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Russian Visa please help!
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CDG
Posted 2018-03-24 5:34 PM (#92572)
Subject: Russian Visa please help!
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Hi guys, long time no see!

I've ran into a problem I'm hoping someone can fix.

Me and the wife are going to Russia in June, I applied for a tourist view via real russia like I've done on what seems like a million times before, only this time Real Russia rang me to tell me there had been a law change around October/November last year and this was likely to give me a problem at immigration, they had said it's already caused a problem for a few people they have issued visas for so They no longer advise to take this route. Anyone know which law changed? I used to love the hassle free of Real Russia sorting it all out, you meet the geezer on his scooter outside bish bash bosh you put your fingers on that device and your out of there in 5 mins!

They returned my passport and said i need to have a private invitation which is where I need help. My wife lives in England with me, we normally stay at her parents a few days (army satellite village in Leningrad oblast) then go to St Petersburg and stay in a hotel for a few days and maybe a day with my wife's friend before going back to her parents. Her parents can't invite me, her dad is no good with things like this and the mum would normally try and sort this but she is really ill plus i don't think I'm supposed to even be in her village! My wife can't invite me can she because she lives in England. One of her friend is willing to invite me is that acceptable? I'm really lost on where I start the process, what I need to do? Which websites or forms i need to complete and if I have enough time to get this all done before June.

I would be grateful if someone could help.
Mel
Posted 2018-03-24 6:00 PM (#92573 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: RE: Russian Visa please help!


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CDG - 2018-03-24 10:34 PM Hi guys, long time no see! I've ran into a problem I'm hoping someone can fix. Me and the wife are going to Russia in June, I applied for a tourist view via real russia like I've done on what seems like a million times before, only this time Real Russia rang me to tell me there had been a law change around October/November last year and this was likely to give me a problem at immigration, they had said it's already caused a problem for a few people they have issued visas for so They no longer advise to take this route. Anyone know which law changed? I used to love the hassle free of Real Russia sorting it all out, you meet the geezer on his scooter outside bish bash bosh you put your fingers on that device and your out of there in 5 mins! They returned my passport and said i need to have a private invitation which is where I need help. My wife lives in England with me, we normally stay at her parents a few days (army satellite village in Leningrad oblast) then go to St Petersburg and stay in a hotel for a few days and maybe a day with my wife's friend before going back to her parents. Her parents can't invite me, her dad is no good with things like this and the mum would normally try and sort this but she is really ill plus i don't think I'm supposed to even be in her village! My wife can't invite me can she because she lives in England. One of her friend is willing to invite me is that acceptable? I'm really lost on where I start the process, what I need to do? Which websites or forms i need to complete and if I have enough time to get this all done before June. I would be grateful if someone could help.

Your wife can invite you, unfortunately it means a trip to the consulate for you both together, other than that its eazy peezy.. 

CDG
Posted 2018-03-24 6:14 PM (#92575 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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Long time no see Melvyn with a y!

How does she invite me? Is there a pro forma letter? I've looked on the VFS website and there is a mention of a General Directorate invite? I've no idea how to do any of this, is there an address where we are staying in Russia which needs to be put down?
Mel
Posted 2018-03-24 6:25 PM (#92576 - in reply to #92575)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!


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CDG - 2018-03-24 11:14 PM Long time no see Melvyn with a y! How does she invite me? Is there a pro forma letter? I've looked on the VFS website and there is a mention of a General Directorate invite? I've no idea how to do any of this, is there an address where we are staying in Russia which needs to be put down?

Hi CDG, also long time no see, you only visit us here when you need our help... Always remember that there could be others who could benefit from your experiences...

If you go to the consulate, tell them what you wish for, and they will help, I'm not sure if they have a pre-printed form, or if she must write as directed, but its a simple thing.. 

Don't yet understand as to why you need an invite as against a tourist visa... 

Btw, Zenit aren't doing too well these days...  



Edited by Mel 2018-03-24 6:27 PM
CDG
Posted 2018-03-24 6:58 PM (#92577 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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Real Russia told me they've had problems with tourist visas issued to UK citizens going to Russia with their Russian wifes. I told them I had used this route dozens of times before and wasn't concerned about any risk since I've never had a problem before, that's when they mentioned about some change which came into play in October/November and it's much more of a risk. I'd already paid my money and sent my passport off. Is there any chance my case has been handled by a new starter? I thought someone might know about the rule change. Real Russia have already sent my passport back and refunded me, should i call back and ask for a manager perhaps?

If they can't help, I just complete my form online, go to the Russian Visa Application centre in Gee Street with my wife, take our marriage certificate and they will help with the letter? Or is the consulate something else?

Yep, Zenit have been struggling, we went to the new stadium twice when I was over their in August, with the way we are playing this season we got really lucky, I saw us smash the Champions Spartak 5-1 and our bogey team Terek 4-0. We couldn't beat your lot a couple of weeks ago 0-0!
Mel
Posted 2018-03-24 11:09 PM (#92578 - in reply to #92577)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!


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CDG - 2018-03-24 11:58 PM Real Russia told me they've had problems with tourist visas issued to UK citizens going to Russia with their Russian wifes. I told them I had used this route dozens of times before and wasn't concerned about any risk since I've never had a problem before, that's when they mentioned about some change which came into play in October/November and it's much more of a risk. I'd already paid my money and sent my passport off. Is there any chance my case has been handled by a new starter? I thought someone might know about the rule change. Real Russia have already sent my passport back and refunded me, should i call back and ask for a manager perhaps? If they can't help, I just complete my form online, go to the Russian Visa Application centre in Gee Street with my wife, take our marriage certificate and they will help with the letter? Or is the consulate something else? Yep, Zenit have been struggling, we went to the new stadium twice when I was over their in August, with the way we are playing this season we got really lucky, I saw us smash the Champions Spartak 5-1 and our bogey team Terek 4-0. We couldn't beat your lot a couple of weeks ago 0-0!

If RR have informed you about some rule changes, then it should be correct, they are more on the ball than I am regarding visa's, best trot along to Gee St with erindoors in tow, and do the job properly like a good little boy. 

Remember its could take about 3 weeks at the moment for a visa to be issued rather than the week it used to be..

You going for the Footy??

Also worth remembering that during the footy period, you must register within 24 hours of arrival in the country, else its a fine and slap on the hand, maybe even getting kicked out before seeing a ball kicked hahaha..

Was at the new Kazan stadium late last year, and more recently the new Rostov stadium, both superb... 

GaryM
Posted 2018-03-25 10:28 AM (#92579 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: RE: Russian Visa please help!
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Chris, I stopped getting tourist visas via RR over a decade ago following advice back then from RR that officially I could face issues at immigration for having the wrong type of visa due to be being married to a Russian. So since then I've been always had private visas each time for visiting Russia with. One advantage with the private visas is that they last 3 months instead of the 30 days that the tourist visas do, so if you wanted to go for an extended stay you can do that on a private visa. Sadly the private visas are still only single or dual entry visas so no advantage in that department. They are easy enough to apply for. As Mel said, you and your wife will just need to take a trip to the VAC in London.

Then you can either go back in person to collect the visa (usually a week later), or pay extra to have it sent back to you by post.

Your wife doesn't need to write an invitation letter. They will just give her a declaration to sign at the VAC. It's as simple as that.

So, you just need to complete the online application form, print it off and then take it to the VAC along with your wife and the following other items:-

-> A recent passport photo of yourself
-> Your UK passport
-> Your wife's Russian international passport
-> Your wife's UK passport (to prove UK residency)
-> Your marriage certificate
CDG
Posted 2018-03-25 11:44 AM (#92580 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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Thanks guys, I hadn't thought it was so easy and was considering not going.

I've started filling in the form and it says surname of host, I've already completed one section regarding my wife and her address in the UK and I on the host section, i understand i put my wife's details in there but it's asking for address and it looks like i put her UK address. Type of place of visit, as said before I am not 100 percent sure when I stay at her parents it's legal, it's a army satellite village, should i put just her friends address down or the hotel ?
CDG
Posted 2018-03-25 11:48 AM (#92581 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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How do I register the visa? Normally i pay the company Real Russia recommend and collect it the next day. I'm reading because I have a private visa I need to register with umfs? What on earth is one of them and is there one near Nevsky Prospect in St Petersburg.

CDG
Posted 2018-03-25 11:51 AM (#92582 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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I'm not going to any of the matches Mel, I much prefer club football Zenit than the national team. I will of course watch most of the matches.

Russia are very poor at the moment, group qualification would probably be a decent achievement with anything better being a decent performance. Did you watch Amkar in Rubin? I like the look of Rostovs new stadium.
GaryM
Posted 2018-03-25 1:43 PM (#92584 - in reply to #92580)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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CDG - 2018-03-25 11:44 AM

I've started filling in the form and it says surname of host, I've already completed one section regarding my wife and her address in the UK and I on the host section, i understand i put my wife's details in there but it's asking for address and it looks like i put her UK address. Type of place of visit, as said before I am not 100 percent sure when I stay at her parents it's legal, it's a army satellite village, should i put just her friends address down or the hotel ?

I assume your wife still has a Russian internal passport? What address is shown in that passport? If the address you're talking about is the one I think it is then the address shown in her internal passport is the address you should put down as the host address because it is your wife who is inviting you. Then when you register your visa, your wife will sign it as the inviting party who is registered at that address.

CDG - 2018-03-25 11:48 AM

How do I register the visa? Normally i pay the company Real Russia recommend and collect it the next day. I'm reading because I have a private visa I need to register with umfs? What on earth is one of them and is there one near Nevsky Prospect in St Petersburg.

You register at a post office. You need to take along your passport, migration card (slip of paper you get given at the airport), and preferably photocopies of the main page and also the visa. While most post offices will probably be able to do photocopies for you at a charge, if there is any issues then taking your own just saves a wasted trip and having to return again later. Your wife will also need to take along her internal Russian passport (again, take your own photocopies of it along if you can) and she will need to fill in a form and then pay a small fee (less than the equivalent of �10 in RUB) to cover admin charges and postage costs for everything to be sent to the UFMS.

I recommend you download and print off a few copies of the form I put a link to in THIS POST which is the form your wife will have to fill in at the post office. If you print it off yourself you can fill it out in advance which will save you time at the post office having to queue for the form and then queue again to hand it in. Be warned that if you make any mistakes and the form gets rejected by the post office staff, you will have to fill in a new one from scratch. They won't let you just cross out any mistakes to correct them on the original form so try to make sure you get it right first time.

In my experience, the registration process at the post office can take anything from 15 minutes to over an hour depending on queues and whether you manage to get the application right first time or not.
CDG
Posted 2018-03-25 7:33 PM (#92585 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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Hi Gary, she still has a Russian internal passport and the address shown is still her parents.

Am I able to register the visa in St Petersburg even though her parents address is Priozersky District, Lenigrad Oblast? I've also put on the form the name of the Hotel we are staying in on Nevsky Prospect.

Thanks again
GaryM
Posted 2018-03-26 2:18 AM (#92587 - in reply to #92585)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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I've always registered my visa at the post office which is in the same town as my wife's registered address but I'm fairly sure you can register at any post office. The fact that Priozersk is in the same oblast as SPb would certainly eliminate any oblast related issues. One advantage of using a post office in the city is that they will be more clued up as to the registration process. With some of the post offices in the sticks who rarely do registrations (if at all), you may end up with some confused looking staff or some staff that are not completely familiar with the procedure who end up fumbling around getting all stressed trying to work out what it is they need to do, while the queue at the counter gets longer and longer
Mel
Posted 2018-03-26 12:51 PM (#92591 - in reply to #92587)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!


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I'm not sure of this, so please don't take it as gospel, but during the Confed cup last year, registration could only be made at the UFMS or a police station, and I think that the same may apply for registering during the world cup period, also, if this is correct, you must register within 24 hours of your arrival in Russia and NOT the nominal 7 days..
Maybe RR can shed some light on the subject..
CDG
Posted 2018-03-26 7:08 PM (#92595 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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We arrive prior to the World Cup 8th June, do you think I still need to register the next day?
CDG
Posted 2018-03-26 7:12 PM (#92596 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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I've just completed the form and printed it off, annoyingly our printer at work has a dark line down the middle of it.

It's not asked for payment, due i just pay when I go to Gee Street?

I thought it would ask when I wanted to attend Gee Street, do I just turn up with my missus and the documents?
GaryM
Posted 2018-03-26 7:43 PM (#92597 - in reply to #92596)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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CDG - 2018-03-26 7:12 PM

I've just completed the form and printed it off, annoyingly our printer at work has a dark line down the middle of it.

It's not asked for payment, due i just pay when I go to Gee Street?

I thought it would ask when I wanted to attend Gee Street, do I just turn up with my missus and the documents?

You just pay at the VAC. Thankfully it's not the cash-only nonsense you get at the Russian consulate, so you can pay convieniently by card.

There is no pre-arranged appointment date/time. You just turn up whenever you feel like it before being searched by the security guard on the door and then getting a meat counter type ticket with a number on. Then just sit on the seats and wait for your number to pop up on the 1990's looking and sounding computer system (ding! ). Visa submissions can only be made between 08:30 and 15:00 Monday to Friday so make sure you get there with enough time to spare in case of any issues. If they discover a mistake on the form you can update and reprint it using one of the computers in the waiting area at the VAC, which incurs an additional charge, of course.
CDG
Posted 2018-03-26 8:05 PM (#92598 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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Brilliant, can't thank you enough Gary.

I've been to the VAC before, there was a period when this could be all done by post, I think that was when you could pick up a �140 direct flight with Rossiya from Gatwick to Pulkova. Those were the days!

Edited by CDG 2018-03-26 8:06 PM
GaryM
Posted 2018-03-26 8:52 PM (#92599 - in reply to #92598)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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CDG - 2018-03-26 8:05 PM

I've been to the VAC before, there was a period when this could be all done by post, I think that was when you could pick up a �140 direct flight with Rossiya from Gatwick to Pulkova. Those were the days!

Yep...and a full blown meal thown in to boot

And I sort of miss the old tiny terminal at Pulkovo. The new one is more modern and plush of course but it kind of feels all commercial and lacks that "real Russia" feel to it of days gone by.
Mel
Posted 2018-03-28 8:27 AM (#92618 - in reply to #92572)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!


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You all used to complain about the old Russian airports, so they heard you and built new ones, and you're still complaining, gawd, seems as if Russia can do nothing right..hahaha
Mel
Posted 2018-04-01 8:59 PM (#92694 - in reply to #92595)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!


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CDG - 2018-03-27 12:08 AM We arrive prior to the World Cup 8th June, do you think I still need to register the next day?

 

Between 25th May 2018 and 25th July 2018, anybody arriving in any of the 11 host cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd) must register their visa within 24 hours of their arrival in the city. Failure to do so could result in being fined and/or deported from Russia.

http://realrussia.co.uk/Info/WorldCup2018/Visa

 

HTH 

 

GaryM
Posted 2018-04-01 10:12 PM (#92695 - in reply to #92694)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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Mel - 2018-04-01 8:59 PM

CDG - 2018-03-27 12:08 AM We arrive prior to the World Cup 8th June, do you think I still need to register the next day?

Between 25th May 2018 and 25th July 2018, anybody arriving in any of the 11 host cities (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kazan, Samara, Saransk, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don and Volgograd) must register their visa within 24 hours of their arrival in the city. Failure to do so could result in being fined and/or deported from Russia.

http://realrussia.co.uk/Info/WorldCup2018/Visa

HTH


Does this include private visa registrations as well? The information on the RR web page doesn't actually say if it is for all types of visas or only visitor visas. I can sort of understand those rules applying to visitor visas but it doesn't seem to make any real sense for private visas.

Is there a source of that information somewhere with more detail in?

If the 24-hour registration rule does actually apply to all types of visas then it sounds like Russia is probably best avoided during that whole 25th May to 25th July period unless you're going to see the footy.
GaryM
Posted 2018-04-01 10:39 PM (#92696 - in reply to #92695)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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OK, I found some information in the following Trip Advisor topic which is suggesting that if you're residing in accommodation outside of one of the host cities then the normal 7-day registration rule applies. So that looks like the trick. If you're not going to the footy then don't stay inside the boundaries of any of those cities during that period.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g1-i13435-k11203381-Legal_Ad...
"If you are staying outside the host cities (outside the administrative boundaries of the city) the 24 hours requirement is not applicable (7 days instead)."


I don't think I would want to be trying to register in any of the host cities during that period anyway. The post offices in those cities are likely going to be rammed with hosts of private apartments trying to register all their football fan guests. Be prepared for long queues and potentially a very long and frustrating wait.
Mel
Posted 2018-04-02 10:57 AM (#92698 - in reply to #92696)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!


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GaryM - 2018-04-02 3:39 AM OK, I found some information in the following Trip Advisor topic which is suggesting that if you're residing in accommodation outside of one of the host cities then the normal 7-day registration rule applies. So that looks like the trick. If you're not going to the footy then don't stay inside the boundaries of any of those cities during that period. https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g1-i13435-k11203381-Legal_Ad...
"If you are staying outside the host cities (outside the administrative boundaries of the city) the 24 hours requirement is not applicable (7 days instead)."
I don't think I would want to be trying to register in any of the host cities during that period anyway. The post offices in those cities are likely going to be rammed with hosts of private apartments trying to register all their football fan guests. Be prepared for long queues and potentially a very long and frustrating wait.

Yes, it only applies in the host cities, and it includes ANY visa to my information.

Also, as far as I know, such registrations can only be done at the UFMS's, or Police station, Post offices cannot take registrations in the host cities during this time.

This statement is not absolutely correct as far as I understand {"If you are staying outside the host cities (outside the administrative boundaries of the city) the 24 hours requirement is not applicable (7 days instead)."}, If you are in Russia with a footy ticket then even staying on the outer edges of the area is classed the same as staying directly within the city boundaries, so 24 hr registration applies.

The answer is of course to either wait until the footy is over, use a hotel where they will have to register you, or as you rightly said, go to a place which is NOT a host during this period.

A further point which I feel is important, all/most UFMS's now work Saturdays, this is a permanent thing, therefore beware that the 7 working days now INCLUDE Saturdays..

HTH.. 



Edited by Mel 2018-04-02 11:02 AM
GaryM
Posted 2018-04-02 11:11 AM (#92699 - in reply to #92698)
Subject: Re: Russian Visa please help!
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Thanks for the clarification Mel. That also ties in with posts on the Trip Advisor site which is telling people they need to register at the police station which didn't make sense to me. But it does now after what you just said. I'm sure the queues at those places are going to be out the door and round the block. Not much fun for people trying to visit those cities who waste half a day just trying to register their visa.

Looking at various posts on Trip Advisor and other sites it seems that not many of the football fans who are going have much of a clue about the registration process or in some cases the fact they need to register at all so I can see a huge amount of people who are visiting from countries all over the world falling foul of the rules and not registering because they didn't know they had to, or because it all just seemed to be too confusing. Add to that the number of posts reporting that some hotels and Airbnb hosts appear to be explicitly saying they would not register their guests. I can see the whole registration thing in the host cities becoming a complete car crash over the footy period. Good luck to those who are going. Rather them than me

Edited by GaryM 2018-04-02 11:12 AM
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