Secretary of State Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov exchanged diplomatic notes during their November 19, 2011, meeting in Bali, Indonesea, on the new Russia-US visa agreement which was announced July 13, 2011. This exchange of notes advances the Russia-US visa agreement one step closer to entry into force.
Under Russian law, the Duma must next ratify the agreement and, following ratification, the parties will exchange a second set of notes confirming that their internal procedures for entry into force have been completed. The agreement will come into force 30 days after that exchange.
This Russia-US visa agreement is historic, and it will allow tourists and business travelers from both the United States and Russia to receive visas with longer validity periods of 36 months, valid for multiple entries. The Russia-US visa agreement will facilitate travel between our two countries and establish stronger ties between the people of these two countries. The agreement benefits the largest segments of traveling Americans and Russians, including business travelers and tourists, traveling both as individuals and in groups.
The Russia-US agreement also streamlines the visa issuance process by reducing the documentation required to obtain a visa in either country. These new Russia-US visa validity periods will allow for expanded contacts and promote greater mutual understanding between Russia and the United States.