In July 2020, the Russian government passed legislation that will enable citizens of 53 countries to travel to Russia with an electronic visa (e-visa).
Over the past few years, the Russian government has simplified the visa application process. In 2017, e-visas were made available for foreigners visiting Kaliningrad and the Far Eastern Federal District. In 2019, this measure was widened to include St. Petersburg.
The new legislation will make visiting Russia even simpler. From January 1st 2021, the e-visa’s strict destination requirements will be dropped. Citizens of the EU, China, Japan, India and Turkey, amongst others, will be able to visit all Russian regions on a single-entry e-visa.
The e-visa will permit travellers to stay in Russia for up to 16 days. Applications will be processed within 4 days and the e-visa will be valid for 60 days from the date of issuance. They are expected to cost around $50, and will be free for children aged 6 or less. Applications can be completed entirely online, in a matter of minutes and from anywhere in the world.
The e-visas will not only be available to tourists; those travelling for business purposes or to participate in academic, cultural, socio-political, economic, or sporting events will also be eligible to apply.
Whilst citizens of the US, UK and Canada are not currently covered by this measure, it is expected that they will be added to the list of eligible countries when diplomatic relations improve.
What does this mean for you?
The new legislation is a sign of the Russian government’s increasing desire to welcome tourists, expats, and foreign investment. The COVID-19 crisis has only catalysed this trend. The Russian government now considers it a top priority to encourage tourism and foreign business as it seeks to kick-start the economy in the wake of the pandemic.
Now that it is far easier to travel to Russia for business purposes, there has never been a better time to consider expanding your operations into the world’s 11th largest economy. At Wagner & Experts, we specialize in simplifying Russia. We offer incorporation, accreditation, accounting, payroll and tax consulting services to facilitate market entry. We arrange licences and we can put you in touch with local industry experts. It is our job to ensure that your arrival into the Russian market is as successful as possible.