The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has announced that starting September 9, 2012, Russian and American travelers for business or tourism will be eligible to receive visas valid for multiple entries during a period of 36 months, as a historic U.S.-Russia visa agreement, one that is expected to facilitate travel and establish stronger ties between Russia and the United States, will enter into effect on September 9, 2012.
Three-year, multiple-entry visas will become the standard, default terms for U.S. citizens visiting Russia and Russian citizens visiting the United States and no formal invitation will be required to apply for a business or tourism visa. As a rule, successful visa applicants will receive the full-validity three-year visa.
Further, on September 9, the $100 visa issuance or visa reciprocity fee for Russians issued U.S. visas for business or tourism will fall to $20. However, the $160 application fee will still apply, and validity and fees for other visa types will not change.