Moscow: India took a lead in resolving the
vexed visa issue by liberalising its rules for the Russian
citizens visiting India on business and tourism.
"We are now issuing multi-entry business visas valid for
one year against six months single or double entry in the past
and tourist visas valid for six months with multiple entries,"
India`s Ambassador to Russia Ajai Malhotra has said.
The Embassy of India in Moscow has streamlined and
liberalised its issuance of business and tourist visas with a
view to further encourage business contacts and promote
tourism between India and Russia.
India and the Russian Federation already have in place a
visa-free regime for diplomatic and official passport holders
of both countries, that facilitates regular official contact.
Both business and tourist visas would normally be issued
in three working days following the date of application
against minimum 10 working days previously.
The new pattern is also being followed by the Indian
Consulates General in St Petersburg and Vladivostok.
The Russian citizens normally have to apply for the
Indian visa by a Russian company appointed by the Indian
mission to allow them to submit their applications even on
weekends and holidays, when the Embassy is closed.
Ambassador Malhotra said these measures to facilitate the
travel by Russian businessmen and tourists to India were
actually implemented from June 12, Russia`s national day.
According to him, the Indian Embassy in Moscow and the
Consulates in St Petersburg and Vladivostok had issued about
110,000 visas to Russian citizens during 2010.
"I expect this number to increase by about 25 per cent
this year," Malhotra said.
Tourist flows from Russia to India have picked up in
recent years, with Goa, New Delhi-Agra-Jaipur Golden
Triangle, Mumbai and Kulu-Manali emerging as major
According to a recent report issued by the State
Statistics Committee last year 12 million Russians visited