Embassy report: Russian visa in Bishkek

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Re: Embassy report: Russian visa in Bishkek

Postby travisthetrout » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:21 am

We (two Swiss citizens) just successfully applied for a Russian tourist visa in Bishkek.

Costs: 35 euro pp (payable in Som)
Processing: 4 working days

Below a detailed review to help those who might find themselves in a similar situation in the future.

The first thing to know is that the entrance to the Embassy is not on Manas St but around the corner off Kiev St (turn right just before the mall).

We went there at 09.00 this morning to be told to come back at 14.00. It therefore seems that the opening times are daily from 14.00-16.00 as stated above.

The first gate opened at around 13.55 and you then have to lock your bags and mobile phones into lockers on the left-hand side before proceeding to a second gate. For locals there seems to be a queueing system as the Russian officer manning the scene read names from a list and handed out numbered tickets. When we asked about visa application he just said: „Wait!“ There was no pushing and everyone seemed quite relaxed.

So we waited. Around 45-60 minutes until we were allowed to jump the queue and - after writing our names into a registry - were accompanied by said officer to desk number 1 where we stood for around 10-15 minutes before another lady queueing behind us noticed that we hadn‘t pressed the button on a grey box in front of the desk which apparently summons an official, so do remember to do this.

Then an extremely nice gentleman speaking excellent English appeared and checked our documents (btw you can print these in the underground passage between Chuy/Manas for 3 som bw and 20 som colour per page), which were:

Copy of passport
Medical Insurance
Tourist voucher and confirmation (colour copy not original)
Online visa form

He then asked us whether we had tickets to leave Russia. We said we hadn‘t but showed him our tickets for entering China (the country we will visit before entering Russia) and he made a copy of this and seemed happy. He then asked us to write a cover letter confirming our departure from Russia by the date indicated on our Visa application (so if you don‘t have tickets for leaving Russia, it would probably be good to bring a cover letter with you).

Then he stamped our passports and gave us the documents back to hand in to the „Kassa“. We had brought along copies of our passports and Kyrgyz entry stamps and asked him whether he could write that our passports were at the Russian embassy for the next four days in case we get stopped by the police. He politely did this, too.

We went to the Kassa and had to pay the equivalent of 35 euros pp in Som (and wait ten minutes till we received our pick up slips but at least we could watch Tom & Jerry from some random screen; pick up in four working days). And that was it!

In total we spent exactly two hours there but the application process itself was extremely simple and straightforward. Perhaps it was because of our nationality or that we are a couple or that we already had an old Russian visa in our passports or that the Russians are becoming more lenient regarding visas (see the eVisa news which came out a couple of weeks ago) but we were really glad that the experience in Bishkek was really easy and that the requirement of a 90+ day Kyrgyz visa seems to be a thing of the past.

Hope that helps some of you scouring the Internet for information as we were!
Last edited by travisthetrout on Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Embassy report: Russian visa in Bishkek

Postby travisthetrout » Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:58 am


we successfully picked up our passports and russian visas (without photos, which confused us, but probably because we are not so experienced) yesterday. Process really quick and easy, just make sure the guy at the second gate knows you are PICKING UP visas, he should let you in more quickly.
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Re: Embassy report: Russian visa in Bishkek

Postby tim207 » Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:21 am

The embassy seems to have reverted to winter hours, so it is now only open for visa applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1400-1600. I arrived at 1330 on Monday, and after they opened at 1400, I was told to return the next day to apply.

I had a photo of their opening hours for all their consular services which I will post if I can find it, but it's nice that there is a sheet listing when they are open if you happen to swing by (it's not in English, so you will need to read Russian or Google Translate the image).
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