Russia To Introduce Cheaper, Faster E-Visa Application System For Foreign Visitors From 2021

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Russia is set to introduce a streamlined electronic visa for visitors from 2021, allowing a 16 day stay valid for both tourist and business travel. It is expected to cost about US$50.

At present, Russia visa applicants need to submit their passport and supporting documents, including an invitation, flight tickets, hotel bookings as well as a fairly expensive visa processing fee. Applications often involve the Ministry of Immigration in Moscow and procedures at the nearest Russian Embassy and can be time-consuming.

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The list of countries that will be eligible are expected to include all EU members, plus non-EU countries that are signed up to the Schengen borderless area, such as Norway. Residents of China, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand are also being considered for this, although the full list of approved countries is still being finalized.

British, American and Canadian nationals are expected to be excluded from the process at this stage. Russia deployed an e-visa system for visitors during the World Cup in 2018, and local e-visa systems are in place for visitors to Vladivostok. An additional e-visa system is expected to be launched for visitors to Kaliningrad, which borders Lithuania and Poland, from next month.


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