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72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

Moscow, Russia
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72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

This is just FYI: Today, Russian Government's Legislative Commission debated and approved amendments to Russia's federal legislation to allow passport holders of certain countries (a list of such countries has not yet been dratfed) enjoy 72-hours visa-free stay in Russia while in transit via Russian international airports! However, the draft bill still has to be approved by the Cabinet and pass the Russian parliament and signed by the President. The chances that the bill will be greenlighted are quite high. It may take several months, though.

http://government.ru/activities/4095

Edited: 05 January 2015, 11:48
Palmetto, Florida
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1. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

>>allow passport holders of certain countries (a list of such countries has not yet been dratfed)<<

Given examples of past policies and the current political difficulties, I would be surprised if USA makes it on the list :(

But thanks for the info, Vlad'69.

New York
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2. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

The Chinese adopted a rule like this recently, so - we'll see.

Palmetto, Florida
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3. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

Yes we will see, but unless the US also allows same policy, it ain't gonna happen for us, you think?

Btw, I never was clear on how one calculates the 72 hour visa free thingy.. Is it true to the numbers of hours, or done by calendar dates? Could make a big difference on the time I choose to enter country.

Moscow, Russia
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4. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

On Wednesday September 4, Russia's government approved the draft bill mentioned above. The bill will soon be submitted to the Parliament (State Duma) for approval.

Edited: 05 September 2013, 00:02
Moscow, Russia
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5. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

Update:

On September 17, the Russian Government submitted a draft bill to the Russian Parliament (State Duma) introducing 72-hours visa-free stay in Russia for transit passengers while in transit via Russian international airports. I think it has 99 percent chance to be approved soon. Please note, however, that the bill envisions that visa requirements for transit passengers, allowing them to stay 72 hours visa free, will be lifted on June 1, 2014. By the end of 2013, the Government will have to approve a list of international airports and a list of countries, citizens of which will be eligible.

Source: http://asozd2c.duma.gov.ru/addwork/scans.nsf/ID/66CE26BC25D292CD43257BE9002EBE5E/$FILE/342631-6.PDF?OpenElement (in Russian)

CEOs of Aeroexpress have already said that they were planning to introduce special discounts to visa-free transit passengers traveling from Moscow airports to city center.

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6. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

Just to give everybody something to read, this article names the "low immigration risk" countries likely to be eligible for visa-free transit

almost the whole of Europe France, UK, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. She also added that in addition to Europe there will be included in the list U.S. and Canada. In addition, perhaps even China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Iran, and Australia.

translate.google.com/translate…

Edited: 01 October 2013, 19:14
Berlin, Germany
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7. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

Thanks to both Vlads for keeping us updated on this, most appreciated.

I would assume they have just forgotten a few countries in the list above (notably Italy, most numerous European tourist nationality when we were in StP) or Germany and Norway, given the reason stated in the google-translated article (tourists spending money in Russia).

I saw proposals about this already 2012 (below), and back then the cities Moscow, StP and Kazan were mentioned as the places/airports where this option would be available. Are these specific cities still mentioned anywhere in Russian media/government info regarding this?

barentsobserver.com/en/borders/visit-big-cit…

St. Petersburg...
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8. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

yes, thanks both Vlads!

>>I would assume they have just forgotten a few countries in the list above

as almost always with russian "news sources" information is conflicting and slightly different from source to source :( Some articles do have "Italy" on that list, some don't.... But to be honest, I did not see Germany or Norway in any....

>>Are these specific cities still mentioned anywhere in Russian media/government info regarding this?

All sources so far mention 11 potential airports/cities: Moscow, SPb, Kazan (these three look like a done deal) and Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Ulan-Ude, and probably Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Nizhnii Novgorod... (I know it doesn't sum up to 11 but that's what was published...). Anyway, by the time they would make up their minds the list might change...

BTW, one source mentions what docs a transit traveller would need to use this 72-hours "rule":

- (usual basic things): medical insurance, air tickets to the third country, passport etc.

- ATTN! a foreign tourist must fly to and from Russia via any Russian airline (not a foreign one). The purpose of this "72-hour visa free transit" is to increase russian tourist industry revenues so people have to "invest" in russian economy buying tickets/flying russian airlines.... I'd say so far "no comment" and we'll see as it progresses...

Berlin, Germany
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9. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

Thanks, Svetakoshka!

Yes I read about your last paragraph as well, although I only read "russian carrier *leaving* Russia", but anyway, it's of course Moscow and Sheremetyevo/Aeroflot that will gain by far the most from this proposition, if realized.

Moscow, Russia
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10. Re: 72 hour visa-free stay while in transit via Russian airports

> a foreign tourist must fly to and from Russia via any Russian airline (not a foreign one).

I'm curious, what if it's a codeshare flight sold under, say, Air France flight number but operated by Aeroflot? Or vice versa?