Did you know that a new e-visa system is planned for travel to Russia? As the ninth most visited country in the world, this will make life a little easier for many of the 30+ million foreign travellers who visit each year. Previously, it’s often been a quite long and extensive application process, involving an in-person visit to your nearest embassy, but read on to learn how the procedure to visit the world’s largest country – and one that is home to 23 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – is changing. We caught up with eVisaRussia.com to get the low-down.
Who needs a visa to visit Russia?
Currently, most visitors to Russia need a visa to visit. Exemptions include certain geographical neighbours such as Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Mongolia, a number of Latin American countries for trips of up to 90 days (eg. Argentina, Brazil, Chile, etc.) and some miscellaneous cases (eg. Cuba, Iceland and Mozambique).
What are the changes with the new Russian e-visa?
e-visas had been available for visitors to St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad and the Far East but, when the coronavirus struck in March, Russia closed its borders and stopped issuing visas to foreigners. The new e-visas for Russia will go live in 2021 and enable tourists to visit the whole country. They will offer a faster and more practical way for many foreign nationals to obtain formal authorisation to visit Russia than was available through the traditional Russian visa process.
Where can the Russia e-visa be used?
Although the e-visa can be used for travel all over Russia, as it stands at the moment, these new visas will only be valid when entering or exiting the country via official ports of entry situated around the Leningrad region and Saint Petersburg territory.
These include: Pulkovo International Airport for air travel; Vysotsk, Saint Petersburg Marine Station Port and Saint Petersburg Passenger Port for entry or exit by boat; Ivangorod, Torfyanovka, Brusnitchnoe and Svetogorsk for arrivals and departures by road, and Ivangorod for anyone travelling on foot. The new e-visa does not yet cover entry or exit by train.
Who can apply for the new Russia e-visa?
Passport holders from many countries can apply for an e-visa in a matter of minutes. Citizens from 53 countries, including EU member states, China, Japan, India and Turkey, will be able to obtain 16-day, single-entry tourist visas online. An expansion of the e-visa program may be on the cards in order to inject much-needed revenue to a sector hit hard by the pandemic.
Unfortunately, though, nationals from the United States, Canada and the UK are not currently able to apply for e-visas due to the strained political relationships between these countries and Russia, but this could change according to Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov.
How do you apply for a Russian e-visa?
It is expected that you will be able to apply for a Russian e-visa from 2021. Using a visa service such as eVisaRussia.com will help simplify the process for you. Whether you love Russia for its unique architecture or its much-overlooked but stunning natural beauty, visting is just about to get a little bit easier.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by eVisaRussia.com.