In a significant move, Russia is all set to introduce its electronic visa (e-visa) services for Indian passport holders starting from August 1. The e-visa process promises a speedy turnaround time, with visas being processed within a maximum of four days, and a reasonable consular fee of $40 will be levied for this convenience.
This new e-visa provision by the Russian Foreign Ministry will extend its benefits to citizens of 52 countries, allowing them to make the most of this efficient system beginning August 1. The e-visa is a versatile option that opens doors to various purposes of travel, including business trips, guest visits, and tourism, among others.
Indian travelers can rejoice as the e-visa comes with a validity of 60 days, granting them the opportunity to stay in Russia for up to 16 days at a time. Interestingly, reports suggest that citizens of select countries may even secure a tourist visa lasting up to six months if they have confirmed hotel reservations.
The introduction of the e-visa facility for Indians is expected to significantly streamline the otherwise cumbersome documentation process and substantially reduce processing times. This will undoubtedly be a much more convenient and attractive option for Indian tourists planning their visits to Russia.
Meanwhile, Russia's tourism industry has been facing severe setbacks, especially from western countries, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Official figures, as reported by Moscow Times, reveal a staggering 40 percent decline in foreign tourists visiting Russia, dropping from 290,000 in 2021 to 190,000 in 2022.
In response to the crisis, Moscow has been seeking to forge closer ties with other nations, including China, India, and various African countries. These efforts are seen as a means to mitigate the impact of the conflict and revive the tourism sector, which has taken a significant hit since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine over a year ago. The conflict has resulted in thousands of casualties and displaced millions, prompting Russia to explore alternative partnerships to sustain its tourism industry.