On July 1st, 2019, the government of Russia launched a new electronic visa for Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave located between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. The Russia eVisa for Kaliningrad will allow travelers of eligible nationalities to obtain a visa for the region exclusively online, eliminating the need to apply from a Russian Embassy or Consulate.
The government has announced that the Kaliningrad eVisa will be a single-entry online visa which will allow a stay of up to 8 days in the region from the date of arrival. The visa will be valid for a total of 30 days from the date of issue.
Those eligible will be able to obtain the Kaliningrad eVisa through a simple visa application form online. Travelers will be able to apply between 20 days and 4 days before the intended arrival in Kaliningrad, as it is expected to take up to four days to process the eVisa.
As opposed to the process of obtaining a traditional Russian Tourist visa from an Embassy or Consulate, eligible citizens will not be required to secure a Russia tourist invitation in order to apply for the eVisa for Kaliningrad.
In addition to allowing eligible nationalities to visit for tourism, the Kaliningrad visa online will also allow the holder to travel to the region for business purposes, as well as sporting, cultural, scientific and technological activites. eVisa-eligible citizens who wish to visit the region for other purposes will still be required to apply for a visa from a Russian Embassy or Consulate.
The eVisa for Kaliningrad only permits holders to enter the Kaliningrad region of Russia. Travelers are required to both enter and exit the region through one of the designated ports of entry in the exclave. Those who wish to travel to other regions of Russia will be required to apply for another type of visa.
The launch of the visa for Kaliningrad in 2019 precedes the introduction of a Russia-wide electronic visa, expected to be implemented by January 1st, 2021. An additional pilot scheme, the electronic visa for Russian Far East Regions, has already been available for citizens of 18 eligible countries since August 2017.
Visit Russia with the Visa for Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad Oblast and the capital city, also named Kaliningrad, have a unique location and varied history which has long drawn visitors to the region. The only Russian seaport in the Baltic which remains ice-free in winter, Kaliningrad borders two spectacular natural lagoons alongside Lithuania and Poland. Historically a part of Old Prussia and then the German Empire, the region became a part of the Soviet Bloc following World War II, when the capital was renamed Kaliningrad from the original Königsberg.
Visitors to the region are most often drawn to the many enticing attractions of the capital city. These include the Amber Museum, a 19th-century fort containing traditional jewelry displays, the Kaliningradskiy Zoopark which contains over 2,300 different animals, and the historic Königsburg Cathedral which houses the tomb of the influential German philosopher, Immanuel Kant.
Those who visit the region with the eVisa for Kaliningrad will be able to cross the border through several ports of entry, including air, land, and sea checkpoints:
- Air border checkpoint – Kaliningrad (Khrabrovo)
- Maritime border checkpoints – Kaliningrad, Baltiysk, Svetly
- Railway border checkpoints – Mamonovo, Sovetsk
- Road border checkpoints – Bagrationovsk, Gusev