I am facing a chicken and egg problem with trying to get a visa as a Canadian to go to Russia, two months out from now, and I have not bought the tickets yet since getting the visa may not pan out. Is it acceptable to give a wider date range of the planned trip on the visa application (e.g. a month), and then proceed with a two week trip that falls within that month? What is an acceptable discrepancy, if any?

  • Usually, No problem. – Nean Der Thal Jun 19 '14 at 19:28
  • I thought Russia was particularly picky about this kind of things and most people use an agency for that reason. – Relaxed Jun 19 '14 at 19:46

It's been a while since I had to deal with Russian visas (my data is more than 5 years old), but looking at the relevant sites it seems that the process hasn't changed much, basically:

Again, my knowledge may be a bit outdated but I've used the process above successfully many times some years ago (actually, I've used a company that handles both steps 1 and 2 together, for convenience. In some Canadian cities you may be able to find travel agents that will seamlessly handle all 3 steps, look for e.g. Russian-speaking travel agent ads in Russian-language newspapers, admittedly this can be difficult if you don't speak the language).

  • Thanks! I was roughly following this outline, except that I am in a city (Vancouver) that does not have a consulate, so I have to use the company to also file the application for me, and thus I am forced to combine step 1 and 2. In your experience, does starting to apply 2 months prior to projected travel date - still give enough time to get the visa and tickets on time? – UserJoe Jun 19 '14 at 21:09
  • If I recall the processing times correctly, 2 months is more than enough (and there are usually rush processing options you can use, at higher cost of course). The bigger issue is leaving enough time so that you won't have to buy overpriced last-minute tickets. – Eugene O Jun 19 '14 at 22:39

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