Starting from August 1st, an electronic visa system will be introduced for citizens of 55 countries visiting Russia. This visa will be valid for a maximum of 16 days. The implementation of electronic visas has been postponed several times, but this time, it appears to be on track. The list of countries encompasses both friendly and unfriendly nations, with the USA and the UK being excluded. However, countries such as Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are included.

As per information from the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova reported during a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation and government members about the readiness to launch the mechanism of electronic visas from August 1st. Electronic visas, allowing foreign citizens to stay in Russia for up to 16 days, will be available for citizens of 55 countries.

“We propose to keep the previously determined list of 52 countries and add three more countries to it – Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar, and launch electronic visas from August 1st, 2023. All acceptance tests have been conducted, and we are ready for this work,” commented Tatyana Golikova.

According to the decree of the Russian Government, electronic visas (EEV) can be obtained by citizens of European countries, Japan, Turkey, China, North Korea, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. The visa processing period will be up to 6 calendar days from the date of application submission.

Electronic visas will be processed online for tourist, guest, and business trips, as well as for participation in scientific, cultural, sports, and other events. Foreign citizens can apply for the document on the special website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia or at Russian diplomatic missions or consular offices. The EEV is a single-entry visa with a validity period of 60 days from the date of issuance.

Currently, the Ministry of Economic Development, in collaboration with other government departments, is actively working on inbound tourism. The introduction of electronic visas will facilitate the entry of foreign citizens into Russia. According to the ministry’s estimates, the inflow of inbound tourists may increase to 10 million people by the end of this year, partly due to the introduction of electronic visas and agreements on visa-free group trips with China and Iran.

It’s worth noting that the system of group visas with China has not been introduced yet, and tour operators have been awaiting this event since the beginning of 2023. The implementation of electronic visas has also been postponed multiple times.

Here is the full list of countries (as of RBC’s information, publication from September 19th) whose citizens can apply for electronic visas:

  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

Added on July 20th:

  1. Vietnam
  2. Cambodia
  3. Myanmar