1

Here's the timeline of events.

  1. Applied for my Russia visa at VFS London on October 5th.
  2. Went for interview at London Embassy on October 10th.
  3. Was asked for reason of going, I said, travel and to see a friend.
  4. Gentleman asked me, is your friend Russian citizen, I said yes.
  5. He took my airline return ticket copy and hotel reservation copy.
  6. On October 10, I got my passport back and a stamp (see below). No visa.
  7. I enquired from Embassy but they said they have no comment on this.

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Here's the backstory of the events.

  • I was going to see my friend from Nov 2 to Nov 11.
  • I live and work in London for 4 years and a UK resident of 8 years.
  • I am a Pakistani citizen. Lawful, perfect record everywhere I've lived.
  • I have had visas for USA, Switzerland, Srilanka, Saudi Arabia, UK.
  • I have never been denied a visa, let alone being denied without reason.
  • I got my hotel reservation and a tourist voucher from Hotels Pro.
  • I applied myself and did not use a travel agency.
  • My intended purpose of stay was tourism as stated in the documents.
  • The documents I supplied were the following:
    • Application form
    • Passport
    • British Resident Permit photocopy
    • Hotel reservation
    • Airline return ticket
    • Tourist voucher from hotels-pro.ru
    • The tourist voucher had the Hotel name on it.
    • The application form had the info from tourist voucher on it.
    • No errors in application form or data of travel dates. All consistent.

My friend told me the stamp just means documents were accepted on 5th. They think this is where the visa was supposed to be stamped, because there was a yellow post-it note attached on that page.

  1. When would be appropriate to retry and what should be done differently?
  2. Would a travel agency make more sense like VisitRussia or Russian National Tourist Office?
  • 1
    Why your visa got refused is something we could only speculate on: only the officials involved know the answer and they're not going to answer this in public after refusing to answer it privately. "Who has faced a similar situation?" is just an opinion poll and a bunch of people saying "me" or "not me" doesn't actually help you in any way. So I've edited those parts out of your question. – David Richerby Oct 25 '18 at 11:11
7

Indeed the visa would've been placed over the stamp, so the visible stamp is the way to tell you've been denied a Russian visa.

You did nothing incorrectly, but the fact is, in today's climate, getting a Russian visa is practically a lottery if you're from an Islamic country. THe only thing you can do really is reapply.

The only thing I could think of for you to add is a notarised letter from your friend (in Russian!) stating the duration and purpose of your trip, as well as pointing out that you'll be staying at a hotel and not with them (as that would require a different type of visa)

  • 1
    @AliGajani No, just a statement confirming you're a bona fide tourist. THe reason why I'm saying it should say you're not staying with your friend is to confirm that the tourist visa is the correct option. ANd yeah, if you feel like adding proof of sightseeing, by all means feel free to. – Crazydre Oct 25 '18 at 20:37
  • 1
    @AliGajani It's just the logical thing to do in general. When I've been to Russia I got my tourist invitations from the hotel, and for EU citizens, getting a Russian tourist visa is a formality – Crazydre Oct 26 '18 at 0:44
  • 1
    @AliGajani Same Thing; it's also called "visa support". Most Hotels will issue it in PDF for those having a booking with them – Crazydre Oct 26 '18 at 12:33
  • 2
    @alamar Well, the stamp means you applied but didn't get it, whatever the reason – Crazydre Oct 26 '18 at 12:34
  • 1
    @AliGajani The hotel, but not in its own name, but it's connected to a travel agency which in turn is connected to the RUssian MFA. The intermediate travel agency is classfied as the inviting organisation (it's also listed on the visa) – Crazydre Oct 26 '18 at 14:04

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