Last week the state Duma adopted in the first reading prepared by the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation the draft law on a common electronic visa. It is assumed that to apply for the visa, without leaving home, from 1 January next year will be the citizens of 53 countries. While the foreign Ministry does not exclude that, over time, e-visas will be multiple entry and tourist visas will be issued for a few years. How is work progressing on liberalization of the visa regime, in a written interview with “Kommersant” said Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, state Secretary Eugene Ivanov.— When will resume the work of the visa sections in consular establishments of the Russian?— The entry of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation and the issue of visas, including tourist and e-temporarily restricted by decree of the RF government dated March 16, 2020 No. 635-p. For the last three months of this order repeatedly updated and supplemented with new categories of foreign citizens, against whom the restrictions do not apply.Detailed explanations of the categories of foreigners who are allowed entry to Russia in the period of validity of restrictive measures on the Russian MFA website under “Information for Russian and foreign citizens in connection with coronavirus infection.”The process of issuance of visas, including tourist, in its usual sense will be restored immediately after removing the mentioned limitations.
The decision, as you know, will take into account the development of the epidemiological situation in Russia and abroad.— Do you consider the issue of the need to provide information about the test for the coronavirus to enter Russia or to obtain a Russian visa?— We can say unequivocally that the decision to open borders will be taken by the Coordination Council under the government to combat the spread of novel coronavirus infection in the territory of the Russian Federation taking into account opinion of the CPS whose powers include the definition of measures that will help prevent re-importation to Russia coronavirus infection from abroad.What measures could be envisaged in this context is a question to the experts-epidemiologists. We will closely track the position of the world health organization and relevant experience of foreign countries, analyzing the decisions that will be taken by their competent authorities.Indeed, in a preliminary manner, some countries have already announced that to enter their territory to foreigners will now be required to present a certificate of absence of coronavirus infection. If there is a hypothetical possibility of introducing similar measures in Russia, it will require the same time on��to redelete with the format of such certificate, by the expiration date, the bodies competent to issue a certificate to verify its availability and so on.— Many foreign nationals issued in March Russian visas, but in pandemic COVID-19 was unable to travel. Can they rely on the extension of validity of their visas, the fees shall be refunded or the registration of the new free visa?— In a pandemic coronavirus infection many people really had to radically change their work schedules and personal plans, canceling including international travel. It would be wrong to ignore this problem, but we need to understand the requirements of the legislation under which it is possible to search for its solution. By itself, the visa is in fact a document with a limited validity period. Russian normative acts provide for the possibility of extending the visa if it is issued but not used. This approach is consistent with international practice, including in most States of the Schengen area.However, the Russian foreign Ministry considers it possible to offer foreign nationals who cancel their trips to Russia, despite the previously issued single or double entry visas, the validity of which began mid-March, free to issue a new visa the same multiplicity in the next six months after the lifting of restrictions on entry into Russia, provided the documents constituting the legal basis for issuing visas for another term.— And at what stage is the work on execution of orders of the President of the Russian Federation on the introduction of a single e-visas in 2021?— Implemented from 2017, a pilot project on introduction of electronic visas allow to the introduction of restrictive measures to the citizens of 53 countries (and will again allow them to do it after the lifting of restrictions) to enter the territory of the far Eastern Federal district, from July 1, 2019 — in the Kaliningrad oblast, and from October 1, 2019 in Saint-Petersburg and the Leningrad region, processing of the visa in the form of electronic document.These three separate electronic visa is for each one of the mentioned regions of Russia — will continue to exist until the end of the year, but January 1, 2021, they will be replaced by a single electronic visa which will be valid for the whole territory of the Russian Federation.Pursuant to the instructions of the President the Ministry of foreign Affairs has prepared a draft Federal law on uniform electronic visa, which is then passed to the discussion in the working group on the implementation of the Concept of state migration policy of the Russian Federation for the years 2019-2025.On June 23 the bill was adopted in first reading by the State Duma. Projects of normative legal acts necessary for the implementation of the bill will be introduced in the pthe government not later than July 18.According to the bill laid in the algorithm design of e-visa, the foreigner will be not later than four calendar days from the date of application on the Russian MFA website and can use this visa to travel to Russia within the next 60 days. The duration of the trip may not exceed 16 days.— We know that sometimes foreigners faced difficulties when entering the Saint Petersburg and Leningrad oblast on electronic visas because they made errors in filling out visa application forms on the foreign Ministry website. The guards refused some of them entry. Something will be done to minimize similar incidents in the future, including for foreigners, who will use a single e-visa?— In order to remove the problem of incorrect filling of foreign nationals applications for e-visa now accepted measures of information and of a technical nature. Upgraded special website of the Russian foreign Ministry regarding the use of surname-a name of a group of machine-readable line of the passport, which provided a simple, unambiguous and consistent compliance with personal data indicated in the electronic visa to the foreign citizen’s passport.On the website you can find the link to the calculator of calculation of a foreigner’s stay in Russia. In addition, together with the notification of the permission to enter the Russian Federation foreigners sent a brief memo on the need of verification of personal data from the notification data in the passport and length of stay in the Russian Federation. From January 1, 2021 will be provided manual and automated verification of the documents a foreign national applications for e-visas.I am confident that these measures will help to minimize the number of nepropusk of foreign citizens across the state border of the Russian Federation.— Is there a chance that a single electronic visa can be started earlier than 1 January 2021?— The Russian government approved the plan of organizational-technical measures aimed to ensure the introduction of electronic visas since 1 January 2021. This date is agreed to in the interagency format to all the concerned departments involved in implementation of the plan: in addition to the foreign Ministry, there are certain segments that are determined by the Russian interior Ministry, the Border service of FSB of Russia, the Ministry of communications of Russia, Ministry of transport. The modernization of the whole complex of hardware and technical solutions, which requires energy, time and financial resources. In particular, have yet to implement the ability to check the availability of electronic visas for those foreign citizens who cross the border on trains.Thus, we continue to believe it appropriate to adhere to previously designated time, which will allow the floorfledged to prepare the system to start across the country. Are there any plans to make e-visa multiple, as suggested by the Federal Agency for tourism? — Do not exclude that in the future electronic visa can really be and multiple. But such decisions should be made on the basis of analysis of past experience and taking into account all factors, including migration risk. In this regard, we only mention that, according to law enforcement bodies, Russia has still not left more than 2 thousand foreigners who entered the country in 2018 without visas in the passports of fans of the world Cup. Now they are illegal immigrants.— How much it will cost to foreigners for the single e-visa?— Now in consular establishments issued about 1.5 million single and double entry visas annually. We expect that in 2021, with most of the applicants prefer to use the possibility of registration of e-visa from the comfort of home.Accordingly, in order to prevent the reduction of Federal budget revenues from issuing visas, it was proposed to charge for issuing electronic visa the consular fee in the amount not exceeding $50. The President and the government approved this approach. Children under six years of e-visa will be issued free of charge.The cost of e-visa and are not significant in the total expenses of a tourist during a trip to Russia. The results of the research indicate that the average budget of a foreigner in Russia is about $2 thousand: while living costs amount to about 23% of the total cost of the trip international transportation — 24%, food 19% and in domestic passenger transportation — 9%.Accordingly, the principle of retribution will in no way act as a factor impeding the development of inbound tourism in the Russian Federation. Furthermore, the charging of a fee for processing an e-visa aims to prevent fixed at the present time the attempts of manipulation with the information system and overload it inaccurate questionnaires.— Do you agree with the experts of the tourism industry, who believes that overly strict visa regime of Russia hinders the development of tourism? — It should be borne in mind that e-visa will be able to take advantage of the citizens of those countries, which list will be approved by the government. While the relevant departments will certainly come from the list of States whose citizens may enter the country with e-visa in zone pilot project — the far Eastern Federal district, Kaliningrad oblast, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region. Let me remind you again that the list includes 53 countries, including member countries of the European Union, China, Japan, India, Turkey and so on.��.At the same time would like to underline that already now on the basis of international treaties concluded with foreign States, visa-free regime of entry to Russia is valid for citizens 60 foreign countries.Thus, we expect January 2021 citizens of 113 countries will be able to enter Russia without having to issue a paper visa in the passport. A total of 113 the population of these States is about 4 billion people or half the world population!However, the right to visa-free entry into the United States and the countries of the Schengen zone, which has consistently topped the ranking of tourist attractiveness, according to the world tourism organization, available to citizens only 39 and 62 States, respectively.Conclusions about whether or not “so bad” mode of entry into the Russian Federation and how it inhibits the development of tourism, let everyone make himself.— Rostourism has recently made a proposal to issue multiple-entry tourist visa valid for up to five years. Foreign Ministry is ready to support this proposal?— Indeed, in April the Ministry received an appeal of the Federal tourism Agency with defined proposals for measures to support the tourism industry through the further liberalization of the visa regime of the Russian Federation. Many of them require careful consideration at the interagency level, including in the framework of the working group on the implementation of the Concept of state migration policy of the Russian Federation.With regard to the proposal of the Federal tourism Agency on multiple entry tourist visas, I can tell you that since the end of last year, the Russian foreign Ministry, the initiative is working on a bill which provides for the possibility of granting all foreigners multiple turvizy valid for up to six months (the total period of stay in Russia should not exceed three months within a specified period) only on the basis of the reservation confirmation at the hotel on the first trip. See no obstacles for now the validity of this visa to increase even up to one year. Of course, this will require further discussion with all interested ministries and departments.Regarding design opportunities in term tourist visas valid for up to five years, the fundamental objection is also not available. However, as previously mentioned, proceed from the expediency of gradual progress in this direction, analyzing the accumulated experience.I would like to emphasize that in the framework of international treaties of the Russian Federation, three-year tourist visa has long been issued to U.S. citizens, and citizens of countries-members of EU have the opportunity to receive business and humanitarian visas valid for up to five years.— What more nowow��Denia in the area of visa policy, Russia would face in the near future?— We would like to simplify the conditions of the trips to Russia for foreign citizens who are close relatives of citizens of the Russian Federation.Now the Ministry is working on a bill that provides for the possibility of placing them multiple long-term private visas on the basis of the statement in writing of their close relative — the citizen of the Russian Federation. Thereby eliminating the necessity of registration of invitations through territorial bodies of the MIA of Russia.The bill also defines the categories of foreigners who can obtain multiple long-term private visa in the consular institution of the Russian Federation at the request of the relative, the Russian is the spouse (wife), children (including adopted), full and half (having a common father or mother) brothers and sisters, grandchildren, parents, grandparents citizens of the Russian Federation.Will increase the validity of multiple entry private visas up to one year for such visas can stay in Russia throughout the year without restrictions.Processed Elena Chernenko