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Russia to grant 'easy-visas' at key Far Eastern entry point

By The Siberian Times reporter
31 January 2016

Move can boost tourism as free port and pacific capital Vladivostok opens up.

Visitors must file an online application not less than three days ahead of their arrival. Picture: Alexander Khitrov

During the Cold War, Russia's eastern capital was a 'closed city', off limits to foreigners, but today it is paving the way to allowing access to the country. 

As a newly declared free port - reverting to a status it held in the tsarist era between 1861 and 1909 - people entering Russia via Vladivostok will qualify for 'easy visas', part of a simplified entry regime. 

'Our goal is to launch the simplified entry visa regime starting from 1 July 2016 at the first two entry sites - Vladivostok International Airport and the Sea Passenger Terminal of Vladivostok,' said Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Galushka.

Visitors must file an online application not less than three days ahead of their arrival in the city. They will qualify for an 8 day visa subject to approval by authorities. 

Approved applicants will need to make a consular payment, but can then qualify for a visa issued as an e-document.

When crossing the border, a foreigner should provide passport, insurance certificate, and printed notification on the issue of visa.

Travellers will be able to go elsewhere in Russia - for example on the Trans-Siberian railway - but when leaving the country must go 'in the direction' they came from. 

Vladivostok is a key entry point to Russia for tourism to Siberia, and in recent years has rapidly expanding the number of destinations served by its airport. 

For travellers on cruise ships, visa-free entry and 72-hour stay in the Russian Federation is allowed for those entering in Vladivostok. 

Existing agreements with China mean organised tour groups from this country may enter without a visa.

Additonally, holders of cards for business trips to APEC countries can enter Russia without a visa.

Comments (3)

The visa should be at least 30 days.
Cody, USA
28/06/2016 12:20
0
0
If this is finalized in July 2016, I would definitely love to visit Russia for the first time in my life! What I'm doubting here on this article is how foreign travelers to Vladivostok can travel anywhere else in Russia like by using the Trans-Siberian Railway. I wonder if that's true and also other than using the railway, can one travel by flying because if it's true that travelers can also visit other Russian cities, I would also love to visit Novosibirsk and traveling to Novosibirsk via the railway can last for 4 days and that's quite unpleasant knowing that the visa will only last for 8 days.
Lee, Indonesia
04/04/2016 17:08
2
1
This is exciting news! My wife and I have been following the recent story of the tiger and goat at the Primorski Safari park. To be able to visit easily would be a great pleasure.
Richard Parker, Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
01/02/2016 01:00
10
1
1

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