Russia has plans to change some of its visa regulations – BUT not for everyone. Tit for Tat politics does play a part of course J Also, it is a VERY restricted duration and LOCATION area.
Vladivostok (city region only) has already introduced an easier e-visa and now the detached Western region of Kaliningrad has also introduced a similar visa. We guess that Vladivostok was a ‘test station’ and didn’t have the volume of tourist to cause beta test issues. The region in question is Kaliningrad; the visa is free and valid for up to eight days
To apply for a visa, potential visitors have to fill out an application form on the website of the consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry and attach a photo. The application can be made no later than four and no earlier than 20 days before the expected date of entry. The visa is issued in four days, regardless of holidays and weekends.
The visa is issued to be used within a 30-day period, from issue, for stays in the region of no longer than eight days. The purpose of travel can be tourism, business, or humanitarian reasons. The visa, however, is not valid for travel to other parts of the Russian Federation. It covers only the city and region of Kaliningrad, which form a Russian exclave wedged between Poland and Lithuania, separated from the rest of Russia.
This makes it easy to add on this often forgotten enclave because if you went to Russia (proper, so to speak) you would need a double entry visa to have also added on Kaliningrad and that introduced more problems and costs and so people mostly said, ‘Nyet”! Now you can start, or finish a TransSiberian with a Kaliningrad extension.
List of countries whose citizens can apply for an e-visa to Kaliningrad one can see who is welcome and those that are still on the ‘invite B list’!
- China (including Taiwan)
- Korean People’s Democratic Republic
- The Netherlands
- Saudi Arabia
- North Macedonia
- The Philippines
- The Czech Republic
Starting October 1, 2019, tourists can visit Russia’s cultural capital of St Petersburg and the surrounding region by e-visa, with no consular fees.
Applicants need to fill out a form on the website of the consular department of the Russian Foreign Ministry and upload a photograph; there is no consular fee. The application can be made no later than four and no earlier than 20 days before the expected date of entry.
The visa is valid for stays in St Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad Region for up to eight days. The purpose of travel can be tourism, business, or humanitarian reasons.
The list of countries whose citizens can apply for a St Petersburg e-visa will be published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by October 1, but expect it to be similar to the above list.