For now, to get The Nomadic Year started I need visas for only 3 countries: Russia, Vietnam and Thailand. “Piece of cake”, I’m thinking.

After some research, I find that all visas require a personal visit to Bucharest, and one week of processing time per visa. That sucks, but hey.. maybe that could be part of my journey!

After doing some more research, I find some articles talking about the possibility of expedited visas in exchange of a fee. “Cool, I’ll try that” — I’m thinking.

Hello, Bucharest

So I’ve booked my flight to Bucharest and back, and a hotel for 6 nights.
Few days later, I’m already there in the so called “Little Paris”.

After a visit to embassies of Russia and Thailand, it was clear to me: I’ll need at least 3 weeks, 1 week for each visa, ie. if all paperwork’s alright. Crap.
So I ditch the hotel for a cheaper hostel to minimize the unanticipated costs, and also because the hotel area was near the “Gara de Nord” train station area, which simply sucks: dirt, junkies, strange dudes at corners, prostitutes, and whatnot.

The hostel, Pura Vida Hostel, was actually much better: t’was cleaner, cheaper, has a small co-working hub and a bar, and on top of it all, it’s located smack in the center of the Old City in Bucharest!

Tourist Visa for Russia

The staff was friendly, went over my documents, fixed a couple of errors within my application form, and let me know there’s no such thing as an expedite visa (at least not for my case). 7 days later, visa’s out.

How to get the Tourist Visa for Russia:

  1. Find and book your accommodation at a hotel or hostel, and ask them to provide you with a Tourist Voucher (also known as Visa Support Letter, VSL or Tourist Invitation). This voucher costed me 1200 Rubles (= 76 RON = 19 USD = 17 EUR) and I received the next day;
  2. Print the booking of your accommodation for the entire period;
  3. Print flight tickets, in and out of Russia;
  4. Bring your passport in original and a copy of its first page. The passport should not expire in the next 6 months;
  5. Submit and print an application form at:
  6. Bring a color photography of your mug on white background, and of sizes 3,5х4,5 cm. Make sure you don’t wear your pimp fedora or your princess crown. Russians do not like this;
  7. And lastly, you’ll need to sign for a Medical Travel Insurance with coverage on Russian territory for the entire period (at least). You’ll need to bring both the original and a copy (of the first page);
  8. Get some cash with you (274 RON or 69 USD or 62 EUR) — this stuff isn’t free and you cannot pay with your credit.

Where: 4-4A Emanoil Porumbaru, Sector 1, 011425, Bucharest, Romania
When: Monday — Friday, 09.00 — 16.00
How long: 7 days
Cost: 274 RON or 69 USD or 62 EUR

Read more details about the Tourist Visa for Russia.

Tourist Visa for Vietnam

Very friendly staff, … Still waiting for the visa.  The Tourist Visa allows you to stay in Vietnam for 30 days.

How to get the Tourist Visa for Vietnam:

  1. Complete and print the visa application form available here;
  2. Bring two mugshots (3×4 cm) and glue one on the application form (you absolutely need to use glue);
  3. Print your hotel reservation or the invitation of the person/company from Vietnam;
  4. Print your flight ticket, in and out of Vietnam;
  5. Bring your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months;
  6. Get bank account statements which shows a minimum of 1000 USD;
  7. And print a copy of your ID card.

Where: 35 C. A. Rosetti, Sector 2, Bucharest, Romania
When: Tuesday and Thursday, 9.00 — 12.00 and 14.00 — 17.00
How long: 7 days
Cost: 45 EUR (you must pay in EUR currency at the Embassy in Bucharest)

Read more details about the Tourist Visa for Vietnam.

Tourist Visa for Thailand

They offer multiple types of Visas, but for my purpose, the 60 days Tourist Visa with a Single Entry will suffice.

How to get the Single Entry Tourist Visa for Thailand:

  1. Bring your passport with a validity not less than 6 months and one copy of passport;
  2. Fill out and print the visa application form completely filled out available here;
  3. Bring a recent mugshot (3.5 x 4.5 cm.) taken within six months. The photograph should be glued to the form and not stapled;
  4. Print flight tickets to and out of Thailand;
  5. Print booking of accommodation for the entire period;
  6. Get a employment certificate (in original) or a bank statement;
  7. Have patience, be nice and respectful, and you’ll be treated accordingly.

Where: 12 Vasile Conta, Sector 2, Bucharest, Romania
When: Monday — Friday, 9.30 — 12.00 and 13.30 — 15.30
How long: 7 days
Cost: 30 EUR (you must pay in EUR currency at the Embassy in Bucharest)

Read more details about the Tourist Visa for Thailand.

Read more about working in Bucharest.