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Traveling to Prague via layover in Moscow - Visa Concerns

We are flying to Prague via Moscow and are getting conflicting answers on getting a VIsa. We will be staying in Moscow on our return from Budapest to Washington via Moscow. Our hotel has already given us the travel letter for the three nights staying there and we have been advised to get a single entry visa for those three nights in Moscow. Two weeks earlier we will be at the airport for a three hour layover. We will not leave the airport and have been advised we will not need a visa and we will be staying in a secure travel area in between flights. We would only need a travel visa if we are leaving the airport or are staying longer than 24 hours. Our concern is that the US embassy website says that we should have a Visa for our first flight when we are only at the airport for three hours. Can anyone help e on this issue.
Dean

Posted by
3458 posts

Hello , we just finished dinner , and I ran into your post . I did not want to leave you hanging , and I will look at this in more detail tomorrow . You may need a transit visa in addition to your single entry Russian visa . For the time being , go here and try to sort out the details . http://newyork.mid.ru/web/newyork_en/main-page - In your post you do not say from where you are departing , more details of your trip would help . Frankly , I'm having some difficulty interpreting the linear motion of your plans .

Posted by
3458 posts

Sorry about this , but I'm really confused - If you are going to Prague ( from York , PA ) which undoubtably requires departing from a major hub ( i.e. DC , NYC , or perhaps Atlanta ) why would you be flying all the way to Moscow , only to return to Prague ?

Posted by
4535 posts

^^ Steven - they are staying in Moscow for 3 nights on their return trip. While it adds a lot of time to fly through Moscow, if they are at least visiting the city on the return trip, it might be worthwhile to them. I know people that have done this.

You are best to discuss with the Russian embassy as THEY are the ones that make decisions about what is needed. Be aware that your airline WILL ask to see all required documents/visas before you board your flight in the US to Moscow. One question that may impact the requirement of a visa is whether your initial journey is all on a single ticket through to Prague or if you are transferring to another airline (non-code share)?

Posted by
14905 posts

My guess is that the OP is flying on Aeroflot and taking advantage of low prices on an airline that serves Prague, Budapest, and Washington.

Dean - you should check with the Russian embassy in Washington, where, presumably, you are getting your visas. Much of the US government website info is CYA info (not yours but theirs).

Posted by
4637 posts

Moscow has several airports. If you fly to one and then continue from another one, yes, you need visa. If you stay in one airport in secure area you don't need visa unless something drastically changed. But you are already asking for visa anyway so make it double entry.

Posted by
3458 posts

After looking at the consulate website , it is not completely clear when it comes to the transit visa . Ilja's comment about the airport change is accurate , but the uncertainty in my mind is whether or not the transit visa would be necessary in addition to a tourist visa . Here is the link to the DC consulate http://www.russianembassy.org/page/transit-visa . As in NYC , the DC office contracts with ILS to process the visas , the link is here - http://www.ils-usa.com/page/96?domain=5&language=10 . ILS is more easily accessible than the consulate office in that you need an appointment for the consulate and none is needed at ILS . A definitive answer would be available from either of these sources . Douglas , thanks for explaining that , it's understandable for me now .

Posted by
4637 posts

"Much of the US government website info is CYA info"
Chani, you mean Central Yntelligence Agency?