Russia announces e-visa for Indians to visit St Petersburg, Leningrad to boost tourism

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Oct 01, 2019, 06:07 PM IST

Representative picture. Photograph:(Zee News Network)

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India is one of the fifty countries and the only South Asian country to get the facility of Russian e-visa for St Petersburg

Russia on Tuesday announced the opening of e-visa facility for St Petersburg and Leningrad to boost Indian tourists in the region. Till now e-visa for Indians was available for far eastern federal district and the enclave of Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania along the Baltic Coast. 

India is one of the fifty countries and the only South Asian country to get the facility of Russian e-visa for St Petersburg.

Andrey V Fedorov, Senior counsellor, Russian embassy told WION, "This is not a secret that St Petersburg is the most attractive part of Russia. Also its a big business centre of Russia and cultural capital. We would like more and more people to come and have some ideas about our culture. Electronic visas will be introduced by 2021. There is Growth of Indian visiting Russia"

Around 45,000 Indians were given Russian visas between January to September 2019. Last year 35,000 Indians received visas. Rate of rejection for Russian visas for Indians stands at around 2 per cent, which is among the lowest. 

Andrey V Fedorov explained to WION, the purpose of e-visa is to "make the life of people easier. They shouldn't spend time coming to the embassy, going to visa facilitation centre, face tough questions by the consular officer but they should make all procedures at home, in comfort. It was done for the promotion of tourism in Russia"

The e-visa will be granted for business, humanitarian and tourist purpose and will be a single entry.

E-visa is valid for 30 days from the day of issuance and maximum period of stay in Russia should not exceed eight days. 

But e-visa will not allow anyone to go to other parts of Russia not covered by e-visa.

The development comes as Russia and India increase engagement to get more Indians in the far east region. PM Modi was in Vladivostok, the far eastern Russian city for Eastern Economic Forum last month.