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Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
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klosck Offline
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Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
I'm currently applying for a Russian tourist visa. I already have the LOI, and am starting to fill out the application. However I came across these questions:

"Do you have any specialized skills, training or experience related to firearms, explosives, nuclear, biological or chemical substances? "

"Have you ever been enlisted to military service? "

"Have you ever been involved in armed conflicts, either as a member of the military service or a victim? "



Can anyone tell me that if I answer 'yes' to these questions, will I have a much lower chance of being allowed entry into Russia?

Any info would be appreciated.
10-28-2014 08:39 AM
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PlevenskiTarikat Offline
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RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Just lie. If you're intent on going with the least amount of headaches, make it easy on yourself; don't invite unneeded scrutiny in order to be "honest."
10-28-2014 12:47 PM
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dsutmdo Offline
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RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Not sure about that..... I've had three Tourist visa's and answered truthfully to these above statements, and have never had a problem getting any of the visa's. If the Russian Consulate checks your background at all during the process and the finds what you do or have done in the past would merit a different answer than what you put down they may ask further question and then reject your application and you may never get another shot at seeing Russia. Additionally, I would definitely use a third party to hand carry you application as opposed to doing it yourself...just my thoughts
10-28-2014 07:19 PM
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Sp5 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Sounds like they're screening for KGB recruitment. I would tell them I was in the military, but deny any "specialized skills" or combat involvement.
10-29-2014 03:58 AM
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calwinston Offline
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RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
I answered yes to all those questions every time. I was in the Marine Corps and built explosives. It should not hinder you from getting you the visa. I am currently on my third Russian tourist visa. This one being the 3 year tourist visa.
(This post was last modified: 10-29-2014 05:55 AM by calwinston.)
10-29-2014 05:55 AM
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rishboy77 Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Although this thread is for Americans does anybody have have any experience for Canadian passport holders on obtaining a Russian visa ? According the Russian Embassy all applications must go through the Russian Visa Center (RVC) in Canada.
Two copies of official Tourist Voucher and Confirmation are required which I was planning on getting from my hotel to save money, RVC says the dates for voucher must match my dates for the visa.

1) What if I over stay dates of the voucher is that a problem although the visa is valid for 30 days ? I was planning on cancelling the hotel reservation once I get the voucher to stay with my GF, do they actually check to see if your hotel reservation is still valid ?

2) Are foreigners required register with the police after 48 hours ?

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11-01-2014 01:44 PM
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William Windsor Offline
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RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Has anyone tried this?

On 20 August 2010 a new government decree regulating visas for participants of the Skolkovo project was published. According to this decree, specialized and highly skilled foreign nationals who arrive in Russia with the purpose of securing employment at Skolkovo will be granted a visa for a term of up to 30 days. In the event of successful job placement they can then obtain a work visa for a term of 3 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skolkovo_innovation_center
11-02-2014 10:53 AM
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Menace Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Canadian should be same as American. They do not check if you stay at the place you got your voucher from. As long as visa is valid, all good.

I believe you're required to register within 7 days, but could be wrong. You should be able to check this online. My registration was handled for me. If you or someone you know speaks/reads Russian, you can register yourself at a post office.
11-02-2014 07:34 PM
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rishboy77 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Menace -
Thanks all for the information. They sure make it hard to visit over there as voucher needs match the same dates as the visa, making it hard to book only for a few nights and cancel to get the free voucher as I had planned and do your own thing.

One final question. Do I actual need to show and have a confirmed airline ticket to apply for the Russian visa ?

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11-03-2014 10:58 AM
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Menace Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
rish, you may need a print out of your reservation; this is usually enough for most visa places. I should have mentioned that there is no need to book a hotel and cancel, there are services that will get you the invitation for like $30. Do a search on the forum for my name, I had a detailed russian visa post in a thread about Russia that someone started.
11-03-2014 07:10 PM
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Tenerife Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Has anyone gotten the three year Russian tourist visa in Kiev (or maybe Lviv)? What were the exact requirements?

Technically the internet says that for this visa you need medical insurance, but generally they don't check. Did you need medical insurance to get it in Kiev? Any other documents?


I'm currently in Belgrade Serbia and they want everything. I have the letter of invitation, the filled out form, but they want 5 or so other documents including medical insurance, employment documents, proof of ownership of property in my home country, etc.
04-19-2017 04:39 AM
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Dragan Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Anyone done the visa process from American soil...? Did you use a consulate or a third-party service, and how timely were they?

Sounds awesome that you get 3 years, and up to six months each time... But if the visa is going to be all slow and bureaucratic, that bums me out a bit.

I'm considering two other options, one of which I've researched, and have a decent understanding of:

1) Take the ferry from Finland, and stay in St. Pete's for a few days, you get some sort of waiver and don't have to go through a visa application process, they just issue a 72 hour short stay visa at the port of entry.

2) I think maybe there's a visa waiver plan during the world cup if you have proof you go to a game.... Would give me a lot more options than St. Pete's, but there's gonna be a lot of Western tourists there if I go this route.
01-19-2018 04:45 PM
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rover Offline
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Post: #13
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
(01-19-2018 04:45 PM)Dragan Wrote:  Anyone done the visa process from American soil...? Did you use a consulate or a third-party service, and how timely were they?

Sounds awesome that you get 3 years, and up to six months each time... But if the visa is going to be all slow and bureaucratic, that bums me out a bit.

I've done 1 and 3 months tourist visas using NY consulate (I'd recommend the visa center in lower Manhattan now). Especially the 1 month visa is super easy: just buy a tourist voucher on the internet for like $20-30 and then the visa process takes around 2 weeks. You apply electronically, then take money order and photo and passport to the office and then pick it up 2 weeks later.
01-20-2018 04:38 AM
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Dragan Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
(01-20-2018 04:38 AM)rover Wrote:  
(01-19-2018 04:45 PM)Dragan Wrote:  Anyone done the visa process from American soil...? Did you use a consulate or a third-party service, and how timely were they?

Sounds awesome that you get 3 years, and up to six months each time... But if the visa is going to be all slow and bureaucratic, that bums me out a bit.

I've done 1 and 3 months tourist visas using NY consulate (I'd recommend the visa center in lower Manhattan now). Especially the 1 month visa is super easy: just buy a tourist voucher on the internet for like $20-30 and then the visa process takes around 2 weeks. You apply electronically, then take money order and photo and passport to the office and then pick it up 2 weeks later.

Thanks for the info.
01-20-2018 11:23 AM
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JimBobsCooters Offline
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RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Russian Visa is a lot of form filling but not actually difficult. I haven't tried lying on it as I have no need to but I've completed everything and had no issues.

US Citizen 3 year visa is a very easy one to do, just get the regular 30 day tourist invitation from any of a number of websites and then when you do the application put for 3 years instead (round down a day or two just to be safe at the end as well). Only issue with this visa is to expect delays and questions if you got to any of the minor airports, I've used it a couple of times going in and out at Samara and every time I get asked to step aside and wait for confirmation, takes about an extra 15 minutes and haven't had issues but it's a pain. In Moscow where they obviously see it a lot more it gets treated exactly the same as other passports.

Other visas are also simple, the biggest hitch can be that it's difficult to get it in countries that you don't have residence in which can make it hard to get while on the road, basically the technical requirement is that you're permitted to live in the country you're applying in for more than 12 months which for most countries requires some kind of residency or high end visa. Having said that, I had no issues getting a visa in Vietnam with British passport so this is one of those requirements that just depends on what kind of employee you get and probably even more what their mood is. You again just need the invite, which is easiest to get online, and then complete the forms.

I expect they have some sort of military screening system so I wouldn't lie on those questions for sure when doing the application for the OP.

All 3 visas that I have done were processed and completed within a week. 2 at consulates and one through a travel agency. This seems to be about the ballpark figure on this.

Good luck!
01-20-2018 12:53 PM
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Dragan Offline
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Post: #16
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
(01-20-2018 12:53 PM)JimBobsCooters Wrote:  Russian Visa is a lot of form filling but not actually difficult. I haven't tried lying on it as I have no need to but I've completed everything and had no issues.

US Citizen 3 year visa is a very easy one to do, just get the regular 30 day tourist invitation from any of a number of websites and then when you do the application put for 3 years instead (round down a day or two just to be safe at the end as well). Only issue with this visa is to expect delays and questions if you got to any of the minor airports, I've used it a couple of times going in and out at Samara and every time I get asked to step aside and wait for confirmation, takes about an extra 15 minutes and haven't had issues but it's a pain. In Moscow where they obviously see it a lot more it gets treated exactly the same as other passports.

Other visas are also simple, the biggest hitch can be that it's difficult to get it in countries that you don't have residence in which can make it hard to get while on the road, basically the technical requirement is that you're permitted to live in the country you're applying in for more than 12 months which for most countries requires some kind of residency or high end visa. Having said that, I had no issues getting a visa in Vietnam with British passport so this is one of those requirements that just depends on what kind of employee you get and probably even more what their mood is. You again just need the invite, which is easiest to get online, and then complete the forms.

I expect they have some sort of military screening system so I wouldn't lie on those questions for sure when doing the application for the OP.

All 3 visas that I have done were processed and completed within a week. 2 at consulates and one through a travel agency. This seems to be about the ballpark figure on this.

Good luck!

This is probably the wrong venue to post this, but I'll give it a shot because I know so little about the way things work over there.

Two questions:

-I have relatives that live there, do I have to list them on some form?
-I don't know if I'm a Russian citizen, is that something I should worry about, especially concerning the draft there?
01-20-2018 02:50 PM
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JimBobsCooters Offline
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RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
(01-20-2018 02:50 PM)Dragan Wrote:  This is probably the wrong venue to post this, but I'll give it a shot because I know so little about the way things work over there.

Two questions:

-I have relatives that live there, do I have to list them on some form?
-I don't know if I'm a Russian citizen, is that something I should worry about, especially concerning the draft there?

Not an expert on either but will do my best.

On the first, not that I know of. Unless they send you a visitor invite where you'll list them or unless you list them as your place of residence on the application. Even if you're visiting it's just easier to do the tourist visa as the family has to jump through a lot of hoops to invite you.

On the second, you absolutely have an issue if you're a Russian citizen, you should look into it. Russia allows dual/multi citizenship but it doesn't acknowledge other citizenships if you have Russian citizenship. So if you have say US and Russian, when in Russia you are solely Russian, you have no diplomatic or embassy protection from the US citizenship as Russia does not acknowledge it. You also must perform your national service or face punishment. Russian is one of the more difficult citizenships to obtain/pass on so that's a positive if you want to go there and avoid national service.

I don't have Russian citizenship so I can't say for certain how it interacts but as part of the visa application you must declare all citizenship that you currently hold.
01-20-2018 04:47 PM
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369eyedea Offline
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RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Does anyone have any experience applying for Russian visa whilst on the road?

Don't really want to have to send my passport back home.

I understand that for tourist visas the rule is that you can't apply whilst abroad when you don't have residence. Is this rule the same for the Business visa?

By the way, I'm not a US citizen.

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(This post was last modified: 02-04-2018 08:59 AM by 369eyedea.)
02-04-2018 08:58 AM
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Cr33pin Offline
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Post: #19
RE: Russian Tourist Visa for Americans
Man this visa seems like a pain...
Does anyone have the best site to get through this process. An a time frame on how long it takes?

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07-11-2018 09:29 AM
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