Update on the new e-visa for Russia which starts on the 1st of January 2021.

  • WRITTEN BY Brent McCunn
  • DATE December 10, 2020

As we have indicated in previous posts about this the e-visa only applies to certain nationalities and is for a limited duration – not enough time to make a full Trans Siberian journey 🙂 On 31 July 2020 a new Russian federal law allowed foreigners from 52 countries to visit all regions of Russia with an E-Visa. The start date was planned to be 1st January 2021. After testing the system was approved on 11 November 2020.

E-visas allow visitors to get visas simply by applying for their Russian visa online.  In recent years the Russian government has been testing an E-Visa systems in specific Russian regions. This started with visa-free entry for foreigners attending the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and then an electronic visa for the district of Kaliningrad and Saint‑Petersburg in 2019.

Electronic visas will be issued to foreign nationals for tourism, business, private visits or humanitarian purposes. Applicants will only need to fill out a special online document, upload a personal digital image, a copy of his or her foreign travel passport and pay the fee. The E-visas will be applicable throughout Russia to the citizens of the following countries.

  1. Austria,
  2. Andorra,
  3. Bahrain,
  4. Belgium,
  5. Bulgaria,
  6. Vatican,
  7. Hungary,
  8. Germany,
  9. Greece,
  10. Denmark,
  11. India,
  12. Indonesia,
  13. Iran,
  14. Ireland,
  15. Iceland,
  16. Spain,
  17. Italy,
  18. Cyprus,
  19. China (including Taiwan),
  20. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,
  21. Kuwait,
  22. Latvia,
  23. Lithuania,
  24. Liechtenstein,
  25. Luxembourg,
  26. Malaysia,
  27. Malta,
  28. Mexico,
  29. Monaco,
  30. Netherlands,
  31. Norway,
  32. Oman,
  33. Poland,
  34. Portugal,
  35. Romania,
  36. San Marino,
  37. Saudi Arabia,
  38. North Macedonia,
  39. Serbia,
  40. Singapore,
  41. Slovakia,
  42. Slovenia ,
  43. Turkey,
  44. Philippines,
  45. Finland,
  46. France,
  47. Croatia,
  48. Czech Republic,
  49. Switzerland,
  50. Sweden,
  51. Estonia
  52. Japan

Accordingly, to the law e-visa is single-entry, let stay in Russia for a maximum period of 16 days and issued for 60 calendar days from the date of its issuance.

The allowable period of stay in the Russian Federation of up to a maximum of 16 days under an e-visa does not imply that one can stay for the entire 384 hours (24 hours multiplied by 16). The period of stay in the Russian Federation always starts at midnight on the day you pass immigration control, regardless of the actual time of passage through passport control. For example, you have an e-visa valid from June 15 to August 13 and you pass through passport control upon entry at 8:00 pm on July 29. In that case, you need to pass through passport control upon exit until 11:59 pm on August 13 (rather than until 8:00 pm on August 13). Another example – if you enter through passport control upon on August 10 you need to exit through passport control by 11:59 pm on August 13, i.e. the e-visa expiry date. NOTE if you enter after your planed application date your stay is reduced – you have to depart by the date you applied for!