Welcome to the Travel Forums


Why join TravelBlog?

  • Membership is Free and Easy
  • Your travel questions answered in minutes!
  • Become part of the friendliest online travel community.
Join Now! Join TravelBlog* today and meet thousands of friendly travelers. Don't wait! Join today and make your adventures even more enjoyable.

* Blogging is not required to participate in the forums
Advertisement


Visas for Russia, Mongolia and China

Advertisement
Taking the Trans-Mongolian? Enquired into visas, and panicked at the cost the agencies are charging? I've just got all three without an agent which saved a fortune, although obviously it was more hassle. Here's how I got mine with a British passport in the UK.
8 years ago, February 13th 2011 No: 1 Msg: #128970  
Now this only really works if you live near or in London, or any of the other embassies in the UK. I live about an hours drive from central London and thankfully have a friend who has a company car and doesn't pay for petrol, it's also a hybrid so he doesn't pay congestion charge. All the application centres/embassies do have postal applications, though it may end up cheaper through an agency.

Russian Visa



Obtain visa support documentation

I got mine through Real Russia for £15, although there are plenty of other places that do it. You need to provide the exact dates you'll be there as that's what the visa will be valid for. I just made up some dates around our proposed travel period giving me the full 30 days. It asks for where you'll be going so I just added the standard cities in Russia. Once you have the visa though you can go wherever you like. As for addresses of hostels/hotels, I just googled one and copied down the addresses, even though I have no intention of staying there.

Fill out application form online

Russia uses an 'application centre' rather than the embassy for getting visas... the website is Here. Fill out the form as completely as you can, although they will help at the centre if you get stuck. They have internet enabled PC's at the centre with a printer too if you need to amend your application and reprint. This only took me 15 minutes although the majority of that time was them checking the applications.

Visit Application Centre

Drop off application, passport and one photo at the centre between 08:30-15:00. Pay on drop off. Single entry 5 working day tourist visas cost £50 + £26.40 (application centre service charge).

Visit Application Centre 7 days later

Pick up passport, with your new shiny visa between 16:00-17:30. I arrived at 16:00 and it took about 2 minutes.

Mongolian Visa



Fill out application form online

find it here. Again for addresses I just googled a hostel and stuck it in on the form.

Visit Embassy of Mongolia

Drop off application, passport and one photo between 10:00 and 12:30, pay on drop off. Single entry 30day tourist visa costs £40 valid for 3 months from issue. I was the only one there and dropped it off straight away.

Visit Embassy of Mongolia 2-5 days later

Pick up passport, with your new shiny visa at 11:00. again I was the only one there and picked it up straight away.

Chinese Visa



Fill out application form

China also uses an 'application centre' rather than the embassy for getting visas... I had no end of trouble trying to get the form filled out online so printed it out and filled it by hand. They also have internet enabled PC's at the centre if required and a stack of preprinted application forms. Again for addresses I just googled a hostel in Beijing and stuck it in on the form, although I'll probably only be there for a few days.

Visit Application Centre

You NEED to book an appointment online to visit the centre to drop off your application, passport and one photo. Even though I booked an appointment I still had to wait 45 minutes. This was the busiest of the three.

Visit Application Centre 4 days later

Pick up passport, with your new shiny visa any time after 9. This one you pay when you pick up. Single entry tourist visas valid for 3 months from issue cost £30 + £36 (application centre service charge).




If I was only going to be doing one passport I would of undoubtedly gone with an agency as I'm not sure the cost saving would of been worth the hassle. I was however getting 4 (My wife, 2 children and I). this is how the costs break down:

Russian Visa
£15 visa support
£50 Visa
£26.40 Service Charge
Total = £91.40

Mongolian Visa
£40 Visa
Total = £40

Chinese Visa
£30 Visa
£36 Service charge
Total = £66

Total for one passport £197.40

If we got everything through Real Russia, a very reputable company (although many other agencies do it and charge varying amounts, but not by much).

Russian Visa - £116.73
Mongolian Visa - £60
Chinese Visa - £91.69

Total for one passport £268.42

So total saving for one passport is £71... so as I was getting four passports done £284 SAVED!!!! 😊
Reply to this

8 years ago, February 14th 2011 No: 2 Msg: #129066  
Cool information!

Im going to pin it at the top of the General Forum and maybe it can be the start of an ongoing discussion about the best way to get visas. 😊 Reply to this

8 years ago, February 14th 2011 No: 3 Msg: #129072  
Excellent idea... especially considering things change all the time with these things. 😊 Reply to this

8 years ago, February 15th 2011 No: 4 Msg: #129089  
B Posts: 281
Thank you for writing this out MichaelnFaye. I am taking this trip and appreciate the information! Reply to this

8 years ago, February 15th 2011 No: 5 Msg: #129138  

... especially considering things change all the time with these things.


There is a thread with a running commentry about the changes with the Thai visa. Hopefully, one day we will have one for all the confusing visa countries.

Russia is one that greatly confuses me, so it is way cool to have recent information. Around 12 years ago, I canceled a trip to Russia, because the visa situation was so horrendous at the time. I think it may have become less complicated since. 😊

Acutually, I think I will move this to the News and Discussion forum. That is where most of the visa threads currently are... Reply to this

8 years ago, March 5th 2011 No: 6 Msg: #130452  
Very useful information, thank you, MichaelnFaye Reply to this

8 years ago, April 4th 2011 No: 7 Msg: #132878  
Hi,

very usefull info - thanks;-) One more thing I found out was that you can get Chinese Visa in Mongolia if you are planning to stay in Ulan-Bator for a bit - It takes 4 working day to issue it /or 2 or 1 if you pay extra.

it also seems that it is cheaper for most countries - 30$ only and another 20$/30$ for rushing it. They dont mention any extras. Please see their website .

And it also says that you can stay only for 30 days - is it true?? We plan to stay 5-6 weeks so not sure how to take this.

Thanks,
Beata
Reply to this

8 years ago, April 7th 2011 No: 8 Msg: #133176  
Hi,

We're in Ulan-Bator now and yes you can get your visa here quite easily for $30 (USA Passport is much, much more for some reason). The only problem we would of encountered is that you need to provide proof that you're leaving China with your application (i.e. an onward flight ticket). As we have no idea when that is, and we're leaving overland by train, I'm not sure we would of been able to get it here. Thankfully they never asked for that in the UK. Maybe if you could find a dirt cheap Air Asia flight out, or could get confirmation of a booking without actually paying it would work.

I'm thankful we already have ours to be honest as it's one less thing to worry about while we're here.

As for only being 30 days, yes that's true. But, if you stick Hong Kong in your itinerary at the end of the 30 days you can always just pick up another visa there pretty easily, and then go back to the mainland.

Hope this helps.

Mike Reply to this

8 years ago, April 9th 2011 No: 9 Msg: #133332  
Hi,

we will head to SE Asia from China overland so maybe 4 months later we would actually fly - do you think that is ok to show them onward ticket from Bangkok for instance??

How is Ulan - Bator?? we planned 4 days for (because train to China leaves only on Sundays apparently) is it enough??

thanks for all your help ;-)
B Reply to this

8 years ago, April 9th 2011 No: 10 Msg: #133337  
I'm almost certain they wouldn't accept a flight ticket out of Bangkok as proof. It could mean you're going to spend all that 4 months in china, overstaying your visa, before leaving via Bangkok. You could argue you're not, but I'm not sure it would work.

I think there is a train to Beijing on Fri, Sat and Sun... That's what the guy who booked our ticket said anyway.

We're getting the 004 train tomorrow (sun) and it cost $150 US for 2nd class Kupe. It was the most expensive of the three but it's the actual transmongolian train (all the way from Moscow) and I'm led to believe one of the nicest, but we'll see if thats true tomorrow! 😊

I think 4 days would be enough for you to see what little Ulan-Bator has to offer and get out into the countryside for a night (which was spectacular). Reply to this

8 years ago, April 10th 2011 No: 11 Msg: #133401  
Good to know - then we have to get the visa here despite the cost ;-(

Who did you book your tickets with as the cheapest I found on that leg was 220£ each for 2nd class Kupe;-( so 150$ seems very good to me ;-)

Reply to this

8 years ago, April 18th 2011 No: 12 Msg: #134083  
How I wish North Korea will make the same move as its allies. Reply to this

8 years ago, September 15th 2011 No: 13 Msg: #143318  
Just wanted to add that the service for Chinese visa is available via post as well at no extra charge ;-) It cost us only 7£ for two Special Delivery Envelopes (cheaper than travel card to London) and no time needs to be wasted at the application centre ;-) Additionally for Polish citizens the visa fee was cancelled so only service charge applies -> sometimes it pays off to come from an ex communist country haha Reply to this

Tot: 0.32s; Tpl: 0.033s; cc: 5; qc: 63; dbt: 0.2149s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.2mb