The UK has requested fingerprints from Russian citizens for many years. There are 5 visa centres in Russia (Moscow, St Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk).
Russians from Vladivostok therefore wishing to visit the UK would need to fly 6.5 hours to Novosibirsk to apply for their visas, with no guarantee of being granted one.
In the interests of reciprocity, the UK has been selected as one of 4 countries to participate in this "pilot project" along with Denmark, Myanmar and Namibia.
On December 10th 2014, a new regulation came into effect. All UK residents (regardless of nationality) over the age of 12, are required to provide biometric data when applying for a visa to Russia.
This means that you will need to visit a visa centre in person to scan your fingerprints. These visa centres are located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
TCBC can arrange for a Visa Officer to come to your school to process your biometric data. This service is particularly useful for those schools not located near London, Manchester or Edinburgh.
There is a cost, but when you weigh this up against having to travel to one of these cities and missing a day of school, it's usually worth it.
Saving you time
The Russian visa application is 5-6 pages long for students and up to 8 pages long for adults.
The good news however is that by travelling with TCBC, you won't have to fill in a visa application form, we'll do the hard work for you.
We have agreed with our visa partners that they will do this on your behalf and this cost is included in your tour price.
Instead we ask you to complete a 1 page questionnaire with 8 questions for students and 13 for adults. This simplifies the process a lot and will save you a huge amount of time.
- Every applicant will need to leave their actual passport (not the photocopy) for 20 working days at the Russian Visa Centre – from the day of the fingerprinting
- You should therefore plan to be without your passport for around 4 weeks whilst the visas are processed
- You can apply for a visa 12 months in advance of travel at the Edinburgh visa centre and 6 months in advance at Manchester and London
- Passports will need a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of return from your trip
- Passport photographs for the visas cannot be older than 6 months
Russian visa requirements and fees can change at any moment, so it is better to get your visas issued as soon as possible. TCBC cannot be liable for any increase in visa costs levied by the Russian Embassy.
If you have Russian citizens travelling in your group under the age of 18, then please note that their parents ensure they obtain and complete an official parental consent form available from the Russian Consulate in London as required by Russian Federation law. In order to obtain this notarised permission, the parents will be required to name all the teachers travelling and the embassy will require a copy of these teachers’ passports.