RUSSIA: Bilateral Agreement Between Russian Federation & U.S.
On September 9, 2012, a bilateral agreement between the governments of the Russian Federation and the United States came into force. The proposed agreement simplifies visa procedures for persons of both nationalities wishing to receive a business, private, humanitarian, or tourist visa. The full terms of the agreement have not been finalized.
The main points of the agreement include:
It is unclear when these provisions will come into effect, but this agreement is expected to greatly simplify visa processes between Russia and the United States.
- Visas should be issued within 15 calendar days. In urgent cases, visas may be issued within 3 business days
- Visas are valid for up to 3 years and allow a stay of up to 6 months at a time (as opposed to the current limit of 90 days)
- No official invitation issued by an authority is required. However, the consulate may require documents confirming the purpose of travel and the availability of sufficient funds
- If a passport is lost, persons of either nationality may leave the other country without an exit visa, provided an identification document is issued by the appropriate consulate or diplomatic post
- Visa applications may be filed at consulates and diplomatic posts of Russia or the United States located in a country different from that of the person's citizenship or permanent residence.
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