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I am an Indian National Citizen working in Stockholm Sweden for over a year on work permit . I plan to visit Moscow on a short trip 3-4 days from Stockholm and back.

Is it possible to apply for a Russian tourist visa from Stockholm while being an Indian Citizen ?

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The Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs maintains a so-called 'List of Countries with Increased Immigration Risks'. Among the other limitations, it is regulated that nationals of these countries may only get Russian visas either in their home country or in a country of permanent residence. Unfortunately, India is on this list. I'm afraid you're out of luck.

  • Hi, Yes I am aware of this rule. But since I am not a permanent resident I contacted the Russian Embassy in India to know what is the procedure for me to get the visa and I got the following response in an officially signed letter from the head of Consular Section : – Karanveer Singh Sodhi Jan 28 '15 at 14:39
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    "With reference to your letter dated January 23, 2015 I would like to inform you that according to visa regulations of the Russian Federation based on the reciprocity principle, Indian nationals may apply for a Russian visa in any third country (including Sweden) provided they have a permit to continuously stay in that country for a period exceeding 90 days. You can find the list of required documents at the web site of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Sweden" – Karanveer Singh Sodhi Jan 28 '15 at 14:40
  • The only problem is that when i went to the embassy to get clarity on the matter "the people in the Russian Embassy in Stockholm wouldn't even listen to me" let alone look at the letter. So I dont know now what to do or whom to talk to . :( – Karanveer Singh Sodhi Jan 28 '15 at 14:40
  • Then, I'd write the Stockholm embassy a letter citing the reply you got from the Delhi embassy. It they continue ignoring you, write a complaint to the Consular Department of the MFA. Sorry, it looks extremely bureaucratic, but I don't see another way:-( – ach Jan 28 '15 at 20:26
  • Hey Andrey, Thanks for the reply . Could you please help me with their email address. – Karanveer Singh Sodhi Jan 29 '15 at 7:58
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It ought not to be a problem. Your citizenship determines whether you need a visa, but once you have determined you need one, it is generally your current residence that determines where to apply -- that is, if the country you're need a visa for has any restriction on where you can apply at all.

In fact it doesn't look like Russia is picky about where visa applications are filed. (But see Mark Mayo's report to the contrary below, as well as the OP's reply from the embassy). The first page of the online visa application simply asks you to pick a country with the legend:

Select the country in which there is a Russian embassy or consulate where you will receive a visa.

In order to be completely sure, though, why not just contact the Russian embassy in Stockholm and ask?

  • When I applied for my Russian visas (2008, 2011) you had to apply either from your country of citizenship, or country of residency. You could NOT get it on the road. Not sure if this has changed. – Mark Mayo Jan 23 '15 at 13:17
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    @MarkMayo: Hmm, interesting. They're not publishing such a requirement very visibly, but they wouldn't be the only country with horribly inadequate online documentation of their visa rules. In any case, this shouldn't be a problem for the OP since he currently does reside in Sweden. – Henning Makholm Jan 23 '15 at 13:22
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    Not sure how deeply this messes my whole life up . But according to the mail i wrote to Russian Embassy, they replied I need to have a "Permanent" Resident Permit(5yr) in order to apply for the visa from Sweden. Not sure why they have a regulation like that Since i dont have that according to them i should goto India (spend arnd 6000 SEK) stay there for a week , get the visa and then come back to stockholm for my already planned and purchased ticket (yeah i know i was stupid). It just doesn't make sense to me Does anyone knows anything contrary to this . Or if I can apply the visa via post – Karanveer Singh Sodhi Jan 23 '15 at 17:00
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    @KaranveerSinghSodhi: It might be a good idea to write that as a self-answer. Sounds like the most rational plan might be to write off the already-planned trip as a sunk cost and stay home. :-( – Henning Makholm Jan 23 '15 at 17:04
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    I don't think speculation based on common sense and general principles is very useful when dealing with Russian bureaucracy. The question does not explicitly mention it but it really calls for personal experience with the consulate in question. – Relaxed Jan 23 '15 at 17:11
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If you work permit not expired within next 90 days, then you can apply for a visa. Sometimes they mention that you should have "permanent" residency, but what they actually mean it's residency. (It's can be temporary if more then 90 days left) Also you should have at least two empty pages in your passport, and your passport should be valid for 6 month longer after the date when you Russian visa expired.

Contact Visa Center, they give right answers.

http://www.ifs-sweden.com/main.php?id=contact1&lang=en

+46 844685054 (Mo – Fr from 09:00 to 12:00, from 13:00 to 17:00)

They also accept documents by post.

What you basically need:

  1. tourist voucher or invitation.

You can buy it online from many different Russian visa support sites, for Europeans it's cost from 5 EUR, for Indians from 10 EUR. Usually issued instantly and it's already confirm that you have place to stay for all period of visa. You can also obtain invitation from a hotel, Russian citizen or from a Russian company.

  1. Insurance (Just UK, USA citizens and may be few more who don't need it)

Exactly in Stockholm they super strong about the insurance. They don't accept copies, it should be an original insurance with real stamp and signature.

I usually buy insurance in Russia, as they cheaper there. For example for 1 week, it's cost 4 EUR. with a cover for 30 000 EUR. (as required for visa). When I applied with such online issued insurance they refuse my application in Stockholm, I contacted consulate and proved, that other embassies accept it, and it's completely suits to their requirements. After two weeks of corresponding with me about this matter, they start to accept online issued insurances too, but may be not from any company yet. I applied with AlfaStrahovanie online insurance, and they accepted it.

  1. Visa Application.

When you have tourist voucher or invitation and insurance you can fill the application form for visa. https://visa.kdmid.ru In the end, when they ask to choose where you going to apply, I would recommend to choose "Visa center, Stockholm". (http://www.ifs-sweden.com)

  1. Picture 3.5 x 4.5

Reed more about requirements here: http://www.ifs-sweden.com/main.php?id=travel&lang=en

Sometimes Swedish apply for Russian Visa in Finland or Norway instead, as it's easier to get it there, but you can do it only in Sweden, as you have work permit in Sweden.

P.S.: I do first three steps within 30 minutes :) I have experience to prepare documents for visa for my Chinese (which counted in Russia with even bigger immigration risk than India), Korean, Swedish, Japanese friends for Russian embassies in UK, Norway, Sweden and Japan.

If it works for Chinese with study permit, must work for Indian with work permit too!

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Based on my experience, I would expect that you would be able to apply in Sweden.

As a US citizen, I was able to apply for and obtain a Russian visa while on holiday in Germany. I was not a permanent resident of Germany at the time, I just had a standard Schengen 90 day tourist visa.

You might consider using a visa agency to process the application for you, as they will likely be familiar with the rules and are generally more helpful than the folks at the embassy.

  • I think that wont help as they have listed India in a special list to which these rules apply. – Karanveer Singh Sodhi Jan 28 '15 at 14:34
  • Can you provide a link to that list? – johndbritton Jan 29 '15 at 23:47

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