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Business Visa Inquiries

+1 vote
There are several questions I’d like to ask here. To give a quick overview of the situation, my fiancée is currently pregnant and living in Russia—it was a bit of a surprise for us as we hadn’t been planning to tackle the whole immigration thing for another year now, but it’s made the issue of a Russian visa all the more important (before we had been meeting in Chile where her parents live and we both have visa-free travel).

Initially I had wanted to secure a three year visa since that’s the most economical and would allow us to more easily travel back and forth as needed. To this end she suggested I get a business visa and secured me an invitation from a friend at another company, which I currently have in hand. There are several issues that worry me though:

First, the dates I initially requested for the invitation were the beginning of May to the end of August—123 days. We had thought that the “six month validity” meant that you could stay for up to six months, but as I understand it now it rather means that it allows you a stay of up to 90 days within a six month period. So, would this request cause the visa to be rejected, or would the embassy simply restrict the amount to no more than 90 days and still approve it? I already have the invitation in my hands with the official seal stamped to it, so I can’t really make any changes at this point.

Second, I’d read that a multi-entry business visa is more likely to be scrutinized and rejected if the person hasn’t previously received and respected a Russian visa and thus has some sort of history for them to go off of. Would it be more likely to succeed if I applied for a single-entry visa? While it’s not as effective, my primary concern right now is to just be able to be there with her rather than getting the best value.
Third, if my application is rejected, can I apply again immediately, say for a tourist visa instead? We admittedly tried to get a tourist visa for my fiancée to come to the US but the American consulate rejected her, and a contact she had at the embassy stated that while you can reapply as soon as you want, once you’re rejected they’ll basically keep on rejecting you unless something significantly changes your case (or the interviewer just really decides they like you), so you basically have to wait six months or so before re-applying. I’m wondering if it isn’t the same for Russian visas, where once they decide to reject you they aren’t going to seriously look at your case again until so much time has passed.

Last, as a more general curiosity, how often does the Russian embassy actually call people in for interviews?
asked Mar 19, 2015 in Russian Visa by LTR (130 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
You're right about the visa: six month validity means you can stay 90 days in every 180 days in Russia, so basically you have to travel in and out all the time to renew your visa, which is not the best and the cheapest option.

I'd recommend you to get a private visa through your girlfriend – it takes long, but that'll enable you to stay for 3 months and then give a possibility to prolong your visa if you decide to marry, for example.

In your case you're better off getting a business visa for 3 months first, as with that visa you should be able to stay 3 months in Russia. Then you can travel out and apply for the 3-month visa again, and so on and on, until you figure out something better. You don't have to travel out to Chile, you can also go to some neighbor country.

And yes, if you're rejected you can always reapply almost directly, this has never been a problem.
answered Mar 21, 2015 by WayToRussia (3,930 points)