How to Apply for Russia eVisa
The Russian Federation requires that most foreign nationals obtain an official Russian visa when visiting the country. Depending on the purpose and duration of their visit, as well as their citizenship, foreign travelers should apply for a specific visa category.
The new Russian eVisa system is being implemented for several regions in Russia as part of the country’s current “Digital Economy” plan. Although the government aims to finalize the plan by 2021, 3 of the eVisas are already active. Eligible travelers may apply for an eVisa Russia by filling out an online application form.
Currently, bearers of a Russian eVisa may only enter/travel to 3 regions:
- Leningrad Region and Saint Petersburg (eligible for nationals of 54 listed countries)
- Kaliningrad region (eligible for nationals 54 listed countries)
- Russian Federal District of the Far East (eligible for nations of 18 listed countries)
The eVisa Russia is the only type of tourist visa which can be requested online. Foreigners who wish to obtain an ordinary Russian Tourist Visa must either make an appointment at a Russian consulate or embassy or contact a travel agency in Russia.
eVisa Russia Application
The Russian eVisa application process is fast and simple. Applicants will be able to send all required eVisa travel documentation online from anywhere on the globe with a stable internet connection. The online application shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete and eligible travelers don’t need to contact a Russian consulate or embassy in order to get an eVisa.
To make sure that the Russia eVisa is processed in time, foreign nationals are advised to submit their online visa application at least 4 days before departure. Applicants will also be required to provide passport details and other travel documentation alongside the application form, as well as paying the eVisa processing fee by credit or debit card.
Once approved, the eVisa will arrive at the applicant’s registered email address. A printed copy of a valid Russian eVisa will need to be presented at the official Russian border checkpoint together with the traveler’s passport.
Applying for a Russian Visa
There are a few visa requirements to be met in order to have the application approved and successfully obtain a Russian eVisa. When filling out the online eVisa form, applicants should enter personal information (name, address, date of birth, etc.) and passport details (passport number, expiry and issue dates, etc.).
Once the eVisa application form is filled out, applicants should also submit the following documents via the Russian eVisa online system:
- A recent, passport-sized (3.5 x 4.5), color photo with background
- Proof of travel insurance covering the duration of the trip to Russia
- A copy of a Russian eVisa-eligible passport
Applicants may submit the necessary eVisa documentation after having completed the application form. Should relevant documents such as passport photos or travel insurance not be ready at the time when the eVisa application form is being completed, it is possible to send them through later on.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Russian eVisas are restricted to particular regions, meaning that it may only be used for travel within its designated region. If, for instance, a traveler bearing a Saint Petersburg eVisa decides to visit the regions of the Far East, he/she will need to submit a distinct application for a Russian Far East online visa prior to going there.
Tourist Visa Russia: Applying through an Embassy
Foreign nationals who need an ordinary Russian Tourist visa or aren’t eligible for an eVisa may visit an Embassy of Russia or hire an agency to get obtain a visa. The current application process for a traditional Russian tourist visa requires that applicants have a letter of invitation, often provided by a hotel or travel agency in Russia.
Those intending to visit Russia for tourism should first book the accommodation throughout their stay, then request an invitation letter and fill out the Russian Tourist visa application form. Proof of accommodation is required at a later stage in the application process. Applicants should then make an appointment at a Russian consulate or embassy and submit all visa documentation in person. Alternatively, it is also possible to hire the services of a Russian travel agency.