Russian Visa Restrictions Hurt Scholarship
ASEEES is seriously concerned about the visa restrictions recently placed on foreign scholars working in Russia.
Until the passage of the October 2007 law concerning long term, multiple entry visas, foreign scholars were able to work for an extended period of time (up to twelve months) on academic projects in Russia. The new law currently restricts their stay to 90 days out of any 180-day period, a period that is simply not long enough for scholars to conduct serious research in Russian archives for dissertation and larger manuscript projects.
The key to resolving the difficulties with visas for graduate students and scholars who want to do research in Russia is to find Russian officials who will vigorously press for a change in the October 2007 law. ASEEES members could help the process by contacting leaders in the Ministries of Culture, Education, and Foreign Affairs and in the Academy of Sciences, or by writing to Russian senior scholars. The Russian government needs to see this as a problem. The solution is simple - academic exchange visas should be exempt from the time restrictions limiting researchers to 90 days in Russia out of any 180 day period.
We encourage our members who have contacts with senior scholars and Russian government officials to use the template provided below to write to them and ask them to use their influence to urge the Russian government to change its visa policy. Those members who do not have such contacts are urged to write one (or more) of the senior government officials listed on the template form.
We understand that the US Embassy is Moscow is making efforts to get Russian visa restrictions reversed or revised. In that connection, they would find it useful to know of attempts by ASEEES members to contact senior Russian officials. If would like to forward a copy of your letter to the Embassy, please send it to Richard Rosenman, Consul, US Embassy, Moscow at the following e-address: RosenmanRG@state.gov. You may also wish to send a copy to ASEEES Executive Director Lynda Park at firstname.lastname@example.org.