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 Post subject: success
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 23 May 2011 21:38 

Joined: 22 May 2011
Last Visit: 07 Aug 2011 20:43
Posts: 2
Gender: Male
Status: engaged
Her/His Country: Russia
RW_here_since: 2011
Times_to_FSU: 2
Hi All

I would like to share our success and experiences. I read on forums many problems of people in our situation. Greater expierience in these matters may say we are the exception to the rule, however:

After using a Russian dating site on and off for a year, I was contacted by a lovely Russian woman. We E-mailed each other for 12 months before we met. On our first meeting I was greeted at Moscow airport by the same smiling lady as in the photos she sent me.

We both had the attentions of scammers, yes they scam the Russian women too, not hairy Boris but Mr Umamabagoo's cousin from Nigeria in her case. We both came away relatively unharmed, you can get used to spotting a scammer, although I think I got a bit paranoid about it and must have rejected real people too.

My visas to Moscow were no problem at all, I even made a mess of filling in one immigration card. I was given the immigration card 5 minutes before landing by the stewardess and promptly told to fold the table for landing. The card was rushed and I omitted my nationality and place of visit, they still let me in and out.

I found the Russian officials had a military efficiency. Dont expect smiling service.

The teminal I used in Sheremetyevo airport is new, clean and tidy,all my flights ran on time. The largest queue I had in Immigration was 2 minutes. Usually straight to the desk for check in or security.

The Aeroexpress train is the best way into Moscow from Sheremetyevo airport, expensive compared to the local trains, about £8 each way

I registered my visa at the post office near my GF's flat. A tourist visa registered to a private address caused us no problems. The post office registration is free as of last January. Do not attempt to register a visa yourself unless you have a Russian with you with all their correct documents. The form is in Russian, even my name must be in Russian.

After my second visit I proposed to my GF and she accepted. [biggrin.gif]

I am an acceptable French speaker and can get by in German and Spanish. I spent 3 months learning Russian, but was quite unprepared for the actual Rusian language and writing. The audio CD I used taught the language in such a way that my GF cannot help but smile or even giggle at my efforts. She describes it as "Russian with a quaint English accent"
The signs in Moscow were of little use to me as I could not read them. If it were not for the nice plaster ceilings in the underground stations being all different, I would still be going round on the circle line!.
In train stations the signs that said trains "To Moscow" and "From Moscow" only the first 3 letters of the word Moscow are the same due to the grammar.

My GF took her English test in April. She had only had her schoolgirl lessons from years ago. With what she learned from our correspondence and English from the Internet. She passed her IELTS with 2 grades higher than she needed.
The exam took all day, 9am till 7.30pm. She took a higher business level exam to make the most of her written English which is excellent. Although the requirement for UK visa is spoken only.
Her single minded determination to learn English is admirable, but she took no lessons.

We applied for a fiancee visa in April. My GF refused to use an agency, We completed the VAF4A form ourselves with me taking my documents over there. The form is submitted electronically so we both could access it and correct any spelling.
I would reccomend an English speaker to complete the form, it is one of the worst written forms I have seen for a while. Obviously written by an English speaker, badly.
One thing I have seen no mention of, is the "phone call". The embassy calls the sponser to make sure they exist and they are sponsoring the applicant. My phone call was the next day after submitting the completed form.

The visa application documents, I have read that you do not get any back except GF's passport. However the visa centre logged all documents submitted and noted the ones to be returned. This in my case was my original birth certificate. It was duly returned with other GF's original documents on collection of visa.

Our fiancee visa processing took 5 1/2 weeks. Some of the other Russian women submitting applications on the same day as my GF had theirs back approved a week earlier.

The best news, my GF collected her fiancee visa last week [hurrah.gif]

I have sent the E ticket for the flight to my GF, booked and paid for in the UK for a one way ticket from Moscow.

We are both of mature years, financially secure with no complicated pasts, so I assume this has helped us a lot.

Good luck to all future applicants, it can be done quite simply.


 Post subject: Re: success
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 24 May 2011 07:39 
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Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Last Visit: 05 Jan 2023 01:01
Posts: 3642
Location: Surrey UK
Gender: Male
Status: Married
Her/His Country: Russia
RW_here_since: July 2008
Times_to_FSU: Too many to remember

Very nice story to read and I enjoyed reading that you approached the whole visa process in a military fashion..... [wink.gif]
which paid off at the end, even if you had a small delay.

What is more important is that your fiancé is coming over this week and I am sure you will be absolutely delighted and starting the long way to Jerusalem........ and life happiness. I am sure that you also realise that now the long trip of this adventure starts but reading between the lines it appears you have most things sorted out and for sure life will be much easier for you both.

I expect you had some looking around on the board and found interesting things to read and if there is something more to ask, don't hesitate to do so, even if you think is a stupid question. Better safe than sorry and I am sure there is always somebody around to give you an answer.

Not sure if you read this article but I suggest, if you didn't, to take a look:

I guess the wedding will take place over here in the UK and you will let us know details.

Wish you all the best...... and more importantly have fun!




 Post subject: Re: success
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 24 May 2011 11:08 
Hero Member

Joined: 12 Apr 2009
Last Visit: 18 Oct 2014 23:34
Posts: 1234
Location: Mainly Sakhalin Island (Russian Far East)
Gender: Male
Status: Married
Her/His Country: Russia/UK
RW_here_since: She lives in Russia
Times_to_FSU: Ya ne mogu soschitatʹ
First of all congratulations negotiating the first major step, that step being the getting of your G/F's fiancée visa sorted.

You say that your G/F and you sorted out the fiancée visa yourselves, well done.

I will though state that in my opinion using a reliable agency can save a lot of sleepless nights.

I will state that while I am not a stranger when it comes to applying for visas for different countries but when it comes to applying for a visa for the UK (for my lady) I do use a visa agent and that is because the UKBA tend to change the requirements (without properly advertising the new requirements). Further I find the UKBA web site a nightmare to negotiate (and I do know that I am not alone).

Therefore I would recommend to most people to use a reliable agency.

You obviously managed to get all the correct information and complete the form correctly well done.

On a different tack.

Your G/F will soon be in the UK and your life will change, I am not saying that it will not be worth it but be prepared for some major changes to your life style.

I will also recommend that you do follow the link posted by "wiz"

If told to jump always ask why and never how high..Image

 Post subject: Re: success
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 24 May 2011 14:14 
Expert Member
User avatar

Joined: 15 Feb 2011
Last Visit: 03 Sep 2012 04:28
Posts: 276
Location: USA
Gender: Male
Status: Married
Her/His Country: Russia
RW_here_since: Nov 2011
Times_to_FSU: 10+

Good intro and I wish you the best of luck after your fiancee arrives. [hi.gif]

Also, I can relate to getting on the Moscow metro and then getting lost because you did not recognize the cyrillic names. My solution was to count stops and just make sure I got on in the correct direction.

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