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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Exploitative Visas

Editor: I am writing to you about the bureaucratic consular system in Russia. I personally suffer from the present system each time I go to Russia and condemn it bitterly. For example: ?There is no reason why the visa is issued on a separate sheet of paper and not printed directly on the passport like other countries do. ?There is no reason why the consul needs three photographs. ?When I was invited to attend a ceremony by the rector of a St. Petersburg institute, the consul insisted that a separate letter of invitation was needed to get a visa for my wife. ?It takes four weeks and $90 to get a visa. This is ridiculously long and expensive. To shorten the time to three days I had to pay $120 per passport. This is intimidation, provocation, and exploitation. Finally, I smiled when the customs official in St. Petersburg asked me when I was leaving: Do you have rubles with you? Who in this world would want to take rubles home with him? Professor Fathi Hasbashi Universit? Laval Qu?bec