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Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
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Author:  Luckyspin [ 30 Nov 2010 02:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

EU and Russia: Free Visa Talks at Standstill

Few days ago I read that Russia's Intourist group of companies and Thomas Cook, one of the world's leading travel companies have agreed to establish a joint venture for Intourist's tour operating and retail businesses.

Under the deal, Intourist will receive a 49.9 percent stake in the joint venture while Thomas Cook will acquire a 50.1% stake in the joint venture for $45 million, including $10 million payable in cash and $35 million in Thomas Cook's shares, listed on the London Stock Exchange. This joint venture, obviously, will be a good thing for the travel business in Russia and the CIS countries.

According to the latest reports on tourism to Russia, this market segment now accounts for 3 percent of the country’s GDP. While travel and tourism revenue in the Russian Federation is still small compared to her neighbors, the numbers do suggest positive growth for the industry overall. According to Minister of Sport and Tourism Vitaly Mutko, Russians also traveled abroad 44 % more frequently this year.

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Winter in Russia is nothing compared to EU chill

Also according to the Minister Mutko, the Ministry’s most recent aims have been to establish an inbound tourism industry that is competitive with those in the rest of Europe. Russia has always been and still is one of the most difficult places for foreigners to visit for a number of reasons.

Meanwhile, security measures and other variables have stalled negotiations between the EU and Russia where “free visas” are concerned. President Dmitry Medvedev and Finland’s Tarja Halonen met just the other day, see previous post, to try and hammer out some of the differences – but there is still a huge hill to climb when it comes to clearing up the red tape. Russia and Finland, in reality Russia and the world, are looking forward to free visa regime but getting there involves a bit more than just wanting too.

International security, fears of increased drug trafficking, decades old suspicion – whatever the causes, the EU has constantly told Russia no on this issue. Most people would suspect Russia of being the steadfast opponent of free visa travel, but the opposite is true. For many people, especially Russians, this seems disproportionately unfair too. Now with Russia willing to comply with the preponderance of EU demands (as never before), it is the EU that has stalled the progress. Russia is now falling behind Moldova and Ukraine in tourism and for sure Russia has to feel shunned at this point.

The shame in all this is, the benefits of a mutually accepted free visa system between the EU and Russia far outweigh any dangers. Russia as a business partner, as a collaborator in any regard, is pretty much an inevitability. Besides millions of people missing out on what Russia has to offer in tourism, in the real world Europe will increasingly depend on Russia’s resources – there is no doubt of that. So stalling free visa travel is a useless exercise and bad politics for many. Sure there are hurdles to conquer, but stonewalling Moscow will not take Europe forward.

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My thoughts and yours, exactly, Russia's almost unsurpassed beauty

[veryhappy.gif]

Author:  wiz [ 01 Dec 2010 16:48 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

To Russia With Love

The above title on my post, may come as a surprise to some people who are under the impression that I have biased views against Russia, Russian women and people. One of them also think that I don't have a great depth of knowledge on these subjects but I have to disappoint him as I dedicate plenty of my free time following events over there.

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From what I read around, lately, it appears that Russia soon will be turning over a new leaf where travelers are concerned. We all know and make no mistake, the largest country in the world has never been an easy place to visit comparatively. With some of the most wonderful attractions anywhere on this planet, in my view, it's almost a crime that tourism there has not developed as much as it has in other satellites countries that were part of the USSR . I read somewhere else that a new government program aims to change all that, and hope by 2016 Russia to become a traveler’s paradise. It’s about time that the world will be able to travel to Russia with love.

Can you name one country with more majestic beauty and historical significance than Russia?

Chances are you cannot just based on the sheer size of the place. Russia is diverse and broad enough to be on a whole other planet, and tourism wise, it has been forever. With a terrible tourist infrastructure, and some of the world’s most expensive hotels, even the majesty of St. Petersburg could not overcome, when leaving, the emptiness of one’s wallet. Of course this says nothing for the almost legendary Russian bad service that every traveller points out.

The truth is, if you looks closer that Russian’s are welcoming people actually. The new ambitious plan to bring the country into the forefront of the tourist industry its long time overdue.

Few days ago the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sport, Nadezhda Nazina, spoke to reporters reflecting the same sentiment:

“We are going to do everything possible so that a foreign visitor feels comfortable in Russia.”

She also said that (putting their money where their mouth is) the government is about to start investing nearly $12 billion dollar in a long term plan to improve the tourist infrastructure issues, including a vast advertising campaign. Some experts predict, if their efforts are successful that would mean as many as 40 million tourists will visit Russia each year. In my book though, to achieve this, it will take many years. However, last year Russia was only visited by 2.3 million foreigners, according to statistics – a number far below even of some emerging countries in International tourism. It is a pity and shame that so few foreigners have had the chance to visit some of Russia’s unfathomable treasures.

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France and the United States lead all inbound tourist destinations with 74 and 55 million visitors respectively. Given the size of Russia, the country’s huge economy and the vast tourist places of interest and resources – Russia is even behind Italy, if you can imagine. [surprised.gif]

This says a lot about the accessibility of Russia, even their hospitality. – but perhaps more about the bad experiences many Western travelers may have had. Hopefully, these ideas and negatives will evaporate during the course of the next few years.

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Prices combined with horrible service?


The average cost of a hotel room in Russia is about $300 a night.

Yes you read that correctly. [surprised.gif]

Perhaps even more extraordinary is the fact that Moscow and St. Petersburg receive almost 98 percent of all visitors! Russia is huge comparing to Europe and only two places get all the travelers? [rolleyes.gif]

The Russian government will need to address the visa and entry issues as well. Russia is not a very easy country to get around actually. Visitors are still required to register their immigration card in at every town they visit, an archaic insult that simply has to go.

A couple of Days ago, Thomas Cook has taken a majority stake at the Intourist company with an option to acquire the rest of the shares later.

Frankly, an influx of ideas and investment from outside Russia is just what the tourism industry there needs. It’s about time. The world has no idea how fantastic Russia is.

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Rostov on Don

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Kazan

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Kazan

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The kremlin

Author:  wiz [ 29 Jan 2011 14:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

Second time writing to the president!


I know that many of you must think that I am mad writing again to the President of the Russian federation but I don't care....... he does make sure that I get a reply..... so nothing venture nothing lost or won in my case.! [tonque.gif]

My Letter to President Medvedev


President of the Russian Federation 28 October 2010
Ilinka Str, No 23
103132,
Moscow,
Russia.


28 October 2010


Your Excellency

On the 14 January 2010, I wrote to you the following letter about a Visa and immigration problem that I have to face, each time I need to visit my extended Russian family and asked for your help to resolve it!

My letter of 14 January 2010 to your Excellency:

“I am writing to bring to your attention a small problem that affects my family and of course a few other families and I hope you will consider our plight and will offer your help in trying to resolve our problem.

I am a Greek citizen, living in the UK and I am married to a lady who is Russian National.

After our wedding in Russia, my wife applied under the European Directive 2004/38/EU and was granted a visa, FREE of any charges, by the British Consulate and came to join me in the UK. As a Greek citizen, I exercised my right under the same EU Directive for free movement in the European Economic Area and my wife was granted a Resident Card which gave her the right, not only to reside in the UK with entitlement to work freely but also to FREE National Health Care and other state benefits. Additionally her Resident Card allows her to travel to any European country that is a member of the European community without the need for a Schegen or any other type of Visa.

The Russian Federation in co-operation with the European community have streamlined and simplified the Visa requirements in 2007 for travel between our respective countries and reduced the financial cost but still that doesn’t not resolve the problem that my wife and I we have to face when we need to travel together to Russia.

My wife and I have a family, her 70 years old mother, who lives in Russia and obviously we support her financially to make her life comfortable. Unfortunately due to our current work situation we can’t visit her often but we try to do it as often as we can.

The problem we are faced is that I (personally) can not travel at a moments notice in an emergency situation, regarding her old mother, and support my wife with my presence there because I am required to have a visa to travel to Russian Federation. I am sure you do realise that how ever fast can be the service provided by the staff at the Russian Consulate in London and as we live outside and away from London, I still need a few days before I receive my visa.

Under the circumstances, I would like to ask for your help to resolve this problem. I am sure with a good will on the part of your Government a solution can be found and the Russian Federation could facilitate and offer to me the same benefit and freedom of movement when I need to make a family visit Russia, especially in an emergency situation without the need of a Visa. By doing so you will be reciprocating the same Conditions afforded and as provided by the EU to my wife, a Russian National.

Having followed in the press the efforts of your Government to normalise relations with the European Community to reach to an agreement for Free travel between our respective parties, it is my view that the Russian Government by offering a solution to my problem, which affects also a small number of other people too, in the EU countries, it would be another opportunity for your Government to demonstrate to the EU its willingness and efforts for a fair solution to the current stumbling block, which stops Russian citizens travelling freely to the EU countries.

Thank you for your time and I hope my request will receive your attention and consideration.”


On the 2nd of March 2010, your Excellency signed the Federal Law “About Introducing Changes to the Federal Law On Procedures for Exit from and Entry to the Russian Federation from 15.08.1996”. It states that article 25 has an amendment now for issuing a visa for a foreign national on a basis of a Russian citizen’s written request about joint entry into Russia his/her relatives who are foreign citizens.

Additionally on the 9 March 2010, I received a call from the Russian Embassy in London, in connection with my above mentioned letter to your Excellency, which advised me that my partner, a Russian National, can write a simple letter of invitation for me and then I can apply for a visa (valid up to 3 months, single or double entry) via the Visa Centre in London but not directly to the consulate.

Unfortunately the new Law does not resolve my problem and its implementation by the Consulate and the Russian Visa Centre in London, on the contrary makes it more difficult. It is more expensive now, especially as we have to travel from far away to London by train, to acquire a visitors Visa with a Private invitation for the following reason, as stated in their web site at the Russian Visa Centre:

  1. Citizen of the Russia Federation must be present in person at the time of application submission to sign the visa request form (this must be signed with presence of the Visa Centre officer). Hence, no postal application can be accepted.

  2. Documents confirming the kinship with a citizen of the Russian Federation should be provided. Only originals or legalized photocopies of marriage certificate (for spouses), birth/adoption certificate (for children), birth/adoption certificate and the medical certificate confirming incapacity (for incapacitated children of any age) must be provided together with copies of the valid passport and proof of the lawful stay in UK of the citizen of the Russian Federation.

  3. The procedure of the migration registration implies informing (notifying) a relevant territorial office of the Federal Migration Service of a foreign citizen's arrival to the place of sojourn and must be carried out in the course of three working days after his/her arrival to the Russian Federation, accompanied by the citizen of Russia Federation who signed the visa request form.

I hope your Excellency would reconsider my request and help me to resolve this problem once and for all and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Your sincerely

Yannis

Author:  wiz [ 29 Jan 2011 14:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

After 3 months..I got a reply..... [biggrin.gif]

I told you before.... he is good, always reply to my letters..... .[glad.gif]






Author:  wiz [ 29 Jan 2011 15:33 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

My Reply to the Russian Consul's letter!


Consul General ...................................................................................................................... 30 January 2011
Consular Department of the Russian Embassy
5 Kensington Palace Gardens
London W8 4QS


Dear Mr ...........

Thank you very much for your letter dated 25 January 2011 in reply to my letter to his Excellency, the President of the Russian Federation, dated 28 October 2010 and I would like to bring to your attention the following:

  • I am very happy to read your encouraging comment, which implies that the Consulate will do it’s best, under the current legislation, to help me resolve my difficulties and make it easier for me to travel to my family and home in Russia:

    “We do understand your difficulties and inconveniences and would be happy to facilitate your journeys to Russia”

    Unfortunately with the same breath you continue to advise me:

    “But for the present the Russian legislation neither allows us to issue you a multiple one year visa nor change the visa procedure.”

Having followed meticulously over the years the continuous negotiations between the Russian Federation and the European Community, I come to realise, now, that with a good will on your part and as promised in your letter, a satisfactory solution can be found under the current legislation and the 2007 Agreement between the EU and the Russian Federation to resolve my problem. Find detailed below the pre-conditions under which you could facilitate and help me to avoid more difficulties when travelling to visit my family and home in Russia.

May I remind you the following?

  1. I was born in Greece, hold a Greek Passport and Greece is part of the EU and I used my right under the EU directive 2004/38/EU to bring my Russian wife into the UK, as explained in my original letter to his Excellency, the President of the Russian Federation. Of course I have a dual nationality and hold also a British Passport but in this case it’s not applicable.

  2. I am sure that you are aware of the agreement that was signed in Shochi and came into force on the 1st June 2007 between the European Union and the Russian Federation.

  3. Please find attached a copy of the said agreement in English language referring to the conditions for travel for the Citizens of the Russian federation and naturally the same conditions apply for the citizens of all the EU countries too BUT this agreement does not apply for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ireland, The Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway.


1. Documents required.

For the categories of persons listed below, only the mentioned documents are requested to justify the purpose of the journey.

(The general requirement of personal appearance for the submission of the visa application and supporting documents will remain unaffected. In individual cases, in which doubts remain regarding the purpose of the journey, the applicants’ intention to return to his/her country of residence or to proof sufficient means of subsistence proportionate to the length and the purpose of the stay, the visa applicant can be called for an additional in depth interview to the embassy/consulate. Additional documents can be provided by the visa applicant or exceptionally requested by the consular officer.)

  • close relatives (spouse, children, parents, grandparents and grandchildren) visiting citizens of the Russian Federation legally residing in the territory of the Member States:
    o a written request from the host person including proof of the relationship and residency (original);

What is in the written request?

  • For the invited person: name, surname, date of birth, sex, citizenship, number of the identity document, time and purpose of journey, number of entries, and name of minor children accompanying the invited person.

  • For inviting person: name, surname, address and contact details.


2. Visa handling fee.

  1. The fee for processing a visa application is 35 €.
  2. This fee will benefit all EU and Russian citizens (including tourists) and concern all types of Schengen visas, i.e. both transit and short-stay visas, irrespective of the number of entries.

3. Exemption from the visa fee.

Certain categories of persons benefit from a waiving of the visa fee:

  • close relatives (spouse, children, parents, grandparents and grandchildren) visiting citizens of the Russian Federation legally residing in the territory of the Member States;

4. Criteria for issuing multiple-entry visas (for staying max 90 days per 180 days) valid for a long period of time.

  • Multiple-entry visas valid for 5 years to spouses and children visiting citizens of the Russian Federation legally residing in the Member States and members of national and regional governments and parliaments, Constitutional and Supreme Courts; or for the time of duration of their authorisation for legal residence or of their mandate, if these are less than five years

It is my view under the requirements of the said agreement of 2007, between the European Union and the Russian Federation that as a spouse of a Russian National, I qualify for a Multiple-entry visa valid for 5 years and also benefit from a waiving of the visa fee!

It is clear, the above conditions and requirements reciprocate the same benefits as those my Russian National wife has been afforded by the EU, with her Resident Card. Of course, now, it is up to your decision and your willingness to help me to make it easier for me to be able to travel, visit my old age mother in Law and also our family house in Russia.

As the only male in the family, I can’t stress enough my frustration for my inability to travel at a moment’s notice, in an emergency, to support and take care of my mother in law, as it happened to us last November when she was taken urgently to hospital and had a gall stone operation! Of course I couldn’t travel and be there to offer my care and support.

2. .... In reply to your other comments regarding the simplified procedure, after the change of the law last March, may kindly I refer you to my comments made in my previous letter to his Excellency, the President of the Russian Federation, after my personal experience last May.

“Unfortunately the new Law does not resolve my problem and its implementation by the Consulate and the Russian Visa Centre in London, on the contrary makes it more difficult. It is more expensive now, especially as we have to travel from far away to London by train, to acquire a visitors Visa with a Private invitation for the following reason, as stated in their web site at the Russian Visa Centre:

1.) Citizen of the Russia Federation must be present in person at the time of application submission to sign the visa request form (this must be signed with presence of the Visa Centre officer). Hence, no postal application can be accepted. “

May I add that my wife is in a full time employment and she has to take a day off to go to London thus adding an additional cost with the loss of her income for that day!

3...... Your suggestion that I can travel to Russia under another type of visa, eg Tourist visa unfortunately doesn’t comply with the requirements for the registration of the immigration Card with OVIR and obviously either I will be refused registration of my Immigration Card or I will be forced to pay a fine.

4. ..... I am also a supporter of the Russian proposition for a visa free travel between Russia and the EU countries and I believe, like you, that if the EU accepts the Russian proposition both parties will benefit immensely. Having worked as a Tour operator in the travel industry here in the UK for many years, I can foresee how beneficial it will be, especially for the Russian Federation such new regime, which bound to create a large number of new, jobs, in construction of new facilities and also will increase its service industry dramatically. I am sure you also realise this will be an additional and very profitable currency revenue stream for the Russian economy and its citizens too. I think it’s about time that the doors to Russia open for the mass tourism.

I feel extremely frustrated in the knowledge of the hidden treasures of your country, that so few people, like me, now can visit. I have always advocated that you have a very beautiful and wonderful country and very nice people too, (when they get to know you) like my many Russian friends. I think it’s a pity that your Government doesn’t take the bold step and drop the visa requirement, for at least the Europeans citizens, which of course will throw the EU bureaucrats with their negative attitudes into depression.

I believe millions of visitors will travel to the new holiday destination, “Open Russia”, visit the many interesting places and treasures in the Russian Federation and not only Moscow and St Petersburg as it happens now and of course the sun and sea masses that will sunbathe in the Black sea resorts and forget about Spain, Portugal, Cyprus etc.

May I kindly ask you if it is convenient for you to arrange an appointment to come and meet you, as this problem cannot be resolved via the Russian Visa Centre in London?

I hope your Excellency would consider my request and help me to resolve this problem once and for all and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Your sincerely

Author:  wiz [ 29 Jan 2011 16:20 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

Today I discovered this Document which inspired my letter to the Consul,
thanks to the Visa Centre of Holland in Moscow!

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Agreement between
the European Union and the Russian Federation
NEW RULES ON FACILITATION OF ISSUANCE OF VISAS
AS FROM 1st JUNE 2007


The purpose of the Agreement is to facilitate, on the basis of reciprocity, the issuance of visas for an intended stay of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days to the citizens of the European Union and the Russian Federation. This agreement does not apply for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ireland, The Kingdom of Denmark, the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway. The agreement defines a number of simplified procedures (facilitations) for issuing visas. They concern:

1. Documents required.

For the categories of persons listed below, only the mentioned documents are requested to justify the purpose of the journey.

(The general requirement of personal appearance for the submission of the visa application and supporting documents will remain unaffected. In individual cases, in which doubts remain regarding the purpose of the journey, the applicants’ intention to return to his/her country of residence or to proof sufficient means of subsistence proportionate to the length and the purpose of the stay, the visa applicant can be called for an additional in depth interview to the embassy/consulate. Additional documents can be provided by the visa applicant or exceptionally requested by the consular officer.)

  • close relatives (spouse, children, parents, grandparents and grandchildren) visiting citizens of the Russian Federation legally residing in the territory of the Member States:
    o a written request from the host person including proof of the relationship and residency (original);

  • business people:
    o a written request from a host company, organisation, authority or organising committee (original);

  • members of official delegations:
    o a letter from Russian authority confirming the applicant is a member of the official delegation (original) and
    o a copy of the official invitation sent by the EU institution or Member State;

  • pupils, students and accompanying teachers travelling to study:
    o a written request (original) or
    o a certificate of enrolment (original) from the host- and home university or
    o student cards or certificates of the courses to be attended;

  • participants in scientific, cultural and artistic activities, university and other exchange programmes, and sport events:
    o a written request from the host organisation (original);

  • journalists:
    o certificate (original) issued by a professional organisation to prove (s)he is a journalist and
    o document from the employer stating the purpose is journalistic work;

  • persons visiting military and civil burials:
    o official document (original) confirming existence and preservation of the grave and the relationship between the applicant and the buried;

  • drivers conducting international cargo and passenger transportation services and members of international trains crews travelling to the Member States:
    o a written request (original) from the national association of carriers (for drivers) or from the railway company (for train crews) stating the purpose, duration and frequency of the trips;

  • participants of twin-cities exchange programmes:
    o a written request (original) from the Mayor/Head of Administration of the city.


What is in the written request?

  • For the invited person: name, surname, date of birth, sex, citizenship, number of the identity document, time and purpose of journey, number of entries, and name of minor children accompanying the invited person.

  • For inviting person: name, surname, address and contact details.

  • For inviting legal person: full name and address, name and position of the person signing the request and registration number for companies based in the Member States.

2. Visa handling fee.

  • The fee for processing a visa application is 35 €.

  • This fee will benefit all EU and Russian citizens (including tourists) and concern al types of Schengen visas, i.e. both transit and short-stay visas, irrespective of the number of entries.

  • There is the possibility of charging a fee of 70 € on urgent requests (3 days before departure). This does not apply to cases related to humanitarian or health reasons (disabled persons and those to receive urgent medical treatment); death of relatives and members of official delegations.

  • As the fee corresponds to the administrative costs for processing the visa application, it has to be paid when the visa application is submitted and there is no reimbursement in case of refusal to issue the visa.

3. Exemption from the visa fee.

  • Certain categories of persons benefit from a waiving of the visa fee:
  • close relatives (spouse, children, parents, grandparents and grandchildren) visiting citizens of the Russian Federation legally residing in the territory of the Member States;

  • pupils, students and accompanying teachers for educational purposes;

  • humanitarian cases (disabled and accompanying person if necessary, persons travelling to receive urgent medical treatment, to attend a funeral of a close relative or to visit a seriously ill close relative- i.e. spouse, children, grandparents and grandchildren);

  • persons participating in scientific, cultural and artistic activities including exchange programmes;

  • persons participating in youth international sport events and persons accompanying them;

  • participants in twin cities exchange programmes;

  • children under 6 years;

  • researchers fulfilling certain conditions;

  • members of official delegations.

Moreover, diplomatic missions and consulates can waive or reduce the fee in individual cases.


4. Criteria for issuing multiple-entry visas (for staying max 90 days per 180 days)
....valid for a long period of time.


  1. Multiple-entry visas valid for 5 years to spouses and children visiting citizens of the Russian Federation legally residing in the Member States and members of national and regional governments and parliaments, Constitutional and Supreme Courts; or for the time of duration of their authorisation for legal residence or of their mandate, if these are less than five years.

  2. Multiple-entry visas valid for 1 year to members of official delegations; business people; participants in scientific, cultural, artistic activities, including university and other exchange programmes and sport events; journalists and professional drivers and train crews provided that during the previous 12 months the visa applicant has obtained at least one visa, has made use of it in accordance with the laws on entry and stay of the visited State(s) and there are reasons for requesting a multiple-entry visa.

  3. From 2 years to 5 years to the categories mentioned in (b) provided that during the previous 24 months they have made use of the two 1-year multi-entry visas in accordance with the laws on entry and stay of the visited State(s) and the reasons for requesting a multi-entry visa are still valid.

5. Length of procedures for processing visa applications:

A decision on visa application shall be taken within 10 calendar days of the date of the receipt of the complete visa application and the supporting documents. For diplomatic missions and consular posts that have an appointment system, the period of time to get an appointment is not counted as part of the processing time.

This period may be extended up to 30 days when further scrutiny is needed. In urgent cases, the period for taking a decision may be reduced to 3 days or less.


6. Departure in case of lost or stolen documents:

The concerned categories of persons may leave the territory on the grounds of valid identity documents issued by diplomatic missions or consular posts without any visa.

7. Extension of visa in exceptional circumstances:

For reasons of force majeure, visas will be extended free of charge for the period required for the return.

8. Visa exemptions:

Holders of Russian diplomatic passports are exempted from the visa requirement for periods of up to 90 days per period of 180 days.


NOTE: This agreement was signed in Shochi.

Obviously the same rules apply for the Schegen Visa Countries in the EU!

[glad.gif].

Author:  wiz [ 30 Jan 2011 17:44 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

EU, Russia split on visa-free travels


17 January 2011 - Old article but has very interesting information!


Despite Russia's planned acceleration of procedures enabling visa-free travels with the European Union (EU), Brussels remained cool over Moscow's offer of easing visa rules for Europeans, local media reported Monday.

Head of Russia's Federal Migration Service (FMS), Konstantin Romodanovsky, said Monday that Russia has planned to accelerate procedures of signing executive protocols under the readmission agreement with the EU as part of an effort to realize bilateral visa-free regime.

"We are doing all we can as quickly as possible," said Romodanovsky as quoted by the Interfax news agency, adding that those protocols might be signed in 2011.

"We will do this job this year, so the readmission dialogue with the EU will be completed and a line with be drawn under this issue," Romodanovsky said.

The readmission agreement is one requirement for visa-free travel, under which Russian citizens overstaying their visas in the EU and foreign citizens who enter the EU through Russia and overstay their visas, may be sent back to the country of their arrival.

Russia has yet to sign nine executive protocols to the readmission agreement with the EU, the FMS announced.


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier expressed hope that significant progress could be made in this regard this year.

However, Brussels has so far been lukewarm over the visa-free regime with Moscow, citing difficulties to reach consensus among all 25 members of the Schengen area.

Moscow Times daily reported Monday that the EU delegation to Russia have poured cold water over Russia's offer to ease visa rules for Europeans.

My comments:

The Russians till now were/are blaming the EU for not making any progress for the visa FREE travel between the EU and the Russian Federation but in a previous post, I have mentioned the above discrepancy because in my view it's the biggest stumbling block. It appears that the problem of no progress and the reluctance of the EU to make any firm commitment, was all along down to the Russian who were/are refusing to sign the Readmission agreement. [sad.gif]

Obviously this not the only problem on the part of EU for not signing the agreement of Free travel but one of the biggest reasons. [bad.gif]

Author:  Shadow [ 30 Jan 2011 19:52 ]
Post subject:  Relatives Visiting Russia under the Schegen visa agreement

Wiz, it is not really a secret that since 2007 there is an agreement between Russia and the EU where any EU citizen who is direct relative of a Russian citizen can receive a 5 year visa.

The problem is that there has to be a direct relationship, and the Russian citizen must have an address in Russia. To get this between husband and wife, actually it means bending the rules. Which Russians do not mind.

Author:  froid [ 31 Jan 2011 17:47 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

Reciprocity is a bitch.

Author:  Luckyspin [ 31 Jan 2011 18:09 ]
Post subject:  Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

froid wrote:
Reciprocity is a bitch.


Let's wait and see if wiz will get a reply, a solution or a meeting..... you never know! [wink.gif]

They may let him have a 5 year visa... just to get rid of him barking to the President!

Personally I admire his tenacity........

[rolf.gif]

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