Russia has announced a new e-visa policy for Indian tourists to travel to Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Region. It means tourists can get their visa process done by filling out an electronic visa application along with a digital photo even just 4 days before the date of travel.
The e-visa allows you to stay in the Russian Federation for 8 days and cannot be extended. This type of Russian tourist visa is valid up to a period of 30 days from the date of issuance. You can apply for your e-visa here.
Andrey V Fedorov, Senior Counsellor at the Russian Embassy says they initiated this visa policy to make the lives of tourists easier. He adds,
“We wanted to make the life of the tourists, businessmen and all other people who are coming to Russia easier. Electronic visas are a good step for making all the processes more comfortable for the people. From today, people need not have to visit the embassy or visa facilitation centres for the visa application process. They can directly apply for tourist visa from their homes.”
In addition to making the visa process easy, the Russian tourism board also attributes the move to the growing interest among Indian tourists to visit Russia. Apparently, the Russian embassy has issued around 55,000 visas in 2018 to Indian tourists and this year it’s already 65,000. And there are 3 months left.
But hey, before you run off to apply for that e-visa…
Please note that the e-visa doesn’t cover any other region in the Russian Federation, not even for transit purposes, and therefore restrain from travelling to the regions not covered. Fedorov also advised against the usage of e-visas for employment purposes.
And it gets better!
Speculations have it that Russia is planning to extend the e-visa accessibility to the rest of the Russian Federation by 2021. Among Indian tourists, this e-visa policy is applicable for tourists from Austria, Italy, Belgium etc.
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