Fewer Restrictions for Americans Traveling to Russia Now in Place
A new visa agreement between the United States and Russia that went into effect this month eases restrictions on Americans traveling to the former Soviet nation. Visas now last for three years and allow tourists as well as business travelers and humanitarian workers multiple entries and stays of up to six months. The new visa costs $180.
Prior to the agreement, visas limited travelers to two entries and a single stay of 30 days, with the visa expiring afterwards. The new agreement also disposes of the requirement that travelers receive an official Russian government-issued document . Travelers are still required to provide a voucher from a tour operator or letter from a hosting friend or family, and business and humanitarian workers must still submit a letter from a Russian-based company.
Processing requires travelers to surrender their passports, and is expected to take 20 business days, but travelers in a rush can receive an expedited 30-day visa by applying under the old visa program.