If Russia continues not to grant e-visa because of the coronavirus crisis, the country offers an equally practical alternative. On May 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new federal law amending the previous law on procedures for entering and leaving the territory of the Russian Federation.

According to the amendment signed by the President, an ordinary tourist visa can now be issued for a period of up to six months to a foreign citizen coming to Russia as a tourist. Until now, this visa was for a maximum of 30 days.

Only a paid hotel reservation counts for the visa

There is no longer any mention of a specific invitation or confirmation letter from any company or administrative body. From now on, a simple confirmation of a hotel reservation is sufficient to obtain the visa. However, the hotel (or other official accommodation) must be registered in the Federal Register of Tourist Enterprises. The law only came into force on 24 August, as there is a 90-day time limit for a signed text to come into force.

However, visitors are required to have paid in advance for the hotel or accommodation selected.

In order to simplify the formalities for entering Russia, ten new crossing points will be able to process passengers with e-visa. The ten crossing points include Khomutovo, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Irkutsk, Sochi, Chelyabinsk, Chita and Vladivostok airports. Three car checkpoints and one river checkpoint will also accept the e-visa as soon as it becomes available again.

As of this month, a total of 50 points across the country can receive e-visa holders. These include no less than 22 airports, two railway stations and six seaports. All that is missing is the return of the e-visa!

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Luc Citrinot