Free e-visas introduced for Taiwanese visiting St. Petersburg

Taipei-Taiwanese travelers will be able to visit Saint Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with a free single-entry e-visa starting Oct. 1, according to an order signed by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

According to the announcement the Russian government made on Friday, a total of 53 nationalities are eligible for an e-visa to visit the city, including Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

Since June, Taiwan passport holders have been eligible for free single-entry e-visas to visit Russia's Far East Federal District. Beginning July 1, the e-visa offer was expanded to the Kaliningrad region, which is located on the Baltic Sea.

The visa will be valid for 30 days and allows an eight-day stay in the Saint Petersburg area, the announcement said.

Visitors are required to enter and exit the area through designated points of entry, the announcement states.

Tourists are directed to apply for the e-visa on the Russian Foreign Ministry website no later than four days before arrival, according to the announcement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree on July 18, which stated the e-visa program would go into effect in Saint Petersburg on Oct. 1. However, the list of countries eligible for the program were not made public at that time.

Eying the economic benefits of tourism, Russian media have reported that the government plans to expand the e-visa offer to visitors across the nation on Jan. 1, 2021.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel