RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA APPLICATION

RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA APPLICATION IN MANILA,PHILIPPINES – MY EXPERIENCE

Date of application: September 19, 2018

I initially did not include Russia among the countries that I will visit in my gap year due to the hassle of applying for a visa. I heard rumors that Russian Tourist Visa at the Russian Embassy in Manila is among the most difficult visa to obtain. However, contrary to popular belief, it is actually easy to apply and the process is straightforward.

I decided to apply for one the day I received my Egyptian visa in Makati. Since both embassies are in the same area, I decided to go there immediately to apply for a Russian Tourist Visa and barely made it since cut-off time was 12:00 ( I arrived 11:15)

REQUIREMENTS FOR RUSSIAN TOURIST VISA

Matrioshka dolls at Izmailovo Kremlin

Before entering, the guard asked for my purpose and checked for the following documents:

  • Printed application form with passport size picture – get it from this page – you will need to have a travel voucher to complete the application.
  • CONFIRMED flight bookings – I submitted my New Delhi – Moscow and Saint Petersburg – Paris flight bookings.
  • Travel Voucher – I tried several websites but I encountered some dilemmas. Firstly, RealRussia and TravelRussia are among the top-recommended sites online. However, when I tried applying, it did not let me select the Philippines under the country of origin. Then, some websites like IVISA have good reviews, but very expensive. Finally, I also tried asking the hostel in Saint Petersburg where I booked my stay if they can issue one which also indicates Moscow. In the end, they told me that they can only supply an invitation for my stay in Saint Pete, so this is already out of the equation.

In the end, I was able to find an affordable website that can include both Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The name of the agency is Hotelspro. I only paid 1,200 rubles or P975.

My Travel Voucher

This is how mine looked like. You just need to supplant the following information in your application form, which can be found in your voucher (I will type in what’s in mine for reference).

  • Name of Organization: HotelsPro LLC
  • Address: Russia, Moscow, Prechistenka Street 40/2
  • Reference Number: 013725
  • Confirmation Number: 115658

Remember to be precise with the travel dates because they will only provide you with the exact days that you requested. Most of the rejection cases I found online were due to the dates not coinciding with the tickets and travel vouchers.

APPLICATION DAY

I also submitted the hotel reservation for both cities, and Certificate of Employment, but the guard told me both were not needed. So I lined up and waited for my turn. After 5 minutes of waiting, I submitted the documents to the consul. After checking it, she gave me a slip with the instruction to pay the visa fee at UCPB which is located a few blocks just outside the building. They will only process the visa once you give them the bank slip.

VISA FEE IS AS FOLLOWS:

Single entry – 3,920 regular, 7,840 rush (It now cost 4,480 as of October 2019)

Double-entry – 6,272 regular, 12,544 rush

It was indicated in their bulletin board that they increased the price starting last July 12, 2018. (They increased it again as of October 2019)

After paying the fee, I gave the slip back to the consul. She stamped it and told me to return to the date indicated in the form, which is exactly 10 working days after.

There was actually one crazy scenario that happened when I was applying. The applicant before me had no idea what to do, and his company just informed him 2 days prior that he needs to travel to Russia. Another applicant told him that he knows someone that can issue a travel voucher for $320. I can’t help but react on the absurdity, so I turned around and told him, “Kuya, that is so expensive, I got mine for just XXXXX” – He then got really pissed, hissing that mine might not be legit, so I told him if that’s the case, then why did the consul accept mine? Then the earlier applicant butted in and whispered “bro good thing you mentioned it, thank you for informing me”. He told me that that guy was from a travel agency and that he too finds it absurd that it cost that much.

The Hermitage – Saint Petersburg, Russia

So after that, I just told him what I submitted and gave him the website of the travel voucher. I didn’t know what happened to him but I do hope that he also received his visa.

Applying for a Russian visa is one of the easiest visa applications that I experienced. It will let you enter most of Russia’s cities without any problem.

UPDATE AS OF OCTOBER 2019

***There is recent news that we Filipinos are among those who are included in the list of those given privilege to apply for a free online visa to visit Saint Petersburg for 8 days. More reason to visit this wonderful country!

Saint Basil’s Cathedral – Moscow, Russia

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