Providing the two of you have met and have photographic evidence to prove it then a UK visitor visa should be relatively straightforward if you provide her with a supporting letter for the consulate to the effect that you shall provide her with air travel, accommodation and financial support for her stay in UK.
Their main concern was, and may still be, that the two of you may try to marry on a visitor visa however the laws have changed in UK now, you cannot marry unless she has the appropriate visa to do so.
Yes boredfukka, to get married in UK a foreigner needs to provide English translations of passport, birth certificate, 'freedom to marry' declaration from her government (i.e. she is not married already) and a 'marriage' visa.
Now I wonder why one needs a marriage visa to get married, I'll have to go away and think about that one :)
it's no so long ago that many countries in Eastern Europe DID demand quite specific info regarding visas.....eg letter of invitation etc etc.....and many still do.As much as it seems pointless there have to be some border controls otherwise anarchy would prevail.
One big difference is that the western countries are not poor countries, another point is that some countries will demand of westerners that we have return air tickets and/or confirmed accommodation and/or funds to support ourselves and yet another point is that we're not about to travel to a poor or third world country to marry on the wrong type of visa, or to work illegally, for the purpose of earning far more 'big bucks' than we could ever dream of back home.
I have read the forum questions and answers. I am currently writing to a young lady who wants to come and visit me. She has an appointment to see a travel agent tomorrow but I have send her an email and told her not to pay them any money at this point in time.
I have never met this lady and so cannot provide any photographic evidence of a previous meeting. She should have a return ticket to she imigration and I can provide a letter stating that she will be staying with me and I will finance her visit but am not prepared to finance any medical treatment but according the gov web site Russia is a country that has an agreement with the UK. Will this be enough if I provide her with a letter to go with her application.
Does she have to make the application or can I do it from here or does it have to be done with her travel agent of which they will charge her for that.
Anything else anyone can think off would be helpful.
My main concern, apart from your name and you're writing to a lady :) is that a ticket & visa scam is the 2nd most common scam behind communication & translation scam.
Now if you haven't met this lady, and before you even think of sending her any money, you MUST have a read of:
just to learn the regular scenario of such a scam.
Please also, via an internet search engine, run a search of her first and family name, her email address and any other information you have regarding her. Also take a sentence from perhaps her first letter to you and run a search on that also.
If she passes these tests then there is no point arranging her air travel until she has a visa. There are 3 UK consulates in Russia, in Moscow, SPb and Ekaterinburg and it will all be in the way she says things that may determine if she is serious or a scammer, you don't want to blot your copybook with the consulate until you are SURE that the lady is serious.
If the 2 of you haven't met then it is 95% that her visa application will be refused and DO NOT listen to what some Russian travel agency will tell her, it will probably be bullshit. In my earlier and more naive days some 6 years ago I had a Russian lady come to visit me in UK, we hadn't met previously and after the SPb consulate telephone interviewed me they issued her visa but it was a 'touch and go' stressful situation and I would not recommend it to others.
Forget about medical treatment, you don't need to worry about it and at the end of the day the NHS, despite how poor they are, will not allow anybody to die. But what you do need to consider is that if her visa application is via a travel agent then she is a 'tourist', your name, indeed your existence, in the application process must never be mentioned and she must provide her own air tickets, have confirmed hotel reservations in somewhere like central London etc. etc. etc. or the application will 100% be refused.
On the other hand, and I recall the visa application costed around USD50.00, if you/her make an independant visa application, as I did, and via the embassy website make email communication with the consulate, make friends with them and ask what is required and provide her with a sponsor letter, then you may just have the application approved.
One thing though, NEVER send any money for an air ticket except for perhaps a regional flight within Russia, providing you have a credit/debit card you can book her flights online, including many regional flights, yourself, if you need any help sourcing the best fares etc. then I'll be happy to help you but you cannot book non-changeable/non-refundable tickets until she has the visa.
Should she suddenly say to you 'I have the visa' then be sure that she attended an interview with the UK consulate first even if you have to telephone them, via www.telestunt.co.uk or www.telediscount.co.uk it costs 2p per minute to phone Russia.
Should you need any further help then drop your email address here and I'll write to you with my email address.