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New Visa rules!

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St Petersburg Russia
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for St. Petersburg
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New Visa rules!

Today, a new visa regime has gone into effect for Americans seeking Russian visas. This has been a 2 year process of working out the details and new applications can apply for the new 3 year multiple re-entry extended visa. The consular fee is $180 for 7-15 day processing.

A quote from the Washington DC Russian Embassy Visa Section:

"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."

This is particularly good news for people who would want to visit on the spur or the moment or those with needs for longer stays and will likely increase tourism and business ties.

Plymouth, Minnesota
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1. Re: New Visa rules!

The bad news is that after some initial claims that the process for getting a tourist visa would be much simplified, up to an including potentially eliminating the need for formal "invitations", the reality, apparently, is that here little will change...one will, again, apparently, still need the equivalent if not exactly the same "voucher" and confirmation.

Also, not clear he based on this, this makes it easier for spur of the moment travel for tourists. I did note some quite nice easing for business visas...much less formal paperwork...but, not for tourists.

St Petersburg Russia
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2. Re: New Visa rules!

For tourists who which to return sometime in the 3 year span it is much simpler, just go, without any paperwork on the second and subsequent visits. The first one requires an invitation which is also required of Russians visiting the US in the form of a hotel or other accommodation confirmation and return ticket. If someone does not have a tour operator or accommodation organized, do they really fit into the scope of "Tourist"? For Russia and the US, Tourist has a specific definition. There are other types of visas which apply to other purposes of visits. The Humanitarian visa is also 3 years multiple entry. Doing work, studying, medical, and many other visit purposes have specific visas.

I was surprised to see the new liberalization met with dissatisfaction on some of the forums, it is a big and welcome change which should increase both tourism and business connections. If it works for a few years without problems, the next step which is a goal of the Russian government, is to negotiate a visa waiver program. I don't see a downside.

Auckland Region...
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3. Re: New Visa rules!

Any news about how the "registration" requirement is handled?

Does it still exist?

DCtheKiwi

Moscow, Russia
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4. Re: New Visa rules!

The migration registration has nothing to do with either visas or the US, so it has no relevance to the topic at hand whatsoever.

St Petersburg Russia
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5. Re: New Visa rules!

Same as usual, register within 7 days, your hotel will do it automatically so the vast majority of visitors will not be involved in it at all.

6. Re: New Visa rules!

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