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Why Is A Visa Required To Visit Russia?  
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1628 posts, RR: 28
Posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3045 times:

Someday I really want to visit Russia. Now that I'm living in the UK, Russia is a lot closer, so it's a thought for a future trip!

I wonder: Why is a visa still required for tourists to visit Russia? Even US citizens, like me, are required (as is everyone else on Earth) to visit Russia, even if we are "just tourists". Also, could I still get a visa even though I'm currently living in the UK?

What's the reason? Is it a remnant of Cold War days?

I've always been very fascinated with Russia, since I grew up during the latter years of the Cold War (and I remember some pretty strained times between the US and USSR in the 1980s, as well as the detente). Russia has always had an air of mystery about it (KGB, espionage, etc).

I would like to at least visit Moscow, see Red Square/the Kremlin, fly on a Russian aircraft, and visit Monino, the Soviet aircraft museum that is well-represented here on A.net! I'd also like to pick up some Cold War Soviet souvenirs, add some Russian glass syringes to my medical collection, and especially, shoot lots of photos of Russian aircraft.

Is it hard to get a visa to visit Russia? Could I still get one, as a US citizen, living here in London as a student? Please let me know. Thanks!

SmithAir747


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKaiGywer From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 12242 posts, RR: 35
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3045 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Some countries guard their borders better than others. I can't see any reason why you wouldn't get a Visa. Talk to the nearest Russian Embassy and they'll hook you up.


911, where is your emergency?
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3037 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Is it a remnant of Cold War days?

Most likely. Ivan is not a very trusting person with outsiders.

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Is it hard to get a visa to visit Russia? Could I still get one, as a US citizen, living here in London as a student? Please let me know.

I don't see why not. IIRC you might need to have your hotel send you a letter or "invitation" and perhaps proof of a return flight to include with your visa application. I have been told by numerous people that even during the height of the Cold War it was easier for an American to gain entry to the then USSR than it was to get into Canada. I wouldn't worry too much but I would go during the Summer or early Fall.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3031 times:

In mother Russia... visa requires you.


**filler**
**filler**
**filler**

-UH60


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

From Continental's website and their passport/visa requirements section...

National U.S.A. (US)
Embarkation UNITED KINGDOM (GREAT BRITAIN) (GB)
Destination RUSSIAN FEDERATION (RU)

Passport required.

Visa required. Visas in expired passports are not accepted.

If arriving at Sheremetyevo, visa can be obtained on arrival:
- provided prior approval has been obtained from the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs; or
- in the case of a technical failure with an already issued
visa.
Fee: USD 75.- to USD 150.-, depending on circumstances.

All visitors are strongly recommended to have sufficient
health/travel insurance to cover any medical expenses.

Passenger must hold Immigrant Card, obtained free of charge on
board or on arrival.
If staying longer than 3 days, passenger must register the
Immigrant Card and visa through hotel or sponsor.

If visiting relatives:
passenger must register with local police upon arrival and
have registration entered in their visa. If staying in hotel,
this will be arranged by the hotel.

If staying longer than 3 days, passenger must register the
Immigrant Card and visa through hotel or sponsor.

Non-compliance with entry regulations may result in fines for
carrier varying from a min. of USD 1,800.- to a max. of USD
3,600.- or the equivalent in local currency per passenger,
and in either deportation by same airline on first available
flight or an indefinite delay for passenger at point of entry.
If carrier can prove that at boarding point passenger had
proper documents to enter or transit territory of Russian
Fed., passenger may be fined for USD 160.- or the equivalent
in local currency.

Vaccinations not required.

Warning: passengers exceeding a stay of 3 months in the Russian
Fed. should present an AIDS Test Certificate together with a
visa application form to the Consular Department or Embassy of
the Russian Fed.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineBA747YYZ From Canada, joined Mar 2006, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2995 times:

Anyone ever think it might just be a cash grab, in order to make some money for the failing Russian economy? Seems pretty obvious!

User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2985 times:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1006.html

There's the US State Dept's Consular Information Sheet for Russia...it should help you out somewhat!

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2982 times:

Quoting BA747YYZ (Reply 5):
Anyone ever think it might just be a cash grab, in order to make some money for the failing Russian economy? Seems pretty obvious!

No offense to India but I kind of felt that way when I had to get my visa to go over there for business. My business visa was 150USD while other folks didn't have to pay nearly as much. Of course they aren't a failing economy. Perhaps our extra visa costs are adding to their coffers.

Type of Visa US Nationals Other Nationals

Transit Visa (Single/Double Entry) Validity 15 days only
US nationals $ 30
Other nationals $ 10

All types of Visa other than transit Visa valid up to 6 months (Multiple Entry)
US nationals $ 60
Other nationals $ 40

Student Visa (Valid for over 1 year to 5 years) Multiple Entry
US nationals $ 95
Other nationals $ 75

All type of Visa other than transit Visa valid for over 6 months and up to 1 year (Multiple Entry)
US nationals $ 85
Other nationals $ 65

All types of Visa other than transit Visa valid for over 1 year and up to 5 years (Multiple Entry)
US nationals $ 150
Other nationals $ 130

Tourist/Business Visa – (for US Nationals only) valid for over 5 years and up to 10 years
$ 150
N/A

Transfer of Visa to New Passport
US nationals $ 25
Other nationals $ 5



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlinePSA727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 974 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2982 times:

The main reason: revenues !!!

Since most travel to Russia by Americans is through business, it's
an easy money-maker for them.

Ukraine and Belarus have the same policies, even Chile and Brazil do
it to Americans (although their Visas are good for the life of your
passport), but nonetheless more expensive than the actual cost
of an American Passport.



fly high, pay low...Germanwings!
User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3007 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2948 times:

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 8):
Ukraine and Belarus have the same policies

Americans do not need a visa to enter the Ukraine for a stay up to 90 days. I took a trip to visit my family in Kiev last January and used my US passport to enter the country.

It's funny how some people in America get so spoiled that they say they can't enter Russia EVEN with a US passport.  Wink
Russia is just one of those countries that you need visas for. It's actually not a hard process, and I doubt the procedure will change in the near future....

Aeroflot777


User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2942 times:

Frankly I've always wondered why India and China and Russia have visa requirements for visitors from the West.

It's not like the average American, Parisian or Canadian wakes up one morning and says "I hate San Diego/the Left Bank/Montreal...I'd much rather move to Chennai/Shenzhen/Vladivostok."


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2937 times:

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 10):
Frankly I've always wondered why India and China and Russia have visa requirements for visitors from the West.

India, I have no idea other than revenue. China and Russia (and the former USSR) make sense due to the imbedded distrust of outsiders in their governments, and perhaps cultures, due to their current and former (depending on which country you are talking about) use of Communism and desire to control all aspects of life in the country. That said I would love to visit both of them and go back to India.



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26450 posts, RR: 75
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2934 times:

Quoting PSA727 (Reply 8):
even Chile and Brazil do
it to Americans

That is reciprocation.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39861 posts, RR: 74
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2928 times:

SmithAir747:
I'll be in Russia next month. I had to go through a ton of red tape to get my visa. As a tourist, it's easier to obtain a visa as all you need is a invitation letter from the hotel you're staying, proof of departure date and Passport. Then you go to your nearest Russian consulate/Embassy and apply for your visa.
Now finding a decent price in Moscow is another job. I had two hotels cancel my reservation because they found 'others' willing to pay more for the room I already booked. Customer service hasn't made it's way to Russia yet.  no 
However, I managed to find a hotel that hasn't cancelled my reservation and has issued my invitation and visa.
Will my room be availible when I get to Moscow?
I shall see. Well read the trip reports forum in two months. Big grin


SmithAir747:
Now are there NIMBYs in London that banned the TU-154 and IL-62 from the U.K.?
If I were you, go through the proper channels to get a visa to Moscow and see for yourself. Aeroflot wont have there TU-134, TU-154 is service for ever.
See if you can fly there via Athens or Istanbul on a TU-154.
Does Palma de Mallorca stil get teh Aeroflot TU-154?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8093 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2913 times:

Quoting BA747YYZ (Reply 5):
Anyone ever think it might just be a cash grab, in order to make some money for the failing Russian economy? Seems pretty obvious!



Quoting PSA727 (Reply 8):
The main reason: revenues !!!

If it was just a cash grab, they'd issue them on arrival.

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Even US citizens, like me, are required



Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 9):
It's funny how some people in America get so spoiled that they say they can't enter Russia EVEN with a US passport.

I know, I noticed this as well. The sense of entitlement displayed by Americans is quite remarkable. Thinking they should automatically get special treatment. Infuriating, isn't it?



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5697 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2896 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
I wonder: Why is a visa still required for tourists to visit Russia?

Funny this kind of amazement comes from an American. Some of the "Cold War" ways of Russian bureaucracy pale in comparison with all the post-11/9 immigration hysteria and Orwellian measures the US government introduced.

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
Even US citizens, like me, are required (as is everyone else on Earth) to visit Russia, even if we are "just tourists".

You are not THAT special, believe me...  Yeah sure


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2848 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
What's the reason? Is it a remnant of Cold War days?

Do you know how many nationalities don't need a visa (or are in the visa waiver program) to enter the US? Do you know how much it costs for a family of four to apply for a US visa? And did you know that if they are turned down (no reasons are given) they don't get their money back?

Count your blessings.


User currently offlineCsavel From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1362 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2824 times:

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 14):
The sense of entitlement displayed by Americans is quite remarkable. Thinking they should automatically get special treatment. Infuriating, isn't it?

Well the American poster perhaps, although I tend to think it was either naivete or bad wording, I think he was referring to his being from an industrialized, wealthy, Western country whose citizens, rightly or wrongly, rarely need to get visas. but it isn't good to generalize - I'm American and I don't have a sense of entitlement. You've never met me so you'll have to trust me on that.

After all if one replaced Americans with the following....

The sense of entitlement displayed by Whites is quite remarkable.

The sense of entitlement displayed by Blacks is quite remarkable.

The sense of entitlement displayed by Jews is quite remarkable.

The sense of entitlement displayed by Arabs is quite remarkable.

The sense of entitlement displayed by Women is quite remarkable.

...it sounds a little, um, off, doesn't it?



I may be ugly. I may be an American. But don't call me an ugly American.
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2824 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 16):
Do you know how many nationalities don't need a visa (or are in the visa waiver program) to enter the US?

Two. Canadians and Mexicans - but Mexicans need a BCC (Border Crossing Card) aka Laser Visa - Cost USD100 (USD13 for Children)

Quoting ANother (Reply 16):
Do you know how much it costs for a family of four to apply for a US visa?

$400


User currently offlineWeeksyUK From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days ago) and read 2805 times:

SmithAir747:

I went to russia last Easter, if i remember the Visa was around £45 and i think it could be mailed to the Russian Embassy saving yourself a trip there and the waiting around. The Visa itself is quite something - a full page in your passport with your details written in Cyrillic as well as English. It is stamped on arrival and on departure. If nothing else it makes your passport look more exotic!

Enjoy those TU-154s it'll certainly make a change. I flew Lufthansa via FRA on an all too common 733 MAN-FRA and A320 FRA-SVO


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3571 posts, RR: 29
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days ago) and read 2798 times:

It is a shame people still need Visas for Russia, because I would certainly like to visit Moscow and St.Petersburg, as well.

It is still a bureaucratic, unflexible way. As far as I know, chances to get a Visa are almost 100%, but it costs money.

It is easier to get to Cuba than Moscow for Germans.

I think the main reason is reciprocity. The EU is hesitating to give Russians Schengen Visas, as far as I know, therefore it goes the other way, as well. I hope this will change, but I would doubt to see changes in the next 10 years.


User currently offlineVC10BOAC From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2775 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 18):
Quoting ANother (Reply 16):
Do you know how many nationalities don't need a visa (or are in the visa waiver program) to enter the US?

Two. Canadians and Mexicans - but Mexicans need a BCC (Border Crossing Card) aka Laser Visa - Cost USD100 (USD13 for Children)

Quoting ANother (Reply 16):
Do you know how much it costs for a family of four to apply for a US visa?

$400

Incorrect, you are probably thinking passport not visa. Nationals of about 25 countries do not need a visa to enter the USA, most in Europe with Canada, Australia, Japan and Brunei (maybe one or two more) being the exceptions.


User currently offlineVC10BOAC From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2771 times:

Here is the list.

Currently, 27 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:

Visa Waiver Program - Participating Countries.

Andorra
Iceland
Norway

Australia
Ireland
Portugal

Austria
Italy
San Marino

Belgium
Japan
Singapore

Brunei
Liechtenstein
Slovenia

Denmark
Luxembourg
Spain

Finland
Monaco
Sweden

France
the Netherlands
Switzerland

Germany
New Zealand
United Kingdom


User currently onlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2003 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2762 times:
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Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
wonder: Why is a visa still required for tourists to visit Russia?

Sorry, but your question is incredibly naive. Many countries require a visa for Americans for no other reason than we require it from them. Except for a handful of countries, the vast majority of foreigners have to pay $100 per person for a U.S. visa application, whether its granted or not. The money is not refundable.

Give our own immigration policies, as Americans, we're just lucky that there aren't more countries that require us to obtain visas.



It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2724 times:

Quoting VC10BOAC (Reply 21):
Incorrect, you are probably thinking passport not visa.

No I was talking Visa. The existance of the Visa Waiver Program does not mean that citizens of these countries do not need a visa in all circumstances. It means that under certain conditions the requirement is waived.

But you are not the only ones - The Australians require visas from everyone (except for their cousins across the Tasmin). But, in my case, I obtained an 'electronic' visa through my travel agent for free.


25 SmithAir747 : Thanks for all your advice! I won't be able to go this year--I've got a lot of plans. This May is full of examinations (7 of them!) at King's College
26 Post contains links and images Gunsontheroof : This is as much as I saw. Left side of the clear cut is Finland, right side is Russia. Damn the Visa!
27 Soyuzavia : What's the reason? Your country requires it of them. They require it of you. At least you guys have it lucky. You can obtain your Russian visa without
28 Post contains images EZEIZA : What's the problem with Russia requiring visas? It gives themm some extra $$ and it also helps in knowing better who is visiting the country. Besides,
29 767Lover : Sigh. It would be nice if non-Americans on this forum would stop acting as if every American had a hand in making policy.
30 TIA : I thought Greece was in that list as well, but I guess I was wrong.
31 Flynlr : lots of countries require visa but not a word about mastercard. ^----------------runs and hides
32 N801NW : "Visa, It's Everywhere You Want To Be."
33 VC10BOAC : You are making no sense my friend. This thread is about a visa to visit, and the USA does not require a visa from the countries I listed before hand
34 LAPA_SAAB340 : For US citizens the Russian visa application is more "thorough" than for other countries (i.e. much more information is requested in a more extensive
35 Pope : Because they say so. Their country, their rules. Next question.
36 Captaink : Do they issue the usual visas stuck in the passports at all here? The reason i ask is that my friend (who is not mexican) is going to renew his visa
37 Civ4b2fan : remember it is a long drawn out process to get a visa for Russia. The reason why they still do require a visa is not only because of security reasons,
38 Arcano : "even US citizens, like me"????????????? What is that supposed to mean? are Americans somehow different and deserve any kind of special treatment???
39 TPAnx : Russia does it for two reasons..security...and hard currency. Been there..done that..even bought the t-shirt. One of my more fascinating trips..White
40 Post contains images ClassicLover : Yeah, Americans tend to have it worst with the Visa regulations. On the other hand, Australians and New Zealanders have it so much easier than a lot o
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