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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…

13 Comments

  1. Marty August 16, 2012

    Good now I can go to Ukraine and get my visa! Thank you very very much!

  2. beton August 17, 2012

    Only wanna input that you have a very nice website , I am using the info as I write this and will leave next month to Kiev.

  3. Jared DeLuna August 17, 2012

    I have a work permit that has been with FMS for a month now. Thanks to America changing the rules the FMS held my passport for longer because they were not sure how Russia would respond. I used to just travel back to America to see family and such was easier for me. Having a work permit has been great. However, I am a bit nervous now that the rules have changed. I read a bit back you are looking into a Tempory Resident Status, I too am looking into that but it seems to be an equal pain in the behind as the work permit.

  4. admin Post author | August 17, 2012

    Yes it is and it seems to be a very long process…

  5. Luis August 19, 2012

    Hi,

    I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find where can I get my Russian visa done while still on business trip in EU. This article is very helpful and I have the 2 weeks available while working in Kiev to process this BUT will only have these two weeks and no more, so what you mean by a TELEX invitation? I have a travel agency inviting me (am in the hotel biz) so they can write this invite but you mean they should just fax it to the Russian Embassy in Kiev directly and hence is “verified” it came from Russia and not from my own copy machine? thanks for taking the time,

  6. admin Post author | August 20, 2012

    No a telex is a special way of sending an important document! It is a very old way to do it and only a few invitations can be sent that way. If your invitation people do not know about it do not worry about it. Just make sure that you have a good invitation in hand. Make sure you do not have a copy! (What they get from a telex looks almost like a telegram and from the same era!)

    “”””The telex network is a switched network of teleprinters similar to a telephone network, for the purposes of sending text-based messages. This network provided the first common medium for international record communications using standard signalling techniques and operating criteria as specified by the International Telecommunication Union.””””

    Do not fax anything they will not accept that! Make sure that what you get is a invitation approved by the Russian government. Now also remember that I am talking about a business visa and you can not use a invitation for tourist for a business visa. If you get a tourist visa then the process is a little different. The basics are the same, but invitation is different…

    “they can write this invite” That part worried me! Are they approved to give out invitations. Now a tourist voucher is a different thing…

    Proper authorization (invitation letter) from the Federal Migration Service or specially authorized travel agencies is required. First one fits the business visa and the second one fits the tourist visa…

    So it kinda counts on what visa you get? My article is specifically for business, 1 year and multiple entries…

    Bottom line is that they can make you wait a full 21 days. That part you will not know about until you say hi in person! weekends and holidays do not count in the process, so if you only have two weeks??????

    I was there from the 30th of July (turned in) to August 13th (picked up) = 15 days to wait and I had one day of holiday in that wait! So check you days and check your holidays! The Russian consulate observes all Ukraine and Russian holidays…

    As long as your travel agency has a good invitation and is recognized by the consulate, you will have no issues…

    Bottom line is no guarantees are possible, things change as fast as the wind…

    A telex just gives me the edge when I get a business visa…

    Kyle

  7. Luis August 20, 2012

    Kyle thank you, this is life saving…. thanks for taking the time to be very specific, I happen to be needing a 1-year biz multiple entries exactly as well… only part I still read everywhere but don’t get is that of an invitation “certified” by the government…. the people am visiting happen to be a big travel agency, and they write anything on a piece of paper saying am invited for meetings and conferences but they actually have to approach some gov. office to get their letter certified? am hoping this part doesn’t take long or am in trouble with the tight planning…! thanks, Luis

  8. admin Post author | August 20, 2012

    As long as what they have is a invitation approved by the Russian government? All will be fine. Time is of a factor in your case…

    Before you may apply for Russian Visa you have to obtain a Support Letter from Russian Company – if you travel on business or from the travel agent – if you are visiting. But I would verify that the travel agency has the approval ahead of time and yes many do! If they do this a lot then it will work. But they have to have the ability given to them by Russia…

    There are two types of invitations. First type is the Hard Copy invitation printed on a sealed paper and issued by the Russian Foreign Office (MID) and the second type – telex.

    Telex is the set of numbers which you have to remember and put on your application form for the Russian visa authorities to process your visa promptly. Generally speaking telex is just a code used to allocate you in the Embassy. Visa can not be processed without invitations and unfortunately there are no exceptions.

    I am stressing this issue because I have been turned down and had to get another invitation, because the first was not a proper government approved invitation. You have to understand that companies are specifically allotted the right to hand out invitations and if your company is not allocated then you will be turned away and sometimes after two week wait has gone by. I have seen numerous people turned away for hand carrying a invitation in with them and so hence I stress that use Telex if at all possible. Cost more but really makes a difference to the consulate…

    I would call and verify that the invitation that you will be given is good, a invitation is an official paper! You can have an individual write a letter of support and yes a business can as long as they are approved. The process to have a non approved invitation approved is not easy and takes awhile…

    Example is that if you have a friend in Russia they can write you a letter of invitation! That letter has to be approved by an organization in Russia (All Russian business invitations will be processed through the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), namely, Department of Passports and Visas (Russian acronym PVU).) Hence they will want a verifiable invitation…

    Time to have something approved is long and if the company or person has no contacts then it could take months…

    So the best thing is too get a invitation that is positively approved. Cost more, but can cost less in the long run…

    Careful fact! Do not use a tourist invitation for a business visa!

    It is hard to understand what it is all about! But once you have gotten 20 visa’s like I have to Russia, you learn that while it makes no sense and should be cut and dry, that things are not cut and dry and that is normal for governments all over the world. Just that some governments are not as stupid as the Russian government when it comes to visa’s…

    Just like once you are here, you must register… Hotels can but not always will they… You have seven days and you register at a post office…

    I will always have in mind about the time this guy from South Korea was trying to get a visa and he was a business man! He spent two months in Ukraine and I spent a month of it talking with him from time to time. He hand carried a invitation in and they said it was no good and that he had to get another invitation. I was waiting for my hand carried invitation to be approved and after a month in Ukraine I was allowed to get a visa. I left the poor guy as he waited another week to get his. He even had a company paid to help him and that did no good…

    Yes I am long winded and repeat somethings, but I have seen it and done it when it comes to visas for Russia…

    An official invitation look like this, or at least all mine have…

    http://walterepp.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/epp-visa.jpg?w=708&h=1024

    Kyle

  9. Luis August 21, 2012

    Hey Kyle thanks a million, all the info I needed, great! I took a look at your link, this is perfect as I can have the agency fully understand what I need though am sure they have processed these…. coincidence with the South Korean guy, am Canadian but have lived in that country for ages, and can see them usually having hard times at embassies specially struggling with English instructions and more so if these are coming from non-English speakers… being multilingual is a life saver nowdays..

    Are you in Moscow? would be great to invite you to take a look at the Luxury Leisure Fair at the International Exhibition Center “Crocus Expo” on Sept. 19th, 20th and 21st this year where my resort will be exposed…. welcome to stop by, will let you know our coordinates as soon as I get them.

    Luis
    PD life is a roaller coaster, I was engaged to a moscovite years ago, studied the language for years, we ended up appart, but the dream of going to Russia and see for myself what I had for years wanted never died….! never give up, sooner or later, you might get more than you bargained for!

  10. admin Post author | August 21, 2012

    Yes I live in Moscow and have for 6 years now! My wife and I would love to go to the Expo!

    As far as multilingual is concerned, we should all be taught at an early age several languages. It would help make the world go around better…

    Kyle

  11. Luis August 21, 2012

    Kyle, you can check out this website, http://www.luxury-moscow.ru/en/

    Entry passess are free for visitors by registering online in advance, and I can email you coordinates once I’m all set and know where I’ll be if you wanna share your email address otherwise I’ll make a note to come back to your site in Mid September.

  12. admin Post author | August 21, 2012

    Sounds good!

    Thanks

  13. http://www.buywindows7ultimatekeys.com/ August 23, 2012

    Hi, I check your new stuff daily. Your humoristic style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

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