Russia to introduce e-visa without invitation from 2021
The initiative is based on positive experiences from the Far East and Zabaykalsky Region bordering China where citizens from 18 countries in Asia and the Middle East since 2017 are allowed to apply for e-visa for a stay up to eight days. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has a dedicated portal for e-visa applications.
By January 1, 2021 the system will be extended to entire Russia, head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Zarina Doguzova said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Kommersant reports.
E-visa will then be possible to apply for all passport holders from China, South Korea, Japan, EU countries and non-EU countries that are Schengen members, like Norway and Iceland.
Citizens from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States are not to be included in the new e-visa system.
In the beginning, e-visa will be granted to people entering Russia via larger cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and a few others. Number of entry points will increase, as necessary equipment will come to other border checkpoints.
The e-visa regime will be introduced for Kaliningrad region already by July 1 this year.
Doguzova says the duration of a visa will be up to 16 days and the service cost will be $50.
You will not need invitations when applying for the new electronic visa. Today, invitations are requested even when applying for a tourist single-entry visa.
Quoted by TASS, Doguzova said “Until the E-visa travel is available for the whole country, we need to carry out targeted information campaigns for the markets of interest so that as many tourists as possible learn that the E-visa travel is already operational in a number of regions.”