An agreement between the U.S. and Russia to simplify the visa regime for citizens of these countries was ratified on August 10, 2012. The agreement involves an exchange of notes between 1 and November 19, 2011.
The agreement is aimed at creating more favourable travelling conditions for U.S. and Russian citizens, as well as boosting the development of economic, scientific, cultural ties between the two countries and strengthening legal bilateral relations.
The agreement includes requirements for obtaining business and tourist visas on invitation for up to 3 years for stays of up to 6 consecutive months, as well as shortening the duration of processing visa applications to 15 calendar days.
According to the agreement multiple-entry visas will be issued for up to 1 year for short-term official trips for stays up to 3 consecutive months from the date of each entry.