2 Feb 2024 16:42

Almost 850,000 foreigners issued Russian visas in 2023

MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) - Russian embassies and consulates issued almost 850,000 visas to foreign citizens in 2023, compared to 512,000 in 2022, the Russian Foreign Ministry's Consular Department said on Friday.

"As the pandemic restrictions on transborder travel are lifted by most countries, the demand for visas for traveling to the Russian Federation is gradually recovering. Russian embassies and consulates issued 846,000 visas in 2023 compared to 512,000 in 2022," the department said.

Seventy-four percent of applicants sought short-term visas for tourist, private, business and humanitarian cooperation trips, while 14% applied for student visas and 9% for work visas, it said.

"The largest number of Russian visas were requested in Asia (45%), while around a quarter of applicants (26%) contacted our missions in European countries and another 16% in Africa and the Middle and Near East," the department said.

Russia introduced e-visas in August 2023, and 170,000 single-entry e-visas were issued within five months of last year.

E-visas are available to citizens of 55 countries for guest, business and tourist trips or for attending scientific, cultural, sociopolitical, economic or sports events. The visa is valid for 16 days. The consular fee is around $50.

Citizens of approximately 60 countries can travel to Russia short-term and visa-free with domestic passports under respective international agreements, the department said.