October 28 2020

On October 25, 2020, the list of border checkpoints for foreign citizens with an electronic visa (e-visa) approved by the Government of the Russian Federation was published.

It will be possible to get to St. Petersburg through the Pulkovo international airport, the Big Port St. Petersburg and the “Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg “Marine Façade”.  List includes 52 countries; these are the states whose citizens could enter Russia on an e-visa: Austria, Andorra, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, China (including Taiwan), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Vatican.

“Thanks to the decision of the President and the Government of the Russian Federation, from January 1, 2021, the mechanism of a unified electronic visa will start in Russia. The pilot project, launched in October 2019 on the initiative of the Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov, showed a positive result – before the introduction of restrictive measures in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued more than 151 thousand electronic visas to visit St. Petersburg and Leningrad region. The parameters of a unified e-visa have been expanded, tourists can stay in Russia for 16 days, they will not be limited in their movements around the country by the borders of the subject of the Federation, the validity of the document is increased to 60 days. These measures will allow St. Petersburg to develop as a travel hub, and travelers to plan through the city different routes, for example, “The Silver Necklace”, “Russian Arctic”, “Petersburg – Golden Ring”, “Petersburg – Moscow” and others, as well as river cruises in Russia, the average duration of which is just up to 15 days. Thanks to the new conditions, it is possible to take a step towards the implementation of the concept “St. Petersburg – a travel hub”, “St. Petersburg and regions of Russia” and continue to function as a tourist bridge between Russia and the world, - says Sergey Korneev, Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg. – Our main task is a serious information campaign to popularize a single e-visa and marketing the city in those 52 countries from where citizens will be able to arrive to the Northern capital under a simplified visa scheme. Thus, in the aftermath of the pandemic, we will help to recover tourist flows and create an informational occasion for new proposals of St. Petersburg on the world tourist arena. We plan to start events in December 2020.”

Starting from January 01, 2021, foreign citizens from 52 states will be able to obtain a unified e-visa and travel throughout the Russian Federation within 16 days. The visa can be issued on a specialized website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The cost will be 40 US dollars. For children under 6 years of age, the visa will be issued free of charge. An electronic visa must be registered no later than four calendar days before the expected date of entry.

The introduction of a unified electronic visa mechanism for visiting St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region will accelerate the recovery of the tourism industry after the pandemic, and in the long term will provide a significant increase in the inbound tourist flow to St. Petersburg.

Reminded, before the introduction of restrictive measures in March 2020 due to the to the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued more than 151 thousand electronic visas to visit St. Petersburg and Leningrad region. Most of all e-visas received by citizens from the start of the pilot project and before the introduction of restrictive measures were of the top-5 countries: Estonia, France, Latvia, Germany and Finland, which confirms the popularity of e-visas among citizens of the post-Soviet space, Northern Europe, and Western Europe.

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