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Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

North West, England
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256 posts
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Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

I have just started looking at companies to help me with the visa. I have had a look through at some of the questions and on one form, they want to know the dates and every country you have travelled in the last 10years! This seems very excessive to me, I travel extensively and it will be a long list if I can remember them all, let alone the dates. Of course there will be stamps in my old passport but the European Union wont be stamped. Is this question mandatory for every compay? Thanks for any replies.

Moscow, Russia
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1. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

The visa application form is not up to visa helper companies, it is approved by the Russian consulate where ALL the helper companies will submit it on your behalf eventually.

The only reason the Russian consulate is asking you all these ridiculous questions is because British consulates in Russia are asking even more ridiculous questions to us Russians applying for a UK visa.

Now to your question: most people just put in the form what they can remember and what can be easily traced via their passports. If you search the forum you will discover that dozens of people have asked this question before you. You might find some details there but I just sort of summarized the general advice.

London
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2. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

I don't know whether they're all the same but I would assume so

The agency I use has actually gotten tougher since I last applied last year in that they insist that you enter all the stamps you have in your passport or the form will be rejected (though they will have no sight of those on your old passport or any EU countries).

Also if your new passport is more than 3 months old then they're insisting that you use a different photograph from the one in the passport

North West, England
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3. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

Thanks so much. We are not going until December, so I have got some time, its just so much hassle. I have got a new passport, so intend to have a new photo done anyway.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

The Letter of Invitations vary a little bit to whom you're dealing with. There are a lot of companies that can get you an invitation in 24-48 hours . The cost varies a little bit yet expect to fork out at least 30GBP per invitation which is done on an individual basis, The questions asked with the online visa applications from the Embassy/Consulate are laughable....ie...have you ever been involved or been a victim in an armed conflict? Make sure you fill everything out completely on the forms. The forms printed out will not show input on some of the questions you answered so don't be alarmed. The Consulate or Embassy you deal with or Agency that works with the Russian Consular Affairs can check your application when received with their system . Should you get a new passport then don't write anything on where have you been the last 10 years.. just write "N/A" haven't left U.K, now if its a nearly full passport then you'll have to list them. Should you sign your name on the form (which you will) make sure it is written completely with the same pen as different colored pens on signature can lead to refusal of visa issued. The Russians have become a little more open in issuing multiple entry visas lasting three years or length of passport validity, It used to be just a single or double entry on tourist visas with validity up to just 30 days from date of proposed entry. In San Francisco the Russian Consulate wouldn't let you apply for a tourist visa more then 45 days from proposed date of entry. Allow 4 to 8 working days for visa to be issued.

North West, England
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256 posts
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5. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

Thank you so much for your reply. I really dont know why the visa issue needs to be so complicated. I have already approached my hotel in Moscow and they will provide a visa invitation for approximately £20 each, so I think I will go with that. I have managed to print off the forms from one company so I can have a good look at the questions before I attempt the online bit. Also your tip about the passport is really welcome news. Both my daugyher and I have new passports this year, so far I have been to the US twice, the Caribbean (cruise) and then I am going to Dubai in September, so I presume it will sufice for me just to list these places as they are all on my new passport and wont have to refer to the old one for the ten year bit. A colleague at work has actually travelled to the same hotel and says she will help me with the forms as well. I will be glad when they are completed and sent off. Thanks again.

Plymouth, Minnesota
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for Moscow
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6. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

As for length of time before departure they will allow one to apply, while yes the web sites say no more than 45 days, they may take earlier. The issue is if they are busy, then first priority is folks who need this done sooner due to upcoming trip. Also yes US has new 3 year option, but not yet UK or a lot of other places.

As for silly questions, our Russian friends are correct in saying this is at worst as bad as they get it when applying the other way...so no need to feel this is Russia being unreasonable. Simply following well established principles of full reciprocity.

North West, England
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7. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

Thanks for comments. I will have to apply first week of October as I am going to Dubai in September, so I will need my passport. I just need to get it all organised so I can quickly apply when I return. I dont think they are being unreasonable, if that's how it is then that's how it is and I will have to get on with it. I was just really surprised at the amount of questions they ask.

Plymouth, Minnesota
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for Moscow
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8. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

HUGE congrats...you passed your first test! Your most excellent attitude here - it is what it is - will go a long way to allowing you to indeed truly enjoy your trip! I am a typical American "type A", and at home often tend to get all twisted into knots when the smallest things happen. I find that armed with a "take a deep breath, move on to the next FUN thing" goes a huge way in Russia.

Again, looking forward to your report back, and for sure, please do feel free to come back here and poke around a bit for further advice!

North West, England
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256 posts
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9. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

Thanks I might just do that. I am sure that we will have a great time, looking forward to it.

San Francisco...
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10. Re: Visa companies - are all the forms the same?

The other thing is make sure you deal with the Location of Embassy or Consulate that you wrote on the LOI application otherwise your application will not come up on the Embassy/Consulate system should you send it somewhere else then what you specified in the LOI Application. Make sure you stick to plans if you wrote Russian Embassy London, don't just decide to send it to let's say....Russian Embassy in Paris France they have jurisdictions in place as well.Should the embassy or consulate you deal with issue just 30 day tourist visas make sure your dates are certain otherwise you'll have to go through the process all over again of getting a visa which are costly. The thing about getting an LOI with a hotel is they'll put down the dates of your stay which in essence the Embassy or Consulate will give you those exact dates on the visa. Should you stay let's say in St.Petersburg for a couple of days you will have to get a reservation printout of hotel in order to extend the visa a couple more days. That's the disadvantage of getting an LOI from hotel . Strange part id the Embassy or Consulate won't ask too see hotel reservation if you apply online through an independent tourist company you could just extend your visa a few more days by saying writing in a letter the dates of where you're staying yet you don't have to stay longer just to get breathing room on the visa in case something should happen .This applies to just the 30 day tourist visa if they grant three year visas then don't worry about it, Hotels will automatically register you upon check in then give you a slip with numbers on it most hotels do this for free the places that charge are usually youth hostels. There are worst places to apply for a visa. Getting an Angolan Visa you have to apply in person that's right you just you as they don't accept mailed applications or visa service company drop offs.. You're going to Moscow in December....pack your woolies....St. Basil Cathedral-Red Square must be seen at night as well. The lights make the place spectacular.