Horray! Horray! Good news and glad tidings! The Russian Govenment has relented and is once again offering fast visa service for Canadian passports. They announced today that Canadian citizens would be able to get the same fast service as any other national as of tomorrow, Friday 20 February 2009.
In June 2008 the Russian Government retaliated against Canada for slow visa issuance out of our embassy in Moscow with new rules which penalized Canadian passport holders seeking Russian visas. Overnight it became a 15 working day wait for a visa, with no appeal and no opportunity to pay extra for faster service.
The official stratement of the Russian Embassy in Canada this morning is as follows:
"Consular offices of the Russian Federation desirous to meet the wishes of representatives of Canadian businesses and society interested in promoting bilateral relations will abandon the implemented on base of reciprocity fixed period of 15 business days for processing of the visa applications of Canadian citizens set earlier. From this date on Canadian citizens will have opportunity to get Russian visas under [earlier] conditions. It means that respecting all Russian regulations with regard of visa application documents visas can be obtained on expedited basis with extra fees for rush processing applicable."
So we are back to the old system of fees and are glad to announce our Canadian customers can once again enjoy fast visa service despite the bumblings of the government in Ottawa.