On October 1, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation began issuing tourist E-visas to visit St. Petersburg. Visa processing takes no more than 4 days. It makes it possible to stay in the Russian Federation for no more than 8 days. You also do not need to pay for anything to obtain an e-visa. It is free.
E-visa is a great opportunity to visit Russia. You won’t waste your time to visit the consular agency. Just use the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Citizens of 53 countries can apply for an e-visa to St. Petersburg
The list of these countries was published on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
The allowed period to stay
E-visa is issued for 30 calendar days but the permit stay in Russia is up to 8 days starting from the date of entry.
The period of stay in the Russian Federation starts at midnight of the day of passage through passport control. For example, you have an e-visa from May 1 to May 30. You pass through passport control upon entry at 7 pm on May 1. In that case, you need to pass through passport control upon exit until 11:59 pm on May 8 – rather than until 7 pm on May 9.
E-visa to St. Petersburg allows you to come to Russia without any invitations of confirmations. You even needn’t have any hotel booking confirmation. You just need to fill in the application form on the website.
You need to fill in the application form for an e-visa on evisa.kdmid.ru not earlier than 20 days and no later than 4 days before the intended date of entry into Russia
- Fill in an e-visa application form here.
- Get an e-visa grant notification on the website. You can also use email notification.
- Download the notification to your mobile device or print it.
- Show your notification to a transport company.
- Show the notification to a border Service officer at the border checkpoint.
You can check your e-visa status here.
For e-visa application, you need just your valid national passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you applied for e-visa to St. Petersburg.
During the application procedure, you need to upload your digital colour photo. It must comply with the following requirements:
- Your photo must be in JPEG format.
- The colour photo must be rectangular: with the 35×45 aspect ratio.
- You should take the photo no earlier than 6 months before the date of the application. It must reflect your current appearance.
- The photo must be taken in full-face view.
- If you wear glasses, your eyes must be visible in the photo. Make sure that the frames don’t cover your eyes, even partly.
- Your head must be in the centre of the photo. Your face must take up no less than 70% of the photo.
How to avoid mistakes
From October 1, St. Petersburg began to receive tourists on electronic visas, but, it seems, is not quite successful. Border guards turn away dozens of tourists, because of inaccuracies in visa documents that they filled on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
The Foreign Ministry clarifies that the problems are on the foreigners side: they make a lot of mistakes in obtaining electronic visas and therefore they have to come back home. As a result, tourists who spent money on tickets find out that they filled out a visa with mistakes and aren’t allowed into the country, only at the counter with border guards.
Don’t forget about the following important things:
- 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) areused 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.
- Surname and given name of the applicant are required. If you don’t 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.
- Day, month and year of your 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, you should also apply for a traditional (non-electronic) visa at a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Russian Federation.
- If the applicant is assumed to be accompanied by minors who are included in your 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.
To enter your names you need the machine-readable line of your passport that looks something like this:
L898902C36UTO7408122F1204159ZE184226B <<<<< 10
In this case, the names are ANNA MARIA. They are separated from the surname by the symbols << and are separated by a single symbol <. This is the part of the machine-readable line that you need to rewrite in the field for names, even if your names are not completely indicated (including as separate letters).
E-visa allows you to enter the Russian Federation through air, naval, automobile and pedestrian checkpoints. There are 9 checkpoints in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. You can find them using this link.