The Russian Convention Bureau has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation on introducing a special visa regime for foreign participants of business events. This measure will help simplify the visa issuing procedure and improve the attractiveness of our country as a destination of international forums and congresses.
Around 70% of all participants of international business events on the territory of Russia are citizens of foreign states. The simplified visa regime is currently available only to participants of events held by major organizers and supported at the level of the federal government. Meanwhile, other projects, including rotating industrial events and scientific congresses do not enjoy such opportunities.
Meanwhile, the simplified procedure for issuing visas in other countries has proven its effectiveness. These simplified procedures include lower visa fees for business visas and quicker issue of such visas for periods under 30 days. Belarus has recently introduced the visa-free regime for participants of congress events. It must be taken into consideration that tenders organized for the right to host international events often see Russia compete with EU countries that offer visa-free access to their territories for citizens of a large number of countries.
«The President of the Russian Federation has asked to simplify the visa issuing procedure for foreign citizens entering Russia as tourists (Order No. 277, Section 3), and in this light the initiative of the Russian Convention Bureau is quite timely,» says Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation. «Simplifying the visa application procedure for participants of business events is an important step in getting Russia more involved into the international agenda of industry and science events. Of note is the unique experience of Russia with the special visa issuing regime at the FIFA World Cup last year, when more than 3 million foreign football fans came to our country with a Fan I.D. The validity term of Fan I.D.s was later extended through the rest of 2018.»
Commenting on the influence of visa procedures on attracting important international business events and development of business tourism overall, director of the Russian Convention Bureau Alexey Kalachev said: «A simpler visa application procedure for foreign participants of events in Russia will undoubtedly help us increase the number of business events in this country. Considering that each participant of such events usually spends 3 or 4 times more than an ordinary tourist, we believe that introducing this special simplified visa application procedures will favorably affect the countrys budget, as well as the budget of separate regions, and activities of companies working on the event industry market.»