Effective January 15th, Russian Tourists Will Not Need a Visa to Come to Guam

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Guam – Its official now. Russian Parole Authority has been granted effective January 15.

The Governor’s Office today [Friday] released the following statment on the new rule that will allow Russian citizens who want to visit Guam to come here without having to get a visa.

READ the Governor’s release in FULL below:

Russian Parole Authority Starts Jan. 15; Economic momentum growing following trade missions, infrastructure, tax refunds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2011

In another shot in the arm for the Guam economy, Russian citizens will have an easier time vacationing on Guam beginning January 15, 2012. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will begin implementation of parole authority for visitors from Russia.

This means Russian citizens no longer will have to go through the months-long process of trying to get to Guam. The parole authority makes it much easier for them to vacation or do business here.

“Our economic agenda is inching closer and closer to breaking through the island’s economic doldrums,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. “The circulation of tax refunds cash, improving tourism from current markets, infrastructure spending and now new money from Russia will lead to new jobs, at the very least. We’re keeping this economic momentum going. We’ve got the affordable housing initiative running at full steam. We’ll be streamlining government regulatory processes. We’re working on Series B of the bond so we can release another $100 million in tax refunds. And we’re working daily with the foreign investors we met in China, Japan and the Philippines. The next step is China.”

“There are a lot of people in the business community and the visitor industry who worked very hard to get this through,” Governor Calvo continued. “My thanks to them for helping us to accomplish this long-time goal.”

The Guam Visitors Bureau is gearing up to enter the Russia market with advertising and tours.

“We’re going to capture robust market share and show the federal government just how much potential there is with Russia and China,” GVB General Manager Joann Camacho said. “We’ve been fighting for this for a long time. It’s been years since the federal government opened a new market to us. We’re going to take full advantage of this opportunity.”

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Assistant Port Director – Guam Jerry Aevermann emailed Guam with the notification. Russian tourists to Guam, according to his email, must meet the following conditions:

Ø    Travel to Guam and/or the CNMI on a signatory carrier to the Guam-CNMI VWP directly from a foreign port of embarkation.
Ø    Travel to either Guam and/or the CNMI must not to exceed forty-five (45) days.
Ø    A citizen of Russia may be paroled in either Guam or the CNMI, may travel between Guam and the CNMI, but may not remain in the region longer than forty-five (45) days.
Ø    Be in possession of a round-trip ticket that is nonrefundable and nontransferable and bears a departure date not exceeding forty-five (45) days from the date of entry to Guam or the CNMI.
Ø    Be in possession of a completed and signed Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Information Form (CBP Form I-736). (Airlines are responsible for providing all entry forms.)
Ø    Be in possession of a completed CBP Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record.
Ø    Each applicant must be in possession of a valid, unexpired International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)-compliant, machine-readable passport. (Children cannot be riding on their parents passports.)

Additional conditions the citizen of Russia must meet include:

Ø    Traveler must be classifiable as a visitor for business or pleasure.
Ø    Parole authorization is limited to Guam and the CNMI only and does not confer the benefit of travel to another location within the United States.
Ø    Visitors who are paroled under this authority may not engage in local employment or labor for hire.

Eligibility requirements for carriers:

Ø    To be eligible to transport nonimmigrant citizens from Russia into the United States, the carrier must:
o      Be signatory to the Guam-CNMI VWP.
o      Ensure that travelers meet the eligibility requirements for the Guam-CNMI parole of citizens of Russia into Guam and the CNMI.

Transitional conditions and limitations:

Ø  In those cases where a citizen of Russia has a current discretionary parole issued by CBP at a CNMI port of entry on the effective date of this revision and is present in the CNMI, that person will be eligible to visit Guam within the term of the parole.
Ø  This discretionary authority does not grant a citizen of Russia the benefit of forty-days (45) days in the CNMI and a separate forty-five (45) days in Guam, but a total of forty-five (45) days between both U.S. territories.
Ø  The parole for the citizen of Russia applying for this benefit is limited to the geographic limits of Guam and the CNMI; a valid nonimmigrant visa is required to travel to another part of the United States.
Ø  Citizens of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continue to be limited to a discretionary parole to the CNMI only and cannot apply to visit Guam or another geographic part of the United States without a valid nonimmigrant visa issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Ø  The continued eligibility of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Russia under this exercise of discretionary authority is subject to review.