Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab (Center) has opened admission for applications for the compensation of Russian visa fees in 2018. The €61,000 earmarked for the measure is meant for people visiting relatives or family graves in parts of Russia located near the Estonian border.
"Close relatives are among the greatest wealth that people have," Aab said. "The same could be said about the memories that have been left of them. This is why I consider it important the people have the opportunity to visit their relatives or their graves even if those have been left behind the border."
According to Aab, the visa support scheme is in large part same as it was in previous years, but the sum allocated for compensation has increased and the recipients of applications have changed.
As county governments ceased to exist at the beginning of the year, applications can now be submitted to the Ida-Viru County Government Association and the Võru County Development Center. The latter also provides a visa coordination service. Applications are still being accepted at former county government buildings in Jõhvi and Võru.
Applications for visa fee compensation can be submitted by all citizens of Estonia whose place of residence according to the Population Register is in Estonia and who wish to visit relatives, spouses or their graves in the regions of Russia located near the Estonian border. Among regions considered to be near the border are Zagrive Municipality in Slantsevsky District, the town of Ivangorod and Bolshelutsky and Kuzyemkino Municipalities in the Kingiseppsky District and the town of Pechory and Krupa, Laura and Novo-Izborsk Municipalities in Pechory District.
This year, visas will be compensated on the basis of documents whose period of validity was during November and December 2017, in addition to visas with a period of validity partly or fully in 2018. This year, a maximum of €70 per applicant will be compensated.
Applications to be included in the list of compensation recipients can be submitted through Oct. 31. Applications for the compensation of paid visas can be submitted through Nov. 30.
Editor: Aili Vahtla