November 12 2020

Electronic single entry visas will be issued in Russia as of 2021. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has approved regulations on the procedure for issuing them.

Applications for electronic visas can be submitted on a special website of the Foreign Ministry or via a mobile application. They will be issued to foreign nationals for tourism, business, private visits or humanitarian purposes without the need of any invitations, hotel bookings or any other documents to confirm their reasons for travel. Applicants will only need to fill out a special form, upload a personal digital image and a copy of his or her foreign travel passport, pay a consular fee of $40 (free for children aged under six) and wait for notification.

The processing procedure will take up to four days. The visa will be valid for 60 days as of its receipt, but the maximum stay in Russia must not exceed 16 days. The duration can be extended by decision of the Foreign Ministry in the event of force majeure circumstances.

A printout of the e-visa notification and foreign passport are to be presented upon crossing the border.

The pilot e-visa project was launched in 2017 and included a number of restrictions. For example, foreigners with an e-visa could only enter Russia through several checkpoints in the Far Eastern Federal District, St Petersburg and the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions, and they were not allowed to travel outside these regions. As of 2021, e-visas will be applicable throughout Russia. Foreigners can enter via the specially equipped checkpoints in many regions in the country and travel throughout Russia.

The introduction of unified electronic single entry visas will promote tourism, enhance the investment appeal of the Russian regions and boost the economy as a whole.

Mikhail Mishustin has already approved a list of countries whose citizens can apply for e-visas and a list of checkpoints for entering Russia with an e-visa.

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