Still, it's a lot of messing around getting paperwork ready, trekking over to the consulate through multiple stages of a new public transport system to meet a short and nebulously defined target opening time. I had one dummy run getting those issues sorted out on Monday, was greeted very politely and helpfully by the consulate staff today and charged a sum of money so much smaller than the one Mike got sucked out of him that he is likely to have a nervous breakdown when he hears what it is.
So there you are - unless something goes drastically wrong, I'm coming home through Siberia in the winter, and adding South Korea and Germany to my list of visited countries (very briefly).
Countries visited over 21 months:
- United Kingdom
- United States of America (inc Hawaii and American Samoa)
- New Caledonia
- Australia (inc Tasmania)
- New Zealand
- Indonesia (Bali)
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
* It is true that the visa application process is more complicated for citizens of some countries, notably the US and UK. In fact it feels as if the Russians are openly collecting data on visitors from these countries well beyond what's relevant, no doubt in retaliation for similar activities on our governments' part. Among the questions I wasn't really prepared for were the names, addresses and phone numbers of my last two employers and the names, addresses and phone numbers of my institutions of higher education + dates of starting and finishing. Not many people carry that information in their heads, so think of it if you're going to be applying to Russia for a visa and are making a longish trip to a consulate to do so. Also, we are required to confirm that we haven't done any of a number of obnoxious things, as per the USA immigration card, as task I always find quite entertaining. I think the other stuff you need is spelled out around the Internet. For a transit visa: all tickets and bookings, passport, photograph, insurance (for some countries more than others but you should have it anyway), cash for the fee. The 'invitation' is not required for transit visas, though it is for others.