Moscow, June 4 (IANS) Foreign holders of FAN IDs for the 2018 FIFA World Cup have been granted visa-free entry to Russia, Russias Communications Ministry said on Monday.
In order to enter Russia, foreign nationals will need to present either their laminated or printed FAN IDs at passport control, reports Tass news agency.
The FAN ID — an innovation Russia introduced upon becoming the 2018 FIFA World Cup host — is a document that all those purchasing tickets for matches must acquire.
FAN IDs give their holders the right to use public transport for free, particularly to travel by train between host cities. As for foreign nationals, the FAN IDs will give them additional benefits such as visa-free entry to the Russian Federation.
Foreign citizens are recommended to cross the Russian border at 177 air, rail, maritime and vehicle crossing points. Airports in the host cities as well as eight motor vehicles border crossing points in the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions will be equipped with help desks for football fans.
In Moscow, these stands will be located at Vnukovo, Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo Airports. In accordance with an intergovernmental agreement, FAN ID holders will also be able to travel to Russia via Belarus without visas.
More than 980,000 people have so far applied for FAN IDs, with Russians among 40 per cent of them. Countries where the most applications came from include the US (39,000), Mexico (33,000), China (39,000), Columbia (23,000), Argentina (26,000), Peru (20,000) and Germany (21,000).
FAN ID holders are granted visa-free entry to Russia starting from midnight on June 4 to 23:59 on July 15, 2018. They can leave Russia without a visa starting from midnight on June 4 to 23:59 on July 25, 2018 (all times local).