Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by rumolddo »

Does anyone know the opening times for collecting a passport? 6pm until? Can I collect it in the daytime the day after?
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by levelo »


I also managed to pick up my 30 day tourist visa at the Tbilisi consulate last week.
So I can confirm all of the above. It took a week ( 5 working days ) from the moment they accepted my application.
Note that I had to book the full 30 nights in order to get the voucher. I cancelled afterwards.
I filled the online form in English, although they don't understand it at the consulate ( ?! ).
The letter from my insurer was in French, it didn't seem to matter.
The line outside can be long but it moves fast and is quite orderly.

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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by 6thumbs »

Hey, does anyone know how much time the visa gives you before you have to enter russia? Thanks!
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by Radelman »

You get the days stated in your invitation letter.
You have fixed entry and exit date. They are written on your visa.
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by Sabrina »

We just had a really bad day trying to apply for visa at the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi!

First we were at the embassy around 8, so one hour before it opens. The queue was already quite long, about 100 people maybe.
As we read the infos on this forum before we went there we also tried somehow to get to the guards to tell them we want to apply for visa and we are foreigners.
It was absolutely impossible to even speak to them as all the Russian and Georgian people were standing everywhere, shouting and screaming to them that they want to get it first. So there was actually no queue just hundreds of people pushing each other and arguing with to each other without even looking out for old people or kids/babies.
They do not let people in how they arrive, they just choose randomly who gets in first or let the people in who !!pay!! someone that manages for them and that knows a guard.
It took us 3 hours from the opening at 9 to get in. Even though we have had longer waits the chaos that happens here is unbelievable!

We got a number inside and sat down in the waiting room.
All others, also the people who came long time after us, were processed before us.
Guess that was because only one table is processing the visa for foreigners however the guy who did these visa today was already about to leave for lunch when one of the other employees told him we have are still waiting.
He was super annoyed! And he was even more annoyed when he found out he has to process two visa.
He wanted our passports. then he asked what kind of visa. we said tourist.
He wanted to see the tourist vouchers. Then he told us they are not valid because they are just colored copy and not originals and we are not able to even apply for the visa. (never heard it has to be original before and also our agency told us when we told them after it's super strange and that never ever happend before. the document is vaild as a copy in very country and every russian embassy around the world, which we get refunded now)
We told him we want to apply for transit then. (we also had all the documents for those just in case)
He told us it's only possible for maximum of 10 days. We said it's no problem.
Then he asked if we have the visa for the next country (Mongolia in our case). We told him no as we do not need visum for Mongolia.
After that he asked if we have a reservation for Mongolia, some hotel booked etc. as we do need that.
We told him no as we do 'automobile turism'. He told us it's not possible to apply then and anyway they close now.
We can come back later today (and wait outside again) he said but he's not sure when he is coming back because he is going to the dentist now and it doesn't make sense to wait anyway because we won't get any visa.

He clearly wasn't in the mood to do any more work on this day and no matter what we told him he found something else what supposedly wasn't correct in our documents! (the guy who tried to apply at his desk before us also got rejected)

Really hope if you try to apply there, there either works someone else or he is in a better mood!!!

Good luck!

ps: it was a tiny, pudge guy with orange shaded glasses
Last edited by Sabrina on Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by Milad »

You may want to try to find an agency to get a tourist visa for you (this costs usually visa price plus 20-50 USD), as they'll make sure you don't get refused and know when to give the consulate clerk payments, whose legal basis is not obvious (aka bribes). Concerning the transit visa, he was technically right as you need literally anything to prove that you're going there, this can be a visa of the destination country, my consulate also happily accepted a print-at-home train ticket order confirmation (which you can cancel afterwards), I'm not sure if they accept things like a reservation as well.
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by rob_c »

I'm having a lot of trouble finding a multiple entry tourist invitation letter. Does anyone know a site that offers this specific option for Americans?

I've visited the Tb special interests building 3 times so far and still no application accepted. Today the crowd was particularly vicious, lots of yelling and pushing, and sometimes the guards were getting angry and pushing people back and yelling at the top of their lungs. Once inside I have also had a very difficult time with this pudgy guy with the 80s shaded glasses. But he is apparently the only person in the entire embassy that speaks more than a few words of English. He seems to look for reasons not to issue a visa. I was told I cannot get a multiple entry visa because I had only 4 empty pages in my passport, they require you have 5. But a single entry will be no problem. When I get home to the hostel and look more closely I can count 5 fully blank pages! But oddly enough my 24th page doesn't have a number on it, so maybe that was the issue.

3 weeks later I have a new US passport that is full of empty pages. I also have to buy a new invite letter and start a new online application. So I return in the afternoon, but before I can get seen the embassy closes for the day and I'm kicked out. I go again the next morning and get a new ticket, and before I can be seen it closes for lunch. Finally after lunch I get to the window and that's when the pudgy guy points out that while everything is correct, and even though my invite letters says "multiple-entry" in English, it says "однократная" in Russian which means single. :(

In some way I suppose its my fault because I failed to proof-read the Russian section of my invite letter. But I'm pretty angry about it and will need to find a new company because I don't want to risk spending $50 and getting another error. I'm sure they will not give a refund, but maybe I will try to dispute it through paypal. And I'll be sure to have a Russian friend proof-read it beforehand so I don't waste time and possible bruises getting through the crowd.
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by steven »

I can see you are having a hard time. Could you tell us the company that got you the faulty LOI, and also the company that got you the correct LOI, if you find one? Would be very helpful for future travellers, I am collecting info for a big Russian visa guide.
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by rob_c »

So I emailed several different companies that offer Russian LOIs, and asked why they only offer single. The unanimous answer was that Russian Federation does not allow tourist invitations to be longer than 30 days, and only allows single/double. But they all assure me that as an American I can get a multiple entry visa with only a 30 day single entry LOI. Basically the one English-speaking guy at the embassy doesn't know about this special rule for Americans and he is trying to follow every rule too closely. So I print out several of the emails, then I bought a highlighter pen (because the guy loves to use his highlighter to show the "mistakes", so I'll use his strategy against him) and highlighted the important parts. I also printed out the page from the Russia Embassy of USA website and highlighted this:
I. In accordance with the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on the simplification of visa formalities for nationals of the Russian Federation and nationals of the United States of America, the US citizens shall as a rule be issued multiple-entry business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas that are valid for three years (36 months) from the date of issue of the visa.


When filling out the electronic visa application form at: please choose «multiple» from the drop-down menu and indicate a 3-year period of stay starting from the date of entry in your visa support documents (invitation).
After reading the emails he just said no, and he doesn't know anything about this. But after reading through the above letter a couple times, he said please wait and took the letter and my passport and left for several minutes. Then he came back and said that the Consul said that it is "OK".

But he isn't done trying to deny my application... he does an error-check over my documents, then he gets to my insurance papers, which I've bought to cover the dates of my LOI. Then he tells me that my insurance must be valid until 31 August 2021!!! It almost made me laugh, but I quickly told him that it is not possible to purchase insurance 3 years in advance, but that I will be sure to purchase again before my next entry. Now I will have my fingers crossed for the next 10 days, who knows what they will say about a brand new passport that doesn't even have a Georgian entry stamp.

As for the LOI, I purchased through Fortuna Travel. They offer a "multi-entry" option for $50 that now I think is a rip-off, but in my special case with this embassy, it seemed like the only option. They also offer for $12 a single entry LOI, which will be the same thing, except it doesn't have a small statement on the right side which says "valid for multiple entry Visa".

Also, I just found out that there is a brand new Russian visa service center that just opened in Tbilisi, just off of Rustaveli Ave, several blocks from Liberty Square, shows up on gmaps. It seems that they are just charging a service fee to assist with the documents and hopefully to bring them to the embassy for you (which might actually be worth the 30 Lari to avoid those crowds!).

Also, the best method I've found for fighting your way through the crowd is to approach fast and confidently, push/pull your way through with a sense of authority, maybe say "excuse me" in english, but the people standing right at the gate will hold usually not budge until the guards tell them to let someone in. So when you are close enough to make eye contact with one of the guards, show your foreign passport and say "Touristi Visa". Personally, I hate using this special privilage because of where I'm from, but otherwise you can stand out there for a solid hour and never get close enough to talk to a guard. And most of the people seem to be waiting for, well, I dont know because some never seem to get it.

After visiting the special interests building on 4 different occassions, I just have to chaulk it up to another unique cultural experience that you don't get many other places. :D
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Post by 4x4globetrotters »

Hi Rob,

We are currently in Tbilisi trying to get a Russian visa and are having problems as well.
Can we see if we can help each other? our email is [email protected] Thanks Tina
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