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 Russian for visitors of Mundial in 2019 lead to significant increase of tourist arrivals; Fan-ID actually became an electronic visa prototype and this successful experience let Russian authorities to 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 a 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 will be available at the official MFA website as soon as all details are confirmed: by October 2019 authorities have to confirm the list of countries who can travel with electronic visas and specify checkpoints for entrance with a valid e-visa.
Russian Federation Presidential Decree says that travelers will have to apply for e-visa no later than 4 days and no earlier than 20 days before the trip and will be able to claim 30 days validity with duration of stay of 8 days for travelling, humanitarian and business purposes.