September 9, 2012 Marks Effective Date of Historic U.S./Russia Visa Agreement
Starting September 9, 2012, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia will now issue business travelers and tourists visas for multiple entries during a 36-month (3 year) period. This historic U.S.-Russian visa agreement will default to this 3-year, multiple entry visa as a way to facilitate easier travel and establish stronger ties between the U.S. and Russia. Read the full Press Release from U.S. Embassy Moscow here.Under this new agreement, no formal invitation will be required for a Russian business or tourist wishing to entry into the U.S. However, U.S. applicants seeking Russian tourist visas must continue to hold advance lodging reservations and arrangements with a tour operator. Also, the fee for this visa will be reduced from $100 to $20. Unfortunately, other visa types (such as students, workers, and journalist) will not change and the visa fee of $160 will remain the same.
Both Russia and the United States have also committed to keep the standard visa processing times under 15 days, although some individual cases may require additional processing. The hope is that this new agreement will ease visa processing for Russian and U.S. business and tourist travelers.
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