The only way to get travel visa to Russia for US citizens is to submit to the consular offices an application accompanied by a set of necessary documents.

Official representative offices locations

There are several institutions in which you can apply for a Russian travel visa: they include 1 Russian Embassy in Washington and 4 General Consulates all over US.

They are located in the following cities:

  1. New York;
  2. San Francisco;
  3. Seattle;
  4. Huston.

Apart from the Consulates, there are visa centers providing public services in the aforementioned cities. In 2018 service fees remain unchanged amounted to $33 per application.

Tourist travels to Russia

In order to go sightseeing to Russia, an American tourist has to apply for a tourist visa. It is valid for a maximum period of 1 month for this category of foreign nationals. There should not be any problems during the process provided that the form is filled in correctly and is accompanied by the complete set of documents.

Private visas

This type of visa was designed for the US citizens with relatives, acquaintances or friends residing in Russia and ready to provide lodging for the whole duration of stay. Visa obtaining procedure is almost identical to that of a tourist visa. The only difference is that an invitation from a Russian citizen rather than the tourist voucher is required.

Interesting fact: private visa allows the duration of stay up to 3 months but travelling becomes impossible since leaving the region of the host is forbidden.

Business visit

There is a number of reasons for business visa obtaining: coming to sign a contract, to participate in a tender or an auction, etc. If you are planning a single short-term stay, it is advised that you apply for a single-entry visa with the duration of stay up to 3 months. In case it is not enough and you need to visit your business partners in Russia regularly, you have to apply for a multiple-entry visa for a term of 1 to 5 years.

Visa of this type makes it possible to stay up to 6 months per 1 accounting year while the number of departures to the homeland is not limited. In order to apply for a business visa an official invitation from the Russian partners is required.

Transit through the country

If you have to cross Russia in order to get to the third country, what you need is a transit visa. It is valid up to 10 days and grants a permission to travel legally across the whole country. To apply for the transit visa, you have to provide a ticket for any means of long-distance public transportation. If you travel by car, the period of validity is calculated based on the shortest route to the destination given that you pass 500 km per day.

Processing procedure and costs

It takes up to 15 calendar days after the submission of the application form to make a decision. Depending on the situation, the issuance date might be deferred because additional documents or an interview with the applicant is needed.

Course of action

The first step towards the obtaining of a Russian visa for an American citizen is the completion of the application form and gathering of the necessary documents, the list of which is available on the official website of the Russian Embassy in the US. It is important that only the application form available on the official website of the Consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia is to be printed and signed personally by the applicant.

Having prepared the set of necessary papers, the US citizen has to sign up in the online queue system and arrive at the Consulate or Visa center on the appointed date to submit the documents and pay the service fee. Upon the consideration of the application, the officer will contact the applicant and announce the decision whether it was approved, denied or there is a need for additional documents.

Costs and terms

  1. Single-entry visa – 90, accelerated processing procedure – 180;
  2. Double-entry visa – 144, 288;
  3. Multiple-entry visa – 270, 540;
  4. Single-entry transit visa – 90, 180;
  5. Double-entry transit visa – 144, 280;
  6. Permit for the US citizen temporarily residing in Russia – 90 (regardless of the processing time);
  7. Reinstatement of visa due to the deprivation (theft, loss, damage, etc) in the official representative office – 36.

Prices are given in US dollars.

Registration upon arrival

Having arrived to Russia, American citizen has to register in the Federal Migration Service with the immigration card acquired in the airport upon arrival. In case of a tourist visit, the hotel administration is responsible to settle the matter, but if a person comes at the invitation, the host party is in charge.

The following documents are required for this purpose:

  1. Passport copy including all stamps and notes;
  2. Copy of the immigration card;
  3. Documents of the host party: identification papers of the Russian citizen or of a legal entity, registered in the Federal Tax Service (Russia);
  4. Documents confirming the visit of a foreign national signed by the visitor and the host. In case the latter is a legal entity, its details are to be provided.