Russia is hosting the World Cup this year that begins on Thursday next week and ends July 15, 2018.
Those of us who are ineligible to travel Russia without Visa can apply for a FAN ID after purchasing World Cup ticket that allows visa free during the event until July 25, 2018.
You can access FAN ID page here.
You can apply for the FAN ID after purchasing World Cup ticket (can be for any match). You then need to input your passport information and upload your photo.
My FAN ID was mailed to Finland but for purchases closer to the match dates (I would assume now) they are issued electronically per the website.
Today (June 4th) was the first date when one could travel to the Russian Federation using the FAN ID and I took a train from Helsinki to St Petersburg. The Finnish train conductor had read his briefing book and was aware of this as was the Finnish exit immigration agents that swiped the passports inside the train before the Russian border.
The Russian immigration agents that hopped to the train in Vyborg didn’t seem as familiar first but were able to process the passport after taking photos of the FAN ID using their device.
It is highly unlikely that I will attend the match to which I purchased the ticket for. I thought that this is about the easiest way to deal with a Russian Visa with minimal hassle factor. There are agencies that can handle it for you in Finland and other countries too.
Russian immigration was semi-interested in why I had been in Ukraine recently. Holiday.