Russian President Vladimir Putin has authorized the implementation of the new e-Visa for the Russian Federation that will allow foreign travelers to enter the country and visit St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
It’s expected that the e-Visa for St. Petersburg will be launched in October 2019. This global visa information seems to confirm the international will to digitalize and automate immigration processes.
As the official decree states: “From October 1, 2019 entrance to the Russian Federation and departure from the Russian Federation for foreign citizens via the checkpoints of the state border of the Russian Federation located in the territories of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region can be made on the basis of regular single-entry business, tourist and humanitarian visas in the form of electronic documents.”
This is one further step in realizing the President’s plan to streamline and digitalize processes in order to increase the tourism revenue of up to 15.5 billion by 2024. The entirety of the new electronic checks should be launched throughout the country by 2021 and will be part of the national “Digital Economy” program.
The new e-Visa is intended not only for more accurate control over movement from and to Russia but also to encourage international tourism: foreigners wishing to travel to the Russian Federation for business, tourism and more will not need to visit Russian consular missions in person nor they’ll need to pay hefty fees. The e-Visa application process will be entirely online. Confirmation of visa approval will also be given online.
e-Visa for St Petersburg basic information
The visa is intended for short-term stays only. Once they are granted an electronic visa for Russia, visitors will be able to travel around the country and remain on the national territory for up to 8 days.
The next steps the Russian authorities are currently working on include “determining particularities of electronic visas’ issuance for foreign citizens and their entry into the Russian Federation via checkpoints on the basis of electronic visas” as well as identifying the foreign countries whose citizens will be eligible to apply for the Russian e-Visa. A definite list should be live by October 1, 2019, as well as the possibility for travelers to check visa requirements online.