9th Joint Meeting of
the European Software Engineering Conference and
the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium
on the Foundations of Software Engineering

Visa

Most participants will need a Russian entrance visa to attend ESEC/FSE (check if you need a visa). You have several options, listed below. Note that with any of these options, you have to surrender your passport to the consulate from the time you apply for the visa and until the visa is issued.

Visa types

A. Tourist visa (recommended)

This type of visa is the simplest and fastest to obtain; note, however, that in this case you are traveling not as an ESEC/FSE participant, but as a tourist. It means that you should fill out all forms without mentioning ESEC/FSE (including at your arrival/departure at the airport). In order to apply for this type of visa, you will need two supporting documents from the hotel where you are staying: a tour voucher and an accommodation confirmation (an example can be found here). Note that the accommodation confirmation document is not the same as your hotel booking confirmation (for example, an email from hotels.com): you will have to contact your hotel separately. Depending on your country of residence, the consulate/visa center might require the originals of the supporting documents (as opposed to electronic copies); in this case it is easier to apply through an agency, because postal service in Russia is extremely unpredictable.

Step-by-step:

  1. Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months after the date of your departure from Russia.
  2. Identify you consulate or visa center (see below) and make sure they accept electronic copies of the supporting documents.
  3. Book your accommodation in a hotel that can provide you with visa support (for example, any of the hotels recommended by ESEC/FSE). If you plan to use multiple hotels during your stay, you need to have prepaid accommodation in each hotel.
  4. Obtain support document scans (voucher and confirmation) from each hotel you stay in. Hotel representatives will provide you with any additional required information, such as the Reference number.
  5. Apply for the visa following the procedure specified by your consulate/visa center. From this point it will take around 10 days to receive a visa; visa centers also offer express processing, which takes about 3 business days.

B. Humanitarian visa through ITMO

This type of visa is only available for countries with simplified visa processing (EU and India) and requires an invitation from ITMO. We strongly encourage you to apply for the invitation letter as soon as possible, but not later than June 25, 2013.

Step-by-step:

  1. Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months after the date of your departure from Russia.
  2. Identify your consulate or visa center (see below).
  3. Fill in this form. An invitation letter will be sent out to the email you specify in the form; this may take up to one week. If you are an Indian citizen, you will require an original invitation (as opposed to an electronic copy); we can send it to you through DHL, but you will have to pay for the delivery. Please contact us in this case.
  4. Apply for the visa following the procedure specified by your consulate/visa center; from this point it will take around two weeks to receive the visa.

C. Using a visa agency

This is the preferred way if you require a business visa (for example, because of your company policy). You can also obtain a tourist visa through an agency. Using an agency is faster and more convenient than applying directly through a consulate, but it incurs additional costs.

Step-by-step:
  1. Make sure that your passport is valid at least six months after the date of your departure from Russia.
  2. Find a visa agency that operates in your country and follow their instructions.

Where to apply?

Depending on your country of residence visa applications are processed either directly by a consulate or by a visa center (check out the consulate website to find out which of the two applies in your country). Alternatively you can use a visa agency: a private company that provides invitations, acts as an expeditor and agent between you and the Russian consulate and significantly simplifies the application process.

To find a consulate check out the official list of Russian consulates worldwide. Here are some examples:

The consulate website will point you to a visa center, if it is available in your country. Here are some examples:

Here are some examples of visa agencies (many of them provide invitation letters online; so if you just want to get an invitation letter, it does not matter in which country they operate):

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