A few days ago, we were greeted by the wonderful news that e-visa will now be available for Filipinos travelling to Russia with love. (Sorry, I just had to haha!) . This is cause for celebration for avid travellers like moi since obtaining a traditional visa has always been the norm for Filipinos travelling to Russian territories.
What is the difference between an e-visa and a traditional/standard visa?
The letter e. Just kidding! In all seriousness, the difference is huge! Obtaining a traditional visa requires a lot of leg work, documentary requirements (ITR, bank certificates, employment certificate, etc.), and personal appearance/s. Plus, depending on what country you’re getting the visa from, it also costs a lot of money. And don’t get me started on having to go through the agonizing wait for visa approval!
An e-visa (or electronic visa) on the other hand is done entirely online within minutes and is usually free or charged with a minimal fee. Documentary requirements can be submitted online instead of submitting to an embassy or consulate. Finally, getting approval is almost always assured and, in the case of Russia, comes within 4 days of application.
Is the Russian e-visa really free?
YES. While the traditional Russian visa costs $65, the e-visa does not cost anything because it eliminates consular fees altogether.
“An e-visa is free. Invitations, hotel booking confirmations or any other documents that confirm the purpose of your journey to the Russian Federation are not required for an e-visa. The time period for issuing an e-visa is no longer than 4 calendar days from the date of submission of the complete application.”The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
What are the requirements?
Before applying for your e-visa, make sure you have the following ready:
- Your passport (with at least 6 months validity)
- A digital 3.5×4.5 photo
- You will also need medical insurance with a coverage of worth €30,000 but this can be obtained before your trip.
How can I get my e-visa?
When you’re ready to apply for your e-visa, you may visit the website of the The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. There, you will see detailed instructions so you won’t get lost in the process.
Where can I go with my Russian e-visa?
It is important to note that Russia has only opened the e-visa for Kaliningrad Oblast (since July 1) and St. Petersburg and Leningrad territories (beginning October 1). This means you cannot enter other Russian territories like Moscow or parts other than those mentioned. Hopefully, other territories will also open its doors in the coming months.
So now that you know how to apply for a Russian e-visa, are you ready to book your flight?