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I'm planning on taking the trans-Siberian / trans-Mongolian from Moscow to Beijing via Ulaan Bataar next year and I'd like some advice on how best to organise the visa situation.

I'm a British citizen, partner is Swedish. We'll need visas for Russia, China and Mongolia. Seeing as you can only book the train tickets like 3 months in advance and you need to get all the visas together in that time as well, the process seems likely to be a bit complicated. Especially if you end up getting declined for a visa.

What is the best process or method for obtaining the visas (in which country order) and is there any kind of trustworthy service that will do it for me? If I go through a service, what happens if one of my visas is declined?

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If at all possible, save yourself the hassle of applying for a Russian Visa through the Russian embassy in Ulan Bator, Mongolia – Jacco Jul 8 '11 at 12:16
up vote 17 down vote accepted

You're very unlikely to get them rejected if you go through an agency, as they'll make sure you have all the right information before they submit it to the various government departments.

I use in 2008 to get a tourist visa, and this year for a 3 month double entry business visa, and both times they were fantastic.

Both Mongolia and China you can apply for on the road, at embassies or consulates, or just go directly to the websites and fill in the forms and take them to the embassies in London. They're fairly straightforward, it's only Russia that is tricky. China I even got at the border last time I went, although I wouldn't rely on that.

One more point - booking the train tickets from outside is FAR more expensive than booking in the countries themselves. I've just arrived in Volgograd after 34 hours from St Petersburg, and I booked that with 4 hours to go, so there's really no problem getting tickets in either Kupe or Platzkart classes. Just a thought, it'll save you a lot if you're able to be flexible, unless you're able to get a massive discount by buying the whole lot.

It's tricky to use, but has the local prices and availability for trains, if you'd like to have a look and compare. City names must be entered in Cyrillic, but Google Translate does that quite easily for you.

Good luck, it's a fantastic experience.

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As I know, in Russia visas can be achived for two ways:

  1. By the invitation from some people or company in Russia, and I think this is not for you, because it not very stable way to get visa.
  2. By the touristic trip or voucher. This can be made by travel agencies. Try to choose famous one, like
  3. Also in some cities you can stay for three days without visa, but it is not for you, I think.

Standart fee for the touristic visa - 70 euro. If you have an invitation, you will get your visa in 2-3 working days.

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Why downvote? Can you explain? – VMAtm Jun 21 '11 at 22:46
Sorry, I didn't feel that it really addressed my question. I'm not asking how to get a russian visa, I'm asking how to coordinate getting all three visas at the same time within a small time period. Thanks! – victoriah Jun 21 '11 at 23:00
@naeblis I've just provided you the information about one of three countries. If you collect some for all three countries, you can plan your journey. Just was trying to help. – VMAtm Jun 22 '11 at 5:32

I was looking into the same journey recently and the best resource I found was seat61

I talked to one of the agencies they recommend They knew what they were doing, they quickly responded and sent us quotes and paperwork for both my husband and I (Australian and English passports).

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