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Russia Suspends E-visa due to Coronavirus
January 12, 2021 18:15

The issuance of electronic visas for foreigners, which was supposed to begin on January 1, has been suspended, the consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry said. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic. "In order to ensure the security of the state, protect public health and prevent the spread of a new coronavirus infection (COVID-2019) in the territory of the Russian Federation, the issuance of uniform electronic visas has been suspended until further notice from the government of the Russian Federation," the statement said. The issuance of electronic visas was supposed to start on January 1, 2021 for citizens of 52 countries, including the EU. This will allow to come to Russia for a short visit. A single entry visa is valid for 60 days and allows staying in Russia for 16 days. The document was adopted by the State Duma on July 21, 2020 and approved by the Federation Council on July 24. A unified electronic visa is introduced for short-term stay of foreigners in Russia for tourist, business, guest and humanitarian purposes. The processing time for such a visa is no more than four days from the date of application. The visa will be issued as a single entry visa for up to 60 days with an allowed period of stay in Russia for up to 16 days. Electronic visas for tourist trips to certain Russian regions (St. Petersburg, Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions) were introduced in 2019. During the year of the program, more than 94 thousand e-visas were issued by foreigners to enter the Kaliningrad region and more than 105 thousand - to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. Inbound tourism accounts for 30% of the Russian tourism market, and in 2019 Russia earned almost $ 11 billion. The introduction of electronic visas, according to estimates, will increase the entry flow by 20%, which will lead to an increase in income of $ 2 billion. The tourist business hopes that e-visas will become a real simplification of the entry regime into Russia, the questionnaire for tourists will be as short and simple as possible, the rules for registration will be concise and clear. And in this case, the new system will not create obstacles for the inbound tourist flow, but will contribute to its restoration and manifold increase.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian visa coronavirus    

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