I was sent an article from a good reader and it was an article that has a real basis but is written with many falsifications. This kind of article bothers me because if someone reads it – They get the impression that Russia is the worst place in the world to get a visa to…
Upon arrival at the functional, white stone international terminal in this South Russian city, visitors are greeted with signs saying “welcome to Rostov-on-Don” in Russian and English. However, if you’re not Russian, you’re also likely to face lengthy queues to have your visa inspected.
In order to get a visa, you have to go through a time-consuming procedure involving getting an official invitation and possibly handing in a bank statement to prove that you have got enough funds to cover your trip.
Most importantly, this all needs to be set in motion well before the planned travel date.
It is a system so intricate that it sometimes leaves even those who make a living out of it stranded.
Now I do not deny that this is somewhat the way it really is. But the falsifications are what get me upset. When Svet and I fly into Russia we always go in the same line and we wait the same amount of time. Svet is Russian and I am American. So I have never seen a lengthy line that did not extend to Russians as well as other nationalities. Svet and I in Russia always are able to get through the border in a very orderly and reasonable time…
Now yes, getting a visa is a pain in the butt! But – I will tell you that Russia is a “Tip-for-Tap” country when it comes to visa. I am not saying verbatim but I am saying, that if it seems like it is hard to get a visa for an American to Russia. Then you should reverse that and try to be a Russian getting a visa to America. You go through the same crap…
(I find getting a business visa to Russia a two day process at the most. My first visa in America took about a week and most of that was because of delivery time by Fed-ex. I never had to interview and all paper work was done by me and Svet. It was a very straight forward process that went smoothly.)
You want someone who can tell you about getting a visa to America? Svet has and she has had to get tons of paperwork, sit in multiple interviews at the American Embassy etc etc etc etc…
Svet and I travel to countries that only have visa free with Russia because for a Russian to get a visa to all of Europe, America and many other countries is a lengthy and painful process. (Sound familiar?)
Several years ago Svet’s son traveled to Britain. The process of getting a visa for him was nigh impossible. I was even brought into the situation to rewrite all documents in a way that the British Embassy would not be able to reject those documents. Due to grammar errors and other such issues. Her son obtained the visa, but not until the last few days and they started the process months in advance.
Svet and I want to travel to Finland, Sweden and Norway but we have had real stupid issues every time, for her to get a visa. They say no visa needed for the American but for the Russian…? (The rules change constantly.)
So while I agree that the visa situation for foreigners coming to Russia need to change. I think that foreign countries need to look at their visa policies also. Russia has constantly and consistently worked on visa free with any and all countries. Russia works overtime trying to get visa free with Europe. Russia would love to be visa free with America.
Armenia, Azerbaijan. Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Croatia (Hrvatska), Cuba, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Republic of Mongolia, Serbia and Montenegro, Tajikistan,
Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Venezuela are visa free travel for Svet. This list is growing and I even hear about talks of Vietnam being visa free someday.
The article express that a businessman wanted to fly on short notice to Russia to conduct business and was told that it would take 30 days to get visa. I checked on the rules in his country (Austria) and they are the same if not worse for Russians to enter his country. (Link)
That is why articles like this bother me! They do not employ the real reasons why a visa is hard to get. They always are lazy in their reporting and blame it all on Russia…
Windows to Russia!