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III International Russian Communication Association Conference-2006
"COMMUNICATION AND (RE) MAKING SOCIAL WORLDS"
(Communication-2006)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOTEL

The conference hotel is the State Educational Centre in St. Petersburg. Here is the English link to the hotel:
http://www.graph.runnet.ru/alpha/indexen.html

Maureen Minielli (mminiell@iupui.edu) and/or Aloyna Dyakova (alyona_d@yahoo.com) can assist you with your hotel arrangements. For USA participants, please contact Maureen directly. International participants should contact Aloyna directly.

The conference hotel does not accept credit cards. There is no ATM in the hotel but there is one in a subway stop nearby. Also, the hotel staff does not speak English.

VISA

First you must decide if you want a TOURIST visa or a BUSINESS visa. The tourist visa is easier to secure, but costs a little more money. The business visa is cheaper, but takes longer to secure.

Second you must decide if you want to use a travel agency to secure a visa, the Russian Embassy in your home country to secure the visa, or a commercial Internet website.

In the USA, it is more expensive to use a travel agency to secure a visa, but they collect all of the necessary papers for you, instead of going to an embassy or a Russian visa website and doing it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself and wish to use a non-embassy agency, www.waytorussia.net is very reliable.

Here are the rules and regulations for applying for a Russian visa, and the link to download the visa application:
http://www.waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/HowToApply.html

If you choose to use a travel agency, the "cover letter from your travel agency" will be the itinerary statement you receive once you have made all of your travel plans. The itinerary should state your flights, times, departure and arrival cities, etc. Its the standard itinerary statement a travel agency will send you when you book with them. Since your hotel reservation will not be made through a travel agency, Alyona and I will have to help you with the "index and reference number of the receiving organization."

For the tourist visa, first you want to leave Line #9 blank, because that is generally used for a business visa. Even though you are going to the conference, you will be entering Russia as a tourist, so you will not mention that you are going to the conference.

Also, leave Line #16 blank, because as a tourist, you will not put down that you are traveling with a group, even though you will be meeting up with individuals for the conference. It's as if the conference never existed and you are just going to St. Petersburg and visit for a few days.

If you were to pursue a business visa, then you would fill out both lines. An invitational letter from the Russian host institution would need to be securedin order for you to get the business visa. Business visas are generally cheaper than tourist visas, but take longer to get because of the invitation letter. Tourist visas are easier to get, but cost more, anywhere between $180-$260 USD, depending on how you get your visa.

ADVICE WHEN FILLING OUT RUSSIAN VISA APPLICATION

  1. It MUST be error-free. If you make a mistake, do not use white-out or try to cover the mistake. Start over with a new visa application.
  2. Turnaround time for the visa application is usually 6-8 weeks, so make sure to plan ahead in your time table.
  3. Include an extra passport photo IN CASE they do not like the first one. Just to be safe.
  4. Use double-sided tape to affix the passport picture to the application. It is easy to pull off the photo from the application.
* * *

RUSSIAN VISA TRAVEL INFORMATION

January 2006 Visa Update

The Russian Federation revised their visa application rules in January 2006. They are accessible at http://www.waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/HowToApply.html

Applicant are reminded to:

1. Do not wear eyeglasses or hats when getting photos taken for the visa application

2. Include 3 photos with application

Tourist Visa Application Information

Item #8 (Purpose of Visit): Mark the box for Tourism.

Item #9 (Russian Institution or Organization to be visited): Leave this line blank.

Item #10 (Itinerary): Write Saint Petersburg here.

Item #11 and #12 (Date of Entry and Date of Departure): After you decide your itinerary, write down the exact days of entry and exit to and from Russia. Consider arriving a day or two ahead of time to adjust to Russian time and accommodate any potential travel delays to St. Petersburg.

Item #13 (Number of Entries): If you plan to enter and depart Russia (St. Petersburg) once, mark the "1" box. If you plan to return to Russia after initially departing the country, mark the "2" or "multiple" boxes. Most will enter/depart once and will use the "1" box. If you request a multiple entry visa, you must be tested for HIV within 6 months of travel and provide a copy of your test results.

Item #14 (Passport Number): Please make sure you have at least 7 months validity left on your passport.

Item #16 (Name/Reference of Tourist Group): Leave this line blank.

Item #39 (Name, address, phone number of hotel in Russia): Leave this link blank.

Item #40 (Assistance with application form): Check the "No" box if you have filled out the form yourself.

REGISTER TRAVEL WITH US STATE DEPARTMENT

The U.S. Department of State now recommends registering with the U.S. Embassy in the country being visited. This will allow them to notify U.S. Citizens in the event of a disaster, emergency or other crisis, and for evacuation coordination. You can register for free at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/

RUSSIAN VISA APPLICATION DOWNLOAD: http://www.waytorussia.net/RussianVisa/

COMPANION RATE

The Companion Rate for all travelers accompanying conference participants is $100 USD. Fees should be sent to David Cratis Williams along with the conference participant's fees.

American travelers should use a U.S. travel agency to assist them with obtaining a TOURIST visa to Russia. Travelers may want to use their home institution's travel agency, or Maureen Minielli can make arrangements through IUPUI's travel agency, Hoosier Travel of Indianapolis (CTSVacations). Maureen can be contacted at mminiell@iupui.edu or 1-317-278-3143.



 
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