You’ve set your sights on Moscow, you’ve booked the time off work and pretty much everything is in place for your trip. At least, everything apart from your tourist visa for Russia. Or whichever Russian visa you’ll need to gain access to the country.
This is where the whole subject of international travel becomes daunting for a lot of people. The mere mention of visa applications can be enough to put some off travelling altogether. Nevertheless, organising and obtaining a travel visa doesn’t have to be difficult.
As with most things, it’s simply a case of planning ahead and understanding your obligations. For those who are yet to experience the process of travelling to a country with robust immigration restrictions, what follows is a quick Q&A on the subject of visa and visa applications:
What is a Visa?
In the simplest terms, a visa represents formal evidence that you have been approved for entry to a country for a specific period of time. The visa will usually contain information of the date you can enter (or entered) the country, when you must leave by and the extent to which you can work and/or study for the duration of your stay.
What Are the Different Types of Visa?
Every country worldwide has its own unique immigration policy. However, the vast majority of countries provide visa within seven primary categories – visitor visa, student visa, business visa, work visa, working holiday visa, sponsorship visa and resident visas. The visa you are eligible for will be determined by your intentions during your visit to the country and your country of origin.
How Do I Apply for a Visa?
Once again, visa application processes vary significantly from one country to the next. Nevertheless, it is almost always necessary to apply ahead of time, rather than waiting until the last minute. Application forms can usually be completed online, which must be supported with a recognised form of identification, such as your passport. For some visas and countries, it may be necessary to make an appointment at the relevant embassy or consulate.
When Do I Need a Visa?
Visa requirements are country-specific and case-specific. Only you can determine whether or not you need to apply for a visa to travel to your target country – seek the necessary support and advice if unsure. If you arrive at the border without the visa you need, you run the risk of being refused entry and sent home at your own expense.
How Much Do Visa Applications Cost?
Some visas are granted free of charge, others can be surprisingly expensive. Again, fees vary significantly from one country to the next, though most countries charge at least something for visa applications – successful or otherwise. Click here to see how much a Russian visa costs from a UK agent.
Where Can I Find Out More Information?
Travellers in the United Kingdom can head to the Gov.UK website to determine their visa requirements for countries worldwide. There are also specialist services available to assist with visa applications, or for help filing appeal in the event that your visa application is rejected. – Russian-visa.org.uk