Citizens of 113 countries will be able to enter Russia without the need to issue a paper visa in their passport.
The State Duma adopted a law on a single electronic visa. It is assumed that citizens of 53 countries will be able to apply for a Russian visa without leaving home, starting from January 1, 2021. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry does not rule out that over time, E-visa to Russia will become multiple-entry, and tourist visas will be issued for several years.
Currently, a visa-free regime of entry to Russia is valid for citizens of 60 foreign states. Thus, it is expected that from January 2021, citizens of 113 states will be able to enter Russia without the need to issue a paper visa in their passport. The total population of these 113 states is about 4 billion people or half of the world’s population!
According to the algorithm for issuing E-visa to Russia in the law, a foreigner will receive it no later than four calendar days from the date of filing an application on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry and can use it to travel within the next 60 days. At the same time, the duration of the trip may not exceed 16 days. The consular fee will not exceed $50. Children under the age of six will receive an e-visa free of charge.
Besides, the Foreign Ministry is working on a bill regulating the entry of foreigners who have close relatives in the Russian Federation. It provides the possibility of issuing multiple long-term private visas on the basis of a written application from their close Russian relatives. The validity period of multiple-entry private visas will be increased up to one year.
By the way, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people had to radically change their work schedules and personal plans, including canceling international travel. The Russian Foreign Ministry considers it possible to offer foreign citizens who have canceled their trips to Russia to issue new visas of a similar multiplicity for free within the next six months after the removal of restrictions on entry to Russia.