The US Embassy announced on Wednesday that an agreement between Russia and the US to simplify the countries' visa program will go into effect on September 9.
The agreement was announced in July by Russia's president Vladimir Putin, but additional formalities were necessary to put it into place.
The bilateral agreement was signed to allow US citizens to apply for a three-year multi-entry visa under which they can stay for a period of up to six consecutive months. A letter of invitation is no longer required to obtain the visa. However tourists will still need to show proof of accommodation booking in advance.
With the aim of attracting a greater numbers of tourists to the country, the Russian government is easing the restrictive and complicated visa regime for foreigners from a number of countries.
In 2010, visa-free agreements with Venezuela and Argentina came into effect, while Turkey, Peru, Colombia and Brazil have had access to visa-free entry since 2011.