Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

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BakuBound
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby BakuBound » Fri Aug 24, 2018 1:30 am

I thought Americans weren't required to have insurance. The website of the Russian Visa Center in Houston is explicit:

"US CITIZENS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE IN ORDER TO APPLY FOR A VISA."

https://ils-usa.com/page/70?domain=5&la ... 10#tab_219
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CallumT
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby CallumT » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:39 pm

My partner and I are also having an absolute nightmare with this.

First we tried the new visa service centre but unfortunately an appointment is necessary and it's over a week until the next free slot. It is possible to apply without an appointment in the 'Premium Lounge', but that costs 200 lari per person.

Then today we went early in the morning to the embassy itself and waited for nearly two hours in line to be told that my partner, who is a Spanish citizen, requires the original copy of the invitation letter. I am Australian and for some reason it is only EU citizens who require the original copy. Our letter is from an agency in Saint Petersburg so we now have to get the original mailed to our hostel in Tbilisi within 3-5 days. We spent all day trying to find an agency in Tbilisi that can provide the letter of invitation but there is seemingly nowhere that offers the service.

Fingers crossed this is the only problem and with our mailed letters we can apply next week. My advice to any European, get the original copy or apply at home.
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Milad
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby Milad » Thu Aug 30, 2018 4:43 pm

CallumT wrote:for some reason it is only EU citizens who require the original copy.


The reason is the same as always: reciprocity.

Apart from that, agencies based outside Russia can't produce LOIs, they get them from their partners in Russia (if needed, by post...), so no surprise that there is none.
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CallumT
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby CallumT » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:38 am

Another update to this

While Australians don't need the original letter of invitation, we do need extra documents. Went again today to apply only to be told that I need a detailed biography written in Russian explaining who I am, what I do, who my family are etc. I also need to fill out the online visa form in Russian. My partner from Spain had no problems submitting hers in English.
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Milad
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby Milad » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:16 pm

Oh, the reciprocity...

If your Russian isn't enough to do it by yourself you should easily find someone willing to do it for you for not more than $10 (considering that you get a dorm bed in Tbilisi for $4!). If the usual agencies want ridiculous prices just ask the receptionist in your ho(s)tel if he can translate it from English to Russian, they'll appreciate the extra income.
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CallumT
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby CallumT » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Yeah fortunately one of the girls at our hostel saved us and kindly helped with it all, translating everything for us. We returned in the afternoon with the documents and thankfully they didn't ask for anything else.

Visa costs were $39 for my partner and 163GEL for me (I paid at a bank nearby as their payment window was closed for the day, hence the different currencies).

My partner's visa will be ready after 5 working days whereas Australians are normally faced with at least 10-15, but after a bit of begging since we planned on leaving Georgia soon we cut mine down to 8 working days.
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steven
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby steven » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:14 am

Via e-mail:

Last Friday ( 17.08.2018) they opened up a new embassy.
http://www.russianconsulates.com/consul ... ateID=1123

There was a TV crew outside the old one filming for the local TV. Today I walked passed the old one and it was the same chaos as always.
I don't speak the language but I'm quite observant and noticed the guards telling everyone the same thing. When I found someone that translated to me he told me about the new embassy.
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CallumT
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby CallumT » Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:33 am

steven wrote:Via e-mail:

Last Friday ( 17.08.2018) they opened up a new embassy.
http://www.russianconsulates.com/consul ... ateID=1123

There was a TV crew outside the old one filming for the local TV. Today I walked passed the old one and it was the same chaos as always.
I don't speak the language but I'm quite observant and noticed the guards telling everyone the same thing. When I found someone that translated to me he told me about the new embassy.


The new 'Visa centre' opened that day so perhaps that is what they are referring to. The centre itself looks like a much better way of applying for the visa from what we saw of it. No chaos, people speak English and they are quite friendly and helpful.

However it costs more as they are essentially an agency when it comes down to it. They pass the documents over to the existing embassy anyway. An appointment is necessary as well to submit your application to them, and appointments are consistently booked out over a week in advance.
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saule
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby saule » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:48 am

Report from a Brazilian and UK traveller:

The new consulate, which they opened in town , is really just to make some money, but some people will love it. You go there and it is easy as there are no people waiting outside, no pushing and showing , shouting or yelling. You pay between 30 and 180 Us for the service. Siting on a lounge with coffee and some one fills in the forms for you. The problem is it all goes back to the same embassy and they process it.
The guy with the yellow glasses at the embassy will not give a visa if he can help it.
First he wanted the original document from travel Agent in St Petersburg, when that arrived he keep finding other problems. When we wanted to change from tourist to transit visa he said that is too much work for him
At the end he demanded that we showed our marriage certificate as ( according to him only married people can sit in the same car in Russia) If we don't have it to go and get married in Georgia. I'm Brazilian and do not need a visa for Russia or Mongolia and as I own the car he also demanded I donate the car to my travelling partner ( UK passport). We had wasted 3 precious weeks trying to get the Russian visa. We gave up, went to Allat, took the ferry to Kurik ( the new port in Kazakhstan and drove to Astana.
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tomroshiva
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Re: Russian tourist visa in Tbilisi, Georgia

Postby tomroshiva » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:06 pm

Hello, we are now in Tbilisi-Georgia and this morning tried to get the Russian transit visa to go to Kazakhstan. Although this chat is for tourist visa, we thought this information may be also useful for other types of visas.

Apparently, there are two ways of getting a Russian visa in Tbilisi, either through the Russian Embassy or the new Russian Visa Center (which charges an extra 30USD fee per person for the paperwork). Whatever option you choose, this is what you need:
1 - The tickets valid for an entry and an exit from the Russian Federation
2 - Visa for neighboring country you are going to visit (if you need one).
3 - Passport with no less than 2 empty pages and valid for 6 months from the visa expiry date
4 - Copy of your passport (page where your picture and personal details are)
5 - Visa application form printed and signed: https://visa.kdmid.ru/PetitionChoice.aspx). They ask for detailed itinerary starting from Tbilisi to the first stop in your destination country.
6 - Colour photograph 3.5x4.5 cm with light background
7 - Medical insurance policy valid for Russia during the days of your stay

Well, we had everything prepared as requested, arrived this morning at 8:20AM at the Russian Embassy, waited for almost 1H outside under the rain to be told in the end that we couldn't get our visa there and that we needed to go to the Russian Visa Center instead. They didn't even let us go in the Embassy... I don't think they are willing to issue visas anymore.
We went straight to the Russian Visa Center and, after making us wait for about 1H, we were told that we needed to translate our international driving license (which is also in Russian) and the technical documentation of our motorhome into Russian (it doesn't need to be an official translation, a friend could do it for you). So we ended up wasting the whole morning for nothing. We have been told to go back on Monday with all the required documentation but we are not sure now if we want to try it again or just leave it as they are not specially friendly or welcoming but the opposite.
We'll keep you posted if we give it a second chance!
BTW, we travel with a Spanish and a British passport but I don't think it makes any difference in this case.
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