Embassy report: Russian visa in Almaty

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tim207
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Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:36 pm
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Re: Embassy report: Russian visa in Almaty

Postby tim207 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:25 am

I am an American that applied for, and was granted, a 3-year tourism visa to Russia in Almaty without issue. Note that only Americans are eligible for a 3-year multiple entry tourism visa, as far as I know. The opening hours for visa applications remain as previously reported. I did not see anywhere that the days/times for visa applications are accepted, other than inside the waiting room on a sheet of paper taped to Window 3 (in English). So if you're coming in the future, I didn't see anywhere outside that you can check to see when they're open.

The first time, I went 30 minutes before the consulate opened, and there were ~20 people waiting by the time the security guard came around. I hate Central-Asian/Russian/etc "lines", and the "line" lost its form a bit when we entered the courtyard, but most people seemed to try to stick to the order they arrived in. The security guard will announce a number of things in Russian, including that people picking up their visa are allowed to go first. When a couple English-speaking people tried to cut the "line", someone else waiting asked them to allow the people that arrived first to go before them, which they did. All in all, I arrived 30 minutes before they opened, and was there for about 90 minutes total.

The second time I went, I purposely arrived ~45 minutes after the consulate opened, and there was no one waiting in the courtyard. I had to ring the doorbell, and was admitted to the waiting room immediately, where 3 people were waiting. The visa window was closed for whatever reason, but after ~10 minutes the official showed up, and myself and another woman with receipts to pick up our passports/visas went first and left within 2 minutes.

My visa took two weeks to process, and I was told there was no option to expedite. He said single and double entry visas are faster (one week), but multiple entry visas always take two weeks. I paid about 66,000 Tenge (USD$170ish), which is pretty much the same as it cost me to get a 3-year visa when I applied in the US a few years ago.

For my application I provided:
1) Completed visa application
2) Passport photo glued to visa application (glue was still provided on the table in the middle of the waiting room)
2) Tourist Invitation and Tourist Confirmation (technically two separate items, but if you get one on online, they're combined onto one page)
3) Passport
4) Copy of first passport page (mine was in color, don't know if that's required)
5) Flight confirmation into Russia (departure from Russia was not required)

Not required: Proof of departure from Russia, hotel confirmations, Kazakh visa for 90+ days (possibly an old requirement), medical insurance (this might apply to other nationalities, I don't know)
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