Dreaming of seeing majestic Russian attractions such as the Winter Palace, the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood, and the State Hermitage Museum in person? Starting October 1, 2019, Philippine passport holders can travel to St. Petersburg and the surrounding Leningrad Region in Russia using a free e-visa.
This exciting news was confirmed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last September 19.
How to Apply for a Free E-Visa?
1. Fill out the online application form here.
2. Make sure you have all the requirements:
- A passport that is valid for at least six months and has free space for border crossing stamps
- A colored photo in JPEG format. It must be taken within six months and must reflect your current appearance.
- Medical insurance valid in the territory for the entire period of stay
3. Wait for the confirmation notification. An email will be sent, but you can also check the status of your application via the website.
4. Print out or download the notification. This is what you need to show to border service officers when entering Russian soil.
To make the application seamless, take note of the following:
- The reason for traveling can be tourism, business, or humanitarian-related. There is no need for an invitation or confirmation documents such as flight reservations and hotel bookings.
- E-visa applications must be made no later than four days and no earlier than 20 days before your expected arrival.
- Take note of your Application ID. This will be displayed in the top right corner of the page. You’ll need this to access the draft of your application in case you get disconnected.
- An e-visa will be issued four days at the latest (including weekdays and bank holidays) from the date of application submission. A visit to the Russian Embassy is not necessary.
- The e-visa is valid for at most eight travel days. This cannot be extended. Do note that this does not necessarily mean that you can stay 192 hours. The period of stay always starts at 12 MN on the day of your arrival, regardless of the actual time. This means that if you pass through passport control 8 PM on October 1, you need to exit by 11:59 PM on October 8.
- The e-visa is only valid at specific national border checkpoints. Make sure that you will enter and leave the Russian Federation via these checkpoints.
- An e-visa does not extend the validity period of a regular visa.
Aside from the Philippines, the free e-visa entry is granted for the citizens of the following countries and destinations:
- Czech Republic
- Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of
- Northern Macedonia
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- Vatican City
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