Single-entry visas for a stay of up to 16 days will come in the start. Later, the goal is to issue multiple entry e-visas.
The initiative is based on positive experiences from the Far East and Zabaykalsky Region bordering China where citizens from 18 countries in Asia and the Middle East since 2017 are allowed to apply for e-visa for a stay of up to eight days. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has a dedicated portal for e-visa applications.
By January 1, 2021 the system will be extended to all of Russia, head of the Federal Agency for Tourism Zarina Doguzova said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Kommersant reports.
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.
Citizens from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States are not to be included in the new e-visa system.
In the beginning, e-visas will be granted to people entering Russia via larger cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan and a few others. Number of entry points will increase, as necessary equipment will come to other border checkpoints.
The e-visa regime will be introduced for Kaliningrad region already by July 1 this year.
Doguzova says the duration of a visa will be up to 16 days and the service cost will be $50.
Related stories from around the North:
Finland: Finland to upgrade Arctic border-crossing point to welcome more traffic from northern Russia, The Independent Barents Observer
Norway: Barents region leaders dream of visa-free travel, but Schengen Agreement gives little hope, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Russia intercepted over 1,000 people trying to cross Finnish border in 2018: paper, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden to grant refugee status to Chinese Uighurs, Radio Sweden