Passport And Visa

It Took 6 Attempts to Get This Country to Let Me Visit


The Russian visa process is complex, prolonged, and costly for Americans. It’s also a mystery—one of these matters without tough and speedy guidelines; there aren’t always clear steps or answers. Three weeks before I rode to Russia—proper in the window you must follow. First, I completed an online shape that took about 45 minutes. Apart from general questions on every visa application, there had been a few deep dives. Where were my parents born? Where were my husband’s parents born? (He wasn’t even traveling with me!) I needed to list each u. S. A. I’ve been to S. A. in the final ten years, and I overlooked some because I have a terrible memory and tour a lot. But I did my first rate, and as soon as my online utility was submitted, I could make an appointment with the Russian Consulate.


I showed up with my passport, inn reservations, and visa assist letter from considered one of my motels. I had passport snapshots that I had taken for $26 at a drugstore for my lunch break. I also brought $350 in diverse payments due to the fact I examined online that you need to pay coins, you have to have the exact amount, and also you don’t realize how much it’s going to price due to random more expenses (will you be charged $12 to duplicate your passport? TBD).

I arrived at the consulate 10 minutes early for my appointment. The door was locked, and no one was there. After loitering around outdoors, someone ought to have, in the end, noticed me on the security digicam and permitted me in. I had to check my cell phone and other cameras in a tiny locker and undergo a steel detector. Nobody spoke English, such as the person processing my visa software. It was a quick process, and I was quickly authorized, but once I went to the cashier to pay, she rejected my cash. I wished a cashier would look at it, so they despatched me to the closest financial institution. The financial institution wouldn’t supply me a cashier’s test because I didn’t have an account there, so I went to the opposite vicinity they suggested—an Office Max. They don’t do cash orders either, so I sooner or later discovered a Western Union and was given a cash order for $270.

Attempt #2

I grew to become away with the cashier’s aid because my cash order was made out for $271 for some reason. So I turned into like, “Just maintain the exchange!” and they have been like, “I’ll get arrested for embezzling!” (or something—I don’t communicate Russian past announcing “thank you” and “cheers”) so I needed to move lower back to Western Union.

Attempt #3

I subsequently succeeded—or so I idea. I submitted my application with the perfect dates, motel reservations, and a letter of support. So I came to choose my passport with the visa in 10 enterprise days at every other deal with their visa pickup middle.

Attempt #4

The date to choose my visa rolled around, and I went to the office with the Russians. I double-checked the dates on my ticket, and my heart sank—they have been incorrect. My ticket didn’t start until three days into my experience. I confirmed with the passport administrator software and lodged reservations with the precise dates, but there has been nothing she should do. She stated she’d send my passport again to the consulate to fix it, and I may want to pick it up again in days.

Attempt #5

Two days later, it drew near the beginning of my ride, and I didn’t have a visa. Two days later, it was near the start of my journey, and I didn’t have a ticket. I went to the pickup middle, and the passport administrator said the consulate couldn’t restore it. Although the dates on my software were correct, I had only gotten a visa guide letter from the second one where I was staying, so I made the visa handiest based on the one’s dates. She said my quality danger was taking my passport and going to the consulate without an appointment to plead my case.

Attempt #6

I woke up early the following day. By now, the doorman and I were pals. Like an expert, I locked my smartphone in a tiny locker, went through the metal detector, and waited outside the door’s window primarily for what felt like an eternity. Finally, an intelligent consulate employee came downstairs, and I advised what had occurred. She smiled, took my passport up a marble stairs, and arrived forty-five seconds later with a brand-new visa with accurate dates. It felt like a miracle, and three days later, I changed into a 10-hour flight to Russia.

Lessons Learned

How money orders work! You can’t just stroll into any vintage bank to get a cash order, and they’re not as easy to come by using as you would possibly suppose. Western Union is your pleasant bet. Double-test, triple-check, and quadruple your paperwork. I had the entirety in order, but I took it for granted that the lodge agency might have the correct dates—I turned into staying at lodges run by using the identical organization. However, I had a visa aid letter from one in every one of them (and it turned into the incorrect one). If you can’t speak, you must smile lots from time to time, and those wipity on you. “Thank you” has to be the primary phrase you analyze in any language. Unfortunately, in Russian, it seems like a “spacebar.”

the authorOnglobetrotter
I am a travel blogger by passion and am currently working at Onglobetrotter. I’m excited to share our experiences of traveling the world, from discovering new places to staying up late on a budget, so that I can inspire others to make their dreams come true. I hope that if you’re on this journey of life you find inspiration in our travels. I also hope that you’ll get the chance to meet me in one of my destinations and that we’ll have some memorable conversations!