A senior official in the Russian government has confirmed that a Russian electronic visa for 53 nationalities will launch next year, greatly simplifying the process of applying for a visa for the country.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov announced that the new electronic visa system will come into effect on January 1st, 2021, and save eligible nationalities the need to apply for a visa for Russia in person from an embassy or consulate.
The announcement fulfills a previous promise made by President Vladimir Putin that he would make a Russian eVisa available to foreign citizens in an effort to achieve the government’s goal of generating $15.5 billion in annual tourism revenue by 2024.
The simplified online visa process is expected to be a major incentive for foreign nationals to travel to the country, as many potential tourists had previously cited the complicated embassy visa application as a barrier to visiting Russia.
Once implemented, eligible citizens will be able to obtain a 16-day tourist eVisa for Russia through the simple online application system.
Foreign Minister Ivanov confirmed that applicants will be required to submit an online application at least 4 business days before the intended arrival date in Russia, to allow for sufficient processing time for the visa.
As more information about the new system is expected to be announced, those interested in applying for a Russia eVisa are advised to check visa requirements closer to the 2021 launch date.