St Petersburg alone attracts about 7 million tourists each year. Although the majority come from other parts of Russia, St Petersburg remains one of the most popular Russian destinations for international tourists, who reach the Russian capital of culture to visit the Hermitage museum, the many picturesque churches, and attend some of the most exciting cultural events in the country.
As of October 1st, 2019, foreigners can apply for a new Russia eVisa specific to St Petersburg. The application is very straightforward and can be completed entirely online.
The New Electronic Visas for Russia
Until recently, obtaining a visa for Russia was not particularly easy: travelers had to visit a Russian embassy or consulate in person or hire a travel agency in order to get a tourist visa. The process could result in long waiting times and high costs.
The new Russia electronic visas are part of Russia’s plan to simplify travel and boost international tourism. They require less documentation and waiting times than traditional visas and can be applied for from anywhere in the world without having to visit a Russian diplomatic mission in person.
The St Petersburg eVisa (like all Russian electronic visas) allows travelers to enter the region for periods of up to 8 days for tourism, business, and humanitarian reasons. It is a single-entry visa valid for 30 days in total from the date of issue.
Russian eVisas are region-specific visas — this means that electronic visas can only be applied for depending on the region the international traveler wishes to visit.
Thanks to the newest St Petersburg visa launch, the online visas for Russia now include:
More eVisas are expected to be launched soon for other Russian regions.
The St Petersburg E-visa Application Process
The St Petersburg eVisa application is quick and straightforward to complete. Applicants just need to fill out the online form by entering a range of information such as their name, date of birth, passport details and travel dates. There are also some security-related questions.
Other Russian eVisa requirements for St Petersburg include:
- A valid eligible passport with a free page for stamps
- A recent photo (ratio: 35 x 45)
- Medical insurance valid for the entirety of the visitor’s stay in Russia.
After the application form has been completed, it is necessary to pay a visa fee using a credit or debit card. Tourists are advised to submit their application at least 4 days before traveling — the time it normally takes to process the application.
Any inaccurate answers given can lead to the application not being approved. To avoid delays or possible rejections, applicants should carefully enter and revise all the information they enter.
Who Needs a Visa for St Petersburg?
Citizens of 53 countries are eligible to apply for a St Petersburg eVisa:
- Czech Republic
- Northern Macedonia
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Vatican City
Traveling with the Russian E-visa
Once an application has been approved, the eVisa is sent to the traveler electronically. Visitors can enter Russia by presenting their eVisa and their passport on arrival at the relevant St Petersburg entry points.
The new eVisa for St Petersburg saves time at the border, as well as during the application process, as travelers have already been pre-screened by the authorities.
It is crucial that the details on the visa match those of the passport exactly. Applicants with two passports should bear in mind that the passport used to enter Russia must be the same as the one used for the visa application.
The St Petersburg and Leningrad region electronic visa allows freedom of movement within the region only. Holders of an eVisa for Kaliningrad, for example, will need to apply for a new relevant visa in order to enter the St Petersburg region and vice versa.