Just a quick heads up to let you know that there have been a few changes to Russian Visa regulations recently.
Firstly, and probably most significantly, Russian visa applications can usually only be made in the country in which you hold citizenship. The only exceptions to this are if you can present proof that you are entitled to be in that country for more than 90 days, or if you need the visa in an emergency.
I can see this causing a few problems to those who like to nip out of Russia for a few days holiday on a Baltic beach and, while they’re abroad, pop into the local consulate to renew their visa…
The second changes are to do with the rules regarding multiple entry Russian visas. Basically multiple entry visa holders will now be able to stay in Russia for any 90 days out of a 180 day period. Interestingly though, you can now only apply for a multiple entry visa if you have previously held a russian visa – otherwise you are restricted to using a single or double entry visa.
Thanks to Way to Russia for initially pointing these changes out.
Whilst I am not advocating that anyone disregards these rules, all is not as it appears. First, an official from MID says that you can still apply in any embassy (I think that there maybe colour of skin exemptions) and they are not quite sure when the 180 day rule will start to apply.
The American Chamber of Commerce (www.amcham.ru), whilst habitually a useless organization is good on getting these issues clarified and is worth following.
The advice from the visa agencies is to sit tight for now.
I just came back two weeks ago from my Visa Run. All was fine. I got multiple entry business visa no restrictions.
The word is that every Consulate is doing different things. I would suggest calling said consulates before leaving on a visa run.
I also hear that London is a good place to go as of now. The consulates are interpreting the new rules differently. Every country right now has a different set of rules.
As far as having to get the visa in your home country, this is the first that cropped up for me about this subject.
Consulate in Kiev made no mention of any changes.
How much of the rules apply to EU only and what applies to Americans??
I just got back 3 days ago from a visa run in Riga, and although the embassy there had no problem giving me a visa despite the fact that Latvia is not my home country, I have now returned to Russia with a very worrying ‘valid for 90 days out of each 180’ stamp in my passport.