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Visas Required for a Trans-Siberian Tour

Please note that the advice on this page is subject to change without notice and you should always check yourself that this advice has not changed before you travel.

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 from 5 to 20 working days to process so allow plenty of time to get this visa but you can apply up to 6 months in advance (more usually 3months though).

From 10th December 2014 all visa applicants in the UK aged 12 or over are required to visit the Russian Visa applocation Centre in London, Manchester or 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.

There are some nationalities (mainly South American) who do not need a Russian visa though. Click here to check for your country (link takes you to Wikipedia).

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.

Click here to check your Mongolian visa requirement (link takes you to Wikipedia).

The Chinese Visa

Everyone requires a Chinese visa and you should book your appointment for the application a month in advance. Normally visas are issued up to 3 months in advance of travel and are valid for stays of up to 30 days (although UK, US and some other nationalities can now get longer visas). 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.

From November 2018 all visa applicants in the UK aged 12 or over are required to visit the Chinese visa application centre in London, manchester or Edinburgh to have their finger prints scanned as part of the Chinese visa application process.

Some nationalities are allowed to spend up to 144 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 (which can’t be your own country). Of course, most taking a Trans-Mongolian trip will be either departing or arriving by train so this option is sadly not applicable.

Click here to check your Chinese visa requirement (link takes you to Wikipedia).


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