Russia attracts tourists because of its culture, its landscapes and its rich history. However, obtaining a visa to get there can sometimes be a brake because it requires paperwork… It is complicated to fly there overnight!
In order to facilitate tourism in Russia, why not do as in many countries that use an electronic visa (e-visa) system? For example, former Soviet republics such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan or Georgia already use this system.
Russia started implementing the electronic visa system in August 2017, through a pilot project, in the regions of the Federal District of the Far East, although it is limited to citizens of 18 countries (mainly Asian and African countries).
In July 2019, this pilot project was extended to the Kaliningrad region and to citizens of 53 countries, including the European Schengen countries.
In October 2019, it was extended to the region of Leningrad, whose administrative centre is Saint-Petersburg, as well as to the citizens of 53 countries.
From 2021, it is planned to extend this system to other Russia’s touristic regions (such as Moscow, Kazan and Sochi) and to citizens of other countries. It remains to be seen which nationalities will be able to apply for a Russian electronic visa from 2021. The objective is obvious: to develop foreign tourism in Russia. This e-visa system has already been used in Russia during the 2018 Football World Cup and the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The electronic visa offers many advantages.
– How to obtain the e-visa ? : on the website set up by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation: https://evisa.kdmid.ru/
– Different categories of e-visa: tourism, business, humanitarian
– Regions to be visited: Leningrad Region (St-Petersburg), Kaliningrad Region, Far East Region (Vladivostok)
– Duration of the visa: 1 entry only and for a maximum period of 30 days from the date of issue. However, the maximum authorized stay in Russia is 8 days from the date of entry and for its period of validity. It should also be noted that the validity of the electronic visa cannot be extended.
– Price: free of charge
– How long before the trip do I have to apply? The form must be sent no earlier than 20 days and no later than 4 days before arrival in the country.
– Deadline: The request is processed in four days, including holidays and weekends. During this period, you will receive the issuance decision by email. You will then have to print it out or save it on your smartphone, just like a regular visa.
Easy, isn’t it?!