Secretary of State Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov exchanged diplomatic notes during their November 19, 2011, meeting in Bali on the new agreement on visas announced on July 13, 2011. This exchange of notes advances the 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 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.
This agreement will facilitate travel between our two countries and establish stronger ties between our people. The agreement benefits the largest segments of our traveling Americans and Russians – business travelers and tourists, traveling both as individuals and in groups.
The agreement also streamlines the visa issuance process by reducing the documentation required. These new visa validity periods will allow for expanded contacts and promote greater mutual understanding between our societies.