August 1, 2023, will mark the relaunch date of Russia’s electronic visa (E-Visa). Authorities at the Kremlin have announced that the online visa will be available to eligible travellers from the start of the month.
Russia’s E-Visa service has been suspended since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic led to global travel restrictions.
Although many countries have since reinstated their digital visa systems, Russia has maintained travel restrictions into 2023, including insisting that visa applications be made in person at embassies.
Now, this is finally set to change. The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement via its website stating that international travelers would be able to get an electronic visa from August 1.
Who Will Be Able to Get a Russian E-Visa in August?
According to the statement from Russia’s Foreign Ministry, citizens of 52 different countries will be able to obtain an electronic visa.
When the E-Visa was previously launched in 2020, over 50 nationalities were eligible, and it is believed that most, if not all, of these will be able to apply from August.
These nationalities include citizens of European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, China, India, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Turkey, among others.
Terms of the Russian E-Visa from August 2023
In the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement, it is stated that passengers will be able to get the electronic visa by submitting an application online.
The visa will allow the traveler a single entry to the Russian Federation for any of the following purposes:
- Business trips
- Guest of a Russian citizen/resident/organization
- Participate in sporting events
- Participate in cultural events
- Participate in scientific, sociopolitical, or economic events
The visa is said to be valid for use for 60 days and the holder must enter the country during this time. Once in Russia, the E-Visa allows a stay of up to 16 days.
Russia has 92 border points equipped with the necessary technology to scan and verify E-Visas.
This allows passengers with an E-Visa to enter the country by air, land, or sea.
The Return of Russia’s Electronic Visa
Russia’s E-Visa service has taken some time to come to fruition, but it finally seems to be ready to be launched permanently.
Previously, the Russian government had introduced separate E-Visas for certain regions, including:
- Leningrad Oblast
- Saint Petersburg
- The Far Eastern Federal District
The plan had been to unify these E-Visa systems and create one single E-Visa for the entire country.
However, as the system was being implemented, the pandemic began. Russia introduced travel restrictions, which included suspending all E-Visas. It was no longer possible to apply using the online platform.
In February 2023, Russia announced that it planned to reintroduce the E-Visa later in the year. June was tentatively stated to be the date of the relaunch. However, this did not come to pass.
In June, the date of the E-Visa launch was pushed back to July. This has now been delayed further.
Now, the Foreign Ministry has given the date of August 1 for the return of Russia’s E-Visa service. With the proximity of this date, it is unlikely to be delayed further, although this remains a possibility.
The electronic visa will now be a unified visa for access to the whole country. This was Russia’s ultimate goal to make traveling easier and encourage more visitors to promote tourism in the nation.
“This is a great initiative to boost tourism and ensure hassle-free visas for tourists without much documentation. Now, with E-Visa and direct Delhi-Moscow flights operated by Aeroflot Airlines, Russia is more accessible than ever. The e-Visa would be valid for 60 days and will allow travellers to stay in Russia for no more than 16 days.” Explained Mr Prashant Chaudhary, Managing Director, Salvia Promoters Pvt. Ltd. and Representative of Russian Union of Travel Industry in India.