It seems like it was ages ago but the day is almost here: the idea was first introduced in a meeting with then-Prime Minister Putin and US President Obama during a visit to Moscow, the USA and Russia are finally ready for the new and much awaited visa rule changes will go into effect. The rules will change on Sunday, 9 September, and all that was remaining was the formality of the Russian Foreign Ministry to exchange diplomatic notes with the U.S. Embassy and that action took place in Moscow last Friday.
Both Russian and US officials expect the new visa regime to be met with great interest as the new visas will grant both business travelers and tourists the ability to obtain three-year multiple-entry visas. The visas will allow for a maximum stay of six months each year.
Other changes include the provision that officials from either side will approve or deny each application within 15 calendar days of submission. The new rules also end the outdated requirement for US applicants having to obtain a written invitation from a Russian citizen or organization in order to apply for a visa. The United States will continue the practice of Embassy interviews for first-time Russian applicants as part of the approval process.