The Russian state Duma in the first reading adopted by the Ministry of foreign Affairs prepared a bill on the introduction of a single electronic visa. The opportunity to apply for a visa without leaving home now are citizens of 53 countries, driving in three pilot regions, and since January, this practice will extend on all territory of Russia. The tourism industry is waiting for liberalization of the visa regime, hoping it will give impetus to the development of tourism. The foreign Ministry agrees that the formalities should be simplified, but I suggest to do it gradually. “B” knew how to change the rules of entry to Russia in the near future.Because of the epidemic of coronavirus entry of foreigners to Russia from March, strictly limited, rules are slowly being relaxed, but when the restriction will be lifted, the Russian authorities are not ready to predict. Accordingly, yet understanding, when once again earn the visa section in consular offices of Russia abroad. The Russian foreign Ministry “Kommersant” were only able to say that the decision “will take into account the development of the epidemiological situation in Russia and abroad”.However, the Russian authorities are actively preparing for postcoronary period, hoping, in particular, on the development of tourism. June 23 was adopted in the first reading a bill that will allow citizens of 53 countries from 1 January 2021 to register your entry to Russia visa in electronic form. The liberalization will affect countries—EU members, China, Japan, India, Turkey and other countries. Even before the epidemic to test this practice had on three regions — far Eastern Federal district, Kaliningrad region, Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad region.Deputy foreign Minister state Secretary Eugene Ivanov told “Kommersant” that the projects of normative legal acts necessary for realization of the bill on the unified e-visa will be submitted to the government no later than 18 July (the interview with him is available on the website “Kommersant”). According to him, in accordance with laid down in the bill the algorithm design of e-visa, the foreigner will receive it not later than four calendar days from the date of the application on the website of the foreign Ministry and could use this visa to travel to Russia within the next 60 days. The duration of the trip may not exceed 16 days. The cost of the visa will be about $50, children under six years will be issued free of charge.In tourism previously proposed to make e-visa in 2021 free as “crisis measures” to support the tourism industry (this was stated in an interview with RBC head of the Agency Zarina Dozorova). However, the foreign Ministry said that the cost of processing visas “are not significant in the total expenses of a tourist during a trip to Russia”. “The results of the research indicate that the average travel budget a foreigner in Russia — 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%”,— explained “Kommersant” Eugene Ivanov. In his words, “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 its unreliable questionnaires” he added.At the same time, the foreign Ministry does not exclude that in the future, e-visas will be multiple entry. Previously, the Federal tourism Agency offered to make a single electronic multiple entry visa for a period of 90-120 days. Review of Evgenia Ivanova indicates that MFA generally support this initiative, but think it’s right to implement it gradually. “Such decisions should be made on the basis of analysis of past experience and taking into account all factors, including migration risk,” he said. The Deputy head of the foreign Ministry cited data from law enforcement agencies, according to which Russia still has 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, according to Evgenia Ivanova, “are in fact illegal migrants.”A number of lawmakers and experts have expressed in the media of the opinion that too hasty simplification of visa regime will lead to increased illegal migration into Russia, which, in their opinion, in conditions of economic crisis is highly undesirable. There were proposals not to simplify, but rather to tighten the conditions for issuing electronic visas, and even to postpone their introduction throughout the country for at least a year.Many representatives of the tourism industry, but, on the contrary, I believe that visa liberalization is not fast enough and strict rules hamper the development of tourism. The foreign Ministry is the answer in numbers: now on the basis of international treaties concluded with other countries, a visa-free regime of entry to Russia is valid for citizens 60 foreign countries, in 2021 there are added 53 countries whose citizens can obtain visas in a simplified manner. “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,”— said Eugene Ivanov.In tourism bring their numbers: from the outbreak of the tourism industry may lose 1.5 trillion rubles or more. In addition to issuing multiple electronic visas in the Agency offer ��news for foreigners multiple entry tourist visa with a validity of up to five years by analogy with the Schengen. Eugene Ivanov confirmed that in April the foreign Ministry received an appeal of the Federal tourism Agency with proposals for measures to support the tourism industry through the further liberalization of the visa regime of the Russian Federation. Many of them, he said, need to be considered 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.However, he said: since the end of last year, the Russian foreign Ministry took the initiative is working on a bill providing for the possibility of granting all foreigners multiple entry tourist visa valid for up to six months (the total period of stay in Russia should not exceed three months within this period) only on the basis of the reservation confirmation at the hotel on the first trip. “We see no obstacles for now the validity of this visa to increase even up to one year— said Eugene Ivanov.— Regarding design opportunities in term tourist visas valid for up to five years, principled objections also not available.” But such a prospect foreign Minister offers to move “gradually by analyzing accumulated experience.” To some this seems too slow, and someone thinks it is generally unnecessary to go in this direction.Elena Chernenko
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