Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region can be visited with electronic visas from October 1, 2019. Tourists from certain countries of the list which is being now prepared will apply for their visas to Saint Petersburg, Russia online with no consular fees.
Visa-free entrance to Russia for visitors of Mundial in 2019 lead to a significant increase of tourist arrivals; Fan-ID actually became an electronic visa prototype and this successful experience let Russian authorities adopt a resolution to simplify visa regulations and introduce electronic Russian visas.
This is not a brand-new solution for Russia; from 2017, 18 countries had permission to travel with e-visas to Far East Federal District and Kaliningrad oblast. Now, this opportunity is expanded to tourists who want to visit Saint Petersburg, one of the most popular destination, and by 2021 a simplified electronic visa might be available for visiting the whole country.
E-visas to Saint Petersburg are available at the official MFA website: https://evisa.kdmid.ru/en-US
Travellers must apply for e-visas no later than 4 days and no earlier than 20 days before the trip and can claim 30 days validity with the duration of stay of 8 days for travelling, humanitarian and business purposes.
An e-visa for the selected entity of the Russian Federation is only valid for entering and leaving the Russian Federation at the following national border checkpoints:
- air checkpoint «Pulkovo»;
- naval checkpoints «Vysotsk», «Big port Saint Petersburg (Marine Station)», «Passenger port Saint Petersburg»;
- automobile checkpoints «Ivangorod», «Torfjanovka», «Brusnitchnoe», «Svetogorsk»;
- pedestrian checkpoint «Ivangorod».
This means that at the moment you can not use an e-visa for crossing the border by train.
Application for Far-Eastern region/Kaliningrad/Saint Petersburg eVisas: https://evisa.kdmid.ru/en-US
Countries list for Saint Petersburg e-visa: http://electronic-visa.kdmid.ru/spb_country_en.html
List of checkpoints in Saint Petersburg that can be crossed with an Evisa: http://electronic-visa.kdmid.ru/spb_checkpoint_en.html