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 Post subject: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 27 Nov 2008 09:03 
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Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia

Anybody who has visited Russia or has looked photos and video’s, must be impressed with this large and beautiful country.

Having visited Russia several times, so far, I feel very disappointed and in some ways very frustrated that the Russian Government is so blind and on the 21st century still has the siege mentality of the last century and the cold war. In my view it’s about time that Russia abolish the visa requirement unilaterally for most western countries and especially the members of the European Community. I was hoping after the last year’s experience with the football mach between Manchester and Chelsea that took place in Moscow when 50000 funs arrived there for 3-4 days, that they would see the benefits that tourism brings to any country, but alas nothing happened and still we are back to the cold war mentality!

It’s obvious now that the security of the nation is not threatened by anyone visiting Russia because that type of business practiced by both, Russia, USA and the Western countries has moved to electronic means and the few individual incidents prove the rule.

In my view it is wrong, a criminal extortion and backwards mentality towards Russia and the Russian people, by their Government that they still require Visas, invitation letters and also registration with OVIR, by all visitors who have paid a lot of money to be allowed to visit Russia.

Just look Ukraine and check the tourist numbers and other benefits that the abolition of Visa requirements has brought to the country!

I think the Russian Government is afraid that by abolishing the Visa requirement and other documents, Tourism towards Russia will expand dramatically and its fear is that all these Western men will drain Russia out of their precious commodity, the beautiful Russian women.

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 19 Feb 2009 20:44 
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wiz wrote:
Just look Ukraine and check the tourist numbers and other benefits that the abolition of Visa requirements has brought to the country!

Travelling to Ukraine from the UK is extremely easy. No more planning ahead for a visa and I have noticed more tourists in Kiev, while visiting my GF now wife and her family, the last three years.

Somehow I don't think that Russia will abolish the Visa requirement unilaterally, as Ukraine did, and it will be a very long time before any progress in this area is made. I suspect also that Russia doesn’t have the kind of tourist infrastructure necessary to cater for large numbers of tourist arrivals and their hotel prices are very expensive for the quality of accommodation that they have available.


I read that Russia is requiring equal treatment for its citizens in their talks with the EU but it is highly unlike that the EU will agree to the abolition of Visa for the Russians due to the financial considerations and fears of uncontrollable immigration


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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#  PostPosted: 24 Feb 2009 14:38 
hmmm
ukraine would do anything to be in EU, Russia doesnt need that, we could scrap visa system but what for? and i don't think it's that difficult to get a visa for russia (especially comparing to what we have to go through to go to the uk)
look what happened to the uk. there are more indians and pakistani in london than Delhi or Islamabad, many immigrants from eastern europe working illegally (claiming benefits when people who were born here get f"ck all) and now they don't know what to do with them. Why do you think they want south africans and other nations to apply for a visa when last year and before they could just come without one.
registration is a stupid invention i think, but did you know if we go somewhere in russia and stay there longer than 3 months we have to register as well. I am from Moscow so if i go to st petersburg or anywhere else in russia and decide to stay there longer than 3 months i would have to go and register like you guys do too.


  
 
 Post subject: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 19 Nov 2009 08:22 
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Russia's EU envoy says visa-free travel stymied by politics

The introduction of visa-free travel between Russia and the European Union is being hampered by a "considerable political component" in the talks, Russia's EU envoy said on Wednesday.

In an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta government daily, Vladimir Chizhov recalled that while serving as European Commission president in 1999-2004, Romano Prodi said visas would be scrapped in 2008.

"It is 2009 now... Obviously, this has something to do with various positions of EU member countries," Chizhov said.

He said it had taken the republics of former Yugoslavia several months to complete all bureaucratic procedures to have visas scrapped with the EU from January 1, 2010.

"This means there is a considerable political component to the problem... But we will continue working actively in this direction," he told the paper.

Chizhov rejected the idea that Russia's relations with the European Union needed a reset. "They need additional loading," he said. "We should further improve our strategic partnership."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is currently in Stockholm for an EU-Russia summit to focus on energy security and a new cooperation pact.

On the eve of the summit, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana told RIA Novosti there was no need for a reset in EU-Russian relations.

"I see no need for a reset. Of course there are issues on which we disagree and where we would like Russia to work differently, but Russia is a key partner in the international arena and we have deep, multi-dimensional and far-reaching aspects to relations with your country," he said in an interview.

Solana added that the visa issue could not be swiftly resolved as it was tied up in the ongoing discussion on a new cooperation agreement between Russia and the EU.

The previous agreement has been temporarily kept in force since it expired two years ago, and a seventh round of negotiations on a fresh deal is due in December.

MOSCOW, November 18 (RIA Novosti)

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 Post subject: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: 19 Nov 2009 12:27 
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Didn't we hear similar encouraging statements in 2006?



EU-Russia visa deal first step to visa-free travel - Putin


18:3325/05/2006 SOCHI, May 25 (RIA Novosti)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that a visa facilitation agreement with the European Union was the first step toward visa-free travel.

Russia and the European Union earlier Thursday signed agreements on visa facilitation and readmission at the Russia-EU summit in southern Russian resort city of Sochi.

"To start with, the simplified visa issuance procedure will be available to students, journalists, businessmen, culture activists, scientists and athletes," Putin said. "But this decision is the first step towards the introduction of visa-free regime for citizens of Russia and the European Union."

"I am positive that the introduction of new simplified visa regulations will soon become an impetus for the expansion of humanitarian cooperation, as well as for the joint work and interaction of artistic and scientific intelligentsia, young people and students," Putin said.

He added that summit participants hoped the new agreements on visa facilitation and readmission would come into force by the end of the year.


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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: 29 Jan 2010 13:43 
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Letter to the President and also the
Prime Minister of The Russian Federation


The other day I wrote a letter to the President of The Russian Federation D. Medvedev and copied over to the Russian Prime Minister, V. Putin, highlighting to them a problem that my self and other people in a similar position have to face and asked for their help to eliminate te problem we are facing each time we have to travel to Russia and also improve our family life!

Do I expect anything to come out of it?

Not really but it's my view that if you don't ask you will never get anything. I am waiting to see if I ever going to get an answer or my letters will be thrown to the dusbin.

We will see soon! [wink.gif]

I hope they will agree to look favourably my request! [wink.gif]........


President of the Russian Federation ..................................................14 January 2010
Ilinka Str, No 23
103132,
Moscow,
Russia.



Your Excellency

Happy New Year to you, your family and to all people in the Russian Federation.

I am writing to bring to your attention a small problem that affects my family and of course a few other families and I hope you will consider our plight and will offer your help in trying to resolve our problem.

I am a Greek citizen, living in the UK and I am married to a lady who is Russian National.

After our wedding in Russia, my wife applied under the European Directive 2004/38/EU and was granted a visa, FREE of any charges, by the British Consulate and came to join me in the UK. As a Greek citizen, I exercised my right under the same EU Directive for free movement in the European Economic Area and my wife was granted a Resident Card which gave her the right, not only to reside in the UK with entitlement to work freely but also to FREE National Health Care and other state benefits. Additionally her Resident Card allows her to travel to any European country that is a member of the European community without the need for a Schegen or any other type of Visa.

The Russian Federation in co-operation with the European community have streamlined and simplified the Visa requirements in 2007 for travel between our respective countries and reduced the financial cost but still that doesn’t not resolve the problem that my wife and I we have to face when we need to travel together to Russia.

My wife and I have a family, her 70 years old mother, who lives in Russia and obviously we support her financially to make her life comfortable. Unfortunately due to our current work situation we can’t visit her often but we try to do it as often as we can.

The problem we are faced is that I (personally) can not travel at a moments notice in an emergency situation, regarding her old mother, and support my wife with my presence there because I am required to have a visa to travel to Russian Federation. I am sure you do realise that how ever fast can be the service provided by the staff at the Russian Consulate in London and as we live outside and away from London, I still need a few days before I receive my visa.

Under the circumstances, I would like to ask for your help to resolve this problem. I am sure with a good will on the part of your Government a solution can be found and the Russian Federation could facilitate and offer to me the same benefit and freedom of movement when I need to make a family visit Russia, especially in an emergency situation without the need of a Visa. By doing so you will be reciprocating the same Conditions afforded and as provided by the EU to my wife, a Russian National.

Having followed in the press the efforts of your Government to normalise relations with the European Community to reach to an agreement for Free travel between our respective parties, it is my view that the Russian Government by offering a solution to my problem, which affects also a small number of other people too, in the EU countries, it would be another opportunity for your Government to demonstrate to the EU its willingness and efforts for a fair solution to the current stumbling block, which stops Russian citizens travelling freely to the EU countries.

Thank you for your time and I hope my request will receive your attention and consideration.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Your sincerely


[drinks.gif]

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#7  PostPosted: 10 Mar 2010 10:12 
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“No objective obstacles exist for visa abolition
between Russia and EU”


From Russia Today - Published 09 March, 2010, 06:31

A series of consultations on visa-free travel between Russia and the EU carried out in 2007-2009 showed there are no objective obstacles to visa abolition, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Andrey Nesterenko.

In his weekly media address, Nesterenko commented on visa-free travel, which has recently come into spotlight, as well as some other foreign policy developments.

RT presents the full transcript of Andrey Nesterenko’s briefing, which took place on March 4, 2010.

ANNOUNCEMET of Amendement of the law

The Federation Council of upper house of Russian parliament on 2nd March 2010 endorses the bill facilitating the reception of Russian visas for foreigners with close relatives who are citizens of the Russian Federation. The document defines parents and spouses as close relatives.

Under the bill, heads of diplomatic missions and consulates of the Russian Federation are given the right to issue entry visas to a foreign citizen or a stateless person if his of her relative, a citizen of the Russian Federation, makes a corresponding written request.

As we understand things, the theory is the relative just need to write a letter of invitation (without having to register it at OVIR or police), and this letter will be sufficient for you to get a private visa (valid up to 3 months, single or double entry).

The law has to be signed by the president before it comes into force but that may happen before the summer.


Prospects for Russia-EU visa-free dialogue

We note the Russian media’s increased interest in the theme of a visa-free dialogue between Russia and the EU. In this regard, we would like to highlight the following points.

We started discussion with the European Union on the possibility of abolishing the visa regime way back at the Russia-EU summit in St. Petersburg in 2003. In 2007-2009 our Ministry held a series of extensive consultations within the framework of the visa-free dialogue, during which we discussed all EU concerns. Based on their results, we can safely say that no objective obstacles exist for visa abolition. Reasons of a political rather than a technical nature stand in the way of a visa-free regime.

Russia has repeatedly stated, including at the highest level, its preparedness to shift to visa-free travel, figuratively speaking, “even tomorrow,” and confirmed it with concrete examples: on May 21, 2008 fans from a number of European Union member countries were able to enter Russia for the final UEFA Champions League match without visas, and tourist groups arriving in Russia by ferry can stay on the territory of Russia without a visa for 72 hours.

However, our EU colleagues have shied away from specific agreements in this regard. It is regrettable that, having coped 20 years ago with the Berlin Wall, Europe – not our fault – still cannot part with such a rudiment of the past as the visa regime. Incidentally, this is an obvious non-fulfillment by our EU partners of their commitments under the Helsinki Final Act of the CSCE (OSCE) on freedom of movement, as well as the CSCE (OSCE) Vienna Document of 1989, which speaks of “the reciprocal abolition of entry visas” by participating states of the CSCE (OSCE).

Separately, I would like to draw your attention to a recently published remark of a “diplomatic source in Brussels” that without 27 readmission agreements between Russia and the EU member states, “visas can’t be abolished.” We emphasize that the May 25, 2006, EU-Russia Agreement on Readmission is being successfully carried out in respect to nationals of the states of the high contracting parties, and from June 1, 2010, will also be applied to third-country citizens. Thus, this question can be no obstacle.

We welcome the disposition of the current Spanish EU Presidency to move, finally, from words to deeds. In particular, we are talking about ensuring that the upcoming EU-Russia summit in Rostov-on-Don (May 31–June 1 of this year) agrees on a possible timetable for the abolition of the visa regime. Of course, it is unlikely that this will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, but fixing such a period will be a driving factor for both us and Brussels to gradually move toward the ultimate goal.

LATEST NEWS


On Monday, 8 March at 5.30, I received a call from the Russian Embassy in London, in connection with my letter to the Russian President, that surprised me, which advised me that my partner, a Russian National, can write a simple letter of invitation for me and then I can apply for a visa (valid up to 3 months, single or double entry) via the Visa Centre in London but not directly to the consulate.

I asked him about costs and was told the same costs apply as now, ie The Europeans will pay 35 Euro plus the VC fees and I can have the visa in 24 hours.

Unfortunately the person talking to me was not aware of any more details and we have to wait till the President sign the new Law.

I was surprised to even receive a telephone call from the Russian Consulate but the fact remains No solution was given to my problem and the changes they made to the law on the 2 March is nothing special, just eliminates our need to request an Invitation, which I always got it in less than 2 hours via email at the cost of $20, so no big deal there.

My view is that the Russians are always inflexible in making changes to the old systems to modernise their procedures and in my case they lost a good opportunity to pull the carpet under the European's feet on the forthcoming meeting with the EU in Rostov na danu on the 31 May!

My letter arrived in Moscow very early and with a small amendment to the new law they could exempt me from the Visa requirement for 5 years, same as my wife has now, arrange via the Consulate to issue the visa without any publicity for now and then on the 31 May talks stunt the Europeans with my example and accuse them for inflexibility, where they could show that they do everything on their part to abolish the Visa regime!

But then I have never noticed them to be astute in the Propaganda war abroad!

Before anybody jumps in and dispute my view, may I remind you what they did in the war with Georgia? They let Shakavilly to run rings around their neck and instead of taking with them Western reporters from day one, when they moved in to South Ossetia, they waited 8 days to do it... by then they had lost the propaganda war and was too late to change public opinion in the west!

Never mind one day they may learn that there are many ways to skin a cat!

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 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#8  PostPosted: 20 Mar 2010 05:54 
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From the Russian Visa Centre website in LONDON!

Important update:


In view of the changes to the Federal Law "On the procedure of entering and leaving the Russia Federation" on 15th August 1996 № 114-FL effective from 12th March 2010:

1. Applications will be accepted from citizens of the Russia Federation lawfully staying in UK, to issue visas for members of their families who are foreign nationals (spouses, children under the age of 18, incapacitated children of any age) to enable them to enter the territory of the Russian Federation accompanied by the citizen of the Russia Federation, who signed the visa request form.

2. The applications can only be submitted for the issuance of a single entry/double entry private visa effective for up to 3 months with the purpose of visit indicated as "private". The minimum time for processing such applications is 5 working days.

3. Requirements (passport, visa application form, photograph and other supporting documentation must be also provided- please see General Requirements section of this website. The below can only replace a private letter of invitation, issued by a Russian Federal Migration Service agency):

1.) Citizen of the Russia Federation must be present in person at the time of application submission to sign the visa request form (this must be signed with presence of the Visa Centre officer). Hence, no postal application can be accepted. Presence of their family members is not required.

2.) Documents confirming the kinship with a citizen of the Russian Federation should be provided. Only originals or legalized photocopies of marriage certificate (for spouses), birth/adoption certificate (for children), birth/adoption certificate and the medical certificate confirming incapacity (for incapacitated children of any age) must be provided together with copies of the valid passport and proof of the lawful stay in UK of the citizen of the Russian Federation.

3.) The procedure of the migration registration implies informing (notifying) a relevant territorial office of the Federal Migration Service of a foreign citizen's arrival to the place of sojourn and must be carried out in the course of three working days after his/her arrival to the Russian Federation, accompanied by the citizen of Russia Federation who signed the visa request form.
No changes here either!

In a nutshell the Russians make things more complicated
than easier, despite their claims before!


It will cost me more in train tickets to go to London, than applying for a tourist visa by post and paying for an invitation letter by email

I must not forget to write a [thanks.gif] letter to Dima, the President for his help!

[angry.gif]

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 Post subject: Obtaining a Russian visa for husbands and children
Post Number:#  PostPosted: 20 Mar 2010 10:58 
I've just received a mailshot from the Russian Consulate in London with the information on the new procedure of obtaining Russian visas for husbands/wives and children of Russian citizens living in the UK. The Russian citizens can now lodge applications themselves without any invitations. All that is needed is for the Russian citizen to come to the Consulate in person, fill in a request and present original or notarised copies of the documents confirming their relationship (marriage or birth certificate). Plus passport copies.

The full text of the article is here:

http://www.rusemblon.org/ShowArticle.aspx?ID=83

Post was merged because the information appears already above here!

Luckyspin


  
 
 Post subject: Re: Abolishing the Visa requirement for Russia
Post Number:#10  PostPosted: 20 Mar 2010 14:45 
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Yannis, [thanks.gif] for the update.
Yelena, [thanks.gif] for the update.

Question for all.

Does anybody know how this will affect those that their spouse resides in Russia.

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