The e-visa is a new type of visa for trips to Russia, which can be used instead of a regular paper one. They were first launched in August 2017 for travelers to Vladivostok. Now citizens of 53 countries can use an e-visa to visit Kaliningrad and Kaliningrad Region by air, land, or sea. Residents of 18 countries are also entitled to travel to the Far Eastern Federal District, which includes, for example, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Vladivostok, Sakhalin, and Yakutsk. Starting from October 1, 2019, nationals of 53 foreign States are granted an e-visa to enter the Russian Federation through air, sea, automobile, and pedestrian checkpoints located in the territory of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region.
Starting from the 1st of January 2021 you may travel all over Russia with E-visa up to 16 days. The e-visa will be a single-entry visa valid 60 days and it will allow to stay in Russia up to 16 days. The application form to fill out will be placed on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. The e-visa processing will take not more than 4 days and the service cost will be $50.
In the beginning, e-visa will be granted to people entering Russia via larger cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and a few others. The number of entry points will increase, as necessary equipment will come to other border checkpoints. E-visa will then be possible to apply for all passport holders from China, South Korea, Japan, EU countries and non-EU countries that are Schengen members, like Norway and Iceland.
HOW TO GET IT
You will not need invitations when applying for the new electronic visa. First, you need to fill out a form on the website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs https://evisa.kdmid.ru/. You will be asked to give your first name and surname, the purpose of visiting the country (tourist, business, humanitarian), information about place of work or study. A digital photo in JPEG format – taken no earlier than six months before the trip on a white background with no other objects – must be attached. The proportion should be the passport photo standard 3.5×4.5. After filling out the form, click the ‘Send’ button and wait for confirmation that it has been accepted for processing. If you are planning to enter Russia with a child, you must submit a separate application for him or her.
The form should be sent no earlier than 20 days and no later than four days before the start of the trip. Additionally, your passport should have at least six months left to run as of the application date. There should also be space for entry/exit stamps – at least one blank page.
The e-visa is not issued immediately. The application takes four days to process, regardless of holidays or weekends. During this period, a decision on whether your application has been accepted will be e-mailed to you. You should print or save it to your smartphone. Just like a regular visa, airlines will ask to see it at check-in, likewise a border guard at the other end of your journey.
All foreign citizens arriving in Russia by e-visa must have a medical insurance policy valid in Russia with coverage of at least €30,000. This document may be requested at the border crossing.