Good news for citizens of countries that are part of the European Union: Soon, according to this post on the Nileguidance blog, you may be able to skip the Kafkaesque Russian visa process and still visit your Russian neighbors. Russia and EU have been working on visa-free travel for years, since 2003. What’s changed?
Nileguidance notes that Russia has a particular incentive to try to speed up negotiations at the moment: a new business park that Russia would love to staff with skilled workers from across Europe. According to this article on a Russian news site, Vladimir Chizhov, the Russian envoy to the EU, brought up the issue in a video conference last May:
“We believe the process of reaching this goal [the introduction of visa-free regime] should be accelerated…”Seven years have passed and it is time to move from the long-term goal to something more concrete,” Chizhov said.
NileGuidance notes that while some European heads of state of supportive of the proposal, obstacles remain:
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is supportive of the proposal, but says that there is hesitation among EU members, primarily from Eastern European countries, stating that it’s “probably connected to these countries history during the era of the Soviet Union.” Among other supporters is Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, saying, “it is necessary to find a solution to the visa issue as soon as possible. We’ve dragged this out for too long.”
If Russian visa requirements get lifted for EU citizens, that will be good news for them. However, American citizens will still have to go through the Russian visa process before leaving the US- no such plans are in the works for us.
If you’re planning to visit Russia as a tourist, see Tourist Requirements for a Getting a Russian Visa.
If you’re planning to go on a business trip, see Obtaining a Russian Business Visa
If you’re just passing through Russia on the way to somewhere else, guess what? You still need a visa. See Russian Transit Visa Requirements for details.
RushMyTravelVisa can help you apply for your Russian visa, walking you through the paperwork to prevent common mistakes that could hold up your application. Then, we’ll deliver your visa application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.
Apply for your Russian visa today!