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Russian Visa

Travel Forums Europe Russian Visa

1. Posted by urbancow (Full Member 47 posts) 11y

Any independent backpacker ever been denied a visa or entry at the airport/border? Im getting my visa stuff together and it seems patently obvious that russia does not swing its doors open to independent travelers.

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Uhm, Bali, just last November.... embarrasing too

If I recall correctly from research I've done into Russia in the past, you will need a company to 'sponsor' you to get the visa. It's not particularly expensive I think but it is a bit of a hassle. I don't know if it's harder for Americans than Europeans either?

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 11y

You need to arrange a Russian visa in advance. Not hard for independent travellers, but time consuming, overly convoluted and it will mean you need to know your travel dates in advance! You can just buy the invitation online (perfectly legit - no need for accommodation to be booked as some might suggest) and do all the paperwork yourself. You can then choose to pay for how fast you want the visa to be processed (what a scam ... ) Every city you go to in Russia, you need to 'check in' so to speak - your hotel usually takes care of this; they will take your passport for a day and give it back to you all validated. If not, you risk some heavy fines from local policemen.

I believe there is such a thing as a transit visa for Russia (ie, if you're just going to be on the train for a few days on your way to somewhere else), but really, what's the point of that ?!

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 11y

And even transit visas are hard to get, as theres only specific points they accept you are feasibly transiting too.

Russian tourist visas arent all that hard to get, but because of the effort, allot dont bother, meaning its more rewarding wen you get there. And no, you cannot just turn up and pay at the border.

Do it in advance, with slowest processing and its not too hard. Be aware that moscow &st. petes have a SERIOUS lack of cheap accom, so dont just turn up and expect to find something. Good luck.