Holiday Information

Beltane Maypole

Spring has arrived and this time of year brings the May bank holidays and festivals, in the UK and around the world. As wonderful as holidays are, they can also affect our visa services resulting in limited capabilities for our team. For all you need to know about how the disruptions may affect you please read on...

What are the postal dates

Due to the May Day Bank Holiday in the UK (Monday 27th May), the postal service will not be operating; therefore please keep in mind that our ability to receive or send out your passports, visas and tickets will be affected.

Consulate closures:

Several of the consulates that we work alongside to arrange your visas will be closing during the holidays. As a result, there will unfortunately be no visa applications or collections. Please see below for how consulates may be affected:

When is the Russian consulate closed

The Russian Consulate will be operating a normal service on the 27th May; therefore we are able to submit applications and collect passports that were sent by standard service on 24th May. However, passports sent by the express service on 24th May will be collected only on 28th May.

The Russian Consulate in the UK is due to be closed:

  • 1st to 3rd May (International Labour Day)
  • 9th to 10th May (Victory Day)

The Russian consulate reopened on the 13th May. However, due to the backlog of applications, please note that visas are currently being issued in strict order depending on the date of travel to Russia.

Please note that, until further notice, the Russian Consulate are not accepting any applications for those travelling in August 2013 and later.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but unfortunately the disruption is out of our control. If you would like any further information or clarification then please contact us.

Standard service:

Submission Collection
Wednesday 24th April Monday 6th May
Thursday 25th April Tuesday 7th May
Friday 26th April Wednesday 8th May
Monday 29th April Monday 13th May
Tuesday 30th April Tuesday 14th May
Monday 6th May Wednesday 15th May
Tuesday 7th May Thursday 16th May
Wednesday 8th May Friday 17th May

Next day service:

Submission Collection
Tuesday 30th April Monday 7th May
Wednesday 8th May Monday 13th May

What about Russian business visa support processing

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UFMS who process visa support applications for business visas will be closed on May 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th for public holidays. During these closedowns, no business visa support applications will be accepted or visa support documents issued, and these days will not count towards visa processing time.

On the 30th April the UFMS will issue any due visa support documents but may not accept any new applications.

Please be aware that if you require the original visa support document for your application that the courier services from Moscow will be disrupted over this period.

Tourist visa processing will not be affected by the May holidays.

How will the holiday affect train ticket bookings?

Domestic and European tickets will not be affected. Booking International and Trans-Siberian tickets may be affected, please contact our Travel team if you need more information.

Please see the opening times of our Moscow office as this could affect ticket collections during this period.

How will this affect booking or using hotels or apartments?

The booking or using of hotels or apartments will not be affected by the May holidays.

What about registration of my Russian visa?

Please note that for visa registration purposes it will generally not be possible to register visas between 1st and 5th May and also between 9th and 12th May unless you are staying in a hotel and these dates are not considered working days with regards to registering your visa within 7 working days of arrival.

When is the Chinese consulate closed

The Chinese consulate will be closed on:

  • 6th May
  • 27th May

If your visa is due for collection on or after the bank holiday, and was submitted before 27th May, please keep in mind that it will take an extra day to process.

When is the Belarus consulate closed?

The Belarus consulate will be closed on the:

  • 9th to 10th May and the 14th May

If your visa application was submitted before these dates, then it will not be delayed. However, it is important to note that if your visa collection date is currently the 14th May, this will be moved to the 16th May due to the closure.

What about any other consulates?

Other consulate affected by closures will be:

  • Kazakhstan consulate - closed from 7th May until 10th May
  • The Kazakhstan consulate has limited the number of applications they accept on their working days to 5 for the present time.
  • Azerbaijan consulate - closed on 6th, 9th, 27th and 28th May
  • Uzbekistan consulate - closed on 9th May
  • Tajikistan consulate - closed on 6th, 9th and 27th May
  • Vietnamese consulate - closed on 1st, 6th and 27th May

Which consulates are not affected?

Currently, the Mongolian consulate is running a normal service throughout May, but we will notify you as soon as possible if this changes. When is the UK consulate in Moscow closed? The UK consulate is due to be closed on the 1st May and on the 9th May. There will be no UK visa processing on these dates.

When is the UK consulate in Moscow closed?

The UK consulate is due to be closed on the 1st May and on the 9th May. There will be no UK visa processing on these dates.

And what about Real Russia?

Our London office will continue to have normal opening hours, except for Monday 27th May when it will only be open from 9am to 12pm. We will continue to assist you with consulate submissions, passport/visa and train ticket collections and any other queries you may have.

Our Moscow office will have restricted opening hours on the following days:

  • 1st and 9th May – 10am – 2pm
  • 2nd, 3rd and 10th – 10am – 4pm

We will be operating a reduced staff rota in our Travel team on some dates in May. This may result in some slight delays in our standard response times on the following days:

  • 1st – 4th May
  • 9th – 10th May
  • 27th May

What about your translation services?

Our translation service will not be available between the follow dates:

  • 1st to 5th May
  • 9th to 12th May

Is your emergency assistance service operating?

For emergency assistance required whilst you are travelling you can call us on +44 (0) 207 100 7370 where our operators are available to provide help 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you experience problems whilst away, our team can offer guidance and support. If for example you have mislaid your passport, you are experiencing difficulty boarding a train or any number of other travel issues, call our emergency helpline for immediate assistance.

Any further questions?

For any questions or queries you may have, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be more than happy to assist you.