VISAS, ENTRY RULES, CUSTOMS REGULATIONS in United Kingdom
Documents for a visa are submitted to the British Visa Application Center, located in Moscow at Bolshoi Savvinsky lane, 12, building 18. Information service: +7 (495) 7847144. The service is open from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 21.00, calls to the call center paid: 60 rubles per minute, the minimum amount for one call is 120 rubles (including VAT).
From March 1, 2008, the British Embassy in Moscow and the Consulate General in Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg will only be able to accept applications completed on the website www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk. Any other applications will not be accepted at the Visa Application Centres. After this change, the process of applying for visas in Russia will be fully consistent with the process of issuing British visas around the world.
From November 8, 2007, all those wishing to apply for a UK visa, regardless of their nationality, will be required to come to the British Embassy in person for a fingerprint scan and digital photo. All applicants will be required to submit biometric data during the visa application process. This does not apply to the following categories of citizens:
– Children under 5 years old
– Citizens traveling to the Chanel Islands and the Isle of Man.
– Citizens traveling to Dependent Territories and Commonwealth countries
– Citizens obtaining a Right of Residence in the UK
– Persons not subject to Immigration Control (Chapter 5 of the Visa Code www.ukvisas.gov.uk)
From 23 April 2007 all attached documents must be accompanied by a translation into English, and the questionnaire is initially filled out only in English. Translation certification is not required at this time.
To apply for a visa to the UK, the following documents are required:
– a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of submission of documents;
– 2 identical color photographs 3.5 by 4.5 in size, without a frame, taken no earlier than 6 months; for children entered in the parents’ passport – 1 photo;
– 1 questionnaire printed or filled out by hand in printed (capital) letters in English;
– the original certificate from the place of work on a letterhead with a seal and an indication of the address of the place of work, work phone number, position held, salary (at least 400 USD). The certificate should also contain a record that this employee is on regular paid leave with dates, and that he is the sponsor of persons traveling with him, if they are disabled – a pensioner, a housewife or children traveling without parents (in this case the amount of the salary should be at the rate of 400 USD for each person indicated in this certificate);
– an invitation or other documents justifying the purpose and conditions of the trip (the list of required documents can be found here or here).
For a tourist trip, this is a confirmation of a hotel or tour reservation in the UK.
For a business trip, an invitation from a company in the UK, explaining why you were invited, for what purpose, and where you will be staying. If your company or a company in the UK is paying for the trip, this must be confirmed in the letter. Please note that the letter of invitation does not need to be sent to the Visa Section, it must be sent directly to the person applying for a visa and attached to the application form.
For non-working pensioners:
– a copy of the pension certificate, as well as a certificate from the place of work of one of the relatives indicating the position, salary and record of sponsoring the trip or a certificate of purchase of currency at the rate of 50 c.u. per day per person; it is also desirable to have copies of documents confirming the right of ownership (for a car, apartment, cottage, etc.).
For pupils and students:
– the original certificate from the place of study or a photocopy of the student card, as well as a certificate from the place of work of one of the parents indicating the position, salary and record of sponsoring the trip.
For children under 18:
– traveling with one of the parents: for those with the same last name as the accompanying parent, a power of attorney is not required; for different surnames, a photocopy of the birth certificate must be attached.
– traveling without parents: a photocopy of a notarized parental agreement with the transfer of parental authority to a third party or for independent travel without accompanying persons.
A visa is usually issued within 2 to 10 business days, up to a maximum of 28 business days.
Import and export of national and foreign currency is not limited. Duty-free import of cigarettes is allowed – up to 200 pcs. (or cigars – up to 50 pcs., or tobacco – up to 250 gr.), alcoholic beverages with a strength of more than 22% – up to 1 liter, a strength of less than 22% – up to 2 liters, perfumes – up to 50 ml, toilet water – up to 250 ml, souvenirs and gifts in the amount of not more than 32 pounds.
Import prohibited drugs, weapons, knives with pop-out blades, counterfeit coins and banknotes, obscene materials, meat, poultry and products from them, all kinds of live birds and bird eggs (up to 1 kg of ready-to-eat poultry meat or semi-finished products can be imported), radio transmitters, plants. The transit of antiquities and antiques is prohibited without the permission of the relevant organizations, as well as rare species of animals. The importation of medicines is prohibited, with the exception of medicines intended for personal use (a prescription is required).
Traveling with pets is difficult, as a long quarantine is necessary.
Embassy in United Kingdom
United Kingdom, Embassy in Moscow
121099, Smolenskaya embankment, 10
Telephone: (495) 956-72-00
Documents for a visa are submitted to the British Visa Application Center, located in Moscow at Bolshoy Savvinsky lane, building 12, building 18. Information service: +7 (495) 7847144. The service operates from Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 21.00, calls to the call center are paid: 60 rubles per minute, the minimum amount for one call is 120 rubles (including VAT).
United Kingdom, Embassy website: http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1089123874599
United Kingdom, Russian Embassy in the country:
6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, W 8 4QP, UK
Phones: +44 207 229-26-66, 229-72-81, 229-36-28, 229-64-12, 229-36-28
Emergency Phones in United Kingdom
Police, fire service, ambulance – 999
HOLIDAYS AND WEEKENDS
January 1 – New Year
January 2 – winter holiday in Scotland
March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day in Northern Ireland
March 28 – Good Friday
March 31 – Easter Monday
First Monday in May – May Bank Holiday
Last Monday in May – Spring Bank Holiday
Second Saturday in June – The Queen’s Birthday (official)
July 14 – Orange Day in Northern Ireland
August 25 – August bank holidays (last Monday of August)
December 25 – Christmas Day
December 26 – Boxing Day
During these days most businesses, banks, official organizations and shops are closed.
International Beatles Week takes place in Liverpool from 24 to 30 August every year. The festival program includes not only numerous musical concerts dedicated to the memory of the legendary four, but also a special excursion program, exhibitions, an auction (August 27) and “flea markets” that are very successful.
Glasgow hosts a very interesting Piper Festival in the summer, which brings together craftsmen to play this instrument from all over the world. Drummers and dancers also take part in the festival.
As everywhere in Europe, in London you should not appear in coats, coats, jackets and other outfits made of natural fur. The general reverent attitude towards nature here has led even the royal guards to change their bear hats for faux fur hats.
According to thembaprograms, shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:30, some – until 18:30. Large shops are open on Sunday.
In London, the most popular shops among Russian tourists are located on Oxford Street and in the Kensington area.
When buying goods, you can claim a VAT refund (for most goods it is 17.5% and included in the selling price) if you have been in the EU for no more than 365 days in the last two years. Taking into account the commission fee, 14.89% is subject to return. There is no legally set minimum purchase requirement for a VAT refund, but stores usually set a minimum between £30 and £100. Goods must be exported from the country within 90 days from the date of purchase, and the check must have a customs stamp that is affixed when leaving the EU. Compensation is usually issued in the form of a check or credited to an account. Cash withdrawal is possible at VAT refund points at airports.
In most restaurants, a tip is included in the bill, in this case it says “Service Charge” on the receipt. If tips are not included, they usually amount to 10 – 15% of the order amount. Tipping is not given in pubs.
The British are different from mainland nations, which they are very proud of. Their main features are restraint, in some cases even stiffness, politeness, adherence to traditions. English humor, talk about the weather and the traditional five-o-clock have already become proverbial. The British are very hospitable and friendly. Even if you ask in broken English how to get to the right place, they will tell you everything in detail, take you where you need to go, and in parting, in accordance with the language tradition of address, they will affectionately call you dear or love. However, such courtesy does not lessen their sense of national superiority, nor their sense of prejudice against everything foreign.
It should be remembered that the English, Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish are different nations. To confuse a Scot, Welsh or Northern Irishman with an Englishman is to offend him.
To obtain a visa, health insurance and a certificate of vaccination are not required.
Foreign tourists in the UK are entitled to free emergency medical care in the trauma and emergency departments at public hospitals. In other cases, if the insurance policy is not issued, the treatment will have to be paid, and it should be borne in mind that it is very expensive.