Russia is a fascinating country that has been around since 864 AD. It is full of history, culture, and art spanning many centuries. Through this time it has seen its upheaval and crises, as well as its triumphs and victories. A trip to Russia will leave you with a deep respect for the Russian people and a greater understanding of their culture.
Before visiting Russia, a visa is required. This can be a long process so it is a good idea to plan ahead allowing plenty of time for everything to be processed. When filing for a Russian visa, there are many websites that offer up-to-date information that is helpful, while there are many that are being used as scams. I would like to share my experiences with two websites that I found to be trustworthy, up-to-date, and worth your effort in using.
The first is www.waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/HowToApply.html. It is the most popular travel guide in Russia and claims to have 2 million people worldwide who use their services. This website offers a variety of useful information about planning your trip to Russia from what to pack, to how to get around the country, to what to expect in different regions, to how to file for a Russian visa. This website also offers a forum where you can find out even more specific information about your trip.
I first found this website when I was planning my first trip to Russia. It helped relieve some of my anxiety that I had about safety issues. After visiting Russia, I have to say that this website is accurate and up-to-date. It offers step-by-step procedures in filing for a Russian visa and keeps all of the information current. This is an important thing to remember when filing since the laws tend to change from time to time.
I especially like this website because it offers a blog, articles, and a link to facebook. This helps me to stay current in what is happening in Russia, as well as what is happening on the website.
The second website that I recommend is www.travisa.com/. They handle visas for countries all around the world. They are essentially the middleman who takes all of your visa documents on your behalf to the embassy where you are requesting the visa. After approval, they send your visa back to you. This website was actually recommended and used by the Russian Embassy in San Francisco where I currently get my Russian visas. Since I am unable to visit the embassy in person, my visa is processed through Travisa by mail. At first, I was a bit apprehensive about sending my passport and application to them, but they handled everything professionally and proficiently. They are always prompt, courteous, and will answer any questions that arise. The link above will take you to their home page where you will need to click on the location that is closer to your home town.
I give this website and service five stars because they do what they say they will do when they say they will do it. Also, they offer the option of completing the visa application online which can become tedious when hand writing the application due to the small boxes.
If you have always wanted to visit Russia, begin by checking out the first website mentioned. This will help you to get an idea of what to expect and what your options are. When you decide to go, Travisa can help you with your visa application process. You will never think of the country as the same once you make a trip!