The Russian government has announced a new date for the implementation of the electronic visa in Russia – August 1, 2023. This information was later confirmed by Alexey Klimov, the Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, on July 20. Tour operators view this as a significant step towards reviving inbound tourism in Russia, though some questions still remain.
During a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova proposed launching the electronic visa system in Russia on August 1, 2023. This new system will issue visas not only to citizens of friendly countries but also to all 52 states approved by the Russian government in 2020, along with three additional new countries. President Vladimir Putin supported her proposal.
How the Electronic Visa in Russia Will Work
The electronic visa in Russia will be universal and single-entry, granting foreigners a 16-day stay for guest or business visits, tourism, as well as participation in scientific, cultural, socio-political, economic, and sports events, with the opportunity for relevant connections and contacts.
The trip can be made on any dates within 60 days after obtaining the visa, with the departure date from Russia not exceeding the 60th day from the visa’s issuance.
Who Will Be Able to Travel to Russia With an Electronic Visa
Eligibility for the electronic visa is limited to citizens of friendly countries. Tatyana Golikova proposed maintaining the previous list of 52 approved countries while adding Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar. This will preserve the simplified entry regime for these citizens, enabling them to visit Russia for tourism and other purposes despite sanctions restrictions, in alignment with the interests of the state.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the unchanged list of countries, which includes Japan, Turkey, China, North Korea, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. Additionally, the European Union countries are also listed, but only ordinary citizens are eligible to obtain the visa.
Notably, diplomatic and service passport holders from unfriendly foreign states will not be issued the unified electronic visa, as clarified by Alexey Klimov.