MOSCOW, July 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s State Duma on Friday ratified an agreement with the United States easing visa formalities.
The November 21, 2011 agreement is to create more favorable conditions for trips by Russian and US citizens and the development of economic, cultural, scientific and humanitarian ties between the two countries.
It establishes simpler rules of getting business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas at the invitations of the receiving side for terms of up to three years and an opportunity for continued presence in the country’s territory for six months. The deadline for processing visa applications is fifteen calendar days. It is allowed to issue multiple visas for a period of up to one year for brief official trips and continued presence in the country’s territory for up to three months.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the State Duma “the easing of the visa regimen is an important step towards the cancellation of visa formalities between Russia and the United States. “This will considerably strengthen humanitarian and scientific ties. It is an important step towards the long-term goal – a visaless regimen.”
Earlier, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev voiced the certainty about future visaless contacts.
“We hope that such laws will lay the basis for visaless contacts between our people,” he told the Cabinet on May 24.