Starting from 2023, the process of obtaining a visa for Russia, including for the region of Siberia, is becoming significantly more convenient for global travelers, including Estonians. As announced by Maxim Reshetnikov, the Russian Minister of Economic Development, the long-awaited electronic visa (E-Visa) application system is set to launch in 2023.
First proposed in 2020, the E-visa for Russia was designed to allow citizens of over 50 countries to apply for a Russian visa online. However, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, its implementation had been postponed from its original 2021 date. In a recent move, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the reactivation of the E-visa system for citizens of countries considered "friendly" to Russia.
Estonians Eyeing Siberia: A Simplified Path Ahead
For Estonians, especially those with an interest in the region of Siberia, this news is particularly exciting. As part of Russia's visa policy, the E-visa grants a single entry for a total stay of up to 16 days in Russia, making it a perfect fit for those interested in exploring Siberian locales or seeking real estate opportunities there.
Applying for the E-visa involves a simple online form and a processing fee. Unlike the traditional visa application process, there's no need to submit supporting documents such as an invitation letter or proof of accommodation bookings. Applications can be made from 40 days up to 4 days before the intended entry date to Russia, with an estimated processing time of just 4 calendar days.
Once the E-visa is approved, it will be sent to applicants by email, and they can either print it or save a digital copy to present at Russian border control. The E-visa remains valid for 60 days from the date of approval, and the holder must enter Russia within this timeframe to enjoy their 16-day stay.
Boost for Estonians and Russia's Tourism Industry
The E-visa system, a clear signal of Russia's intent to modernize and streamline travel facilitation, is expected to positively impact Russia's tourism sector. By easing the visa acquisition process, it is likely to boost international visitation, which could significantly contribute to the country's economy.
For Estonians and other eligible nations, the simplification of the visa procedure could renew interest in visiting Russia, specifically the Siberian region. Given the burgeoning opportunities and the fascinating cultural and natural attractions of Siberia, the E-visa could potentially be a game-changer, fostering easier access and exploration for Estonians.
While the final list of nationalities eligible for the Russian E-Visa is yet to be confirmed, it is expected to be announced within the next month. Regardless, for Estonians eyeing Siberia, this development marks an exciting and significant step towards ease of travel and exploration.