Russian President Vladimir Putin encharged the Government and ministries with a task to ensure the introduction of an electronic visa for foreign citizens to enter Russia from 2021. We are talking about tourist, business, humanitarian and guest visas. Currently, an electronic visa is available only for visiting the Far East and the Kaliningrad Region, and from October 1, 2019 - for visiting St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. According to the forecasts of the Russian tour operators, tourist flow to Russia will grow by at least 20-25% after the opportunity to travel with electronic visa to all cities of the country.
To visit the Kaliningrad region, as well as St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, an electronic visa is available for citizens of 53 countries: Austria, Andorra, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Vatican, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Denmark, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Qatar, Cyprus, China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, the Philippines, Finland, France, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia and Japan.
To visit the Far Eastern Federal District, which includes Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Vladivostok, Sakhalin and Yakutsk, an electronic visa can be used by citizens of 18 countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Brunei, India, Iran, Qatar, China, Korea, China, Kuwait, Morocco, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tunisia, Turkey and Japan.
An electronic visa is not valid for travel outside the specified regions!
To obtain an electronic visa it is necessary to fill out an application on the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (https://evisa.kdmid.ru). In this case, the application form must be sent not earlier than 20 days and not later than four days before the start of the trip.
Processing of the application takes four calendar days, after which its status will take one of the following values: “Visa issued” or “Visa denied”. In the case of a positive decision on the electronic visa, it is necessary to print the corresponding notification or to save the information concerning the notification in any other way for the purpose to present it to the representatives of the transport company, when boarding the carrier vehicle, and to the border guards, when passing passport control at the checkpoint of the region.
An electronic visa is issued free of charge. It does not require invitations, confirmation of hotel booking or any other documents, concerning the purpose of the trip. The permitted period of stay in the Russian Federation on an electronic visa is up to 8 days starting from the date of entry, within the total period of validity of 30 days.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.