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Transit visa for "planned" visit?

Berlin, Germany
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Transit visa for "planned" visit?

I have unexpectedly got the second week in August free and am considering a few alternatives how I could include Russia in my travel plans for this week, other than going "all in" with the whole holiday in Russia (I want to come back next year or 2015 and do a full and well planned trip anyway, but would love to get a taste of it now if I can).

I have actually searched this forum as well as Lonely Planet forum but have found no thread that deals specifically with what I'm after;

My idea is to buy two tickets, one from Berlin to Moscow, arriving around noon day 1, stay 2 nights in a hotel in central Moscow and depart for the destination (most likely Ukraine or Armenia) in the afternoon day 3 with the other ticket.

Is it even allowed to use a 72 hours transit visa for a "planned" stay like this, ie have two separate tickets, not just a long layover between two Aeroflot flights, which I guess is the standard situation for someone with transit visa?

Do you think this would work, in case it's not allowed, if both flights are Aeroflot and booked at the same time (but not "connecting flights")?

New York
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for Moscow
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1. Re: Transit visa for "planned" visit?

It might - someone on this board reported doing the whole transsib journey as a "transit" passenger en route to someplace else. But I suspect this sort of thing falls into a giant gray area and is subject to the discretion of the consulate officials.

Moscow, Russia
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2. Re: Transit visa for "planned" visit?

I see no reason why they would deny you the transit visa but, as Vladchan says, different consulates are known to have different policies regarding transit visas. What I would do is book refundable tickets and refundable hotel room and try to apply.

On the other hand, a tourist visa costs exactly the same as a transit visa, so why not just apply for a tourist visa?

Berlin, Germany
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3. Re: Transit visa for "planned" visit?

Thanks a lot for your answers!

Vladchan:

It might - someone on this board reported doing the whole transsib journey as a "transit" passenger en route to someplace else. But I suspect this sort of thing falls into a giant gray area and is subject to the discretion of the consulate officials.

--I think if my memory serves me right, that we had transit visas my first and only visit to Russia back in 1997, a sort of package including a night in Moscow + city sightseeing tour + Transmongolian with food included to the Mongolian border. IIRC we stayed in Russia precisely 7 days and I think it wasn't by coincidence (but I'm not 100 % certain).

Marassa:

What I would do is book refundable tickets and refundable hotel room and try to apply.

--Absolutely, that's what I'm checking. Refundable hotel rooms seems easy enough to find, but finding two refundable one-way tickets that are not very expensive with only a few weeks to go is a bit trickier.

Marassa:

On the other hand, a tourist visa costs exactly the same as a transit visa, so why not just apply for a tourist visa?

--According to the web page of the Russian embassy here in Berlin,

russische-botschaft.de/konsularabteilung/vis…

a transit visa seems much easier to get (rough translation);

Documents to hand in:

1. Passport.

2. Copy of visa for third (destination) contry, if necessary.

3. Declaration of transit

russische-botschaft.de/fileadmin/user_upload…

4. Flight tickets.

Compared to the invitation and registration in connection with a torist visa it sounds fairly painless. And also, I have forgot to mention that we have no possibility to hand in our documents to the embassy/visa consulate before july 18 because of travels in between. That gives us only 2 weeks before the trip is supposed to begin - I guess that's difficult enough for getting a transit visa, and even more difficult for a standard tourist visa.

But of course a standard tourist visa would be much better to have - we have in that case actually thought about spending the whole week in Anapa/Sochi instead of above mentioned plan :)

Moscow, Russia
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4. Re: Transit visa for "planned" visit?

> Compared to the invitation and registration in connection with a torist visa it sounds fairly painless

If you're going to book a hotel anyway, getting an invitation from them should be painless and free. Or you could buy one online for as little as $20 which gives you complete freedom with the dates. As for registration, I don't understand how it has anything to do with tourist vs transit visa.

Berlin, Germany
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5. Re: Transit visa for "planned" visit?

If you're going to book a hotel anyway, getting an invitation from them should be painless and free. Or you could buy one online for as little as $20 which gives you complete freedom with the dates. As for registration, I don't understand how it has anything to do with tourist vs transit visa.

--Thanks, very interesting, online invitations - yet another possibility for me to study today!

Of course you're right, registration has to do with length of stay not type of visa, my bad.

Edited: 01 July 2013, 12:35
6. Re: Transit visa for "planned" visit?

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