Russia-US agreement eases visa formalities
The Russian and US governments entered into a bilateral agreement on 9 September 2012, which aims to simplify visa procedures for nationals of both countries who seek a business, private, humanitarian or tourist visa.
Key changes are expected to include:
- Visas should be issued within 15 calendar days of receipt of the application. In urgent cases, visas can be issued within three business days.
- Visas may be valid for up to three years and allow a stay of up to six months at a time (as opposed to the current 90-day limit).
- No official invitation issued by the authorities will be required. However, the issuing consulate has the right to require documents confirming the purpose of travel and availability of sufficient funds.
- If a passport is lost in Russia, it will be possible to leave the country without an exit visa, provided an identification document is issued by the correspondent Consulate or Diplomatic post.
- It will be possible to file visa applications at Russian and US consulates or diplomatic posts in countries other than the applicant’s country of citizenship or permanent residence.
For more information about the agreement and its impact on travel to the U.S., please visit the U.S. Department of State website at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/09/197476.htm.
For specific questions or legal advice, please contact your Global Immigration professional at Hudson McKenzie, or email one of our Global Immigration Lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org