For the year, since reductions in the U.S. Embassy, at least a third of Russians have received American visa outside Russia. At the same time, according to RBC, in spring and summer 2018, the number of visas issued to Russian citizens abroad has increased almost five times
So, for the period from September 2017 to August 2018 the Russians got 136,1 thousand non-immigrant (tourist, study, business etc.) visas to the United States. In the consulates in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok had issued only 89,8 thousand visas. Thus, the newspaper notes, at least 46.1 per thousand, or about 34% of the Russians issued visas was issued by the diplomatic institutions in the USA outside of Russia.
Along with the increase in the number of U.S. visas issued to Russians abroad, reduced the total amount of entry documents. The number of issued U.S. visas has started to decline since August of last year.
At the end of September 2017 the Russians all over the world given half the U.S. visas than in August of the same year (7.1 thousand compared to 14.9 million), the diplomatic missions in Russia the number of issued U.S. non-immigrant visas declined that month by almost 65%.
At the U.S. Embassy in Moscow explained that the number of visas issued has decreased due to reduction of personnel of diplomatic missions by almost 60%.
In July 2017 the President of Russia Vladimir Putin said that in response to American sanctions against Moscow, the number of staff of the American Embassy should be equalized with the number of the Russian diplomatic mission in the United States (up to 455), after which stopped its work in Russia 755 employees of the Embassy and consulates of the United States. In March, closed the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg.
The Russian side has taken this step in response to sanctions by Washington on the “case Skrypalia” after 60 diplomats were forced to leave the Russian Embassy in the United States.
Thus, on the background of the complexity of the procedure of obtaining a visa to Russia, the Russians began to look for opportunities in other countries, told RBC Executive Director of the Association of tour operators of Russia Maya Lomidze. However, she added, to talk about the origin of the visa of tourism is not necessary, this is usually a brief trip to the interview.
Since September of last year the number of Russians receiving American visa in Russia, has become closer to $ 5 thousand per month, and their share did not fall below 27%, according to statistics. In spring and summer 2018, the number issued to Russians abroad, U.S. visas increased at an annual rate almost five times. If in March—August 2017 non-immigrant U.S. visa in the consulates outside of Russia received 5527 Russians, in March—August 2018 — 27 651.
According to the Association of tour operators of Russia, among the countries where the Russians went to visa — Latvia, Estonia and Georgia. The U.S. Consulate in Riga in March—August 2018 issued on 51% (3.2 thousand) more nonimmigrant visas than over the same period in 2017, in Tallinn — 32% (1.5 thousand), Tbilisi — 27% (3.6 thousand). The growth in the issuance of visas to citizens of these countries ranged from 1.5 to 5.2%.
Moscow is now the waiting period between submission of electronic forms and the visa interview date is 300 days for visitor visa, in Vladivostok — 60 days in Yekaterinburg is 300 days. In Riga the waiting period is one day in Tallinn — three days in Yerevan — four, in Tbilisi — 36 days.
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