The U.S. Embassy in Moscow said in an update on its website Thursday that applicants seeking a multiple-entry visa valid for up to three years will now have to pay an additional reciprocity fee of $143.
The embassy said that the fee, which will nearly double three-year visa costs to $303 as of Jan. 1, 2019, mirrors the fee that Russia charges U.S. citizens for a similar type of visa.
New rules will also make it mandatory for Russian nationals to appear at a U.S. embassy or consulate for interviews to renew the three-year multiple-entry visas. The embassy notes: If your interview is waived, you will automatically receive a single-entry visa valid for up to one year.
The $303 fee is based on the State Department s review that found discrepancies between the Russian and U.S. visa regimes, the embassy explained.
Given that the Russian Federation was unable to change its visa regime, the United States is required by law to reduce the validity of B-1/B-2 visitor visas and/or increase fees to match the Russian Federation s practices, it said.