Free Russian E-Visa For St. Petersburg & Kaliningrad (+ Limited Vladivostok)

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Russia has launched a new FREE e-visa service for St Petersburg and Kaliningrad for 53 nationals, and a separate one for Far Eastern Region (Vladivostok) for 18 nationals. US, Canada, and the UK are excluded.

Russia promises to issue e-visas within four days (including weekends), and it is valid for 30 days after issuance. You can stay for up to eight days.

You can access the Russian website for e-visa processing here.

Note that you must enter and exit within these regions. You cannot travel within other parts of Russia using the e-visa. You also cannot enter Russia using the train service from Helsinki (Finland).

Here are the instructions from the website:

Only the following car, naval, pedestrian, and airport entry points are allowed:

  • air checkpoints «Vladivostok (Knevichy Airport)», «Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Khomutovo Airport)», «Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Yelizovo Airport)», «Blagoveschensk», «Khabarovsk (Novy Airport)», «Anadyr (Ugolny Airport)», «Kaliningrad (Khrabrovo)», «Ulan-Ude (Muhino)», «Chita (Kadala)», «Pulkovo»;
  • naval checkpoints «Vladivostok», «Zarubino», «Posiet», «Korsakov», «Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky», «Kaliningrad (checkpoints in the cities of Kaliningrad, Baltiysk and Svetly)», «Vysotsk», «Big port Saint Petersburg (Marine Station)», «Passenger port Saint Petersburg»;
  • railroad checkpoints «Pogranichny», «Khasan», «Makhalino», «Mamonovo», «Sovetsk»;
  • automobile checkpoints «Poltavka», «Turiy Rog», «Bagrationovsk», «Gusev», «Mamonovo (Grzechotki)», «Mamonovo (Gronowo)», «Morskoje», «Pogranichny», «Sovetsk», «Chernyshevskoye», «Ivangorod», «Torfjanovka», «Brusnitchnoe», «Svetogorsk»;
  • pedestrian checkpoint «Ivangorod».

Here are the eligible 53 countries (St. Petersburg & Kalingrad):

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

Here are the 18 countries eligible for the Far Eastern e-visa (Vladivostok):

  1. Algeria
  2. Bahrain
  3. Brunei
  4. China (including Taiwan)
  5. India
  6. Iran
  7. Japan
  8. Kuwait
  9. Mexico
  10. Morocco
  11. Oman
  12. Qatar
  13. Saudi Arabia
  14. Singapore
  15. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
  16. The United Arab Emirates
  17. Tunisia
  18. Turkey

Conclusion

Russia here tries to make it easier for nationals from these countries to travel to these three regions hassle-free. There is a plan to make this Russia wide in 2021 and then charge for the service too.

You have to keep in mind that you need to both ENTER and EXIT from the same region. You can fly in/out from the St. Petersburg airport, but you cannot connect anywhere else within Russia.

I can see using this on trips where I can build a stopover in St. Petersburg when flying from Europe to somewhere else.

Here’s the information from the Russian website:

E-visa characteristics of and conditions for issuing an e-visa

  1. An e-visa to enter the Far Eastern Federal District can only be obtained by nationals of the following , listed by the Government of the Russian Federation.
    1. Algeria
    2. Bahrain
    3. Brunei
    4. China (including Taiwan)
    5. India
    6. Iran
    7. Japan
    8. Kuwait
    9. Mexico
    10. Morocco
    11. Oman
    12. Qatar
    13. Saudi Arabia
    14. Singapore
    15. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    16. The United Arab Emirates
    17. Tunisia
    18. Turkey
  2. An e-visa to enter Kaliningrad Oblast can only be obtained by nationals of the  listed by the Government of the Russian Federation.
    1. Austria
    2. Andorra
    3. Bahrain
    4. Belgium
    5. Bulgaria
    6. China (including Taiwan)
    7. Croatia
    8. Cyprus
    9. The Czech Republic
    10. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    11. Denmark
    12. Estonia
    13. Finland
    14. France
    15. Germany
    16. Greece
    17. Hungary
    18. Iceland
    19. India
    20. Indonesia
    21. Iran
    22. Ireland
    23. Italy
    24. Japan
    25. Kuwait
    26. Latvia
    27. Lithuania
    28. Liechtenstein
    29. Luxembourg
    30. Malaysia
    31. Malta
    32. Mexico
    33. Monaco
    34. The Netherlands
    35. North Macedonia
    36. Norway
    37. Oman
    38. Philippines
    39. Poland
    40. Portugal
    41. Qatar
    42. Romania
    43. San Marino
    44. Saudi Arabia
    45. Serbia
    46. Singapore
    47. Slovakia
    48. Slovenia
    49. Spain
    50. Turkey
    51. Sweden
    52. Switzerland
    53. Vatican
  3. An e-visa to enter Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast can only be obtained by nationals of the  listed by the Government of the Russian Federation.
    1. Austria
    2. Andorra
    3. Bahrain
    4. Belgium
    5. Bulgaria
    6. China (including Taiwan)
    7. Croatia
    8. Cyprus
    9. The Czech Republic
    10. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
    11. Denmark
    12. Estonia
    13. Finland
    14. France
    15. Germany
    16. Greece
    17. Hungary
    18. Iceland
    19. India
    20. Indonesia
    21. Iran
    22. Ireland
    23. Italy
    24. Japan
    25. Kuwait
    26. Latvia
    27. Lithuania
    28. Liechtenstein
    29. Luxembourg
    30. Malaysia
    31. Malta
    32. Mexico
    33. Monaco
    34. The Netherlands
    35. North Macedonia
    36. Norway
    37. Oman
    38. Philippines
    39. Poland
    40. Portugal
    41. Qatar
    42. Romania
    43. San Marino
    44. Saudi Arabia
    45. Serbia
    46. Singapore
    47. Slovakia
    48. Slovenia
    49. Spain
    50. Turkey
    51. Sweden
    52. Switzerland
    53. Vatican
  4. An e-visa is free. Invitations, hotel booking confirmations or any other documents that confirm the purpose of your journey to the Russian Federation are not required for an e-visa. The time period for issuing an e-visa is no longer than 4 calendar days from the date of submission of the complete application.
  5. E-visa can be used for entering and leaving the Russian Federation at the following checkpoints at the national border of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District, Kaliningrad Oblast, Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast:
    • air checkpoints «Vladivostok (Knevichy Airport)», «Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk (Khomutovo Airport)», «Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Yelizovo Airport)», «Blagoveschensk», «Khabarovsk (Novy Airport)», «Anadyr (Ugolny Airport)», «Kaliningrad (Khrabrovo)», «Ulan-Ude (Muhino)», «Chita (Kadala)», «Pulkovo»;
    • naval checkpoints «Vladivostok», «Zarubino», «Posiet», «Korsakov», «Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky», «Kaliningrad (checkpoints in the cities of Kaliningrad, Baltiysk and Svetly)», «Vysotsk», «Big port Saint Petersburg (Marine Station)», «Passenger port Saint Petersburg»;
    • railroad checkpoints «Pogranichny», «Khasan», «Makhalino», «Mamonovo», «Sovetsk»;
    • automobile checkpoints «Poltavka», «Turiy Rog», «Bagrationovsk», «Gusev», «Mamonovo (Grzechotki)», «Mamonovo (Gronowo)», «Morskoje», «Pogranichny», «Sovetsk», «Chernyshevskoye», «Ivangorod», «Torfjanovka», «Brusnitchnoe», «Svetogorsk»;
    • pedestrian checkpoint «Ivangorod».
  6. E-visa is a single-entry visa and issued for 30 calendar days from the date of its issuance. The permitted stay in the Russian Federation with an e-visa is up to 8 days starting from the date of entry, within its validity period. E-visa validity and/or the permitted stay under it cannot be extended.

    ATTENTION! The allowed period of stay in the Russian Federation of up to 8 days under an e-visa does not imply that one can stay for the entire 192 hours (24 hours multiplied by 8). The period of stay in the Russian Federation always starts at midnight of the day of passage through passport control upon entry regardless of the actual time of passage through passport control. For example, you have an e-visa valid from July 15 to August 13 and you pass through passport control upon entry at 8:00 pm on August 1, Monday. In that case, you need to pass through passport control upon exit until 11:59 pm on August 8, Monday (rather than until 8:00 pm on August 9, Tuesday). You should also note that if you passed through passport control upon entry, for instance, on August 10 with the e-visa mentioned in the example above, you need to pass through passport control upon exit until 11:59 pm on August 13, i.e. until the e-visa expires.

  7. E-visas can be of the following categories only: ordinary business visa (purpose of journey is business), ordinary tourist visa (purpose of journey is tourism), and ordinary humanitarian visa (purposes of journey are sports, cultural, scientific and technological ties). If the purpose of your journey to the Russian Federation does not correspond to any of the above, you should apply for a traditional (non electronic) visa at a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Russian Federation.
  8. Foreign citizens who have arrived to the Russian Federation with e-visas have the right to freedom of movement within the territory of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation which they entered, with the exception of territories, organizations and facilities, to enter which a special permission is required in accordance with federal laws of the Russian Federation.
    Foreign citizens should leave the territory of the Russian Federation only through checkpoints of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation which they entered.
  9. You can fill in an application form for an e-visa on this website not earlier than 20 days and no later than 4 days before the intended date of entry into the Russian Federation.
  10. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you applied for an e-visa. Your passport must have free space for border crossing stamps.
  11. Foreign citizens who have arrived to the Russian Federation with e-visas are required to have a medical insurance valid in the Russian Federation’s territory for the entire period of stay.
  12. There is no need to apply for an e-visa to enter the Far Eastern Federal District, Kaliningrad Oblast, Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast if you already have a valid Russian visa in your passport. You are allowed to enter the said regions using a regular visa within its validity period with no limitations provided for by an e-visa. An e-visa does not extend the validity period of a regular visa.
  13. Before you apply for an e-visa you are required to agree to the automatic processing, transfer and storage of data provided in your application for the purpose of the e-visa issuance.
  14. Your application must contain full and valid data. Any incorrect information, including passport data and photo, could cause visa rejection or revocation of an already issued visa at the national border checkpoint of the Russian Federation.

E-visa application procedure

  1. Surname and given name(s) of the applicant are required. If the applicant does not have a surname or a first name(s) the e-visa application cannot be accepted for processing. In this case it is necessary to apply for a traditional (non-electronic) visa at a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Russian Federation.

  2. Day, month and year of the applicant’s date of birth must be all known. If the date of birth of the applicant is unknown or partially unknown, the e-visa application cannot be accepted for processing. In this case it is necessary to apply for a traditional (non-electronic) visa at a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Russian Federation.

  3. If the applicant is assumed to be accompanied by minors who are included in his/her passport, an individual e-visa application form must be submitted for each child. All the minors who accompany their parents must have an individual e-visa.

  4. Before you fill in your application form, make sure you have the following:

    • A web browser with JavaScript. Our website currently supports the following browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge. We cannot guarantee that the site would function correctly with other browsers.
    • Software for PDF files viewing and printing. Adobe Acrobat Reader is recommended.
    • Your valid national passport.
  5. Choose the tips language from the relevant drop-down list. Tips will clarify the meaning of the questions you need to answer. If you have chosen Russian as the tips language all answers to the questions in the application must be entered only in Russian, with the exception of surnames, given names, addresses and names of institutions that are required to be entered in English. If you have chosen English all your answers must be only in English with the use of the Latin alphabet characters. If characters of the national alphabets (such as Ñ, É, Ü or Ç) are used in the names it is necessary to indicate the transliterated meanings that are presented in the first machine-readable line of your passport when filling in the relevant fields of the application form. For example, if the names in the visual area of the passport are “Séo Türre” then you are required to use names from the machine-readable line “Seo Tuerre” when filling in the application form.

    P<UTOTUERRE<<SEO<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    L898902C<3UTO6908061F9406236ZE184226B<<<<<14

  6. Confirm that you agree to the automatic processing, transfer and storage of data provided in your application for e-visa purposes.

  7. To start a new application, click the “Proceed to Fill in the Application” button.

  8. To continue filling in, edit, review or print the completed application choose the “Retrieve application” menu item.

  9. Enter your personal e-mail address and confirm it, then enter your password for this site and confirm it.

  10. Write down or print the Application ID displayed in the top right corner of the page. It will be required to continue your application if the session has been disconnected. To save your draft application, click the “Save the Draft” button. Your e-visa application form will be available within 30 days since its last save.

  11. Proceed to fill in the fields of the application. Follow the tips on each page of the application. Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required. If you have made any errors while filling in the form or have not filled in the required fields, they will be highlighted and a message will appear under them indicating the error you need to fix.

  12. Upload your digital color photo in the JPEG format. The photo must meet the following .

    • The photo must be no more than six months old as of the date of the application and reflect your current appearance. The photo must show you alone. No foreign objects (chair back, pictures on the walls, etc.) or other people must be visible in the photo.
    • The photo must be taken in full-face view. The head must not be tilted or turned. You must look directly at the camera with a neutral expression, your mouth closed, eyes open and clearly visible. No hair across your eyes.
    • The photo must be taken with uniform lighting and not show shadows, flash reflections on your face and no red eyes.
    • The photo must be taken with a plain light-colored background with no shadows.
    • Applicants whose religious beliefs prohibit them to be seen with their heads uncovered are allowed to wear a head covering that does not conceal facial features in the photo. In this case, please make sure that your face is clearly visible from the bottom of the chin to the top of the forehead.
    • If you wear glasses, your eyes must be clearly visible in the photo. Flash reflection off the lenses, as well as tinted lenses are not allowed (if possible, avoid heavy frames – wear lighter framed glasses, if you have them). Make sure that the frames do not cover your eyes (even partly).
    • The photo must show the top of your head and the top of your shoulders. Your head must be in the center of the photo and be fully shown from the top of the hairline or the crown of the head to the tip of the chin. The nose must be on the symmetry line. The face must take up 70-80 percent of the photo.
    • The photo must have no frames.
    • The photo must be rectangular (with the 35×45 aspect ratio).
    • The color scheme must be neutral. The colors must show the natural skin tone. The image must be clear, well defined and in focus.
  13. Click the button sending the application and wait for the confirmation of its acceptance for processing.

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