Planet-Love.com Searchable Archives
April 23, 2021, 01:54:26 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This board is a BROWSE and SEARCH only board. Please IGNORE the Registration - no registration necessary. No new posts allowed. It contains the archived posts from the Planet-Love.com website from approximately 2001 through 2005.
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Tourist Visa Package for $1000?  (Read 6975 times)
Streetwise
Guest
« on: November 30, 2004, 05:00:00 AM »

Does anyone have experience of Russian women women travelling to the west on a tourist visa? I'm being told that it is possible for a Russian woman to go to her local travel agency and buy a package tour, for example to somewhere in Europe, and the travel agency will arrange her visa as part of the package, together with the flights, hotel etc. Sounds a bit fishy to me, I can't see why the embassy of her destination country would look any more favourably on that scenario, than if she applied direct in person (assuming she had complied with the usual requirements, eg return flight booking, proof of funds etc.) I would have thought the vital criteria would remain unchanged (ie, her marital status, employment status, age etc.) As I understand it, a young single girl with no strong ties in Russia has little chance of success in applying for a visa to enter Europe or the USA, unless she has a lot of support from someone living there (proof of funds, proof of reason for visit, letter of invitation etc etc.) Even then, it is a bit of a lottery, and subject to in-depth interviews at the embassy's consular department.

So, any experience of this? Obviously Russians and Ukrainians do take holidays abroad, I've met lots of them, but they are probably couples or families with jobs and firm roots back home, who were granted their visas because they aren't likely to violate them and stay abroad.

The total cost of the tourist package described above has been quoted to me as $1074. My first instinct is to walk away, but actually it would cost that much to go visit a girl in the middle of Russia. Obviously paying someone up front to purchase such a package would be breaking Rule No.1 and would be invite the classic scam, but if the travel agent can be contacted directly and their credentials verified, if they can also be paid direct, and if they really do arrange the visa, it could save a whole lot of hassle. (Not that Russian travel agents can necessarily be trusted though!) My first instinct is to walk away from this one, and it still is, but I am just curious to check out the scenario, in case it is plausible.

By the way, I'm sure most regulars on this site are well aware of this, but for the benefit of any newbies, if you are corresponding with a girl by email, using her "personal" address, and even if she is 100% genuine, don't think that you are safe from scams. I have twice recently experienced cases where a rogue email has suddenly appeared during a string of correspondence, which appears to be from the girl's correct email address, but you can tell sometimes just from the tone of the letter, or some mistake or repetition in the content, that it has been sent by someone else. This was confirmed to me recently when the seemingly genuine girl said she had not even visited the internet cafe that day! My own policy is to always refer to something "topical" in each email, and ask some questions, which relate to something you previously discussed with each other, that a stranger would not be able to pick up on. Then study the response carefully. If there is something missing in the response, if your questions have been ignored... shut her down IMMEDIATELY and move on.

Any related experiences, anyone?

Logged
Apk1
Guest
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2004, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Tourist Visa Package for $1000?, posted by Streetwise on Nov 30, 2004

It just might be a scam.
Ruskie tourist agencies have been trying to sell these travel packages for years...even tried to sell one to my wife almost 4 years ago.
The way it works...travel agency client pays $300 for the paperwork, and a travel itinerary to the USA, complete with fake hotel reservations and fake group tours and then make the appointment to the American Embassy for them...the embassy also asks for "what it was back then" about $100 for processing fee....up front.  After about 3 weeks of waiting the client goes for the embassy interview. Without even looking at all of the evidence of support stipulated by the embassy...the case is dismissed, due to lack of prior travel to the USA....catch 22!   Then the client needs to go back to the travel agency and try to get back their money....and maybe get back $100 out of the original $300 retainer!
To make matters worse, the client gets a stamp in their passport indicating the denied visa. Sometimes this denial can come back to haunt in future attempts..another catch 22!
The only winner in this example is the American Embassy...pocketing $100 for a few minutes work...
Logged
Streetwise
Guest
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2004, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Re: Tourist Visa Package for $1000?, posted by Apk1 on Nov 30, 2004

I now have the web address of the travel agency in question; it is http://rtur.knet.ru and it appears to be based in her hometown (Kazan.) In the visa section of the website they even give prices and processing times for different countries (although I noticed that USA isn't listed; all the destinations are in Europe.) The website looks fairly genuine to me; but I presume their clients  still have to go through the application and interview process at the embassy and take their chances like everyone else, and you can bet that the agent's fee is non-refundable just like the embassy's fee, regardless of the outcome!  

Logged
Frank O
Guest
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2004, 05:00:00 AM »

... in response to Tourist Visa Package for $1000?, posted by Streetwise on Nov 30, 2004

I don't know how true that is but I myself WOULD pay $1,000 if I could get my wife here even if for a week or 2.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1 RC2 | SMF © 2001-2005, Lewis Media Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!