#Visa to Russia
I think it is the most problematic country to get visa from all the countries where we need visa for the whole Mongol Rally. Many people going for this adventure this year had some problems or questions. I could see it on our WhatsApp group.
We decided with Israel to buy LOI on our own I mean not through the website which the organizer recommend, it was almost 2 times more expensive.
Before applying for visa we had to have such invitation letter. But it’s easy to get. We bought it online for 15 euros and waiting maybe 5 minutes for the email.
Another thing is the health insurance for the time being in Russia. At that time we didn’t buy it yet for the whole trip, so we had to buy quickly for the time when we will be only in Russia. We couldn’t lose time to search which insurance is the best for the whole trip. The time was important.
After we sent applications and passports to the embassy they asked for the scan of my ID!!!
-What ?! Isn’t the passport more important than the ID?!?! — I was thinking. Well, they hate Polish, there is no other explanation. They didn’t need ID’s scan of Spaniard.
When the embassy discovered we are going to Russia by car, they said we have to apply for auto tourist visa, not tourist anymore. So we bought another invitation letter for auto-tourist, we sent by post another form, which couldn’t be sent by email. And then started….
They asked for a document of the car. We sent them pictures of the contract of purchasing and documents of the inspection. We didn’t have anything more. Amazing Russia said they don’t approve pictures, they need scan.
So, I have called to my parents to they do the scan, because the original documents were in Poland…
Few days passed. We sent the lovely scans to the embassy, but they didn’t like them.
They needed scan of the proof of registration of the car. Żuk at that time was at mechanic, and this document too.(I will remind you, that car is in Poland and we live in Spain.) I had to call the mechanic to ask for the scan, he is an old guy so he had to ask his daughter to do that. First day he forgot to take the proof of registration from workshop, the time what shrinking….his daughter sent the document on the next day.
-Cool, we have everything. — We were thinking.
We sent it to the embassy (we were doing it online) and we were happy till we received another order “please send me international insurance for the car”.
-Who is working there?!?!?! Why they couldn’t just say all they need in the beginning one time?!!? I was so pissed, I was looking for a company who will insure internationally such an old car in a hurry.
I had to wait for quotations and phones from the company’s ages! Lines were always busy, I was getting super crazy.
OK, I managed finally to buy this insurance but the Green Card (so the international insurance) have to come by post and waiting time is up to 2 weeks. We needed that f****** Green Card right f****** NOW!!!!!
After few hours I reminded that we have to register the car under my name and registration plates, so I asked myself the questions.
“These visas will be on the old proof of registration? When I will register Żuk under my name (which we have to do for the rally) we will have different proof of registration? And what? And our Russian visa will be not valid anymore?”
The earliest time when I could register the car was in 3 weeks when I we had a plan to fly to Poland. We couldn’t wait. Russia was the first visa which we applied on.
I started to ask on Mongol Rally group what is going on with Russia. They told me to not apply for auto tourist visa. The Mongol Rally was apparently warning us about that which I didn’t know.
— There are many problems and you can enter only with the car which you sent documents to the embassy. You cannot enter without the car. What if your car will get broken? — one guy wrote me on Mongol Rally group.
Apparently people in real life can enter Russia with the car on normal tourist visa. In embassy, you they will not let you apply for such visa if you are going with the car but if you are on the border you can pass…or sth like this.
Israel, write to this annoying embassy we changed our mind and we are not going to Russia — I told him
After one month fights, stress being angry, we have our 2 entry Russian visa!
Because of unawareness we lost 2 weeks and unnecessary 15 euros each for auto — tourism invitation letter which now, we can just throw.
Hallelujah! This application was one huge joke!
But that is not the end of history … Israel wrote in applying form that we will leave Russia on 30 August. Referring to our plan we will enter Russia from Mongolia on August 29 … 0 time to visit Ulan Ude, 0 times to have a ride around this wonderful Lake Baikal, 0 times to take the plane home ….Where is the time to drink vodka?!
We will probably apply for the visa again.
£26.4 — LOI Visa Machine
15 € — LOI on our own
X — Visa Machine does not provide Russian Visa ( I am not surprised, I wouldn’t like to work with them too)
45 € – visa cost at Embassy