India is among the 53 countries that will be able to apply for low-cost, simplified visas to visit Russia starting Jan 1, 2021, a senior Russian official said in a recent interview. The 16-day visa, which can be applied for electronically, is for citizens of the EU, as well as those of various countries in the Middle East, Latin America and South and Southeast Asia.
The countries eligible for the offer include India, China, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, and Singapore, to name a few, The Moscow Times reported.
The procedure for getting a visa earlier entailed travelers having to get a letter of invitation. It is issued by a Russian person, institution, hotel or business which has invited you to visit them. This could be the educational institute you will be studying at or the hotel at which you will be staying. This is different from a hotel reservation confirmation letter, which one also needs in order to get a visa. The options for obtaining a Russian visa in India have been either visiting Consulates of the Russian Federation or Russian Visa Centers. Both of these are available in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
American, British and Canadian passport holders are not yet eligible for the e-visa as a result of geopolitical friction, Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Ivanov told the Kommersant business daily in an interview. “The decision to include a particular country in the list was made taking into account a number of factors, including their visa policy toward Russian citizens,” Ivanov was quoted as saying. He added that these countires could be added to the list “if visa dialogue with these states normalizes.”
Tourists have been asked to apply for the e-visas no later than four days before their arrival. While they will not be charged a consular fee, the government will charge a $50 collection fee which will go into the country’s budget.
Similar rules have applied to Russia’s Far East Federal District for 18 countries since 2017. In 2019, the e-visa offer was expanded to include St. Petersburg and the Western enclave of Kalingrad, according to The Moscow Times.

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