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Thread: US citizen needs Russian and Belarussian visas

  1. #1
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    US citizen needs Russian and Belarussian visas

    Hello,
    Any recommendations on services to use to get visas?


    Thank you,

    Scott

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    Russian/Belorussian embassy should work

  3. #3
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    I was looking to use a service as I read it's a difficult process on my own.

    Thank you,

    Scott


    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    Russian/Belorussian embassy should work

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    I used Go To Russia (Atlanta, GA) when we went in September. Everything went smoothly. I did not go to Belarus, though.

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    Chaika,
    Thank you!!! Any advise for an American traveling to that part of the world?

    Scott


    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    I used Go To Russia (Atlanta, GA) when we went in September. Everything went smoothly. I did not go to Belarus, though.

  6. #6
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    Found how to do it directly through the embassy

    Belarus
    Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the United States of America - Consular Section - Consulate General in New York - Visa requirements
    Russia
    Embassy of Russia to the USA, Washington

    Anyone did it that way?

    Thank you,

    Scott


    Quote Originally Posted by Doomer View Post
    Russian/Belorussian embassy should work

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Well, you need an invitation.

    When I went to Belarus, I simply bought an invitation online. BelarusVisaService.com. Completely hassle free and very helpful agency. The price was absolutely nothing to fuss about. They made a mistake with my nationality (understandably) and corrected it immediately after I pointed it out. I got a business visa because it had the maximum amount of flexibility. The Belarussian embassy was helpful and did not ask any questions whatsoever, about anything. There was no queue at the consular section.

    I had a very negative experience when I tried to get a visa for Russia (partly my own fault due to poor planning, but they are VERY bureacratic, and less helpful than Belarus). But there is no reason to think that it would be any more complicated than getting a visa for Belarus. Just plan ahead and do not underestimate the bureacracy.

  8. #8
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    Hanna - maybe this site is Europe only?

    BelarusVisaService.com

    Doesn't work here in the USA.

    Thank you,

    Scott

  9. #9
    Hanna
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    Fortunately there is no such thing as Europe only websites (yet!). That was the email domain, I got the address from the emails I got from them. A quick google gives you

    www.BelarussianVisa.com :: Visa to Belarus - original invitation and voucher for tourist and business visas to Belarus

    as the web domain for this company.
    You still have to go to the embassy.

    Scott - if you find this kind of stuff challenging, you should go with a guided tour that organises everything for you, including visas, hotell, registration and travelling around.

  10. #10
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    Not challenging - just don't like dealing with bureaucracies.

    Thank you,

    Scott


    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Fortunately there is no such thing as Europe only websites (yet!). That was the email domain, I got the address from the emails I got from them. A quick google gives you

    www.BelarussianVisa.com :: Visa to Belarus - original invitation and voucher for tourist and business visas to Belarus

    as the web domain for this company.
    You still have to go to the embassy.

    Scott - if you find this kind of stuff challenging, you should go with a guided tour that organises everything for you, including visas, hotell, registration and travelling around.

  11. #11
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    applicants will have to print a copy of their application form, sign and date it, glue the requred size photo to it and submit this printed original form, along with other necessary documentation, to the «Invisa Logistics Services LLC» personally or through their representative or a visa agency.
    What do you make of my underlined part?

  12. #12
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    FYI - There's ways of blocking traffic from countries

    Yahoo! Canada Answers - Make my website only available in certain countries?

    Scott





    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    Fortunately there is no such thing as Europe only websites (yet!). That was the email domain, I got the address from the emails I got from them. A quick google gives you

    www.BelarussianVisa.com :: Visa to Belarus - original invitation and voucher for tourist and business visas to Belarus

    as the web domain for this company.
    You still have to go to the embassy.

    Scott - if you find this kind of stuff challenging, you should go with a guided tour that organises everything for you, including visas, hotell, registration and travelling around.

  13. #13
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    I was going to apply directly via the embassy but now am thinking of using the service you recommended gotorussia.com

    Scott

    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    What do you make of my underlined part?

  14. #14
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    I mean, "personally" might mean you mail them a certified letter. But I don't know. Good luck if you try calling the embassy to get the answer to this. Let me know, if you do. Thanks!

  15. #15
    Hanna
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    The visa invitation services are professionals and will do in 5 minutes what would take you 5 days. It's not even expensive.

    A colleague of mine at work is travelling back to Sweden from the Euro 2012 in Kiev, via Belarus with some friends of his. They started planning early and found it really complicated to sort out a regular one month tourist visa. He ended up using an invitation service which sent clear instructions on what to do.

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    The invitation services are registered tour companies in the respective countries, so the invitations they issue are perfectly legitimate. Technically they're exploiting a loophole in the law, but many of these companies have close relationships with their local embassies so it's not like they're doing anything surreptitiously.

    I've always used one of these companies (actually I've used several over the years), not just to issue the invitation but also to process my visa on my behalf. The £30 or so mark-up they charge on top of the Embassy visa fees is well worth it, considering I can do everything by post and I get my passport back even faster than if I'd submitted it myself.

    Of course, if it wasn't so hard to get a visa for independent travel (without prior hotel bookings) in these countries, or private visas for visiting friends and relatives*, there would be no need for anyone to exploit these loopholes.

    *though, to be fair, the Russian government has recently changed the private visa rules so that Russian nationals can issue invitations for their own family members at foreign consulates, which means I'll no longer have to use sneaky tourist visas when travelling with my better half.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    I mean, "personally" might mean you mail them a certified letter.
    Personally means personally
    Reminds me of times when I needed to exchange my expiring Russian passport, I had to fly from Chicago to Washington, DC just to give a bunch of papers to a lady in the Russian embassy and then I had to fly again just to get my passport from the same lady
    However, later I discovered that if you ask a "special" agency and pay them $400 they can get things "sorted out" with Russian embassy themselves
    So, than I thought, imperfects laws create corruption - make it legal and call it "service"

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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika View Post
    Good luck if you try calling the embassy to get the answer to this.
    Not that hard if you speak Russian and know where to call
    Hint: the phone number is NOT available on the official web site

  19. #19
    Hanna
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    I was so incredibly surprised when I visited the Russian embassy in Minsk and realised that nobody there could speak English.
    Maybe it's arrogant to expect people to speak English.... but I really thought that diplomats and embassy staff could at least understand basic English. I tried French too with one lady, but they she not speak that either.

    It was pretty interesting to see Asians, black people and even a British family speak Russian while waiting for my turn.

  20. #20
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    but they she not speak that either.
    Sorry, but that seemed funny to me when speaking about other's inability to speak English. I hope you won't be offended.

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