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Service Status

We take pride in the standard of the services we deliver. To ensure the best experience for our customers we use the services of many organisations.

Occasionally there will be an issue that impacts upon our standard processing times or support levels, such as a country’s national holiday or a foreign consulate placing restrictions on visa applications.

Whilst these events are rare, this page will list any updates and to assist you to keep your travel plans progressing smoothly.

Travel Advice

Travel Advice - 16 December 2017 - Update

Real Russia is closely monitoring the latest developments relating to Ukraine and Crimea. We are pleased to announce we are experiencing no adverse issues that affect our ability to provide services and we continue to offer visas, accommodation, train tickets and our tours in Russia, China and Mongolia.

  • Your safety is of utmost importance to us at Real Russia, there is no suggestion that travellers should change their plans - the situation is stable and national and international tourists continue to be welcomed in Russia and the region.
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not changed its travel advice to Russia. There is advice on travelling to Ukraine which can be viewed here https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ukraine but this issue directly relates to Ukraine/Crimea, it does NOT include Russia.
  • It’s good to be reminded of just how large Russia is. St Petersburg is 1300 miles away from Crimea in Ukraine, and Moscow is 850 miles away. Even during these last two weeks whilst the story has been at its peak on our TV screens, we have had NO negative reports from our clients travelling or our contacts working on the ground.
  • If any further news becomes available we will update this information.

Christmas & New Year Holiday dates

Christmas and New Year Holidays are coming soon, which means there might be disruptions to our usual services during this period. Please check the opening hours of Real Russia offices and Consulates to make sure you can get visas in time for your travel.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at visas@realrussia.co.uk or via phone on +44(0)207 100 7370 and we will be happy to help.

Real Russia offices opening hours

Opening times:

December January
25th: closed 1st: closed
26th: closed 2nd - 5th: 9am – 12pm
  8th: 9am - 12pm
December January
25th: closed 1st: closed
26th: 9am - 6pm 2nd: closed
  3rd - 5th: 9am - 6pm
  8th: 9am - 6pm
December January
25th: closed 1st: closed
26th: closed 2nd: closed
  3rd - 5th: 6am - 6pm
  8th: 6am - 6pm

Translation and marriage documents

The last date for documents to be processed will be:

  • Normal service - 7th December
  • Express Service - 14th December

Documents received after these dates will start processing in January 2018.

Apostille services will be unavailable between 15th December and 2nd January.

Due to the holiday season there could be other factors which cause delays, please contact us with any questions of for more information.

As DHL are closed in Russia between the 1st and the 8th of January this will also distort times, as documents are sent there to be officially translated, so please bear this in mind when ordering.

Postal and Delivery Services

  • The last postal date before Christmas for Royal Mail Special Delivery items to arrive guaranteed next day is 21st December
  • The Royal Mail will continue to deliver post up to and including 22nd December
  • There will be no Royal Mail deliveries on 25th and 26th December and on 1st January
  • There will be normal Royal Mail Special Delivery service from 27th December through to 29th December
  • Items posted by Royal Mail Special Delivery on 29th December may only be delivered on 2nd January
  • Normal service resumes on 2nd January
  • DHL/FedEx follow UK bank holidays and will be closed on 25th, 26th December and 1st January

We will do our best to post all visas collected from the consulates on 22nd and 29th December the same day however we cannot give any guarantee due to an early cut off time for post collection.

Country status updates

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Flag

The Azerbaijani Visa Application Centre and Consulate will be closed on the 25th – 26th of December due to the Boxing & Christmas Days.
As a result, there will be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

From February 1, 2016, citizens of United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore will be able to obtain a 30-day single entry visa in all international airports of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani e-visas are now available. For more details, please contact our visa team.

Belarus

Belarus Flag

The Belarus Consulate will be closed on the following dates:

  • 25th of December (Christmas Day)
  • 1st - 2nd of January (New Year's Day)

As a result, there will unfortunately be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

China

Chinese Flag

The Chinese Visa Application Centre and Consulate will be closed on the following dates:

  • 25th - 26th of December (Boxing & Christmas Days)
  • 1st of January (New Year's Day)

As a result, there will unfortunately be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Flag

The Kazakhstan Consulate will be closed on the 18th of December due to national holidays. As a result, there will unfortunately be no visa application submissions or collections on this day and this day will not count towards the visa processing time.

Effective from 1st January 2017 citizens of 45 countries including United Kingdom, United States of America, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Japan and most EU countries are exempt from visa requirements for visits up to 30 calendar days.

For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Flag

In accordance with the law «About introduction of a visa-free regime for citizens of some states within 60 days» nationals of the following countries can visit Kyrgyzstan without a visa till 31 December 2020: Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei-Darussalam, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vatican.

For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Mongolia

Mongolia Flag

The Mongolian Consulate will be closed on the 19th of December – 2nd of January.
As a result, there will be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. Please also note that Consular and Visa sections of Mongolian Embassy are closed every Wednesday and Friday.

For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Russia

Russian Flag

The Russian Visa Application Centre and Consulate will be closed on the 25th of December and 1st - 8th of January due to New Year Holidays and Christmas.

As a result, there will be no visa application and business invitations submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the processing time. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Following the presidential order, as of 10th December 2014 all applicants over 12 years of age applying for their Russian visas in the UK, Denmark, Myanmar and Namibia are required to provide their biometric data at the time of having their visa documents submitted for processing at the consulate.

Information on the requirements and the new process may be found here.

At the moment, we are experiencing delays when issuing letters of invitation on the service 18 working days for Multiple entry invitations.

Please take it into consideration when planning your trip to Russia.

Invitations on other service levels are issued on time.

We can no longer offer 4-6 Working Day Telexes or 12 Working Day Telexes. However, we continue to offer all other services listed below, meaning you can still obtain the Russian Business Visa Support you require on a timescale to suit your needs.

If you have any concerns or questions, please contact us at visas@realrussia.co.uk or via phone on +44(0)207 100 7370 and we will be happy to help.

Tajikistan

Tajikistan Flag

The Tajikistan Consulate will be closed on the following dates:

  • 25th - 26th of December (Boxing & Christmas Days)
  • 1st of January (New Year's Day)

As a result, there will be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. Please also note that the Tajikistan Consulate is closed every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan Flag

The Turkmenistan Consulate will be closed on the following dates:

  • 12th of December (Day of Neutrality)
  • 25th - 26th of December (Boxing & Christmas Days)

As a result, there will be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Ukraine

Ukrainian Flag

The Ukrainian Consulate will be closed on the following dates:

  • 25th - 26th of December (Boxing & Christmas Days)
  • 1st - 2nd of January (New Year's Day)
  • 8th - 9th of January (Orthodox Christmas)

As a result, there will be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan Flag

The Uzbekistan Visa Application Center and Consulate will be closed on the following dates:

  • 8th of December (Constitution Day)
  • 25th - 26th of December (Boxing & Christmas Days)
  • 1st of January (New Year's Day)

As a result, there will be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. Please also note that Consular and Visa Sections of the Uzbekistan Embassy are closed every Tuesday and Thursday. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

Vietnam

Vietnam Flag

The Vietnam Embassy will be closed on the following dates:

  • 25th - 26th of December (Boxing & Christmas Days)
  • 1st of January (New Year's Day)

As a result, there will be no visa application submissions or collections on these days and these days will not count towards the visa processing time. For any further information, or if you have any questions, please contact our visa team.

On 22 June 2015, the Vietnamese Embassy received formal notification that the Government of Vietnam will not require a visa for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws.

The visa exemption period has been extended from 01 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. If you wish to enter Viet Nam at least two consecutive times without visa, the next entry must be at least 30 days after the previous exit. Otherwise, you still need a visa.