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Entry Clearances: Russia

Volume 498: debated on Monday 2 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons charges for telephone calls to his Department’s visa application centre based in Russia are charged at different rates depending on whether the call is made in English or Russian. (296265)

All callers to the UK Border Agency’s Call Centre in Russia are charged at the same rate, irrespective of what language they use or where they call from within Russia. Callers are charged at 75 roubles per minute, with a minimum charge of 150 roubles per call; the charge includes VAT. Because there are no premium lines in Russia, the caller is charged through an invoice which the Call Centre company raises, taking the information from the caller at the beginning of the conversation.

There is one exception to this. If the caller is phoning from outside Russia, there is no infrastructure to bill them for the call—the cost of the call would need to be transferred from outside Russia, which is not legally possible. This means that calls made from outside Russia are not currently charged for.