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Russia to launch e-visas as soon as COVID-19 situation allows

Russia to launch e-visas as soon as COVID-19 situation allows
Russia to launch e-visas as soon as COVID-19 situation allows
Written by Harry S. Johnson

Russian Foreign Ministry announced that a system to issue short-stay, single entry electronic visas (e-visas) to foreign visitors has been set up and is ready to be launched, but its launch date will depend on the situation with COVID-19 in the country and in the world.

Russian electronic visa project initially started in 2017 but e-visa holders were only allowed to enter Russia through certain crossing points in the Far Eastern Federal District, St. Petersburg, the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions and did not have the right to leave those regions. Now, foreign nationals holding e-visas will be able to cross the border in many Russian regions and travel across the entire country. Experts believe that as a result, the tourist inflow will rise by 20-25%.

The Russian government approved rules for the issuance of e-visas in November. Applications can be filed on a special website run by the Foreign Ministry or through a mobile app. Applicants need to upload their photos and passport scans and pay a $40 visa fee (children under six years get e-visas for free). E-visas, valid for 60 days, will be issued within four days. E-visa holders will be allowed to spend up to 16 days in Russia.