The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia exchanged the diplomatic notes with the Embassy of the USA in Moscow on entry into force of the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the USA on Simplification of Visa Procedures for the citizens of the Russian Federation and the citizens of the United States of America on 9 September.
The Agreement was elaborated in terms of implementation of the Joint Statement by the Presidents of the Russian Federation and of the United States of America Regarding Cooperation on Visa Issues adopted according to the results of the meeting in Deauville on 26 May 2011, and concluded in form of notes exchange on 19 November 2011 in Bali, Indonesia.
The Agreement particularly stipulates the issue of multi-entry visas to the citizens for stay up to 6 months from the date of each entry, which are valid for 36 months from the date of issue.
In terms of the Agreement the Russian Federation is to issue business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas at direct invitation of the receiving party, and the United States of America is to issue B1/B2 visas. Decisions on visa applications will generally be made during 15 calendar days from the beginning of their processing.
According to the agreement:
1) US Citizens entering (in transit, exiting or situated) on the territory of the Russian Federation should have:
· a valid passport
· a valid visa, except in cases whereby they are exempt from the requirement of obtaining a visa in accordance with domestic legislation of the state of entry.
2) Russian embassies and consulates offices make decisions on visa applications and the granting of visas within 15 days from the date of application. The maximum term to make a decision on a visa application and the granting of a visa can either be
· reduced by 3 working days or less in the event it is urgent, or
· extended, if the application requires addition time to be reviewed.
Is it allowed to apply for a visas from the territory of a third states to the appropriate diplomatic mission or consular office.
3) Russian multi-entry visas for US citizen are issued for period of stay for no longer than 6 months from the date of each entry and are valid for period of 36 months (3 years) from the date the visa was issued.
4) For short-term official trips Russian visas are ussued for a period of stay not longer than 3 months from the date of each entry and are valid for a period of 12 months from the date the visa is issued and is subject to the principle of reciprocity.
5) In the event of a loss of a passport while staying on the territory of Russia, an US citizen may travel or depart without a visa or other authorized documents based on replacement documents issuedby US Embassy or consulate in Russia.