Before you go on your awesome vacation to see the historic sites of St. Petersburg and enjoy the experience of the bustling streets of Moscow, you first will need to acquire a tourist visa for Russia.
When you get Russia visas for your group, there are three important tips you should know before applying.
1. Visa Support Voucher
For reasons that are hard to pinpoint, Russia has for years now required both tourists and business travelers to get a visa support voucher.
This means that in order to be considered for approval, the consulate of Russia first wants to verify that someone in Russia has obtained a visa support voucher for you.
It may seem bureaucratic and an unnecessary extra step but nevertheless it’s a requirement that everyone must meet.
If you are going with a tour group, contact them to make sure they are in the process of obtaining a Russia visa support voucher for you. If you are not going with a tour group then contact your hotel and ask them to send you the voucher.
Not staying at a hotel or going with a tour group? When you stay with a friend or family member living there then your contact will have to get the voucher for you from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Another easy way to get one is to pay a visa service registered with the foreign ministry to obtain the voucher invitation for you.
Once the invitation to Russia gets sent to you, simply turn it in with your application when you are at the Russian embassy.
2. Have a detailed application
It’s a good idea not to be vague or leave fields blank while you are filling out the Визовая поддержка в Польшу application for Russia. The agent looking over your application could get suspicious if he feels that something is missing.
At that point, he will not only question you but will probably also ask you to take a seat and wait. While you’re waiting, the Russia consulate will be checking on your background to see if there are any red flags. To avoid delays, provide your full permanent address and have all the contact details of your host in Russia.
Also if you were ever in the military, go into detail on the second page of the application about your experience, skills and time spent in active duty. Being vague here will definitely raise a red flag.
3. Get to the consulate early
You don’t have to worry about this if you hired a visa service to handle the application process for you. If you are applying in person, get there right when they open in the morning.
The Russian consulates around the United States are usually open only for a few hours Monday through Friday.
Unfortunately, you will be out of luck if there are still others in front of you when the consulate is ready to close. So basically a day is wasted and you will have to go back on another day to apply.