Travellers who have eyes for a Siberian stint are in luck! Russia will soon allow tourists to visit Siberia for 72-hours without a visa for the first time in the country’s history.
New visa-free stays will apply for tourists visiting Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia as well as Vladivostok on the eastern coast and Khabarovsk. This is the first time since Soviet times that visas have been waived at all in this way for visitors to Russia. The biggest hurdle for tourists heading to Russia is without a doubt the visa application process so it’s music to the ears that the visa rules are being relaxed a bit.
The fine print
Visa-free visits are only applicable for nationals from 20 countries which include the USA, Canada, Australia and major European Union countries like the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The rules will only apply to visitors passing through Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok from China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore.
Transit passengers will require the following: valid passport, onward travel bookings, hotel reservation and medical insurance to qualify for the 72-hour visa-free visit. Tourists will need onward travel booked with major Russian airlines like Aeroflot, Transaero or a Siberian carrier like S7 or UTair.
Russia isn’t the only country hoping to lure more tourists by relaxing the visa rules. The Philippines recently extended tourist visas to 6 months instead of only 60 days. Tourists are also able to visit Beijing and Shanghai in China for 72 hour transit-visits without needing a visa.