I'm planning on a taking the Trans Manchurian from Beijing and sorting out my Russian visa from there. One small problem, my passport runs out in August 08 and I'm planning on doing the trip at the start of April 08. Thus meaning there won't be 6 months left on my passport before I depart Russia. Is this definately going to be an issue as far as getting my visa granted, or is it just another requirement that isn't really adhered to. Obviously I don't want to pay money applying for a visa that I know isn't going to get granted! Would it make any difference going to my embassy in Beijing? I'm a Swedish citizen.
Any help on this matter would be hugely appreciated.
I don't know if it'll be different for you than me but I needed to get a new passport because mine expires less than 6 months from the time i leave for Ireland.
I just went a renewed it. Takes 2 weeks but for an extra cost you can get it rushed within a week i believe.
Would it make any difference going to my embassy in Beijing? I'm a Swedish citizen.
Unless you have Chinese residency, that won't work anyway - The Russian Embassy in Beijing ONLY deals with Chinese nationals or those foreigners with residency. If you don't have that, you will have to go to Shanghai or Hong Kong. The issues in Beijing happened a few years go, and was basically due to a change in requirements which greatly increased their workload, so they just said sod it (roughly)!
As for the 6months, sometimes you can get away with it, sometimes you can't. It generally depends on the specific embassy official you are dealing with (and even what time of the day/week they look at it), though in general terms, you care more likely to get turned away than accepted. The Russians tend to be more of a stickler for such things than many other countries, though I admit that I have never tried to get a Russian visa with less than 6mths left.
As you have time, I would advise you to replace your passport - having said that, bear in mind that you don't have to do it in Sweden. If you will be in Beijing, for example, for 2 or 3 weeks, you can get it replaced there via the Embassy ((bear in mind that China and Vietnam, in particular, aren't good places for this if you are moving around, as all hostels/hotels/tours etc require passport ID and photocopies are often not good enough. If you are staying in a city for 2weeks+, though, it's no problem))