August 5 2019

Vice-Governor Oleg Markov held a work meeting to discuss the preparations for the introduction of electronic visas for foreign citizens entering via the checkpoints of the state border of the Russian Federation located in the territories of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region from October 1, 2019.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the executive authorities of two entities, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region, The Border Service of the Federal Security Service of the St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, JSC Russian Railways, Northern Capital Gateway LLC (NCG), Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg "Marine Façade" PLC.

The decree of the President of the Russian Federation provides for the issuance of electronic visas from October 1, 2019. The application can be made no later than four and no earlier than 20 days before the expected date of entry and is valid for stays in St Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad Region for up to eight days. The purpose of travel can be tourism, business, or humanitarian reasons.

According to a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a list of countries whose citizens can obtain electronic visas to visit St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region is being developed. It is possible that the list will consist, by analogy with Kaliningrad, of 53 states.

The Vice-Governor pointed out that in St. Petersburg there is a visa-free regime for Chinese tourist groups. As a result, the flow of tourists from China is growing annually by 50-80%. Moreover, over 72 years, in 15 years around 9 million tourists have taken advantage of the 72-hour visa-free visit to St. Petersburg on ferries and ships.

“To implement the Presidential Decree, we need to organize proper interaction between regions and federal authorities in order to prepare for new rules and develop a coordinated action plan,” said the Vice-Governor.

State authorities, within their powers, have begun to implement the necessary measures to create comfortable conditions for the arrival of tourists in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region.

Oleg Markov will separately discuss the issue of yachtsmen visiting Saint Petersburg through the border checkpoint in Kronstadt.

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