On September 24, 2012, the USRCC Member Networking Reception on the U.S.‐Russia Visa Agreement was held at the offices of Adams and Reese, LLP. The networking reception, sponsored by Adams and Reese, LLP and Dunbar Harder, PLLC, focused on the new visa agreement between the U.S. and Russia, which entered into force on September 9, 2012.

Speakers included Alexander Zakharov, Consul General of the Russian Federation to Houston and Kenneth Harder, Partner, Dunbar Harder, PLLC. Speakers addressed changes to the visa regime, including the introduction of three-year multi-entry visas for both U.S. and Russian travelers. The agreement will facilitate travel and establish stronger ties between Russia and the United States, as it will benefit business travelers and tourists. Russian and American travelers for business or tourism are eligible to receive visas valid for multiple entries during a period of 36 months. The agreement also outlines other simplifications in the bilateral visa regime and eases visa processing times. No formal invitation will be required to apply for a business or tourism visa, although applicants seeking Russian visas must continue to hold lodging reservations and arrangements with a tour operator. The session was very well‐received, with a number of questions from attendees. Our thanks to Adams and Reese, LLP for hosting the event!

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