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E-Visa is on the way to Russia
The good news is that the service for Russian e-visa application, which is currently only available to the foreigners for the visits of the Far East Federal Area, will be extended throughout the territory of the Russian Federation. In the not-too-distant future, the Russian government will initiate the work on the introduction of service covering Russia for e-visa applications, the expected timing is by January the 1st 2021. However, the service will remain unavailable for the citizens of Great Britain, Canada, and the USA.
Russian E-Visa is expected by January the 1st 2021, but will not be available for the citizens of Great Britain, Canada, and the USA.

Who is responsible for E-Visa implementation

The working group, specially dedicated by the responsible Ministry implements in such regard the activities upon initial instructions given by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. There is a special group of officials to implement the Concept of State Migration Policy initiated on the 6 of March 2019, by Vladimir Putin and chaired by the Head of the Presidential Administration Department for Safeguarding of citizens’ constitutional rights Maxim Travnikov. Being based on the information provided by the reliable sources they should finalize the proposals regarding the introduction of the e-visa application process throughout the whole territory of the Russian Federation within the group.

I heard that Russian E-Visa is available today, is this true?

Yes, foreigners are authorized to visit Russia using E-Visa, but only via the Far East Federal Area, valid for 8 days only. The service is now available for the citizens of 18 countries listed by the Russian government, including such countries as India, Iran, Qatar, China, DPRK, UAE, and Japan.

Currently, E-Visa is available for the citizens of 18 countries listed by the Russian government, including such countries as India, Iran, Qatar, China, DPRK, UAE, and Japan.

Kaliningrad is the next city to receive E-Visa

Furthermore, the Russian government scheduled the implementation of the service throughout the territory of Kaliningrad Oblast for the 1st of July, 2019. Moreover, the government plans to additionally establish a list of countries to authorize their citizens to enter the Russian Federation upon the use of e-visa. 

E-visa is currently applicable in the following three cases: for business purposes, travel and humanitarian (sport, cultural, including scientific and technical relations) purposes. 

Taking into account the above, it is worth to pay attention to the fact that the Russian government also starts an online application process for multi-purpose e-visa. Moreover, in order to apply for multi-purpose e-visa, there is no need to receive an invitation first. Unlike this case, the invitation is highly demanded to grant the ordinary visa to enter Russia throughout its whole territory.

What will be the effect of E-Visa?

The spread of the e-visa practice to enter the Russian Federation throughout its whole territory is initiated based upon the experience with the use of e-visa to enter the Far East Federal Area. In addition, the practical experience in the use of e-visa throughout the territory of Kaliningrad Oblast in the near future (in fact, less than a month) will be taken into account in the same manner.

Another important point to note that all-Russian e-visa, including e-visa to enter the Russian Federation through Kaliningrad oblast, will not be free of charge unlike e-visa used to enter the Russian Federation via the Far East Federal Area. 

During the very first stage, the multi-purpose e-visa is to be granted for a single entry and short stay on the territory of the Russian Federation (for the period up to 16 days). In the long-term, the Russian government may start granting multi-entry e-visas. Besides, they contemplate the development of the mobile application, enabling its users to apply for e-visa at the highest rate of usability and in order to meet the needs of the applicants too. The end user should be authorized not only to apply for e-visa but also to pay its fee. E-visa granting service is planned to be integrated with the other travel services, i.e. hotel reservation and transport services.

E-Visa is expected to cost around 50 USD with a maximum of 16 days stay

Moscow and Saint Petersburg are expected to receive E-Visa first

Initially, the Russian government intends to allow the entry into the Russian Federation using e-visa via the cities with the maximum flows of travelers, who normally use ordinary visa. The cities are set to be fixed for the moment. Namely, these cities are Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and more.

It is noteworthy to comment that the Russian government will establish a list of the countries, where citizens will be authorized to use visa online service since 2021 individually. This will be pursued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. According to some inside sources, this list will include China, South Korea, Japan, EU-countries, non-EU Schengen countries and potentially New Zealand. Yet, no consideration has been given to Great Britain, Canada, and the USA. 

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