Visas Required for a Trans-Siberian Tour
For reasons of space the visa information here is only relevant to UK nationals applying in the UK although the gist of the advice is the same for most nationalities. We will advise you directly about the visa process relevant to your own particular circumstances on booking with us. However, what we can say is that almost all nationalities will need at least one visa for their Trans-Siberian tour.
CIBT Visa Partnership
Our visa partners at CIBT VisaCentral provide a professional, fast and reliable visa service whether you are based in the UK or a number of other countries worldwide. Click here to visit our visa partner page.
The Russian Visa
The hardest of the visas to get as the Russians like everything just so with their applications. The visa form must me completed online. You need one blank page and minimum 6 months validity of your passport. We will provide the necessary Russian Visa Support documents that are vital for a visa to be granted. Non UK nationals will also need a copy of travel insurance & a bank statement or utility bill. The visa takes 6 working days in the embassy but you need to allow plenty of time to get this visa as applications can be rejected for the slightest reason.
From 10th December 2014 all visa applicants in the UK aged 12 or over are required to visit the Russian Embassy in London or the Consulate in Edinburgh to have their finger prints scanned as part of the visa application process. This is rumoured to become a worldwide requirement at some point in 2017.
The Mongolian Visa
Many nationalities require a Mongolian visa including (from 1st January 2016) British passport holders. However some nationalities are still visa free including Americans, Canadians, Germans, Malaysians, Singaporeans and Hong Kong citizens.
If you do require a Mongolian visas it takes 2-5 working days to issue in the embassy and are valid for use within 3 months from the date of issue. Stays of 30 days are granted. visa forms must be completed online and require 1 passport photo and one blank page in your passport with the usual 6 months validity required on your passport. A confirmed itinerary in Mongolia may also be asked for.
The Chinese Visa
Everyone requires a Chinese visa but the good news is that it is relatively straightforward to obtain although you should allow plenty of advance planning as ever. Normally visas are issued up to 3 months in advance of travel and are valid for stays of up to 30 days. You need one blank page and minimum 6 months validity of your passport. Official confirmation of accommodation booked throughout your stay in China as well as proof of entry and exit from China (air or train ticket reservations) are required both of which we can provide. Visas take a 4 working days to process.
Some nationalities are allowed to spend up to 72 hours in certain Chinese cities without a visa providing they are flying in and out of that city and hold an onward ticket and visa or permission of entry to the next country. Of course, most taking a Trans-Mongolian trip will be either departing or arriving by train so this option is sadly not applicable.
By Phil Stanley