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Thread: Is return ticket required for visa?

  1. #1
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    Is return ticket required for visa?

    Zdrastvuitye!

    I am (hoping) to travel to St Petersburg in December this year to study Russian at SPb state university. I applied to them back in September to arrange the necessary invitation, which I received a few weeks later, approved by the Russian Ministry of whatever.

    I then applied for my visa at the Russian embassy in my country (New Zealand), and received that a few days later. Now I have booked my flights, but my travel agent is worried that I need a return flight, otherwise customs won't let me in.

    This is a nuisance since even though my visa expires on Feb 01 2004, I intend to extend it while I am in Russia. Even if I can't do that, I will do some more travelling to EU countries before returning home. Either way, I doubt that I will come back via the exact same route.

    The travel agent is not sure, the dean of SPb uni doesn't seem to think I need a return ticket, and I just plain can't get through to the embassy (phone rings but nobody home I guess - aren't all embassies like that?)

    Can anybody confirm whether this is the case or not? I'm running out of time to verify this, and can't seem to get a straight answer from anybody!


  2. #2
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    I've never flown in to St. Petersburg, but I have flown into both Moscow airports, and neither EVER asked for my return ticket. You will need the return ticket when you're leaving (duh), but not when you're coming in. If you've got your visa and immigration card (you'll get that on the airplane), you should be good to go. (Please keep in mind that I'm not an expert, this is just from my personal experience).

    As for embassies....don't get me started on how useless they can be if they put their mind to it.
    Yay! I broke 200 posts!

  3. #3
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    I believe they won't let you in without a return ticket, an onward ticket, or at the very least cast-iron proof that you have the funds to aquire one before you leave. This isn't at all unusual either, most contries wont let visa nationals in without proof that they can leave under their own steam (financially speaking), and in my experience Russia is tighter than most (and far more bureaucratic).

    Your second-best bet would be to buy an open-ended return.

    Your best bet would be to keep trying to contact the Russian Consulate and ask them, they do answer the phone eventually.

  4. #4
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    Your best bet would be to keep trying to contact the Russian Consulate and ask them, they do answer the phone eventually.
    Really? Where? Maybe I've been barking up the wrong embassy all these years, but never once have I made telephone contact.
    А если отнять еще одну?

  5. #5
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    I've spoken to the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Edinburgh twice this week already, without the slightest problem. I've had difficulties in the past for sure, and trying to contact the Embassy in London is indeed a nightmare, but it's not impossible. Obviously that doesn't necessarily mean that the same is true in every Consulate/ Embassy in the world though

  6. #6
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    I've spoken to the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Edinburgh twice this week already, without the slightest problem.

    That's very interesting. All my dealings to date have been with London, but I'm applying via Edinburgh for my next little sojourn. The prospect seems rather less appalling now, and I thank you .
    А если отнять еще одну?

  7. #7
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    Carter,

    Don't worry about a return ticket. I can't imagine who would even ask for it. Customs won't: if they even notice you (normally in Moscow you will walk right past them) the only thing they will do is perhap X-ray your luggage, or ask you what flight you came on. The only other people to worry about are the Passport control people, and they won't care whether you have a return ticket either. They only want to ensure that you can legally enter the country (it is generally taken for granted that you will want to eventually exit).

    Generally, the only countries that care whether or not you have a return ticket are the ones that have immigration problems from poorer countries. Russia does not generally make this list (they are having problems with illegal immigrants from China, but those guys walk across the border). And in this case, you would have had to show them a return ticket before they granted you a visa.

    However, all you need to enter Russia is your visa and passport (and perhaps Migration card, which you fill out in the airport). Anything else that would be necessary, they would have asked you before granting you a visa.

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