Trouble with Schengen visa for a visit by a Russian woman

by Brian

I am a widower (63) who wishes to remarry.

I have met a Russian woman (57) first over Internet (Skype) and then I visited her in Siberia during the summer. I wanted her to come and visit me in France so as to see where and how I live in France before any marrying project.

She tried to get a visa for a short trip to France but was rejected a first time. We tried again (I even met her in Moscow and accompanied her to the French consulate). At the Consulate, it was impossible to contact any of the Visa personnel (I am a Briton living in France and perfectly fluent in French). Her demand was again rejected in spite of providing them with more information about her.

The first time, the reason invoked was that there was no proof of her wanting to return to Russia.

The second time, the reason was given that her documents did not sufficiently describe the purpose of her visit to me.

My other option would be to attempt to hire her for work as a translator, but I do not know whether this is feasible.

Or to live with her, would settling in Montenegro be a solution? (Montenegro does not require visas for Russians)

Bob's Answer: Thanks for writing. I'm not an immigration/visa expert, especially not related to European countries, but I can probably take a shot at answering your questions based on how I've heard it works in the U.S.

In the U.S. (and probably France, U.K, and the rest of the EU) there is no real "Visit-My-Special-Friend Visa". When an immigration/visa official sees an application for a tourist visa but suspects that it's really something else, they reject it. And that's what it sounds like may have happened in your woman's case.

From what I have read (for example, at Visa Journey) and heard from Russian/Ukrainian women who have received tourist visas, there are a few tips that increase one's chances.

For example, I've read/heard that if a Russian/Ukrainian woman has obtained visas to visit other countries and then returned home before the visa expired, it inspires a little more confidence. If she has a real job, family ties, and/or property, she's more likely to receive a visa.

I have also heard that when applying for a tourist visa a Russian woman should avoid any mention of intentions to visit special male acquaintances. Immigration officers hear that and they assume the woman isn't planning to return to her country.

In the case of France, she should simply say she wants to see Paris, the Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, etc.

I've also heard that sometimes simply applying multiple times for the same visa eventually succeeds. Sometimes a different immigration officer on a different day gives a different answer.

But here's the thing... I KNOW that MANY Russian/Ukrainian women visit France. Shoot, I can hardly browse five Russian women's profiles on the online dating sites without seeing a picture of one of them in front of the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. How did they get their visas? I'd BET my bottom dollar that there are forums where Russian women discuss such topics. Have your woman search for those forums.

I hope that helps!

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