Russia to simplify visa regulations ahead 2018 World Cup

Posted: November 11, 2012 in travel & tourism

Russia law makers would considering more simplified visa regulations for foreigners related to the 2018 World Cup, a travel industry union said Sunday.

A bill has been presented to the State Duma, or lower house of the parliament for the visa-free discussion, Russian Union of the Travel Industry said.

The bill allowed foreign citizens involving in organizing and conducting the World Cup and the 2017 Confederations’ Cup to skip the consular procedures and fees related to the visas, Yury Barzykin, Vice President of the union told local media.

Meanwhile, certain kinds of foreigners, especially those participating in the games, could enter Russia during the competition period without getting a visa if certain documents are provided in advance, the bill suggested.

Moreover, the bill would give certain foreigners the right of free travels between Russian host cities of the World Cup. For example, a ticket to a game of the World Cup could be taken as a “travel document,” Interfax news agency quoted Barzykin as saying.

The bill, if approved by the State Duma, would help boost the sports tourism in Russia during the World Cup years and encourage more sports fans and travelers to visit the country, Barzykin said.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said previously that Russia would speed up preparations for the World Cup following the unveiling of the 11 host cities.

The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) and Russia last month announced 11 host cities of the World Cup, which include Kaliningrad, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Samara, Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd and Sochi.

Russia pledged to hold “a high quality championships” with full-scale preparation works, Mutko said.

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