The Russian Foreign Ministry is preparing agreements on visa-free regime with 11 countries

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ATOR 07 March 2023 15:08

The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that they are preparing agreements on visa-free regime with 11 countries, including some Arab states. The terms of the innovation are not yet called, and many countries have long been visa-free for Russians or have introduced a simplified procedure for issuing visas. We found out who will benefit from visa-free travel with Russia and to which countries the outbound tourist flow can potentially grow.

"Draft intergovernmental agreements on visa–free travel of citizens with a number of countries, namely Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Haiti, Zambia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, are at various stages of elaboration," the State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation told TASS Evgeny Ivanov.

"At the same time, it should be understood that the process of agreeing on such international agreements is a "two—way street. And the pace of signing depends equally on both us and our partners," the Deputy Foreign Minister added.

Interestingly, almost all of these countries are already visa–free for Russian tourists or with a simplified visa procedure. But at the same time, Russia is a visa destination for many countries on the list.

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF ENTRY TO THESE COUNTRIES FOR RUSSIANS

Bahrain has a simplified visa regime with the Russian Federation. If the duration of the trip is less than two weeks, the visa is issued on arrival. A single-entry visa costs $15.

In Oman, Russian tourists can rest without a visa for up to 14 days.

Visa to Saudi Arabia is issued in electronic format. Its cost is 535 Saudi rials (10.7 thousand rubles). Visa on arrival can be obtained by citizens of any country who arrived by one of the national carriers (Saudi, Flynas, Flyadeal), if they have a valid Schengen visa, a US or UK visa.

Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter the Bahamas and stay in the country for up to 90 days.

Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter Barbados for a period not exceeding 30 days.

To visit Haiti for up to 90 days, Russian citizens do not need a visa. You need to pay a tourist tax – $ 10 at the entrance.

Russians can get a visa to Zambia with the right to visit the country for up to 90 days for tourist purposes upon arrival. The cost of a visa for a single entry is US $ 50, for multiple entry — US $ 80. An electronic visa processing service is also available on the website of the Department of Immigration of Zambia.

To visit Kuwait for tourist purposes, Russians need to get a visa at the consulate of the country. Visas are issued by Kuwaiti consular offices if available:

  • consent of the Migration Service of Kuwait;

  • invitations from an organization, a company, a travel company, a hotel or an individual who act as guarantors and are responsible for the invited persons.

You also need to pay a consular fee: $ 100 in ruble equivalent.

Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter Malaysia if the purpose of the trip is tourism, transit, visiting friends or relatives, a short-term business visit, and the period of stay in the country does not exceed 30 days.

Russians do not need to get a visa to enter Mexico. It is enough to simply issue an electronic permit.

For a trip to Trinidad and Tobago Russians do not need a visa. It is allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days, the exact period is set by an immigration officer. The purpose of the visit may be tourism or a business trip.

WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF ENTRY FOR FOREIGNERS TO RUSSIA FROM THE "FOREIGN MINISTRY LIST"

Citizens Bahrain, wishing to visit Russia for tourist purposes, should apply to the Russian Embassy and apply for a visa. Among them there must be a tourist invitation issued by a tour operator. The presence of an invitation is a general requirement for foreigners when entering Russia.

Recall that from March 1, 2023, Russia issues visas to citizens of 19 countries for up to six months. To receive such a confirmation, it will be enough to confirm the hotel reservation. Bahrain is on the list of these countries.

Citizens To obtain a Russian visa, you need to contact the Russian consulate in this country. A tourist from Oman submits a visa application form, a tourist invitation to Russia (can be provided by a tour operator), as well as a number of other documents.

Citizens Saudi Arabia must also obtain a Russian visa at the consulate. The requirements for documents are similar to the previous countries.

Tourists from the Bahamas also need to get a sticker with a Russian visa at the consulate.

Citizens Barbados, Haiti, Zambia, Malaysia, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago need to get a visa to Russia at the consulate of the country. The requirements are similar to those listed above.

Passport holders Tourists can apply for a one-time or two-time tourist visa of the Russian Federation valid for three months by providing a hotel booking confirmation. The same measures apply to obtaining multiple-entry tourist visas with an extension of their validity period up to six months.

Earlier in Russia, the possibility of introducing an electronic visa was actively discussed – selectively for some or even all states. But for now, the issue is still postponed indefinitely. Obviously, there will be no electronic visas in the summer season of 2023.

WHO NEEDS VISA-FREE TRAVEL WITH RUSSIA

Based on the listed entry conditions, the prospect of visa cancellation will play a much greater role for inbound tourism to Russia than for outbound.

"From the point of view of inbound tourist flows Russia is interested in the markets of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Malaysia and Mexico. If we talk about Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Mexico, the appearance of direct flights with these countries will contribute to a multiple increase in the tourist flow," the press service of Intourist says.

There are direct flights with Bahrain and Kuwait, so it is the appearance of visa-free travel that will immediately contribute to the growth of tourists' interest in our country. Other countries, such as the Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, and African states, are unlikely to be able to form any significant inbound flow for Russia.

One of the main problems for entry is that foreigners will not be able to use their Visa and Mastercard bank cards here. But the receiving tour operators are dealing with this issue.

"At the moment, tour operators are discussing with their partners the issue of deposits for incoming tourists, wherever possible. The cash payment method also remains valid. Exchange offices at airports are working," Intourist notes.

As for Russian outbound tourism, visa-free entry will contribute to an increase in demand for tours to Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait.

"These destinations are already popular with our tourists. Mexico gives an electronic visa, which is done quickly and simply. All the other countries listed are practically not in demand in terms of tourism, largely due to a very long and difficult flight," say the specialists of the Russian Express company.


Please note that this press release is based on materials provided by the company. AK&M Information Agency shall not be held liable for its contents, nor for the legal and other consequences of its publication.