Number of tourist visas to Russia decreased by 5% in 2015
The number of tourist visas issued by the Russian Consulates in 2015 decreased by 5.3% compared to 2014.
As noted the Director of the Consular Department of the MFA of Russia Yevgeny Ivanov, Russian Consular Departments around the world issued 1.147 million tourist visas in 2015.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more modest results were expected in this direction due to the sanctions policy of the West.
It should be recalled that a significant part of foreign nationals enters Russia without visas on the basis of existing international treaties.
According to Mr. Ivanov, the number of issued multiple-entry long-term visas is growing with every passing year.
“To illustrate the situation, I would like to give an example of the United States and the agreement on simplification of visa formalities concluded between our countries. If two years ago we issued only a small amount (about 13%) of multiple-entry three-year visas to the US citizens, now this figure is close to 70%”, – said E. Ivanov.
In addition, he recalled that similar arrangements exist between Russia and the European Union – the number of multiple-entry long-term visas issued to the European nationals is also gradually increasing.
E. Ivanov also gave his view on the liberalization of the visa regime with the European Union while recalling that the negotiations on this issue have been suspended in 2014 on the initiative of the EU.
“Amendments to the Federal Law “On the Procedure for Exit from the Russian Federation and Entry into the Russian Federation” came into force in 2015 allowed us to issue to foreign citizens tourist visas valid for up to six months, private visas valid for up to a year and business and humanitarian visas valid for up to five years based on the principle of reciprocity”, – noted the head of the Consular Department.