Indians travelling to Leningrad and St. Petersburg in Russia will no longer have to wait in queues or go through cumbersome paperwork. Thanks to a new electronic visa scheme, Indians can arrange for a Russian Tourist Visa simply by filling out an online form.
Indian, till now, could only avail an e-Visa for the enclave of Kaliningrad and the eastern federal district. However, India now becomes the first South Asian country to get the e-Visa facility for St. Petersburg.
Senior Counsellor of the Russian Embassy, Andrey V Fedorov says that St. Petersburg is the most attractive part of Russia. It also happens to be the cultural capital and a growing business hub of Russia. The country, hence, would like to welcome more international visitors to experience Russian culture. The number of Indians visiting Russia has been steadily rising.
Russia will introduce e-Visas by 2021.
Between January and September this year, Russia issued 45,000 visas to India. In 2018, 35,000 visas were issued to Indians. The rejection rate for Indians is about 2% which is one of the lowest.
Mr Fedorov says that the e-Visa will make life easier for international visitors. They will not need to spend time going to the Embassy or the visa facilitation centre. They can apply for the visa from the comfort of their home. The e-Visa was announced to boost tourism to Russia, as per WION News.
The e-Visa will be granted for tourist, humanitarian and business purpose. It will be a single-entry visa with a validity of 30 days. Tourists will be able to stay in Russia for up to 8 days.
However, international visitors will not be able to travel to those parts of Russia which are not covered by the e-Visa.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Russia for the Eastern Economic Forum last month. The e-Visa has been announced to increase engagement between India and Russia and to bring in more Indians to the far east region.
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