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Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

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Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

NO MORE INVITATIONS FOR AMERICAN PP HOLDERS

<<In a major triumph for the U.S.-Russia reset, the two countries will introduce a simplified visa regime that includes three-year visas from next month.

The Foreign Ministry has exchanged diplomatic notes with the U.S. Embassy — the final step in the landmark deal — and the new rules will come into force on Sept. 9, the ministry said Monday in a statement.

The new rules will make three-year multiple-entry visas allowing a maximum stay of six months the norm for both tourists and business travelers.

The ministry said a decision on whether to approve each application will now have to be made within 15 calendar days of submission.

The visa agreement — initiated by Washington as President Barack Obama sought to improve relations with Moscow — also ends a requirement for U.S. visitors to obtain a written invitation from a Russian citizen or organization to apply for a visa. The United States had no such requirement for Russian visitors but will continue to ask first-time applicants to attend an interview.

President Vladimir Putin signed the visa agreement on July 28, days after being ratified by the State Duma and Federation Council. Under U.S. law, no ratification was required in the United States.>>

Read more: themoscowtimes.com/news/…ixzz23UI7R21D

The Moscow Times

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51. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

Sorry... 1 other question. We intend on going to Moscow for a few days, head up to St. Petersburg for 3 days, and then back to Moscow. Can we go places other than what is on the Visa? Is it easier to just put Moscow on the visa? Does the visa need to be registered every place we go? If we register it in Moscow, leave, and then come back do we need to register it again?

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52. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

Re what the embassy is saying..this is in fact what is whole thread is about...that is, everyone, embassy included, is in the dark here, including on the nature of invitations required...we have gone from totally going away, to only for business, to for tourists EITHER an invitation or hotel res...

It does appear for the next year, Russians will allow one to do either old style - full, formal invitations and 30 day limit...

The last question asked whether worth it to spend $30...not clear what this about...for sure, one will have to pay minimum $140 for consular fees, and the ILS fee of $30...then, you have to figure to he you are going to get whatever visa support is needed...if not free from hotel, then another $15-20, and las but not least, whether you want to pay a visa agency to handle all of this...another $50-60 or so...this using "old" visa processing rules...

I think it will take quite a while for this to get figured out...

Edited: 10 September 2012, 04:54
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53. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

> Can we go places other than what is on the Visa?

There are no places on the visa - it just says "Russia".

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54. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

When I said $30 I meant to get the invitation even though I might not need one. I think I will do it just to be safe. Does anyone know if New York requires an original?

As for can we go other places I mean other than what is put on the visa application. It asks where you will be staying. Can we go to other cities if not on the application?

Anyone have info on the visa registration? We will not be in any 1 city for more than 7 business days total (which I heard was the maximum before you had to register) .

Edited: 10 September 2012, 05:13
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55. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

> Can we go other places if not on the application?

Sure, with a possible exception of some "sensitive" areas which are far off the beaten path anyway. Your application will be safely buried in the ministry archives after you get your visa, and the visa just says "Russia".

You should not worry about the migration registration (which has got nothing to do with your visa by the way) if you stay in hotels or less than 7 business days.

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56. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

In the meantime, the first Russian applicants under the new regulations are paying US$180 for a three-year US visitor visa right now.

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57. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

Re: fees...I believe this is also down a fair amount, right? So, here, visa agency fees aside, the base rate is really $170...$140 consular, $30 ILS handling...but then there is the pesky invite, which it is not clear yet how much this goes away. If you are able and patient to get all your stuff from hotels, and can get to a Consulate office, then prices are close to the same. The only thing is ILS had announced they now allowed mail, for a nominal add-on fee (actually quite hefty, and ends up pretty much equalling visa agency fees...major bummer...

As for originals of invite stuff, for tourist, you should get an e-mail (or, fax, I guess), then just print this out and submit with app...no need for an "original" (this part, and most, does not depend on whether you are going thru NY or any other Consulate...rules in US are at this point essentially uniform...

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58. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

Yes, it used to be $140 for one year visa and $240 for two years. No agency fee unless you need someone to fill your application for you.

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59. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

The Tourist visa still needs Visa support from a Russian tour operator or authorized hosting hotel for foreign visitor just like before. The Washington DC Russian Embassy Visa Section describes needing proof of accommodations and return ticket on entry.

Otherwise it is all pretty simply. Business visa applicants need a letter of invitation from the business organization inviting the business traveler and a cover letter describing the nature of the visit and where the visitor would be traveling.

The Consular fee is $180 for up to 15days process. ILS fees are $30 and for those using FedEx, fees included for the return of the passport.

An interview with a Ministry official said the 6 month limit would be per entry and consecutive entries are allowed. That is really a big change.

Here is a quote from the DC Embassy web site:

"In accordance with the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on the simplification of visa formalities for nationals of the Russian Federation and nationals of the United States of America effective September 9, 2012 the US citizens shall as a rule be issued multiple-entry business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas for a stay of no more than 6 months starting from the date of each entry that are valid for three years (36 months) from the date of issue of the visa."

Edited: 10 September 2012, 21:21
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60. Re: Eased U.S.-Russia Visa Rules Go Into Force Sept. 9

So of course I go to get the visa photo and the damn places around here can only do it to the US standard of 2x2. Any idea if submitting a 2x2 photo is grounds for rejection? Anyone know where I can get the photo done at the 3.5cm x 4.5cm size? Also, multiple sites say different things regarding the number of photos needed. How many are actually needed? I thought just the 1 that is glued to the application.

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