T!! BAD AT, R 2T, 1M6 8LITHET1LLB (ARK.)' COURIER NEW! PAGE SEVEN Visa to Land of Vodka Is All Very Easy-the Russians Say B? KENNETH O. GILMORE NBA IUH Correspondent WASHINGTON — (NBA) — Two bit*, two pint-sized mug shots, two autobiographies and a routine application form — these are some of the basic requirements for getting into Russia according to the Soviet Embassy here. "It'» all very simple," explains press attache Aleksandr I. Zinchuk, who doesn't seem to be at all comfortable in the role of a tourist agent. But he's going along with ttu Kremlin's hew policy of welcoming Americans, at least outwardly, to the land of vodka, the Volga and Vladivostok. Aa a result of the new Russian attitude of sweetness and light, a number of Americans have been trotting off to Moscow for a look- act. Most of the ones you hear about seem to b* either congressmen, diplomats, newspaper men or I official delegates with some group-' All with a special mission. What about the average gay who wants to peek behind the Iron Curtain Just for the fun of it? What steps must he take? Who does he write to and what does he ask for? .These are questions of Importance now that travel barriers are being lowered for ordinary people. • • • bi addition, the State Department Is relaxing restrictions for U. S. cit- itens anxious to visit Bed territory. It is not possible to .go to the TJ.S.S.R. or other Communist dominated countries without an American passport which specifically allows entrance into this area. '"Hie first thing you must do is show us some Indication of a desire to get a visa," states Zinchuk. What he means is get a letter off to the Russian embassy here in the capital. Simply address it to:.Chief. Consular Division, Russian Embassy. Washington 6, D. C. And all you have to write is, "I »m interested In traveling in the Soviet Union and would like to get a .visa." "Within a week you'll receive a letter," promises the nervous j young Russian. In it wll be instruc- I tions, an application form in Russian and a handy traslatlon. • • • The letter explains that. "Besides ! the form, it is requested that you I enclose two passport size photo- j graphs signed at the bottom and an > autobiography in two copies in RUE- J alan or English, as well as the con- j •tiUr fee of 25 cents." ! Sample autobiographies are also • enclosed to give you an idea of | what to include. In general, they I want a brief description of what j you have been doing all your life; the schools you went to. where you i traveled, what jobs you held and whether you are married and have any children. The application lists 10 questions. I They are: full name, date and! place of birth: nationality; citizenship, past and present; occupation i and employer; object of Journey, j expected duration of stay in Russia j and route of travel into the coun-1 RHKETfl ifc *uy MJH VMUI B CCCF. apoeui wpa CCCP B O n P 0 C bi I. *!**,•«*, mi ir OTOcno. (Tin no. APPLICATION FOR SOVIET VISA looks like this. But Russian embassy thoughtfully send* alone * translation for Americans. try; names of minor children traveling: with you; previous travel in U.S.S.R.; names of relatives, if any, in Russia; and your address in the U. S. "This material is sent to Moscow and acted upon there," explains Zinchuk. "In an average case it takes about six weeks before a decision can be reached. We have no set standards. And it does not matter what opinions you have about us." The Soviet spokesman will not say how many applications have been sent out to Americans this year, or how many visas have been granted. But he does note th&t after the Geneva Conference there was a considerable increase In the number of requests to travel in Russia. He further notes that in recent times no applicant has been turned down. It is a fact, however, that despite the new Soviet attitude, many persons here have received no word concerning applications submitted months ago. This amounts to refusal, for the Russians do not issue formal rejection notices. If you are granted a visa, you will receive a letter. This should then be submitted to the State Department. They will look over the Soviet authoriztaloa and decide whether or not to validate your passport to travel in the U.S.S.R. Recently, examination of these requests have been less exhaustive. And once a person is given visa authorization, passport validation Is usually granted unless there is a question of security. The passport is then sent to the Russian embassy where the visa is attached. You can pick it up at the embassy in person or it will be mailed to you. Once this is done, there are no further restrictions, according to Zinchuk. "While in the U.S.S.R. you can buy anything you want," he says. "You can take pictures and* bring the undeveloped film home untouched. 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