Is it necessary to have visa to Russia for citizens of USA?
Yes, citizens of USA have to get visa if they want to visit Russia.
Visa is a document for foreigners which allows to cross the border of Russia legally.
For getting visa to Russia you need to get an invitation for visa and health insurance. These documents must be submitted to the Russian Consulate abroad.
For getting visa an US citizen should know:
America (the official name is the United States of America) is a state that occupies the 3rd place in the world in terms of population (more than 325 million people), 4th place in the world in terms of territory and 5th place in the world in terms of human development index. Every year, over 230 thousand citizens of this country come to Russia.
Short list of steps-to-do for an American:
- To have valid passport
- To get an invitation to Russia
- To get a medical insurance
- Fill in the form on visa.kdmid.ru and print it
- Paste your photo 3,5х4,5 cm in form
- Pay consular (visa) fee ≈ 160$ (145€)
- Bring or send documents to the Russian Consulate (passport, invitation, insurance, application form, receipt)
- Wait for 1 to 20 calendar days and get a passport with visa
In order to obtain a Russian visa, an American must apply to one of the Consulates General of the Russian Federation located in the United States of America. Before visiting the Consulate, you need to get an invitation, medical insurance for a visa and complete the online form on the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
There are the following types of visas and purpose of visiting Russia:
- tourist visa for sightseeing, event tourism;
- business visa for signing a contract, visiting an international exhibition;
- private visa for a meeting with relatives with citizenship of the Russian Federation (tourist visa is also suitable for this);
- work visa for work in a Russian company
Comparison of length of stay and price of visa:
|Type of visa||Length of stay||Full processing price|
|Tourist||from 1 to 30 days *||≈205$|
|Business||from 30 days to 1 year **||from 245$|
|Private||from 30 to 90 days||≈285$|
|Work||from 1 to 3 years||from 1220$|
* – for US citizens is possible to issue a tourist visa for 3 years!
* – visa can be valid up to 1 year, but it is possible to stay in Russia continuously for no more than 90 of 180 days
Cost example of single tourist visa to Russia for 14 days (2 weeks) for Germany citizen:
The cost of visa is always calculated individually. Using this example, you can calculate the cost of your visa.
|Invitation to Russia||≈15$ (≈14€)|
|Medical insurance||≈1,5$ per day * 14 days ≈ 17$ (≈15€)|
|Photo 3.5 x 4.5 cm||≈8$ (≈7€)|
|Consular fee||160$ (≈145€)|
|Postal services (optional)||5$ (≈4€)|
Consular fee for tourist visa
(the main expense)
The visa fee has a fixed value and depends only on the multiplicity of the visa issued.
The size of the consular fee depends on the multiplicity of the issued visa to Russia:
|Ordinary *||Urgent **|
|Single||160$ (145€)||160$ (145€)|
|Double entry||160$ (145€)||160$ (145€)|
* Normal processing time – from 4 to 20 working days
** Urgent processing time – from 1 to 3 working days
** Only normal processing time – from 4 to 20 working days
Tourist visas are intended for those Americans who are going to Russia to take a tourist trip. Before applying for a tourist visa, you need to get a tourist invitation. It can be done by contacting any company registered in the Unified Federal Register of Tour Operators.
Those companies print tourist invitations on their own forms, so their online registration doesn’t take much time (about 5 minutes). Invitations consist of two parts:
- Tourist voucher indicating that you have bought a tourist ticket to Russia.
- Confirmation of tourist admission — the Consulate is requested to issue a visa to a foreign citizen.
They indicate the reference number and name of the travel agency, the name and surname of the tourist, his passport details, the city he is going to visit, as well as the dates of the planned trip.
After receiving a tourist invitation and collecting all other documents, the American must apply to the General Consulate of the Russian Federation for a visa. After that, an inspection will be carried out and, if it turns out that during his last visit foreigner violated the terms of registration for migration registration or other rules, then a visa will be refused for him. If there are no grounds for refusing a visa, the tourist visa will be issued for the period indicated in the tourist invitation.
The maximum duration of a tourist visa is 30 days. Visas can be single or double.
A tourist visa for an American can be issued for up to 3 years!
Read more in the article: Tourist visa to Russia for foreigners
US citizens who are going to come to Russia to sign or extend a contract, to service equipment purchased in the USA or to control the purchase of raw materials must apply for a business visa. To get this type of visa, they will need a business invitation. A company or organization interested in an American worker should take care of the preparation of this document and its sending to the USA.
Except of business travel, this visa is attractive for a longer (up to 90 days) continuous stay in Russia. A business visa is free of problems that private visas have have and, at the same time, it is possible to stay continuously in Russia 3 times longer than with a tourist visa.
Based on a proper manner issued invitation, a US citizen can get a business visa to Russia with a validity period up to 3 years. Visas are single, double and multiple.
Business invitation to Russia is required for receiving of business visa. There are different types of business invitations for Americans, they all have their pros and cons:
Any Russian legal entity can issue a business invitation for a foreigner on this kind of form. For this, he must submit a corresponding application to the Main Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. If the verification does not reveal foreigner’s violating of rules during his last visit to Russia, then an invitation will be issued for him on a letterhead with the signatures of officials and the necessary seals. Registration takes from 7 to 21 business days.
Electronic invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Telex) is an order transmitted from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to the Russian Embassy abroad. It contains an application for a foreigner’s visa. In case if invitation has the appearance of a Telex, the invited person must be informed of his number and which organization acts as the inviting party. In this case, no forms and documents will need to be sent to the American. Registration takes from 7 to 21 business days.
Read more in the article: Business visa to Russia for foreigners
US citizens who want to visit their friends in Russia can apply for a private visa and they will need a guest invitation for this. A person who has reached the age of majority and has Russian citizenship may be interested in issuing such an invitation and send it to America.
To issue a guest invitation, a citizen of the Russian Federation must contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs at his place of residence, with a statement on the issue of a guest invitation for a foreigner, enclosing a copy of this foreigner’s passport and a certificate of his income and pay the state duty. It will take about 30 days to wait for a guest invitation or to refuse to issue it. During this time, a check will be conducted on the presence of fines for a foreigner accrued for violating the rules of stay in Russia during his past visits. If such fines are not found, guest invitation for a US citizen will be issued on a form protected from fakes by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Having received a guest invitation from a relative or friend, US citizen will be able to receive Russian visa with a validity period of 30 to 90 days. Private visa to Russia can be single or double.
Read more in the article: Private (Guest) visa to Russia for foreigners
For opportunity to work in Russia, American must apply for a work visa. He will be able to do this only after receiving from the employer, interested in his visit, work permit for Russia and a work invitation. To be able to prepare these papers for a foreigner, the Russian employer must first obtain permission to attract labor from abroad.
After receiving these papers, a US citizen will be able to receive a work visa at the Russian consulate with a validity period of 90 days. After entering Russia and applying for migration registration, he will be able to extend the validity of the visa for the duration of his work permit, which can be 1 or 3 years.
As a result, the foreigner will have a multiple visa, according to which, he will be able to stay in Russia all 365 days a year if he will wish. He will be able to renew visa every year for another year an unlimited number of times without leaving Russia. At the same time, he must strictly observe all the rules of stay, obligatory for foreigners. The responsibility to control this rests with the employer.
Read more in the article: Working visa to Russia for foreigners
An electronic visa is a new format of visa, introduced experimentally. This visa does not need an invitation, you can apply for it directly through the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the moment, the electronic visa is a single entry and cannot be extended. You can stay in Russia up to eight days and for its making you need a digital photo and a completed application form.
It is important that obtaining of electronic visa is available only to citizens of some countries. US citizens cannot get an electronic visa to Russia. A complete list of countries with which Russia has an agreement on electronic visas is available on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Read more in this article: Electronic visa to Russia for foreigners
Russian consulates in the USA are located in the following cities:
|Address||2641 Tunlaw Rd., NW, Washington, DC 20007|
firstname.lastname@example.org – visa questions,
email@example.com – general questions
|Business hours||Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 12.00, from 14.00 to 17.00 (by appointment)|
|Emergency telephone||(+1-202) 332-07-37,
(+1-202) 298-57-04 — standby phones
|Address||1333 West Loop South, Ste.1300, Houston, TX 77027|
firstname.lastname@example.org – general questions,
email@example.com – visa section
|Business hours||Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 12.00|
|Emergency telephone||(+1-713) 213-84-84|
|Address||9 East 91 Street, New York, NY, 10128, USA|
firstname.lastname@example.org – general questions,
email@example.com – visa department
Monday to Thursday from 09.00 to 13.00, 14.00 – 16.00
Friday from 9:00 – 13:00, 14:00 – 15:30
|Emergency telephone||(+1) 917-612-78-42 – standby phone|