With upcoming holiday travel and the Winter Olympics, those hoping to obtain Russian visas need to act quickly and be aware of Consulate closures that may cause delays
As we all start gearing up for the holiday season, many of us are also looking ahead to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This will be the first Olympics held in Russia since the 1980 Summer Olympics were held in Moscow. Needless to say, the Russian Consulate is currently overrun with visa applications from people hoping to attend the events, and the lines are only getting longer as the opening ceremonies draw closer.
Obtaining a visa from the Russian Consulate can take several weeks, so if you haven’t obtained yours for the Olympics just yet, it’s time to get a move on it. Even if you are planning holiday travel to Russia shortly after the Olympics – and especially if you’re planning to go before the Olympics – you need to get your application in as soon as possible.
Bear in mind that the Russian Consulate will be closed for certain holidays over the next few months. The consulate will be closed:
- November 28 through 29 – Thanksgiving
- December 25 – Christmas
- Jan 1 through 10 – Christmas
The extended Christmas break that the consulate takes can delay visas substantially. Its best when working with the Russian Consulate to avoid having your visa application open during their extended break in January, especially if you’re trying to get your visa in time for the Olympics. If you’re planning to travel any time between now and February, try to get your visa application in before the Thanksgiving break. This will give you ample time to get your visa back before the consulate’s Christmas break and will help ensure that your travels are safe and smooth. If your trip is right around the corner, contact the Swift team today to find out what we can do to expedite your visas to Russia.
You should also keep in mind that if you are trying to obtain a multiple entry visa for Russia, you will need to order a multiple entry invite as well. These invites from the Russian Consulate can take up to three weeks to obtain, and you’ll need the invite in hand before you can get your visa application processed. In other words, if you apply for the invite now, you’ll probably receive it in December, and then you may or may not get your visa before the January office closure. If time is of the essence, don’t take any chances; call our experts today at (877) 917-9438 to find out how you can expedite your Russian visas.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.