To Get a Business Visa in Kiev, Ukraine for an American in Russia… (August, 2012)

Pretty simple and since I just got back from getting a visa successfully from Ukraine, I will expound on the subject in this article…

First read this article:

To Enter The Russian Federation a Foreign Citizen Needs a Visa…

This will get you the basics and get you started on the way…

Now after you have read that other article of mine, I will stress a few things…

1. Use the electronic visa application form and only the electronic visa form…

2. Don’t just have a 3.5 X 4.5 cm picture taken, make sure the photo is exactly 3.5 X 4.5 cm physical dimensions, before you glue it to the application, or you will tear it off the application and cut it down and re-glue it again and it better still look good or you will start all over…

3. Americans do not need health insurance proof, nor did I need a HIV negative proof…

4. Cost for visa was 250 American dollars…

5. Tricky point of the Russian Invitation: A Telex is much higher in cost, but does not create need to have delay in getting visa. Walking in with Invitation in hand, could and most likely will entail a longer wait time, as they will send it off by snail mail request for verification of Invitation. So land mail is terrible and unreliable. Telex is the sure bet. Only high level Invitations are by Telex…

6. Make copies of everything, including your migration card received from the border. Did I say make copies? Plus extra copies of your passport will ensure no issues while running around Kiev with no passport for two weeks or more…

Now lets talk about how it all went…

First off, I will make clear that you will have an appointment to get in. Read my other article above and make sure that you get a verified (Personally call them! They do speak English!) appointment. The guard at the front door hates English and he only points at a sign that says, “Appointment Necessary!” Without an appointment and you are not dying on their steps! You will not get in…

I had an appointment and it still took almost an hour to get in…

Second have all paper work ready. If you have any doubts? Do not walk in the door. Get all of it ready before hand. Have it in a folder and have it ready to show anyone who asks about if you are ready. It seems that a crime is committed and all hell breaks loose if someone gets to the visa office and you are not ready…

I finally convinced them that I was an hour late for a verified appointment and they allowed me to go inside the consulate. Once inside I was asked for the twentieth time, “Is all your paper work ready?” I squelched a smile and said, “Dah” (Which means yes, but in my case it was all I could do and not put the American sarcasm in the word and say “DUH!”)

After all my trying to be ready, I failed at one thing and I took comfort in the fact that everyone who asked is my paperwork ready failed also. My photo was the wrong size…

As I talked about earlier, the photo has to physically be 3.5 X 4.5 cm, not almost that size, but exactly that size. They have a little template that they make you dismantle your application and cut the photo to the proper size. It is a good reason to have extra copies of everything. I am lucky that I have learned the hard way and by the time I was done, I just was able to satisfy the requirements…

I was told that I could pick up the visa on August 13th at 3:00 pm, 2012 and not one second sooner. Since I am American I have to wait the full amount of time and since I had a Telex, I did not have to wait 20 or 21 days to get my visa. The extra days is due to possible Invitation delays…

Tidbit of information: My visa was ready on the day I applied and it says so on the visa, but they delayed my entry into Russia until the 13th of August. So instead of a true 1 year visa, I sat in Ukraine 2 weeks and lost two weeks of my stay in Russia. Yes that is why I love Russia! They are govern-mentally challenged at times…

I paid my visa fee of 250 dollars and they keep your passport for the whole time. Hence make sure you have a copy of your passport…

Then you go and do what ever you want to do, within reason of course in Ukraine and wait patiently to get you passport back, with visa intact hopefully…

Now the day I went to pick up my visa, I had to sit outside for another hour waiting to get my visa and passport. Yes I had another appointment and such. It reminded me of doctor visits in the USA. Hurry up get to the doctor and two hours later he sees you for 10 minutes…

I finally got in to the visa office and  my passport was there, with visa and it was time to go home… 🙂

Lets reiterate the main things for a smooth visa session with the Russian Kiev consulate…

1. 3.5 X 4.5 cm photo

2. Electronic visa application from web

3. 250 dollars in American money

4. copies and more copies

5. Invitation: There is a whole variety of invitation in Russia and a tourist invitation will not work for a business visa. Now what you are buying when it comes to Invitation and believe you me a Telex Invitation is superior over all others…

6. Most important last things: Lots of patience and the top of the list; Make sure you get an verified appointment…

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…

kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given...

A survivor of six heart attacks and a brain tumor, a grumpy bear of a man, who has declared Russia as his new and wonderful home (&) Honestly, I have no idea how much to ask for, but is a gift of even $1 something you'd be able to consider, to help keep Windows to Russia online in a Tiny Russian Village?