In May 2016, we tried unsuccessfully to apply for our Russian visa in Hong Kong with our Australian passports. We were told that for visitors without a HKID or a visa to stay more than 90 days in Hong Kong it would take at least 10 business days to process our applications, with no express processing option. As we were flying out in 7 days, there was no point in us putting in our application.
The ’90 day’ rule
We were told the ’90 day rule’ is now the rule in all a Russian consulates – if you are not a resident of the country in which you are applying or you do not have a visa to stay for more than 90 days, your visa application will take at least 10 business days to process.
This caused us some major headaches as this wasn’t mentioned on the website and we didn’t have a HKID or visa, so we had to try again in South Korea. The Russian embassy in South Korea seems to back up what they were saying here Hong Kong – they emailed telling us it would take them at least 10 business days to process our visa if we didn’t have an Alien Registration Card.
However, we have read reports from other Russian embassies in Central Asia that suggest not all embassies are following this ‘rule’. If you’re not sure, it’s best to contact the embassy directly. Also check Caravanistan for recent embassy reports.