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Thread: Visas relatively easy for Russians to get

  1. #1
    Подающий надежды оратор shackleford's Avatar
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    Visas relatively easy for Russians to get

    For the European countries that require a visa for Russians to visit, which are the "easiest" to acquire?

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    Because Turkey is considered "Europe" - that's the one

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    Подающий надежды оратор shackleford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    Because Turkey is considered "Europe" - that's the one
    I've already gone over this list. Turkey appears to be visa-free for Russians. Any more U.S.-friendly countries?

    Visa requirements for Russian citizens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  4. #4
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by shackleford View Post
    For the European countries that require a visa for Russians to visit, which are the "easiest" to acquire?
    What do you want to do in Europe, and what country is it that you *really* want to go to? The answer varies depending on what you want to do!

    In general, I have heard that Finland is the easiest country for Russians to get a visa to. But do you want to go to Finland?

    Schengen visa application in Russian: http://formin.finland.fi/public/download.aspx?ID=54711&GUID={B2909728-B55E-4BF4-96A9-75F3ABF5E2D8}

    Finland wants tourism from Russia quite badly - that is the reason! They probably make it just about as easy as they can, within the legislation of the EU and Schengen. Check to confirm this on the Russian speaking internet - no doubt others will have had the same question.

    But I have read that many Russians in places like Karelia go to Finland regularly because the shopping is a bit better and sometimes cheaper than in Russia. And this is dependant on visas being easily available.

    Once you are in Finland, you can travel anywhere else in Europe without showing your passport, particularly if you do not fly.

    You are SUPPOSED to go to the actual EU country that you applied for a visa to, but I don't think very much happens if you do not. But for example, if your Schengen visa was for Spain, and you fly to Sweden, then they will ask about it at airport immigration.

    The British Isles, Switzerland and Romania are not in Schengen. For these countries you have to show passport, and you have to have a relevant visa for that country.

    I think you can fly freely within Schengen if you have a visa, but you might get some questions at the national border.

    On trains, ferries and buses they will not ask and there are not any border controls. There is never any passport control if you travel by train within the EU and Schengen.

    The UK always checks everyones passport upon entry. If you want to go to the UK you have to get a UK visa, there is no other way. The UK visa does not work for the rest of Europe, so you could only fly to the UK and back. If you go by train to Switzerland it is about 50% chance of a passport check. I went to Romania once by train, and then there was a check.

    When you apply for a Schengen visa, be careful to give the impression that you are only wanting to be a tourist or visit friends. Be very careful so that they don't get the impression that you are interested in working illegally. If they suspect that this is your motivation, then the visa could be declined. I think you need to have a hotel reservation, or an invitation by a resident or company. Same as when Europeans visit Russia.

    A guy from Belarus wrote here on this forum a while ago and explained how he went about getting a Schengen visa without having any cash or any relatives or friends to visit. He made a hotel reservation in Spain, but never used it. He went to the Alps and Southern Europe.

  5. #5
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    Швейцария в Шенгене, хотя и не в ЕС.

  6. #6
    Hanna
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    Ok, right. But there is a difference.
    There is a border check for Switzerland when you enter, even on the train. Customs officers get on the train and might ask for your passport. There is a difference with the visa too, although I don't know the exact details.

    There is definitely a difference between Switzerland and the other countries in Schengen, both for visits and for living there.

    I used to work with lots of Indians in London, and they choose Switzerland for a holiday destination on the continent, because they said it was easier to get a visa for Switzerland than a regular Schengen visa. I don't know why this was, but most of them went on holiday to Switzerland - it was well known that this was the case.

    But with this visa, they could only go to Switzerland, nowhere else. Which was inconvenient for them, since Switzerland is a very expensive country, and they wanted to go to places like Paris and Rome.

    I know that it is very hard, even for EU citizens to go to Switzerland to live there - you have to have a job before you move there, and there is lots of bureacracy.

    Swiss - German border




    Normally, all you see is a sign, like this:


  7. #7
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    Понял. Спасибо за инфу.

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    Подающий надежды оратор shackleford's Avatar
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    Sorry, guys. I should have been more clear. I'm from the U.S. My Russian friend and I are trying to find the easiest country for both of us to visit. There are some lesser-known countries that we could visit, but I wanted to see if any of the "popular" ones are easier for a Russian to get a visa.

  9. #9
    Hanna
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    Quote Originally Posted by shackleford View Post
    Sorry, guys. I should have been more clear. I'm from the U.S. My Russian friend and I are trying to find the easiest country for both of us to visit. There are some lesser-known countries that we could visit, but I wanted to see if any of the "popular" ones are easier for a Russian to get a visa.
    Well you can take yourself out of the picture then, since you do not need a visa for a tourist trip to Eurpe.

    Did you read the about Schengen visa? That explains how visas to what you call the "popular" countries work.
    He/she needs a Schengen visa for the continental countries, or a UK visa if you want to go to London. For a Schengen visa, he should apply to the embassy consular section of the country that he thinks is the main destination for the trip. The form is the same, regardless of what country they apply to. It's the one I linked to.

    There are tons of Russian tourists in Europe, there can't be a big problem for them to get a visa for a normal tourist trip to Paris, for example.

    A European country would only decline visa to a person who they suspected as a very likely illegal worker. I.e. a young person with no money, no good job and no strong family ties.

    Why do you expect your Russian friend to have a visa issue with a short trip?

  10. #10
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    There are more than thirty countries which do not require visas for Russians, there are also many countries where a Russian can get a visa on arrival.

  11. #11
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    His best bet is Shengen, it would give him an opportunity to visit various "popular" European countries with you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Why do you expect your Russian friend to have a visa issue with a short trip?
    Because Russian tourists are often denied a visa exactly because they supposedly do not have enough "ties with their country", especially if they have a "clean" passport (no "serious" visas obtained before that).
    If he's a student, it's much easier. If he has a job it depends on if his job is good enough, and on his overall financial state.

  12. #12
    Hanna
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    Oh I remembered Shackleford's other post. This is the girl from St Petersburg, isn't it? Why don't you simply go there and see her there? St Petersburg is a very "European" city, quite chic, and a very interesting tourist destination in its own right. You'll be completely blown off your feet by some of the sights there - it is really very impressive. And think how much fun it would be for your friend to show you her city!

    If you want to go "abroad" together, you could go to Finland (easy visa), then hop on the 1 hour ferry to Tallinn in Estonia. From there you could go elsewhere in the Baltic states, or perhaps Poland, Krakow, supposedly a very pretty and interesting town. All this is MUCH, much better value than London or Paris which are crowded, less friendly and much more expensive - not to mention more difficult to get visa to.

    I think there are actually serious negotiations ongoing for dropping the visa requirement between the CIS area and the EU.
    Wouldn't that be great!

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