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dayers66

Single or Multiple Entry Visa for St. Petersburg

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It's difficult to find a definite answer to this question online, and in message boards. We have 3 days in SP and having been there before, want to strike out on our own to enjoy sites at our own pace, and in the evening enjoy some entertainment.  SP organized tours tend to be exhausting and more like speed dating for tourists.  I will be submitting our visa apps soon.  It's a pain, but not too difficult.

 

Our plan is to return to the cruise ship each evening rather than get a hotel in the city.  Do we need a single entry visa, or a multiple day entry visa?  In other words, is each day seen as it's own entry into Russia?

 

Some posts have said to get a multiple day (since you have to go through customs each day), and some posts have said only a single entry is needed (since the ship has not left Russian waters, like a ferry would).  They seem to be more rhetorical arguments than actual experience.  I am hoping someone reading this can say for sure.

 

Spasibo.

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From what I understand, you need only single entry. Multiple entry is for those who are going to Russia, leaving the country and then re-entering at a later date eg. leaving to go to Finland or Estonia. 

 

We just received our Visas and we checked single entry. We have 2 days in St. Petersburg and will also be staying aboard a ship.

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14 hours ago, dayers66 said:

It's difficult to find a definite answer to this question online, and in message boards. We have 3 days in SP and having been there before, want to strike out on our own to enjoy sites at our own pace, and in the evening enjoy some entertainment.  SP organized tours tend to be exhausting and more like speed dating for tourists.  I will be submitting our visa apps soon.  It's a pain, but not too difficult.

 

Our plan is to return to the cruise ship each evening rather than get a hotel in the city.  Do we need a single entry visa, or a multiple day entry visa?  In other words, is each day seen as it's own entry into Russia?

 

Some posts have said to get a multiple day (since you have to go through customs each day), and some posts have said only a single entry is needed (since the ship has not left Russian waters, like a ferry would).  They seem to be more rhetorical arguments than actual experience.  I am hoping someone reading this can say for sure.

 

Spasibo.

You DEFINITELY need a multiple entry visa. Each time you leave your ship you must pass through Russian immigration - each time counts as one entry. You must go through Russian immigration each time that you get off the ship and once again, when you go back onboard your ship. So, if you have only a single entry visa and intend to spend the night aboard your ship, you would only be allowed to pass through immigration once.

FYI - ferry rules are different from cruise ship rules as pertaining to immigration. One does not overnight aboard the ferry, one stays at a hotel in the city (thereby needing to pass through immigration only once).

I have been to Russia multiple times and I know this to be true - you need a multiple entry visa.

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A tourist visa to the Russian Federation can be Single or Double entry and valid up to 30 days. Only for citizens of the United States of America it can be multiple up to 3 years. 

Double entry tourist visas are issued for foreign citizens only in cases when during stay in Russia they also visit other neighboring countries (for example, the CIS countries, the Baltic countries, China, Mongolia). In case of submitting documents for a double entry tourist visa, it is also necessary to provide a copy of your tickets for the full travel route from the Russian Federation to the neighboring state and back to the Russian Federation.

 

From vfs.global

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, citronella said:

A tourist visa to the Russian Federation can be Single or Double entry and valid up to 30 days. Only for citizens of the United States of America it can be multiple up to 3 years. 

Double entry tourist visas are issued for foreign citizens only in cases when during stay in Russia they also visit other neighboring countries (for example, the CIS countries, the Baltic countries, China, Mongolia). In case of submitting documents for a double entry tourist visa, it is also necessary to provide a copy of your tickets for the full travel route from the Russian Federation to the neighboring state and back to the Russian Federation.

 

From vfs.global

The OP does not mention nationality.

My visa is valid for 3 years from the date of issue - I am a US citizen. Two years ago, two of our travel partners were not allowed off the ship on day 2 because they had not acquired the multi entry visa (3 year in their case as they were US citizens). In fact, they were not even allowed to avail themselves of the free wifi in the terminal as they could not pass through immigration.

Rules may be different for Canadian nationals but, personally, I would not take any chances. The immigration officers at the Marine Facade (port) usually speak little or no English and arguing with them is fruitless.

Edited by dogs4fun

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Posted (edited)
 
42 minutes ago, dogs4fun said:

 

 

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TOURIST VISA 

OVERVIEW

Tourist visas are issued for Canadian citizens, citizens of other countries and stateless persons who enter the Russian Federation for short-term stay as tourists (for visiting cultural events, excursions and sightseeing) and it is based on a confirmation of admission of a foreign tourist. The confirmation of admission of a foreign tourist must be requested from the hotel or travel agency authorized by the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation prior to submission of your visa application. 

A tourist visa allows you to enter the country to participate in short negotiations, exhibitions, auctions, medical consultations or surveys. In such cases, the confirmation of admission of a foreign tourist must indicate the purpose of visit as “AIM-TOURISM” or “ЦЕЛЕВОЙ ТУРИЗМ”. The visa will be issued for as many days as necessary for participation in the event, but no more than 30 days.

A tourist visa to the Russian Federation can be Single or Double entry and valid up to 30 days. Only for citizens of the United States of America it can be multiple up to 3 years. 

Double entry tourist visas are issued for foreign citizens only in cases when during stay in Russia they also visit other neighboring countries (for example, the CIS countries, the Baltic countries, China, Mongolia). In case of submitting documents for a double entry tourist visa, it is also necessary to provide a copy of your tickets for the full travel route from the Russian Federation to the neighboring state and back to the Russian Federation.

Please note: We do not recommend purchasing tickets or making bookings which are not refundable, 

 

It quite clearly states that in order to apply for a double entry visa you need to submit tickets for travel from Russia. Have you actually used your Visa or had you been on tours before ?

 

We will be in Russia 8 - 9 June and if not too late, I will let the original poster know if the single entry Visa is good for both days (which I’m sure it is).

Edited by citronella
Double posting

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1 minute ago, citronella said:
 

 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

TOURIST VISA 

OVERVIEW

Tourist visas are issued for Canadian citizens, citizens of other countries and stateless persons who enter the Russian Federation for short-term stay as tourists (for visiting cultural events, excursions and sightseeing) and it is based on a confirmation of admission of a foreign tourist. The confirmation of admission of a foreign tourist must be requested from the hotel or travel agency authorized by the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation prior to submission of your visa application. 

A tourist visa allows you to enter the country to participate in short negotiations, exhibitions, auctions, medical consultations or surveys. In such cases, the confirmation of admission of a foreign tourist must indicate the purpose of visit as “AIM-TOURISM” or “ЦЕЛЕВОЙ ТУРИЗМ”. The visa will be issued for as many days as necessary for participation in the event, but no more than 30 days.

A tourist visa to the Russian Federation can be Single or Double entry and valid up to 30 days. Only for citizens of the United States of America it can be multiple up to 3 years. 

Double entry tourist visas are issued for foreign citizens only in cases when during stay in Russia they also visit other neighboring countries (for example, the CIS countries, the Baltic countries, China, Mongolia). In case of submitting documents for a double entry tourist visa, it is also necessary to provide a copy of your tickets for the full travel route from the Russian Federation to the neighboring state and back to the Russian Federation.

Please note: We do not recommend purchasing tickets or making bookings which are not refundable, 

 

It quite clearly states that in order to apply for a double entry visa you need to submit tickets for travel from Russia. Have you actually used your Visa or had you been on tours before ?

 

We will be in Russia 8 - 9 June and if not too late, I will let the original poster know if the single entry Visa is good for both days (which I’m sure it is).

The OP did not ask about a double entry visa - the inquiry was referencing a single entry vs a multiple entry visa. I was not addressing a double entry visa, I was addressing a multiple entry visa (for US residents, a 3 year multi entry visa). It seems that you are addressing the single vs double entry visa since the 3 year option is not available to Canadian nationals.

 

As previously stated, I have visited Russia multiple times and am now using my 2nd 3-year visa (the first one expired last year). I usually fly into Russia (Pulkovo, St. Petersburg) but have also arrived via cruise ship. I utilize ILS  (the Russian Visa Center in the USA) for my visas - from their website: 

Single-Entry allows the foreign national a one-time entry into the borders of the Russian Federation.

Double-Entry allows the foreign national to enter and exit the Russian border of no more than two times.

Multi-Entry allows for unlimited entry into the Russian Federation within the visa period.

Each time I pass through Russian immigration, I am entering the border of the Russian Federation.  

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The OP is on a cruise ship and docked for 3 days - he simply wanted to know if each day counts as an entry into Russia. 

 

What would he submit as travel tickets showing travel outside Russia ?

 

 

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1 minute ago, citronella said:

The OP is on a cruise ship and docked for 3 days - he simply wanted to know if each day counts as an entry into Russia. 

 

What would he submit as travel tickets showing travel outside Russia ?

 

 

Not interested in an argument. Done.

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Hi everyone -  Thank you for for your responses.  I really appreciate it. You're right the immigration officers there are very rigid and speak little to no English.

 

One last similar but different query:  Do ship excursions or independent tour guides count against the visa entry, when using the cruise visa process? So on day 1 we could do a ship excursion and on day 2 use our single entry visa? 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, dayers66 said:

Hi everyone -  Thank you for for your responses.  I really appreciate it. You're right the immigration officers there are very rigid and speak little to no English.

 

One last similar but different query:  Do ship excursions or independent tour guides count against the visa entry, when using the cruise visa process? So on day 1 we could do a ship excursion and on day 2 use our single entry visa? 

No, they do not count toward a single entry.  Ship excursions and licensed tour operators offer visa free touring under the 72 hour visa-free scheme for cruise ship passengers. 

Edited by dogs4fun

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Thank you for your assistance.  I do not plan to leave things to chance, and although I appreciate Citronella's offer to report back from their experience, it will be too close to our trip to base decisions on. 

 

Thanks again! 

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Have you checked your cruise ship's excursions.  We are going on a P&O ship in August and we have booked a trip which will give us free time in 3 different locations to do what we want.  Only costs £44 and is for 7.75 hours in total.  It is called 'St Petersburg Explorer' and is a whole lot cheaper than a private tour.

 

We went on  river cruise from SPB to Moscow last year, with another couple of nights each end in hotels, so are in a similar situation to you.

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Just to report that we had no problems entering St. Petersburg the two days with a single entry visa.

 

 

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Just wanted to add a July update: in US, it seems for tourists they are now encouraging 3 yr multiple entry visa, as prices recently changed and all visas generally will cost around $160

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I think you'll save yourself from the hassle of going through the whole process of getting your own visa if you just get a local tour operator who can give you visa-free entry to St. Petersburg for 3 days. I also think it's more convenient and cheaper to book a tour with them instead of applying for a visa. We used a local tour operator last May and they created a customized tour for us. We also did not want a super jam-packed itinerary like those offered by the cruise ship so we were very glad to have a tour customized based on our preferences and needs. We also did the tour at our own pace so we did not have to rush or anything. It was very comfortable and fun.  You might want to consider this option. 

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