Doing Business In Russia

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Visa & Travel Information

This section of the guide was kindly supplied by one of IMA's private sector Russia 'Market Experts' partners The Russia House.

Certain countries in the world need to have special attention paid if contemplating a visit. Russia is one of these countries.

To start with, to be successful in Russia you must be seen there and your business plan must include 3 trips a year.  Do your homework on its history, culture and geography. A read of Pasternak, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy would help. Some of the plays by Chekov may be a little easier and very enjoyable - all good background.

This knowledge gained and that you have invested time and money in visits will reassure them that you are genuine. After the fall of the Soviet Union the business cowboys of the world descended on Russia - their gullibility for western products and the lure of oil income to the cowboys, caused the catastrophe of 1998. The Russians will not let this happen again. They want to trust you and expect you to be just as cautious - business meetings start with getting to know you, pictures of family, interests, congratulations on recent sporting events and social meetings in restaurants, the bath house and fishing trips.

 

VISA

Do seriously consider getting a multiple entry visa to start with - after 2 visits you are saving money and it gives you so much flexibility of movement.

Visa

NEVER go to Russia for business on a purely tourist visa. It is easy to book your hotel on the internet and get the hotel to send you a visa support. Do not go down this route, this is purely a tourist visa support.

  • A tourist visa does not protect you if you are on business and something goes wrong.

  • A tourist visa does not show respect to your Russian business partners.

  • A tourist visa has no flexibility of dates - your business meeting schedule changes that visa is useless and you have to expensively start again.

  • YOU SHOULD travel on a multiple entry, single or double entry BUSINESS visa.

Unless time does not allow the business support procedure to takes its course, then you can be confident to travel on a SPECIAL PURPOSE TOURIST visa.

The Special Purpose Tourist visa is basically a tourist visa, but you have been registered with the Ministry of Interior as travelling on business. It is a very generous concession allowed to us by the Ministry of Interior and should not be abused. Maximum two trips per year, with no travel to border cities or sensitive areas.

There are 4 types of Russian Visa suitable for a business trip.

  1. Single entry 1 or 3 month Business visa

  2. Single entry 2 week / 1 month Special Purpose Tourist visa

  3. Double entry 1 or 3 month Business visa

  4. Multiple entry 1 year or 6 month Business visa


The visa procuration comes in 2 parts:

a) SUPPORT / INVITATION

Your specialist agent applies to Moscow for this from either:

i) MINISTRY OF INTERIOR FOR BUSINESS VISA

ii) FEDERAL MIGRATION SERVICE FOR BUSINESS VISA

iii) OUR MOSCOW REPRESENTATIVE WHO IS LICENSED BY THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR FOR THE SPECIAL PURPOSE TOURIST VISA


b)
ENDORSEMENT OF THE VISA INTO THE PASSPORT

The agent lodges documents at the Consulate in London for issuing in either 6 working days or express next day service.

Please note they are very strict with the photograph which needs to be different from the one in your passport. It must be passport size with a light background.

 

SPECIAL PURPOSE TOURIST VISA

Valid 14 - 30 days

Support / invitation takes approx. 1 hour to obtain

Endorsement into the passport will take either 6 working days or on the express next day service.

Cost from: £216.00

 

SINGLE ENTRY BUSINESS VISA

Valid 1 or 3 months

Support/Invitation takes 5 - 10 working days to obtain

Endorsement into the passport will take either 6 working days or on the express next day service.

Cost from: £299.00

 

DOUBLE ENTRY BUSINESS VISA

Valid 1 or 3 months

Support/Invitation takes 5 - 10 working days to obtain

Endorsement into the passport will take either 6 working days of on the express next day service

Cost from: £335.00

 

MULTIPLE ENTRY BUSINESS VISA

Valid for 6 or 12 months

Support/Invitation takes 21 working days to obtain

Endorsement into the passport will take either 6 working days or on the express next day service

Cost from: £656.00

 

REGISTRATION FOR VISA

  • Registration of your visa must be affected within 7 WORKING DAYS of your arrival.

  • If you are staying in a hotel registration will be done automatically on check in.

  • If you are staying in private accommodation for longer than 7 working days your landlord must accompany you to the local police station or post office with the required documents.

  • If your agent has issued your invitation the agent will arrange your registration.

  • Registration of your visa must be done in every city where you will stay for than 7 working days

 

 

TRAVEL / ACCOMMODATION

It is highly recommended to always use an IATA travel agency.

It may be cheaper to book on a website but there are some things you should be aware of:

Check that the prices quoted includes the city tax - (up to 21%)

Some hotels double book on different websites and do not always respect the price quoted.

Travel agents know their job and will always endeavour to get you the best rates possible; it could save you time and money.

For extra information on Travel, please visit the FCO Country and Travel website page: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

 

ACCOMMODATION

3 - 4 star hotels in Moscow are expensive, starting from £140 per night including taxes.

TIPS ON TRAVEL TO RUSSIA

* Learn the Cyrillic Alphabet

* Study the Metro Map - important in the chaos of Moscow traffic

* Take comfortable shoes

* Take all medicines

* Euros are the preferred currency to take to exchange into Roubles

* Make a note of Public Holidays

Russians treat their public holidays very seriously. For instance do not expect much work to be done between Spring and Labour day 1stMay and 9th May Victory Day.

On the 8th March send every woman you know in Russia congratulations and if you are in Moscow flowers and champagne.

Respect Victory Day - the Russian Nation paid a heavy price for taking the brunt of the German offensive.

Notable holidays are: 8th March - International Women's Day / 1st May - Spring and Labour Day / 9th May Victory Day / 4thNovember Day of National Unity

There are now many 5 star establishments in both Moscow and St Petersburg and preferential rates can usually be obtained through your specialist agency.

 

FLIGHTS TO RUSSIA

British Airways have upgraded their Russia routes to long haul status as a result of taking over the BMI Airline.

BMI flights will no longer be listed but the UK is entitled to have 2 carriers on par with Russia on the route.

Both Virgin Airlines and Easyjet have registered interest on the route to start services in January 2013.

 

DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM UK TO RUSSIA

British Airways to Moscow and St Petersburg

Aeroflot to Moscow and St Petersburg (code share with Rossiya)

Rossiya to St Petersburg

Transaero to Moscow with good connections throughout Russia

Other European airlines have good connections from UK regional airports via home base to Moscow and St Petersburg and other Russian cities.

Austrian Airlines / Lufthansa / KLM / Air France etc. all have good connections

Austrian Airlines - the first carrier to have a European service direct to Sochi / Adler, host city for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, from Vienna.

Turkish Airlines now also have a service from Istanbul to Sochi / Adler

 

Migration Card

MIGRATION CARD

On arrival into Russia you will receive your RUSSIAN MIGRATION CARD. This will be automatically printed when you present your passport at passport control, you must keep this document with you throughout your stay in Russia. You will be asked to return this document when leaving Russia. Your hotel will also require to see this document on check in, please ensure it is returned to you with your passport.

Russia is a constantly changing country, sometimes it is difficult to keep up with all of the changes, especially with visa issue, a useful website to check is:  www.therussiahouse.co.uk

 

This section of the guide was kindly supplied by The Russia House - Source - The Russia House Ltd

 

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