Almost visa-free travel to Russia for Bulgarian passport holders

Bulgarian citizens are now able to travel almost visa-free (with free e-visa) to the Russian Federation - Saint Petersburg (and Leningrad area) and Kaliningrad.
Russia border crossing

Bulgarian citizens can now travel virtually visa-free to the Russian Federation. With effect from October 1st 2019, Bulgarian passport holders can enter Russia through most of the entry points in Saint Petersburg (and the Leningrad area) by means of an e-visa only.

Earlier this year, from July 1st, the Russian government set the first step towards liberating the entry requirements for Bulgarians. It was decided to allow Bulgarian citizens to travel to Kaliningrad Region on an e-visa.

The Russian e-visa for Bulgarians – not really a visa requirement, but a mere ESTA

ESTA, or Electronic System for Travel Authorization, is best known by the citizens of countries who are willing to visit the USA and are exempt of requirement to hold valid US visa. ESTA is considered to be a visa-free regime (ie British national travelling to the USA). This is because the ESTA requires the traveler to simply register electronically prior to his departure. ESTA doesn’t imply visit to the embassy, paying significant fees, providing supporting documents, hotel reservation, tickets, etc. Well, the Russian e-visa for Bulgarians is just that, but even better.

The Russian e-visa for Bulgarian citizens

The e-visa is valid for entering Russia through most of the entry points in Saint Petersburg (and the Leningrad area) and Kaliningrad, and is:

  • Free of charge;
  • Doesn’t require any supporting documents, one only needs to register his personal details;
  • Can be applied for online, 24/7 without the need to visit any Russian embassy;
  • The e-visa is valid for 30 days for a visit not exceeding 8 days.

Bulgarian citizens, wishing to apply for e-visa should visit the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation – Consular department.

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