Getting a travel passport in St. Petersburg: money first, bitch!

March 10, 2015

Ok, so, following my previous post, I will now tell you this.

I came to St. Petersburg from Helsinki to get a new travel passport.

We came to the state organization that issues those travel passports.

Here comes an interesting part. There is a regular state organization (called FMS) that can issue you a new travel passport after looong 3 (!!!) months of waiting.

But there is a special “addon” facility right there, organized specifically to make a shitload of semi-legal money for those in charge of it (it is called FMC).

Welcome, peasants!

You come to regular old FMS, but you are greeted by fancy FMC reception, they are placed literally as a gateway to FMS. Some people don’t even know you can bypass them!

Well, the idea is simple, getting the travel passport via FMS takes 3k rubles and 3 months. Also they are unhelpful with filling in the application, etc.

But with FMC, dear peasants, please pay 12k and wait only 1-1.5 months!

Bring the money here, bitches!

You see what they have done there?

Regular old beurocratic way takes 3 months, ofc people want to get it faster.

Well here comes FMC, which is officially a municipal organization and most probably set up with taxpayers’ money, but their income goes into wallets of a handful of officials controlling this structure, I am pretty sure.

Here is how it works: you pay 12k, they just help you to fill in the application, then they share some of that money with FMS so they would process your shit faster, and take most of the money for themselves.

Hooray! Bribery on a massive conveyer scale! Brilliant!

Well it would not be so bad if the deal was more acceptable, say, it would take only 1 week to get the passport, but it still takes 1.5 frigging months!

It just amazes me how they organize things and strip us, the peasants, off, just like that!

Written by: Alexander Tazh

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