher. Since Paul is not a Russian citizen he cannot invite people but he kindly sent us a link to a company that issues invitation letters for 15€ in about 5 minutes. Click here to visit the web of the company.

- Travel Insurance where it is clearly written that the insurance is under your name and also valid in Russia for the period of time that you are traveling. We were lucky because we had one already with a company that was "Russia approved" and we only had to ask for a confirmation letter in the offices. There is a list of authorized companies in every Russian Embassy/ Consulate web site.

Once you have all these papers, you are ready to fill in the

- Online Application form that you will have to print, sign and stick the picture on it.

Some consulates, like the one in Germany, also require you to present some proof that you are not going to stay in Russia forever. In our case we presented:

- A confirmation that we have a working contract in Germany with salary and starting date.We just asked for it in the HR departments of our respective companies.

And, as said, because we are not German citizens we had to present a

- Confirmation that we are registered in a German city. This registration is obligatory in Germany so we only had to make a copy of the paper. 

Once we had all papers, we both had to head personally to the Russian Consulate, paid 35€ per person and got a slip to pick up the visa a week after. We had to leave our passports there so don´t plan anything crazy in between.

A week after, Adam went to pick up the passports and... VoilĂ !! Ready to enter Russia!  :):)

Paul, here we come!!



This is how the Russian Visa looks like. Foto



Attention: The steps described above are what we had to do in order to get the Russian Visa in Germany. Although these are the basic steps, they may vary depending on your citizenship!! Please, check the Russian Embassy websites before starting any process!

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