Tired of Russian bureaucracy? Take a break in the countryside. No paperwork, and the only two rules are to keep animals out of the kitchen and not to pee on the toilet seat. Hiking, horseback rides, rafting etc. await you in the Village of Dubrovki in Tver region, right on the Volga. Working holidays possible (tree planting, environment cleanup..). Much better than Pokrovka 42 (Moscow's central OVIR)
You may end up sending your application, and photos, complete with a stamped self-addressed envelop. Different Russian embassies, apparently, have different rules on how it is OK and not OK to send documents, so try to establish direct contact with them.
Please note that you do not necessarily need to work with the embassy closest to you, or in your country. When I was arranging for my what turned out to be one way trip to Russia in the early 90s I dealt with the one in Ottawa (42 Range Road, as far as I recall), and at that time they were pretty helpful.
Method of payment: cash or certified cheque.
Fees may vary but are typically $60-80 for no-rush (over two weeks) processing.
With some luck you'll get your visa and will be able to cross the Russian border.
Next will be the registration issue. So far we'll been solving this problem by quick and inexpensive registration at a cheap hotel. This practice, it seems, is coming to an end, so we'll go back to writing a letter, having it notarized, and bringing it to the local OVIR unless you plan to travel and can't part with your passport for a week, in which case we'll revert to instant semi-legal registration as long as such remains possible...
To equip us to speak to OVIR on your behalf and successfully obtain your Izveshchenie, we need to know the following pieces of information:
Date of birth
Place of birth
Date of issue
Date of expiration
Passport issuing office
Place of work and position
Word address and tel. number
Previos trips to Russia
THREE PASSPORT-SIZE PHOTOS
Length of stay
Cities to be visited
Single, double or multi-entry
A procedural note
- Discuss your travel plans with me to determine you visa support, accommodation and other requirements
- Send the required information
- STAY TUNED AND RESPOND IMMEDIATELY - visa support is a tricky and time-sensitive process
- Advance payment may or may not be required. In the latter case be prepared to convince me that your plans are serious and my trip to OVIR and filling out the forms will not be a waste of time and effort.
Reason for your trip
Were are you going to stay in Russia?
Where do you plan to apply for your visa?
Method of travel (plane, train, car)
Contrary to what you may be told, you DO NOT NECESSARILY need to buy a package tour or reserve a place in an expensive hotel to enter Russia. If it helps in your particular case I can supply a notarized letter to the effect that you will be staying with me...
Visa expired, host disappeared, your documents are a mess?
I know the scene, learned a few tricks over the years, and dealt with OVIR's central office in the past. I'm available for consultations and support in messy cases.
Even in the most hopeless cases I can be of help. A picturesque refuge in the catacombs near the city of Staritsa on the Volga is a great alternative to suffering the wrath of Russian authorities in Magadan.
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