New Russia – USA Visa regime by Christmas?

A Visa for Christmas?

US Ambassador Beyrle

U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle has confirmed that the long delay in a new visa regime between Russia and the USA may soon be over. This weekend USA Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov concluded a new travel visa agreement.

The final hurdle will be the Russian Federation Federal Assembly ratification and then signed into law by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Approval will be sought from both branches of Parliament, the Federation Council and the DUMA.

Under the new agreement, USA visas issued to Russians and Russian visas issued to Americans will be valid for three years and allow multiple entries. This will significantly streamline the current visa regime for travelers from both countries.

US Secretary of State Clinton & Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

Still unclear is whether applicants will continue to need written invitations from the host country. Ambassador Beyrle did not indicate if the agreement also required confirmation by the USA Congress.

In comments, Ambassador Beyrle said, This is yet another sign that the ‘reset’ in relations between our two countries is of practical use to ordinary people.”

The Ambassador also wished both Russians and Americans a time for Thanksgiving,“И поскольку сейчас американцы готовятся к одному из главных национальных праздников, который мы отмечаем в этот четверг, я всех вас поздравляю с наступающим Днем благодарения!”