In beginning of 2014 pro-Russian troops – or let’s say parts of the Russian army – have just occupied Crimea. At that time nobody knew, whether Crimea will turn Russian or not, so it remains still Ukrainian. Because to EU citizens can enter Ukraine without visa and I knew that Crimea is a beautiful place, I booked the flight and waited what will happen.
A referendum at March 16th made Crimea become Russian. I therefore started to look for information what this means for foreigners -which documents they would need to enter.
After a long search, one week before my flight, I got the right information and applied for a visa at the Russian consulate in Frankfurt/Main. Within 2 days – at the day of my flight – I got the private visa.
I mainly thank L., who made this journey possible. Without her I would never have had the chance of visiting Crimea at that time. But I don’t want to forget her friends and the other people who helped me in any way. Спасибо!
I want to apologize for any mistakes I made. If you find any, it’ll be nice if you let me know. When you think, that something is missing or wrong, feel free to post a comment or write a mail to blog[ät]johannes-nickel.de
Kyiv-Kerch by train: 1114km – 22:23 hours
Kerch-Shcholkine-Yalta-Sevastopol by hitchhiking and bus: 300km hitchhiking, 85km bus
Sevastopol-Kyiv by train: 1092km – 18:46h
Crimean visa issue?
It was hard to find information, whether a visa is needed after Crimea became Russian. One source said it’s possible to enter Crimea visa-free until 2016.
All other information concerning the fact that people would need a visa were quite vague. So I wanted to go to Crimea without visa and wanted to see what happens at the border. But after some days I saw on the website of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, that people who intend to visit Crimea, need a either a business or private visa. I called them, but didn’t get any further information.
I wrote the embassies of London, Vienna (Austria) and Bern (Switzerland). The London embassy gave me the answer, I wanted to hear:
You will need a visa to Crimea.
Issue of single or double private visas for a period of 90 days, will be given on the basis of the written statement in any form (from relatives or friends) addressed to the Ambassador (Consul general), without notarial assurance from a Russian citizen living in the Crimea, with a copy of the copy of his Russian passport or the Ukrainian passport and the page copy with a mark about registration in the Crimea.
Person need to attend our visa centre, with all necessary documents and write visa request form (similar to Private visa)
At the moment we waiting for list of accredited travel companies in Crimea, to be able to provide with tourist visa supporting documents, regarding UK based ones we don’t have information, are they allowed to provide with those documents.
For further information please visit our website http://ru.vfsglobal.co.uk or contact our call centre on 0905 889 0149 (calls to the premium rate number cost 55 pence per minute).
I was really lucky that I could get the needed documents. In fact after the answer I didn’t believe that I would be able to go to Crimea any more. On Thursday, April 3rd I went to the Consulate in Frankfurt. They said, I’m the first who wants a visa for Crimea and accepted the documents without problems. But they said, it’s only that simple (no formal FMS invitation letter, quick processing time), because Crimea is a brand new part of Russia.
I just needed to fill out an letter for the invited (the stuff helped me) and gave a copy of the electronic visa application form (private visa, single entry). Although they had only 2,5 days for the visa get into my passport before my flight goes on Monday, I was charged with the normal fee (35€). Normally I would have had to pay an additional express fee as well.
I paid, got a recipe and hoped that everything will word out on Monday morning. And it did. I picked up my passport with visa with no problem.