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Free to Go: Alaska and Chukotka Introduce Visa-Free Travel

© Sputnik / Alexander Liskin / Go to the photo bankView of Alaska from porthole
View of Alaska from porthole - Sputnik International
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Russian Chukotka residents and those from American Alaska can now enter the United States and Russia without a visa.

Japanese citizens who previously lived in the southern Kuril Islands, as well as their relatives traveled to Iturup Island on Saturday for an annual visit under the framework of visa-free exchange between Russia and Japan. - Sputnik International
Japanese Citizens Visit South Kuril Islands in Visa-Free Exchange Program
From now on, people of these regions will be spared the frustrating process of visa application and interviews each time they want to cross the border.

The US Bering Strait Regional Commission said it was ready to issue special inserts for passports carried by native Alaskans wishing to visit the Russian peninsula without a visa in line with an existing bilateral agreement on two-way trips by local residents.

A corresponding agreement on Bering Strait crossing between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was signed in 1989.

A traveler who qualifies for the program should be native person of one of the two regions. The only documents required are a passport insert and a national identity document.

Border checkpoints in Alaska are in Nome and Gambell, and in Chukotka – at Anadyr, Provideniya, Lavrentiya and Uelen.

The maximum visa-free stay for both sides is 90 days.

The new procedure has been effective since July 17, 2015.

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