For some reasons unknown, I always imagine that Russia looks a bit like The Wall in Game of Thrones. Full of Night’s Watch that wear fur clothes, bravely walk on thick snow and handsomely flip their hair while maintaining the cold and rough look à laJon Snow. DELUSIONAL! Alas, the visa application for Russia has also been a subject of misconception by most. Some said that it is a pain on your backside. Some said that get the visa first before buying the Trans-Siberia tickets. But hey, you won’t know unless you try.
I rushed to the Russia’s Visa Agency after picking up my passport from China’s Visa Agency. I decided to use https://www.russianvisa.my/ as my visa’s agent. It’s hassle free and of course the decision was made after seeing the line: “Our service also known as "NO REJECTION" or 100% money back”. What more could you ask for?
The consultant, Rozalilawati was very friendly and she shed some lights on the process.
Here are the things to be noted before submitting your Russia’s visa form:
1. Russia’s Embassy opens 3 days a week for visa processing and they take the embassy’s 5 working days to process your visa ( a total of 8 regular working days). I submitted my passport on Friday 25th of October and the agency will only receive my passport from the embassy on the 6th of November. It’s best to confirm with the visa agency on the opening dates so you could plan your submission date accordingly.
2. Invitation letter is a must in your visa application. Since I bought my Trans – Siberia tickets from Real Russia, I was given a free copy of the invitation letter. Bear in mind that it is written in "Cyrillic”, Russia’s alphabetic writing system. Get someone who could read it for you to ensure that all locations to be visited are mentioned and your personal details are correct. If you don’t know anyone, just remember that Google is your best friend. Invitation letter could also be bought from the visa agency but will cost you RM100 and take a few days to be prepared. You can also buy the invitation letter from hostels and several agencies online for a small sum of money and they’ll send you the copy to your email.
3. Make sure that you attach your flight ticket for point of entry and point of exit. In my case, I’ll start my train journey from Beijing and ends it in St Petersburg. So I attached the printed copy of my China’s flight details, printed copy of bus ticket from St Petersburg to Vilnius, Lithuania and printed copy of my Trans-Siberian tickets.
The documentation was straightforward and everything went smoothly with the visa agency. I paid RM265 for regular visa application since I provided my own invitation letter from Real Russia. The visa consultant and I double-checked all the documentations and form before I leave. If there’s any mistake in the submission (God forbid!) my application will have to be rectified and can only be processed in the next cycle of 5 working days of the embassy.
Now that I’m done with the visas, it’s time to start packing!