The citizens of 53 countries can visit St Petersburg with a free electronic visa

The citizens of 53 countries can  visit St. Petersburg and its neighboring Leningrad region with a free electronic visa from October 1, 2019.  The list of the countries includes Austria, Andorra, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, China (including Taiwan), Croatia, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican. This single-entry visa can be used for tourism, business or humanitarian purposes.

You can apply  for a single-entry e-visa on the website of the Russian ministry for foreign affairs   You can apply for the visa not earlier than 20 days and no later than 4 days before the intended date of entry into Russia, it takes up to 4 calendar days to issue it. You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the application date & a medical insurance valid in Russia for the whole period of your stay.  You can stay in St Petersburg and Leningrad region up to 8 days starting from the date of entry, within the electronic visa’s validity period.  It is  valid within 30 days after an approval online . If you need to stay in St Petersburg  longer than 8 days, you need to get an ordinary Russian  visa in your country. You can visit only St Petersburg and Leningrad region using the e-visa, for example, you can’t go to Moscow.

ATTENTION! The allowed period of stay in the Russian Federation of up to 8 days under an e-visa does not imply that one can stay for the entire 192 hours (24 hours multiplied by 8). The period of stay in the Russian Federation always starts at midnight of the day of passage through passport control upon entry regardless of the actual time of passage through passport control. For example, you have an e-visa valid from July 15 to August 13 and you pass through passport control upon entry at 8:00 pm on August 1, Monday. In that case, you need to pass through passport control upon exit until 11:59 pm on August 8, Monday (rather than until 8:00 pm on August 9, Tuesday).

You can enter St Petersburg and Leningrad region through the following  border checkpoints using the e-visa:

  • airport «Pulkovo»;
  • sea ports «Vysotsk», «Big port Saint Petersburg (Marine Station)», «Passenger port Saint Petersburg»;
  • automobile checkpoints «Ivangorod», «Torfjanovka», «Brusnitchnoe», «Svetogorsk» (you use them if you are driving or taking a bus from Finland);
  • pedestrian checkpoint «Ivangorod» at the Russian-Estonian border.

At the moment, you CAN NOT use the electronic visa if you arrive by train (including Allegro train from Finland).

You can get more information on the e-visas here and make sure to read about all the regulations attentively when you apply.