E visa Russia
An e-visa is a visa which tourists come to Russia with, as well as a visa for business trips, for participation in economic, sports, socio-political, scientific and cultural events. From January 1, 2021, foreigners can come to any city of Russia with an online single-entry electronic visa. By the way, Russian electronic visas have been issued for more than three years. Previously, they were valid only for visiting of three areas like Vladivostok, Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad including their regions (Leningrad Oblast, Far East Region, Kaliningrad oblast). From 2021 you can travel all over the country. For example by travelling to Moscow e visa is possible from 2021. Only citizens of certain countries can obtain a visa.
E visa Russia. What is it?
E visa Russia is an official document registered electronically by the consular division of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (e visa service). In the nearest future this will fully substitute a paper visa. An e-visa should be applied 4 days before arrival in Russia. An e-visa can not be applied at the border in an airport in Russia. The e-visa allows to enter all regions of Russia ( e.g.: e-visa Moscow).
An e-visa can be issued only for citizens of 52 states (the list below). The visa is valid for 60 days from the date of its issue. Within 60 days, you are allowed to stay in Russia for up to 16 days. The countdown starts from the date of entry into the country. You can cross a Russian border control regardless of the region and through any checkpoint.
You will be denied to enter the country if the data in your passport does not match the data in your e-visa. Also, you cannot enter double names into the program. If you delay your visa and leave after 16 days, you will be fined and banned from visiting Russia for five years. This usually happens to those who go through passport control shortly before midnight and begin to count the days of stay in the country from the next day. However, it is the date on which the border was crossed that is considered the first day of stay in the country.
Below I will tell you about e-visa innovations that came into force in 2021.
The convenience of an e-visa is out of question
•Required package of documents is very poor: a passport + a photo. No hotel reservations, no tickets, no invitation letters are required from 2021. The only thing to obtain is a medical insurance.
•Easily applying via internet sitting at home (on the website of the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry).
When tourists don’t need a visa to Russia at all?
All over the world, and in Russia particularly, there are so-called visa-free cruises. If foreigners live on cruise ships or ferries, then they can stay in Russia without a visa. Moreover, their ships stay in Russian ports for a total of no longer than 72 hours. Tourists can move by land for the purpose of carrying out certain group tours.
What does an electronic visa to Russia look like?
The form of a Russian e-visa looks as a notification that your application has been considered (file in PDF-format contains data about the foreigner).
This document has to be printed. If at the moment no printer available, you have to save the information indicated in the application in any other way so that it can be visually presented to a border officer when passing through the passport control.
When filling out an application, choose the language from the drop-down list. The explanations will help you to understand the meaning of the queries you need to answer. If you select English language, all your answers should be only in English.
The cost of a Russian e-visa
The consular fee will be $ 40. Children under 6 years old will receive a visa free of charge.
Different types of e-visas
There are following types of a Russian e-visa:
•commercial visa (purpose: business)
•humanitarian visa (purposes: science, culture, sport, technology)
•tourist visa (purpose: tourism).
In other cases you should apply for a normal paper visa, coming to a consular division in your country. For example it regards work or study visas.
Countries to apply for a Russian e-visa
From 2021 only 52 nationalities (including India) can make a request for an electronic visa. Tourists from Australia, United Kingdom and the USA are not allowed to apply for a Russian electronic visa, only a normal paper visa.
Please find your country:
Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, China (including Taiwan), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Swiss, Turkey, Vatican.
Validity period of an e-visa
The maximum period of stay up 2021 is 16 days from the date of border crossing. Issued as a one-time-use e-visa is valid for a period of 60 days. No extension of the validity period is possible.
It is significant that you are not allowed to stay in Russia 384 hours (16 days multiplied by 24 hours). Your duration of stay starts running from midnight on the day of entry. 16 days does not mean twenty-four hours. For instance: you’ve got an e-visa that is valid from May 1st to June 29th. So you are allowed to travel to Russia during this time. If you cross the border at 4:00 p.m. on May 1st, you must leave Russia and pass the border by 11:59 p.m. on May 16th (and not until 3:59 p.m. on May 17th).
Time for applying for an e-visa
Filling out an e-visa application form is possible twenty days before your trip. If you’d like to arrive on August 27th, you may start filling the application form not earlier than on August 7th.
Duration of the e-visa issuing process
The e-visa issuing process takes four days. It means you have to apply for an e-visa not later than four days before you arrive in Russia.
Travelling with minors
Each child should keep his own e-visa. Travelling with minor children you have to apply for a separate e-visa.
Cases when I’m not allowed to get an e-visa
A normal paper visa should be applied for in following cases:
•you’ve already got a refusal for an e-Visa
•not getting any messages within 4 days after you submit for an e-visa
•your visa category is not commercial, humanitarian or tourist. If your travel aim is to work or to study, a normal visa should be applied for.
•you are going to be in Russia longer than 16 days
•if you are not a resident of one of the 52 already mentioned countries.
Foreign Affairs Ministry’s
Web site to obtain an e-visa you may find in the search engines
Is it necessary to register in Russia with an electronic visa?
The registration in Russia is not required for the allowed period of stay – 16 calendar days. Recently by arriving in the country you need to be registered at a hotel for example. From 2021 this statement was abolished. You don’t need to register with an e visa Moscow by any of Moscow hotels.
MANUAL TO RECIEVE A RUSSIAN E-VISA
To apply for an e visa service, you only need:
•Your photo may be taken with your cell phone camera. The wall behind you should be clean and clear. The photo should be attached to the e-form.
•Medical insurance should cover the whole duration of your travel.
•Your passport should have free space for stamping at the border control. A border officer puts a stamp when passing the border. The duration period of your passport should be at least six months from the date, you apply for an e-visa.
•Filling out an e-form up 2021 you have to put place/places where you are going to stay, locations, which you are going to visit and your personal contact details.
It is incredible, but you don’t have to submit any documents, which confirm the reason of your travel like your tickets, invitation letter and hotel reservation. You apply remotely from your house. Visiting a Russian consulate is not needed any more. Visiting of a visa center to complete the procedure is also not applicable anymore. You also don’t have to pay e visa service agencies to help you execute this work instead of you. Not every city in your country has a Russian consulate or a visa center. And recently a tourist had to go there, to fill an application form or to send it through the organization that could help and it raised costs.
Problems with verification by passing a border control could be caused by following
•a photo of poor quality or a fake photo.
•all the details, filled in the application form, do not perfectly fit the data in your passport.
STAGE 1. Make a photo
A 3.5cm x 4.5cm photo may be taken on your cell phone. A white backstage is preferable.
The photo with your face in focus should be of clear quality, not older than 6 months, taking against a light (better white) background. Non-smiling face without any covering, hat and sunglasses.
STAGE 2. Assure the period of passport validity
To start with an electronic visa you should have your passport. The duration period of the passport is at least six months from the date of your visa application. It means that your passport has to be valid beyond January 31, 2021 in case if you apply for a visa on August 1, 2021. Filling the e-form, the program will request you to enter details of your passport: date of expiry, date of issue, number, etc. Passing the border control, a border officer will request you to show your passport and compare your visa’s data aligning with your passport details indicated in the visa. Please make sure, that your passport is not damaged. Otherwise let it be renewed before applying.
STAGE 3. Fill out an electronic form
As soon as a clear photo and an actual passport are available, you may start filling out an e-visa electronic form.
•Starting your application form filling out on one day and finishing on another, click the button “Save draft” and information will be saved on a server, but not more than for thirty days.
•To resume the completion and to modify your e-form, you have to select “Recover the application” in the menu. In this case you need following data:
1.Travelling with minor children you have to fill out an electronic form for each of them. Please note that each child should also have an individual e-visa.
2.Fields specified with a symbol * are obligatory.
3.A password is generated when completing a new form. The date of your birth and the first 5 letters of your last name.
4.Your Application ID is generated for you after beginning of a new application.
Here is how to complete the electronic visa application form:
Choose the area you are going to visit and your nationality
Select a password and type the address of your email. Remember to write in a notebook your Application ID. It will be needed to follow up your e-visa process.
Your personal data
to be filled out: first name and surname, date and place of birth, sex.
In this section, the purpose of your visit is to be indicated (sport, business, tourism, science, culture etc.), the area you are going to come, your expected entry date into Russia and your accommodation details (the address of a private apartment or house, you are going to stay in, an Airbnb apartment or a hotel). At the end you have to specify if you have ever been to Russia before.
As for tourist apartments or hotels, there is no problem if you indicate one accommodation and end up staying in another. It is not necessary to book an accommodation.
Your passport details
In this part, you have to specify the type of your passport (civil, tourist or diplomatic), the number, the issue and expiry date.
Work and contact details
You have to specify your permanent place of residence, and your work data.
Family in Russia (if applicable)
You have to specify if you have family members in Russia. If you have any, you have to specify their family relationship, first name, last name, date of birth and address.
You must upload a photo, as described in the stage 2 (see above). Place the photo in the center of the space provided.
Preview of the completed e-form
Finally, a preview of your entire application is displayed. The whole information should be checked by you. The conditions of the e-visa application need to be agreed by you. Press the «Save and Submit» button. Now all you have to do is to wait for your e-visa.
STAGE 4. Tracking your e-visa status
The status of your application can be followed on the Foreign Affairs Ministry website.
By typing your Application ID and password, the program will notify you of the status of your application.
As soon as the visa officials have made a conclusion, your application status will change to “refused” or “issued”.
The processing time for an e-visa is four days starting from the date of submission of the fulfilled form. If you haven’t been noticed of issuance or haven’t been denied within four days, a visa may be applied for in accordance with the usual procedure at a visa center or the Russian consulate.
STAGE 5. Obtaining an e-visa in PDF
Normally, within 4 days you will be informed by e-mail that you have obtained the e-visa with a link through which your e-visa may be downloaded as a PDF-document.
You need to print this PDF-file in A4 size in full color. Here is an example of a previously applied e-visa:
STAGE 6. Obtaining a travel medical insurance
After obtaining an e-visa to arrive in Russia, in addition to the visa, it is essential to be covered by a travel medical insurance. You have to buy the insurance before your departure. It cannot be purchased on arrival in Russia, neither at a border checkpoint nor at the airport. The insurance should cover the whole period of your staying in Russia. Besides, it should be valid worldwide or in Russia. The insurance certificate must be in English or in Russian.
You can buy a travel insurance online, but the insurance certificate have to be printed out and shown at the border control.
ARRIVAL IN RUSSIA
At a border checkpoint in Russia following documents have to be presented:
•A4 size e-visa printed in color
After checking, an immigration card will be filled out by a customs officer.