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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 - 25 September 2018 - Update

Real Russia is closely monitoring the latest developments relating to the incident in Salisbury, UK. Currently, 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 - national and international tourists continue to be welcomed in Russia and the region.
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office updated its travel advice to Russia on 14th March. There is advice for British travellers regarding potential anti-British sentiment, though Real Russia has yet to receive any reports of this from customers or contacts currently in Russia.
  • If any further news becomes available we will update this information.

Visa Registration in Our Moscow Office

Real Russia are temporarily unable to register visas in our Moscow office due to a change in Russian law.

If you are travelling to Russia, it will still be necessary to register your visa. This can still be done at the hotel you are staying in. Alternatively, if you are staying with family or friends, or have booked a homestay, your host should be able to register your visa for you with the Federal Migration Service.

While we are working to resume our registration service at our Moscow office as soon as possible, our partners in St. Petersburg are still able to register the visas of those who are visiting St. Petersburg.

For further information please see our visa registration information, or contact our visa specialists.

Translation and marriage documents

No current update.

Country status updates

Azerbaijan

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The Azerbaijani Visa Application Centre and Consulate will be closed on the following days:

  • 15th-19th of June (Ramadan)
  • 26th of June (Army and Navy Day)
  • 22nd - 23rd of August (Gurban Bayramy)

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

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The Belarus Consulate will be closed on the following dates:

  • 9th of May (Victory Day)
  • 2nd - 3rd of July (Republic'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

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

  • 25th-26th of December (Christmas and Boxing 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.

Fingerprinting to be Introduced for Chinese Visas in the UK

Fingerprinting will soon be introduced for Chinese visa applications made in the UK. This means that applicants will have to go to the Chinese Visa Application Centre in person to give their fingerprints. The Chinese authorities are introducing this measure gradually. While they have not given specific dates for when all applicants will have to give their fingerprints, they have informed us that this will happen sometime between July 2018 and early 2019. 

Who does not yet need to give fingerprints? 

If you are applying for a Tourist or Business visa of the following types, you do not yet need to give your fingerprints: 

  • Single entry 
  • Double entry 
  • Multiple entry for visas up to two years 

In addition, if you are a national of the USA, Canada, Israel, Argentina, or Brazil, you can additionally apply for the following, without the need to give fingerprints: 

  • Multiple entry visa of between five and ten years 

Over the next few months, fingerprinting requirements will be added to these visas. When this happens, we will update our advice to you. 

If you are eligible for a two-year multiple entry visa, and are planning to travel within the next few months, we advise getting your visa as soon as possible, to avoid having to travel to a visa centre to give fingerprints. 

Who will have to give fingerprints now? 

From 8th May 2018, only applicants who fit the following criteria will have to go to the visa centre in person, and give their fingerprints when applying for their Chinese visa: 

Applicants aged between 14 and 70 years, and applying for the following categories of visa: 

  • Any type of Multiple-Entry visa which is valid for a period of between five and ten years 
  • Permanent Residence visas - Category D 
  • Journalist visas - Category J1 and J2 
  • Family member of foreigners staying or living in China visas - Category S1 and S2 
  • Family member or relatives of Chinese citizens or foreigners resident in China visas - Category Q1 and Q2 
  • Student visas - Category X1 and X2 
  • Work - Category Z 

What if I need to give my fingerprints? 

If you need to give fingerprints, apply as usual through our website, and when we receive your application we will contact you to arrange a time and date for giving them; this will be similar to our current Russian visa application process. 

On the day you arrive in London to give your fingerprints, our courier will meet you with your documents, and talk you through the fingerprinting process. 

Our systems and website are being updated to match these changes, ensuring we continue to offer a simple Chinese visa service which gives you peace of mind and comprehensive support. We will also keep you updated on this situation through our website and via Facebook and Twitter

Kazakhstan

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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. This arrangement is prolonged till 31 December 2018.

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

Kyrgyzstan

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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

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The Mongolian Consulate will be closed on the 11th - 15th of July due to Naadam festival.
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

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The Russian Visa Application Centre and Consulate will be closed on the 5th of November (Day of the National Unity).

As a result, there will be no visa application and business invitations submissions or collections on this day and this day 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

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The Tajikistan Consulate will be closed on the following dates:

  • 25th-26th of December (Christmas and Boxing 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

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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

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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

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

  • 25th-26th of December (Christmas and Boxing 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

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The Vietnam Embassy will be closed on the following dates:

  • 25th-26th of December (Christmas and Boxing 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 2021. 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.