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UK visas services in Moscow

Our Moscow office provides specialist visa and visa support services to assist Russian nationals in the process of obtaining certain UK visas, specifically visitor, student and settlement visas.

We advise of the correct methods and type of application, co-ordinate the collation of documents required between applicant and sponsor, translate and prepare the application to meet the British consulate requirements, lodge, collect and arrange delivery of the visa as necessary.

The Real Russia UK visa service in Moscow which processes visas for Russian citizens travelling to the UK is now suspended until further notice..

What is the difference between a visitor and a settlement visa?

A visitor visa is a short term multiple entry visa that is usually valid for up to six months and is used to visit friends and family; while a settlement visa is provided to persons who intend to re-locate and live in the UK, such as a husband, wife or fiance, and may be valid from between six months to two years depending upon type.

The type of visitor visas listed below do not allow the applicant to work in the UK, while settlement visas have the option to allow this.

Visitor visas are generally cheaper costing from £190.00, while settlement visas start from £975.00.


What types of visitor visa are there?

While UK immigration authorities provide over 30 types of visitor visa, the most common ones are listed below:

Visa type Purpose
Visitor Generally used by foreign nationals who wish to visit their friends, family or partners who are resident in the UK and who will not be visiting as a tourist or part of a tour group.
Tourist For foreign nationals who are part of an organised tour group or travelling individual tourists staying in pre-booked accommodation such as a hotel. This should not be used to initially visit family, friends or partners living in the UK.
Student Visitor Allows a foreign national to visit the UK for the purpose of studying. The course must last 6 months or less. The visa does not allow to work.
Visit for business Used by foreign nationals who wish to visit partner companies, representative offices, conferences, exhibitions or conduct other commercial activities. Note, this does not entitle the visa holder to carry out paid work in the UK.
Visit for marriage Allows a foreign national to visit the UK for the purpose of getting married without the intention of settling in the UK immediately afterwards. The foreign national would need to return to their country of origin and obtain a spouse visa if they then wish to settle in the UK.

How long is a visitor visa valid for, how long may I stay and how many times may I use it?

The basic visitor visa is generally valid for six months from the date of visa issue at the consulate and allows for multiple entries, this means that the recipient may enter and leave the United Kingdom as many times as they wish within this validity period.

You can ask for the visa to be post-dated for up to three months if you do not plan to travel immediately and it is important that if this is the case you clearly provide the expected date of travel and that fact is detailed in the letter provided by the sponsor. Please note that any post dating of the visa is at the discretion of the consulate.

Visitor visas may also be requested for one, two and five and ten years, though there are specific conditions associated with these including having demonstrated "good behaviour" with previous short term UK visas.

In some cases the consulate may issue the visa for a specific period and specific number of entries, for example a two week single entry visa. In any event the validity period and number of entries for all visas issued, regardless of those requested, is entirely at the consulate's discretion.

How long does it take to process a visitor visa and how much does it cost?

The time taken to process the visa depends upon which type of visitor visa you apply for and which of our offices you make your payment to.

Type of visa Where paid Processing time Price
Pounds Roubles
Visitor Moscow 2 - 3 weeks 10,000 rub
London £205.00
Visit for marriage Moscow 2 - 3 weeks
13,000 rub
London £260.00
Visit for business Moscow 1 - 3 weeks
11,550 rub
London £230.00
Tourist1 Moscow 1 - 3 weeks
13,000 rub
London £260.00
Student—visitor1 Moscow 1 - 3 weeks
13,000 rub
London £260.00

1 Includes cost of an official accommodation voucher.

The processing time is counted from the time that we have received all necessary documents from both sponsor and applicant and is the number of working days, excluding weekends, UK and Russian public holidays, it will normally take to review, prepare, translate (if required) and submit the application and collect the visa from the British consulate. However, the consulate may extend the time it takes to review an application up to 28 working days at its discretion and travel arrangements to the UK should not be confirmed until you have received confirmation that the UK visa has been issued.

The prices above include the consular fee and our service charge though exclude any translation or courier/postal costs that may be necessary which are detailed in the table below.

Type of service Where paid Processing time Price
Pounds Roubles
Delivery to Moscow of original documents from the UK1 Moscow 2 working days 2,200 rub
London 2 working days £45.00
Translation per document page Moscow Next working day 750 rub
London 2 working days £15.00
Courier delivery of passport / visa in Moscow Moscow Same working day 500 rub
London 2 working days £10.00
Courier delivery or collection in Russia Moscow Next working day 1,950 rub
London 2 working days £40.00
Return to UK of original documents from the Moscow1 Moscow 2 working days 2,200 rub
London 2 working days £45.00

1 For document packages up to 0.5 kilo, packages greater than 0.5 kilo will be charged at additional cost.

Payment in Moscow may be made in Russian Roubles in cash and payment via the London office in Pounds Sterling by the following methods:

Please note that we do not start preparing, processing or answering specific questions about visa applications until we receive full payment.


Who can use Student Visa?

Visa type Purpose
Student Allows a foreign national to visit the UK for the purpose of studying. The course must last 6 months or more. The visa is valid for the time set by the Embassy depending on the course duration specified in the invitation from the educational institution. This visa allows to work a few hours a week.
Dependent For applicants who are dependant of the main applicant, for example, spouse or children under the age of 18. The visa fee is the same for children and the British consulate offer no discounts.

How long does it take to process a Student visa?

Type of visa Where paid Processing time Price
Pounds Roubles
Student Moscow 3—28 working days 16,500rub
London £330.00
Dependant Moscow Same cost and processing as main applicant
London

What types of settlement visa are there?

While UK immigration authorities provide several types of settlement visa, the most common ones we manage are listed below:

Visa type Purpose
Fiancee Required if the applicant has arranged to marry in the United Kingdom and intends to permanently stay after marriage with their spouse. Non EU nationals may not marry in the UK without such a visa unless they have a visa which has been issued for more than six months and has a minimum of three months validity left. Please be aware that this is not a visitor visa to allow an applicant to visit the UK to see "if they like it" and then marry, the purpose of this visa is to allow a person to enter the UK for the purpose of marriage and settle afterwards.
Spouse

For applicants who are already married, (e.g. married in Russia), and wish to enter the United Kingdom and permanently live with their spouse.

For applicants who are dependant of the main applicant, (e.g. children under the age of 18) the visa fee is the same for children and the British consulate offer no discounts.

Dependant For parent, grandparent and other dependant relative of a settled person. Please note that sponsors of elderly people are to fill in and sign Sponsorship Undertaking Form.

How long is a settlement visa valid for, how long may I stay and how many times may I use it?

The Fiancee visa is valid for six months usually from the date of visa issue at the consulate and allows for multiple entries, this means that the recipient may enter and leave the United Kingdom as many times as they wish within this validity period. The applicant should marry during the validity period of the visa and if the applicant intends to stay in the UK after marriage, then the Fiancee visa should be converted to a spouse visa in the UK before the Fiancee visa expires by the Border and Immigration Agency.

The spouse visa is valid for two years usually from the date of issue at the consulate and allows for multiple entries, this means that the recipient may enter and leave the United Kingdom as many times as they wish within this validity period. Before the visa expires, if the applicant intends to stay in the UK then they should apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) from the Border and Immigration Agency and to avoid any problems relating to the residency requirements of ILR the visa should be used within 28 days of issue or the start date if it has been post-dated.

Dependants visas are issued for the same validity period and on the same conditions as the main applicant.

You can ask for the visa to be post-dated for up to three months if you do not plan to travel immediately and it is important that if this is the case you clearly provide the expected date of travel and that fact is detailed in the letter provided by the sponsor. Please note that any post dating of the visa is at the discretion of the consulate.

How long does it take to process a settlement visa and how much does it cost?

The time taken to process the visa depends upon which type of visitor visa you apply for and which of our offices you make your payment to.

Type of visa Where paid Processing time Price
Pounds Roubles
Fiancee Moscow 2 - 6 weeks 60,000.00 rub 
London  £1,200.00 
Spouse Moscow 2 - 6 weeks
60,000.00 rub
London £1,200.00  
Child dependant of a settled person Moscow 2 - 6 weeks
60,000.00 rub
London  £1,200.00 
Parent, grandparent and other dependant relative of a settled person Moscow 2 - 6 weeks
115,000.00 rub
London £2,300.00

The processing time is counted from the time that we have received all necessary documents from both sponsor and applicant and is the number of working days, excluding weekends, UK and Russian public holidays, it will normally take to review, prepare, translate (if required) and submit the application and collect the visa from the British consulate. However, the consulate may extend the time it takes to review an application up to 28 working days at its discretion and travel arrangements to the UK should not be confirmed until you have received confirmation that the UK visa has been issued.

The prices above include the consular fee and our service charge though exclude any translation or courier/postal costs that may be necessary which are detailed in the table below.

Type of service Where paid Processing time Price
Pounds Roubles
Delivery to Moscow of original documents from the UK1 Moscow 2 working days 1,950 rub
London 2 working days £40.00
Translation per document page Moscow Next working day 750 rub
London 2 working days £15.00
Courier delivery of passport / visa in Moscow Moscow Same working day 500 rub
London 2 working days £10.00
Courier delivery or collection in Russia Moscow Next working day 1,950 rub
London 2 working days £40.00
Return to UK of original documents from the Moscow1 Moscow 2 working days 1,950 rub
London 2 working days £40.00

1 For document packages up to 0.5 kilo, packages greater than 0.5 kilo will be charged at additional cost.

Payment in Moscow may be made in Russian Roubles in cash and payment via the London office in Pounds Sterling by the following methods:

Please note that we do not start preparing, processing or answering specific questions about visa applications until we receive full payment.

English Language Requirements for Settlement Visa Applications.

Any migrants outside of the European Economic Area and Switzerland who are applying to enter or remain in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or a person with settled status will need to pass a compulsory English language test with one of our approved test providers, to show that they can speak and understand English.

You will need to meet this requirement if:

  • you are a national of a country outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland; and
  • you are in a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled here; and
  • you want to apply to enter or remain in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner, fiance, proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner of the settled person.

Anyone wishing to come to the UK as a partner will need to demonstrate basic English at A1 level, the same level required for skilled workers admitted under Tier 2 of the points-based system.

You will need to provide evidence with your visa application that you have passed an English language test with one of our approved test providers.

Under the current rules, people applying for visas as partners must already meet a range of criteria before being allowed to enter the UK. All applicants must show that their marriage or partnership is genuine, and that they can support themselves financially.

The non-UK partner must apply for a settlement visa to come and live in the UK as a husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried partner or same-sex partner. When they have been in the UK for two years, and have passed the Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK test, they can apply to the UK Border Agency for permission to remain in the UK indefinitely (indefinite leave to remain).

Further information:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsfragments/42-settlement

IELTS has more than 500 test centres in over 130 countries. You can search for your nearest test centre by country and territories, and city. To find out upcoming test dates and the test fee, click on More Information under each city address:

http://www.ielts.org/test_centre_search/search_results.aspx?TestCentreSearchSubRegion=b08a0959-8881-4abd-953a-7955fe0b4586

 

What documents will we need to provide?

For all visas you should always provide the following:

If the applicant needs assistance with completing the form then we will be happy to help.

The supporting documentation which is different for each type of visitor visa being applied for, please click on the links below for the document checklists in English and Russian:

Visitor

Student

Settlement

Attention! If you apply for a Student and Student visitor visas, British consulate requires original invitation letter and acceptance letter.

These checklists detail the minimum required documents and evidence that will be asked to support the appropriate visa application, however we or the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) may request additional materials to assist the application if necessary.

*Please note that the British consulate has strict requirements with regards to photographs provided for visa applications detailed below which if not conformed to may cause delay or rejection of your application.

  • The photographs should be in colour and taken against a plain, evenly lit, light coloured background so that the features are distinguishable against the background.
  • The full face should be visible.
  • The individual should not be wearing a hat, helmet or other headgear, unless such items are worn for religious reasons.
  • The individual should not be wearing sunglasses, although everyday glasses can be worn.
  • The photographs should be clear and of good quality, and should be printed on normal photographic paper.
  • They should be un-mounted, passport style photographs where the size of the image is 45 mm x 35 mm.

Sounds good, how do I get started?

If applying and paying in the UK, simply download the application form from the link below, complete and send it to us along with any original documents required and payment to:

Real Russia Limited
3, The Ivories
Northampton Street
Islington
London
N1 2HY

You can Pay Online by clicking here or pay by post with your application. Cheques or postal orders should be made payable to "Real Russia Limited"; you may complete and send us the following credit/debit card authorisation form or for other payment options please see here.

As you will be sending your original documents, we strongly recommend that you use a secure postal service such as Royal Mail Special Delivery.

If applying and paying in Moscow, then you will need to visit our office in person and hand over your documents and pay the cash directly.

What happens next?

Firstly our Moscow office will contact both the applicant and the sponsor to review the requirements and initiate the collation of the documents for the visa application. Please note that we will arrange for the completion of the online application at the consulate and to facilitate this we will provide the applicant with the required forms to complete, either in English or Russian as they prefer.

When we are satisfied that the application is complete and correct we will contact and co-ordinate with the applicant to attend the Application Centre in Moscow (with ground assistance if required) for collection of their bio-metric data, submission of the electronic application and signature of the final and completed application form. If required we can assist with travel, accommodation and transfer arrangements, please ask our team about this.

Once we have submitted the completed application and have confirmed the biometric data has been captured the Visa Application Centre of the British consulate will provide us with a unique tracking reference number for your application. We will send this reference to you so that you may follow your visa request's progress through the system at the following link https://www.vfsglobal.org/applicantstatus.aspx

When the consulate have processed the application and passed the result back to the VAC we will contact you directly with one of three possible results:

  1. A visa has been issued as requested which can either be collected from our office along with the original documents or we can courier this on within Moscow or Russia as required.
  2. An invitation for an interview for the applicant at the consulate which can either be collected from our office along with your application pack or we can courier these on within Moscow or Russia as required.
  3. Refusal to issue the visa and the issue of a document called "Refusal of Entry Clearance" which will detail the reasons for the visa not being issued. Again, these can either be collected from our office along with the original documents or we can courier this on within Moscow or Russia as required.

Please note that an interview may not happen as soon as you wish due to high demand and therefore we would co-ordinate this process with the applicant and put their name on an interview waiting list either on the basis of "next available slot" or at a time and date convenient to the applicant. Note, it is not necessary for the sponsor to attend the interview though they may do so if they wish.

Do you guarantee that the visa will be issued?

Unfortunately not, no-one can guarantee the issue of a visa, this is purely at the discretion of the consulate based on the application and documents provided. We act as your agent to ensure that all of your documentation is collated, prepared and submitted correctly as the consulate require without additional irrelevant information which can confuse the decision making process. We will manage your application lodging at the consulate, answering any questions that they may have they direct to us and collecting the consulate result when it is ready.

If the visa is refused or I change my mind can I get my money back?

In the event that we have already submitted your application to the British Consulate if you cancel your order, or in the event that your visa application is refused, we are unfortunately unable to provide a refund. If we have not submitted your application to the consulate we will be able to refund your consulate fee less any costs for return of documents if appropriate.

What is the purpose of collecting the biometric data and do I have to do it?

Information with regards to the biometric data collection for UK visas can be found on the UK visas website at the following link.

All persons applying for a UK visa at the consulate in Russia must attend the Visa Application Centre to have their biometric data collected expcept the following:

  • Children under 5 years of age
  • Applicants for Channel Islands and Isle of Man
  • Applicants for Commonwealth countries and Overseas Territories
  • Applicants for Right of Abode
  • Applicants who are exempt from immigration control

We appreciate that this may cause difficulties for many applicants, and if required we can assist with travel, accommodation and transfer arrangements, please ask our team about this.

Should my new spouse change the name in their passport after marriage?

No, this is not necessary, the British consulate will issue the visa in the name that is in the passport and when your spouse's current passport expires you may transfer the visa to the new one.

Is it true that the British consulate discriminate against single female applicants?

No, despite what you may have heard the consulate do not discriminate against single female applicants though many such applications fail due to inaccurate or incomplete documentation and information. Also, it is important to show good reason for a person to come to the UK and for visitor and Fiancee visas we require that the sponsor and applicant can prove that they have known each other for at least six months and met at least once in person during this period.

I want to use your services in St. Petersburg or Yekaterinburg — can you help?

Currently we do not offer a full service in St Petersburg and Yekaterinburg though we can assist with remote application preparation, please contact ukvisas@realrussia.co.uk for more information.

My applicant does not live in Moscow, how can I get their documents to you?

We can arrange for your applicant's documents to be collected and returned by DHL in Russia and paid for in the UK if required.

My applicant has been called in for an interview, can you help with travel arrangements?

Yes, if required we can arrange train, plane transport to Moscow, transfers and accommodation which again can be paid for in the UK — please email our travel team on travel@realrussia.co.uk and they will be happy to help.

Can a visitor visa be extended if the applicant wishes to stay longer?

No, it is not possible generally to extend a UK visitors visa unless there are extreme circumstances such as an illness requiring hospital treatment.

Emergency Assistance

If you’re in need of assistance whilst travelling we offer a dedicated 24 hour telephone support service.

For all emergencies you can call us on +44 (0) 207 100 7370 where our operators are available to provide help 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you experience problems whilst away, our team can offer guidance and support. If for example you have mislaid your passport, you are experiencing difficulty boarding a train or any number of other travel issues, call our emergency helpline for immediate assistance.

Can you tell me more?

We try to give you as much information as we can to help you choose the service you need, though if you still have more questions please feel free to look at our Frequently Asked Questions or contact us directly and we will be happy to help.

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