Russian e-visa: who and how can get it
From January 1. 2021 there’s an option to get a Russian e-visa! It allows travellers to set for a trip much faster and with no paper work at all. In this article you will find out how the new system works, what things you should keep in mind and see whether it fits in your individual case.
What is an e-visa?
It is an electronic type of visa which allows you to come to Russia as a tourist, as well as on a business visit, to participate in scientific, cultural, socio-political, economic, sports events. Those visas are issued to citizens of 54 countries (see the list below).
Can I get an e-visa already now?
Although in 2020 you can hardly come to Russia on a tourist purpose, the e-visa system has already been working for some time. Since 2019 it was implemented in Far Eastern District, Kaliningrad and St.Petersburg and the surrounding area. However, these e-visas have some limitations: only work within a specific region you received it for and only for 8 days. So you are not allowed to visit the other places outside them nor travel between those regions. To put it in a nutshell, it was a pilot project 😉 These three separate e-visas will continue to exist until the end of 2020.
As of January 1, 2021, they will be replaced with a single e-visa valid for the entire territory of the Russia. This visa has a longer period of validity (60 days) and allows you to stay in the country up to 16 days. It is important to distinguish between these two things: you can’t spend all 60 days in Russia but just 16.
What you should also keep in mind is that it is a one-entry visa. You won’t be able to have multiple trips to Russia even within those 60 days.
How to get a new Russian e-visa in 2021?
You have to fill in the form directly on the official website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, upload a personal digital image and a copy of a travel passport, pay a consular fee of $40 (free for children aged under six) and wait for notification. No need to submit such things as an invitation letter, hotel reservation nor tickets. A visa is issued in 4 calendar days, therefore, an application must be submitted no later than 4 days before your prospective departure (but not earlier than 20 days).
In case the link to the form changes in 2021 we will update it here.
The regulations will remain the same.
What documents should be presented upon crossing the border?
A printout of the e-visa notification and foreign passport should be presented upon crossing the border.
In which case do I still need a standard “paper” tourist visa?
- First of all, you have to check whether the country of your residence is on the list of the 54 lucky countries. Have a look here. If it is not in there, please visit the website of the Russian embassy in your country to learn the standard visa application process.
- Also if you plan to travel for longer than 16 days a regular ‘paper’ tourist visa should be your option as it allows you to stay in Russia for up to 30 days.
- If you want to leave the country and come back again (for example, travel to Georgia and return to the North Caucasus) you must apply for a multiple-entry Russian visa.