Tourists who were unable to travel to Russia due to the pandemic will be able to re-apply for a visa without a consular fee as soon as the consulates open, — the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova announced.
Russian consular offices have suspended the issue of visas following the Russian government order dated March 16, 2020. When the Russian foreign missions resume their work it will be possible to obtain a visa free of charge provided that:
— the applicant has an unused single or double-entry visa valid no earlier than March 15 of this year;
— the applicant has applied for a new visa of the same or lower multiplicity for a new period;
— the new visa expires within six months after the Russian foreign missions resume their work.
According to our information, Russian consulates abroad have not officially received this information yet. They are waiting for a telegram from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Earlier the president of the Russian Touroperators Union Andrei Ignatiev appealed to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov: “We know that the Foreign Ministry is discussing the possibility of issuing new visas to such citizens free of charge. This could encourage foreign tourists not to give up their trip to our country. In this regard, we would like to express our full support for such an initiative”.
In addition, the Russian Touroperators Union proposed to start issuing Russian visas to foreigners before the opening of borders, so as not to waste precious time after the borders are open. “There are reports that international flights soon resume. The processing time for a Russian visa can be up to 20 working days. That is why we advise to open Russian consulates abroad in advance to receive documents from foreign citizens wishing to visit our country.”