Bill to increase visa fee for EU citizens has been introduced to the State Duma

It is proposed to take mirror measures and to equalize visa fees for issuing Russian visas with the norms currently established in the European Union, Denmark, Iceland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, as their authorities had unilaterally completely suspended international agreements with the Russian Federation on the mutual simplification of visa procedures, and started to collect higher visa fees

The relevant bill has been introduced to the State Duma.

“As a result, citizens of European countries of all categories will be charged visa fees determined by Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation of November 11, 2010 No. 889 “On Endorsement of the Rates of Consular Fees Collected by Officials for Committed Consular Actions.” That means that the Russian visas will be more expensive depending on urgency and frequency in the range of $50–300, and the corresponding income from their issuance may increase by 2.8 times,” says the bill’s explanatory note.

There have also been introduced restrictions on visa-free entry for diplomats and visa privileges for members of official delegations, national and regional governments and parliaments, constitutional and supreme courts, and journalists from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

At the same time, the approach approved by the President of the Russian Federation for maintaining contacts with citizens of the European countries allows to issue Russian visas to certain categories of European citizens — entrepreneurs, individuals participating in scientific, cultural or creative activities, participants in international sports events and official exchange programs between sister cities, schoolchildren, students, graduate students going for study and internship, close relatives of citizens of European countries living in the Russian Federation, truck drivers. They will be able to obtain a Russian visa without issuing invitations at the territorial offices of the Russian Ministry of Interior.

It is expected that the law will come into force on the date of publication, as that is “justified by the need to promptly introduce a new procedure for collecting increased visa fees.”