Looking to see if former military personnel have had success/problems getting a Russian Visa.
Yes, I know. Another Russian Visa question. I've already read through the past posts though, and doesn't look like this topic has been addressed.
On the Russian Visa form it asks 1) if the applicant has specialized training in firearms and 2) whether the applicant has ever been a member of the military and if so which branch/country. I'm paraphrasing, but that's the general idea.
As a former solider in the U.S Army, my fiance will answer yes to both of these questions. Does anyone have experience with this - successfully or not? Otherwise I'm sure we're both lovely candidates for a tourist pass.
We're still in the early days of our travel planning, but if his visa is likely to be a problem it will rather dramatically alter our route so I want as much notice as possible so I can prepare for an alternative.
I can understand that obtaining a Russian Visa can be daunting but don't be too stressed out.
The Russian government just wants to know when and where you'll be and what you'll be doing there. I usually recommend doing a tour for country as they'll supply you with the letter of invitation you'll need for your application.
Once you have the letter of invitation the application process is easy. Saying that, never dealt with a US passport before. Hope this helps
In regards, the question. Should be fine. Just be honest
Thanks for the response! We figured as much, just weren't quite sure what, if any, lingering tension there might be between the two countries regarding military personnel (albiet inactive). Fortunately we'll be living close to a Russian Consulate when we going through the process, so hopefully that will make things easier.
Over the past 4 years I've spent a total of over 2 years in Russia and have applied for so many visas I've lost count. I've also been refused twice for giving honest answers to certain questions that I shouldn't have (long story, no need to go into it here.) Since then I've always answered those questions dishonestly and have not been refused since.
It's just a thought - Russian embassies are often looking for reasons to refuse visa applications, especially the one in London due to the particularly poor relations between Britain and Russia at the moment.
I was previously in the air force and had no problems getting a Russian Visa 1 1/2 years ago.
Multiple applications are more likely to come back as denied.
@Ed - You know, I was actually hoping you'd see this and chime in to tell me just how easy and misrepresented the entire Russian visa process is, especially as reading your accounts of Russia and Central Asia have made my desire to travel there even stronger. Ah, blast. We'll be at the consulate in NYC, so here's to hoping that "reset" of the U.S - Russian relationship holds out a bit. As an aside, have you had any problems at the border since you've traveled in the surrounding countries? I'd really love to spend some time in Georgia as well, but I know Russian - Georgian relationships are ... not so friendly.
@Sofia - Good to know! Thank you for sharing - it's reassuring.
Russian visa is pretty easy as long as you just use an agency, google "Russian visa" and use one of the first ones that comes up. Straightforward and reliable. Visas are cheaper for Americans than for Brits and you're less likely to be refused.
As for border crossings no, I've never had any problems. Getting from Russia to Georgia overland is possible I think as long as you go through Abkhazia, but getting the Abkhazian visa takes a month and lots of phone calls to the immigration department. You could also go from Turkmenistan - Azerbaijan - Georgia.