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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Applying for Russian Visa in the Phillipines

This is probably the longest open ticket I have ever held. We got our ticket a year ago, as a compliment from the HSBC free flights promo. If you did not hear about it, you missed out a lot. I got to fly to London and sent my nieces and nephews to visit disney world and now, I get to visit Russia. All these wasn't part of my bucket list but if given free flights, my itchy feet simply can't resist it.

Applying for Russian Visa

The official website of the Russian embassy in Manila, Philippines is http://www.philippines.mid.ru/

The Russian Embassy in the Philippines is in Manila but I have read quite a number of testimonies that red tape is at its finest at the embassy. Since they open only three times a week and accommodate very few people a day, one shall wait in queue the night before or very early in the morning. We could not find a travel agency who would process the application without booking a tour with them. As such we were constrained to go with a tour.

The Russian Visa Application Form is probably is the most simple visa application form I've filled up and it does not require one to submit any proof of financial capacity.  The only document required is a visa support issued by accredited hotel or travel agent in Russia.  The dates specified on the visa support are the exact dates for the validity of the visa. Regardless of one's financial capacity, the visa support is necessary.

In our case, a visa support was issued by our tour operator (via Cosmos tour) and since the starting tour date does not coincide with our flight schedules, we had to book pre-tour accommodation on our own and secured a separate visa support. With email consultation by the consulate office in Cebu, those two visa support were sufficient, however, the embassy in Manila declined to accept two separate visa support. The travel agent advised us to appear personally at the embassy at five in the morning to queue and to explain. According to the agency, embassy officials are normally rude and hostile towards travel agents and more accommodating to the applicant themselves. At this point, I was given the option to line up at five in the morning or take chances of submitting the papers through the agency inspite of the embassy's warning. I did not want to line up at five the morning so I took chances of emailing Cosmos USA and Australia, fortunately, the latter swiftly responded to our request and ammended the visa support. It just took them a day to amend it, the local travel agent wasn't helpful or should I say lack the knowledge of all possibilities.

After two weeks and paying rush visa fees (including travel agency fees) of P10,144, we got our visa. The validity dates are exactly as specified on the visa support, no more no less.

During our arrival at the airport, tourists need not fill-up any immigration arrival cards. Instead, the immigration officer prints out your arrival card. Such arrival card will be photocopied by your hotel, I would assume they have the responsibility to register your entry and during exit, such card will taken by immigration. It is important that you don't lose it.

EMBASSY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

Address
: 1245 Acacia Road, Dasmariñas Village, Makati, Manila
Phone: 817-5406 (Operator), 893-0190, 810-9581 (Consular)
Fax: 810-9614 (Chancery); 810-9581 (Consular)
E-mail: RusEmb@i-manila.com.ph
E-mail: Consdasmader@i-manila.com.ph(Consular)

Working hours: 
Monday – Thursday 08.00-15.15 Friday 08.00-15.00

6 comments:

  1. Hi can you please post your itinerary in russia and europe? Thanks a lot.

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  2. Here's our itinerary for Russia. http://www.confessionsofawanderlass.com/2014/08/moscow-and-st-petersburg-with-cosmos.html

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  3. That is really a steep price for a visa application. And how much is a return flight to Russia?

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  4. from which travel agency in manila did you get your visa support? -angie

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  5. we got our visa support through baron travel, the same agency where we booked our tour with cosmos.

    ReplyDelete