September 25, 2023

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Passport holders from Iran and 54 other countries can apply for Russian visas online

TEHRAN—Passport holders from Iran and 54 other countries will be able to apply for immediate Russian visas online.

Russia has launched a service for issuing unified electronic visas for citizens of 55 states, including China, India, Iran, Turkey, and Vietnam, as well as EU countries, reported on August 31.

The electronic visa will be issued within four working days after an application is submitted to a specialized website of the Russian Foreign Ministry,

The electronic visa is suitable for tourist and business trips, while its validity is 60 days from the date of issue, and the period of stay is limited to 16 days from the date of entry into the country.

According to sources, the Moscow City Tourism Committee is taking multiple initiatives to attract travelers from across the globe, and the Russian government is going to create a virtual Foreign Tourist Card, which will permit cashless payments for various services.

Besides, initiatives such as the Foreign Tourist Card will aid in addressing payment-related concerns following the withdrawal of MasterCard and Visa from the Russian market, according to Bulat Nurmukhanov, Head of the International Cooperation Division of the Moscow City Tourism Committee.

The tourist influx to Moscow has drastically reduced during the COVID-19 epidemic. However, the number of foreign tourists visiting Moscow is gradually increasing, and with tourist-friendly measures such as e-visas, this number is expected to rise in the coming months.

Tehran and Moscow have signed an agreement to waive group travel visas, which has not yet been officially implemented. The mechanism of visa-free trips in groups between Iran and Russia has not been worked out, with tourists still traveling using visas, Tasnim quoted the vice president of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry as saying on Saturday.

“The test mode has not been worked out yet. Tourists continue traveling using visas,” Dmitry Gorin said.

Earlier, Russia’s Economic Development Ministry said that visa-free group travel between Russia and Iran resumed on August 1, 2023.

In March 2023, Russian Economy Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said that the agreement on visa-free travel for tourism between Moscow and Tehran will start in 2023, with tour operators who can put tour groups together already agreed. Moreover, late in June, Tehran’s ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali announced that Iran is ready to waive visa requirements reciprocally with Russia, based on an agreement the two countries previously secured for certain tourist groups. The agreement was initially signed by former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in 2017.


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