Tourist & Business Visa Requirements


Travel Notes

Citizenship: USA

Please note this visa requirements are for US citizens only. If you are not a US citizen please contact our office at (914) 592-2760.

US passport must be signed, valid for at least 6 months and with at least 2-3 blank visa pages not amendment pages in passport. If your passport does not meet the requirements, we can assist with obtaining new passport or passport renewal for a valid US passport.

Pre-Check Documents is available. If you choose to not pre check your documents, and JIDS receives your documents with errors, you will be charged for a representative to assist you with corrections.
Concierge Service is available for this country

Issued by DEPARTMENT OF STATE 9/25/23:

Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local lawlimited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the possibility of terrorismU.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately. Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited, particularly in areas far from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, due to Russian government limitations on travel for embassy personnel and staffing, and the ongoing suspension of operations, including consular services, at U.S. consulates.

There have been numerous reports of drone attacks, explosions, and fires in areas in Western and Southern Russia, particularly near the Russian border with Ukraine, as well as in Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the event of an emergency, U.S. citizens should follow instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately.

In September 2022, the Russian government mobilized citizens to the armed forces in support of its invasion of Ukraine. Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, subject them to mobilization, prevent their departure from Russia, and/or conscript them. 

U.S. citizens should note that U.S. credit and debit cards no longer work in Russia, and options to electronically transfer funds from the United States are extremely limited due to sanctions imposed on Russian banks. There are reports of cash shortages within Russia.

Commercial flight options are extremely limited and are often unavailable on short notice. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make independent arrangements as soon as possible. The U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens to depart the country and transportation options may suddenly become even more limited. Click here for Information for U.S. Citizens Seeking to Depart Russia.

U.S. Embassy personnel are generally not permitted to travel on Russian air carriers due to safety concerns.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) downgraded the air safety rating for Russia from Category 1 to Category 2 on April 21, 2022, due to Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport noncompliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. aviation operations into, out of, within, or over those areas of the Moscow Flight Information Region (FIR), the Samara FIR (UWWW) and the Rostov-na-Donu (URRV) FIR within 160NM of the boundaries of the Dnipro (UKDV) Flight Information Regions. For more information, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices.

The right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not consistently protected in Russia. U.S. citizens should avoid all political or social protests and not photograph security personnel at these events. Russian authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who have participated in demonstrations and there are numerous reports Russian nationals have been detained for social media activity. 

Country Summary:

U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel and private citizens engaged in business who are visiting or residing in Russia, have been interrogated without cause and threatened by Russian officials, and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion. 

Russian security services may fail to notify the U.S. Embassy of the detention of a U.S. citizen and unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance. Russian security services are increasing the arbitrary enforcement of local laws to target foreign and international organizations they consider “undesirable.”

Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on spurious charges, singled out U.S. citizens in Russia for detention and harassment, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and convicted them in secret trials or without presenting credible evidence. Furthermore, Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and have opened questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Russia to perform work for or volunteer with non-governmental organizations or religious organizations.

There have been multiple security incidents in southwestern Russia related to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine. The Russian government declared martial law in Russia’s regions bordering Ukraine (Bryansk, Kursk, Belgorod, Voronezh, Rostov, Krasnodar) on October 20, 2022. The martial law regime allows the rapid introduction of restrictive measures such as curfew, seizure of private property, restriction of entry/exit and freedom of movement, internment of foreigners, forced relocation of local residents, and restrictions on public gatherings. U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to these areas.

Recent legislation has expanded the ability of Russian authorities to detain, question, and arrest individuals suspected of acting against Russia’s interests, including posts on personal social media accounts, engaging with foreign and international entities, discrediting the Russian state or military, as well as advocating for the rights of LGBTQI+ persons.

Terrorist groups, both transnational and local terrorist organizations, and individuals inspired by extremist ideology continue plotting possible attacks in Russia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs and systems, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas. Travel to the North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mt. Elbrus) is prohibited for U.S. government employees and strongly discouraged for U.S. citizens.

The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea as well as four other Ukrainian oblasts – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya – that Russia has purported to annex more recently. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in these areas. Russia staged its further invasion of Ukraine, in part, from occupied Crimea, and Russia is likely to take further military actions in Crimea, and the four other Ukrainian oblasts are the subject of intensive fighting. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in these regions, particularly against those who are seen as challenging Russia’s authority.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv continues to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Crimea as well as four other Ukrainian oblasts partially occupied by Russia – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhya, although the ongoing conflict severely restricts the Embassy’s ability to provide services in these areas.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Russia.

If you decide to travel to Russia:

Entry Requirements
  • Passport and Visa are required.
  • Valid Signed Passport
    • Applicant must submit their current signed passport. 
      • Applicant must also include a color copy of the information page of the passport.

Note: In order to obtain visas, passport must have at least two blank visa pages side by side. Pages in the passport marked “Amendment” pages are not valid for visas.

  • Check passport validity to make sure it is valid for at least six months past the last day of stay from international destination.

JIDS can help you  renew it if you need more validity. If you require passport services, please refer to our passport services section.


U.S. Embassy Moscow, Russia

U.S. Department of State – Consular Affairs

    • Telephone: +1 202-501-4444 (overseas) or +1 888-407-4747 (from the U.S.)


Photo Requirements
  • Applicant must submit (2) color, passport style 2 x 2 photograph.
  • The photos must be recent within 6 months, and generally not the same photo as in the passport.
  • 1 for single entry business visa or tourist /2 for multiple or double entry tourism or business visa

See digital image requirements: Passport Photo Requirements.

  1. An Original Official Invitation, issued by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federationor
  2. Decision to issue a visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs based on a Telex; or
  3. A written statement from the sponsoring organization, written in Russian  (in the case of 3 Year Multi-entry visas) Link;
    (Invitations for three year visas may be copies). You cannot apply for a single entry with this type of company invitation, also there is no 4 day service offered when it is this type visa.  EXAMPLE of invitation   See details below.
  • We can help obtain invites for business travel and vouchers for tourist travel, call the office for details and pricing. Invitation Form 
  • IF submitting TELEX # for NY Consulate. If telex number is given please verify dates of entry and exit. Invitation must state the following information:
    • Names of all persons to be invited and their nationalities.
    • City or cities to be visited.
    • Date of arrival and exit dates.
    • Name of inviting host or organization that provided telex.
    • Along with release date of telex to consulate.
  • IF submitting ORIGINAL INVITATION – Additional $ 25.00 online fee for all original invitations. 3 year visa validity invitation must be obtained directly from your source in Russia and be ORIGINAL. Minimum of 12-15 Business days to process.
  • NO Rush service available for this type visa.
  • Click here for rules of a 3 year visa. 3 year is only for business or humanitarian visas.  When filling out the visa application(ex. Date of Entry 25/10/2016 until Date of Departure 24/10/2019-minus one day ).
Tourist Visa

If individual travel for tourism:

  • Hotel confirmation and tour voucher. This is formatted vouchers directly from the hotel or tour company.
  • A visa support document, officially titled as a “Confirmation of hosting a foreign tourist”, issued by a hotel or a tourist agency which is registered with the Federal Agency of Tourist Operators of the Russian Federation. (A booking reservation does not suffice/ the visa support document may be a copy.)
  • In order to apply for a 3-year multiple-entry Tourist visa, please indicate the full three year period as the length of stay in the Russian Federation when filling out the visa application (ex. Date of Entry 25/10/2016 until Date of Departure 24/10/2019-minus one day).

If tour group OR cruise passenger:

  • A letter plus voucher from tour company or cruise line confirming itinerary, include a copy of the confirmation from tourist or other authorized Russia travel company which shows the reference number and confirmation number for the visa.

List of Documents Required for a Common Private Visa:

  1. An Official Invitation, issued by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation; or
  2. A written invitation from a Russian citizen located in the US, addressed to the Russian Consulate on behalf of their close relative, spouse, or minor who is a foreign citizen, that will accompany them to Russia, along with: (an sample invitation for Type 2 visas may be found in Additional Requirements):
    • Copy of a valid external Russian passport of the inviting party;
    • Copy of Green card or US passport of the Russian citizen who is inviting;
    • Copy of the husband’s passport (wife or children);
    • Copy of Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate of the child.or
  3. For a 3-year visa, a notarized written statement on a notary blank from the hosting individual residing in Russia, which should give the last, first and middle name, date of birth, citizenship, sex, passport number, address of registration, and address of the actual residence of the hosting individual. Written invitation of the host can be made in Russia on a notary blank, or a notarized written invitation from Russian citizens located in the USA by providing copies of their valid Internal Russian Passport with registration, valid Russian foreign passport, and their status in the USA such as a US Passport or Green Card. The invitation should include the information of the applicant such as: last, first and middle name, date of birth, sex, citizenship (only US citizens), passport number, visa multiplicity, purpose of travel, visa length stating the full three year period, minus one day (ex. Date of Entry 25/10/2016 until Date of Departure 24/10/2019), the applicant’s address of intended residence in Russia, and intended cities of travel. (A sample invitation for 3-Year visas may be found in Additional Requirements);

The consular district of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York includes the states: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Visa Requirements

Visa Application Online

  • One completed, printed and signed.
  • Multiple entries requires:In order to apply for a 3-year multiple-entry *Business* visa, please indicate the full three year period as the length of stay in the Russian Federation when filling out the visa application
    • (ex. Date of Entry 25/10/2016 until Date of Departure 24/10/2019-minus one day )

You must choose the Visa Center where you will be dropping off your documents, if using JIDS in New York then you must CHOOSE RUSSIAN VISA CENTER NEW YORK from drop down.

****** Please note processing time & fees ,see below

  • Multiple entry must have TWO Applications, ORIGINAL APPLICATIONS with ORIGINAL SIGNATURES ON BOTH

List of Documents Required for a Single, Double, or Multiple-Entry Business Visa:

  1. An Original Official Invitation, issued by the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federationor
  2. Decision to issue a visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs based on a Telex; or
  3. A written statement from the sponsoring organization, written in Russian  (in the case of 3 Year Multi-entry visas) Link;
    • (Invitations for three year visas may be copies).In order to apply for a 3-year multiple-entry *Business* visa, please indicate the full three year period as the length of stay in the Russian Federation when filling out the visa application(ex. Date of Entry 25/10/2016 until Date of Departure 24/10/2019-minus one day ).
  4. An original, signed passport with at least 2 blank pages marked “Visas”, that is valid for at least 6 months after the visa expiry date;
  5. A printed visa application filled out and signed by applicant/
    • 5.1 The very first question on the electronic application site asking “Country (select the country where you will be applying for your visa)”
      Be sure that you select “UNITED STATES” ;
    • 5.2 You must choose the Visa Center  (If using JIDS then choose RUSSIAN VISA CENTER-New York) where you will be dropping off your documents.
  6. Take Note! The Russian Consulate has the right to ask for additional documentation in order to process your visa application, ask you to come in for an interview, or extend the visa processing time of your application.
  7. Be Aware! A Multi-Entry 1 Year Business visa is only good for a length of stay no longer than 90 days out of every 180.
  8. Also, Multi-Entry 3 Year Business visas for US citizens are valid for only a 6-month stay per entry.
NON US CITIZENS: Additional requirements
  • If you’re a United States Alien resident, a copy of your Green Card must be attached to your application.
  • Insurance proof, as well as INSURANCE LETTER stating you are covered WORLDWIDE AND IN RUSSIA
  • If you’re a United States Visa holder, a copy of your U.S. Visa must be attached to your application.

If unemployed, retired (anyone without current employment) must provide

  1. Most recent bank statement
  2. proof of health insurance in Russia
  3. Flight itinerary in and out of Russia
If Business
  • Cover Letter from the U.S. Company
  • Invitation Letter from Zambian company

Note: Self-employed must also submit a copy of a recent bank statement.

  • For business letter please note the following:
    • Applicant must submit a Business letter of support from a U.S. based company.
    • This letter must be on your company letterhead.
    • This letter must be sign by someone other than the applicant.
    • Passport Information
    • How your expenses will be paid
  • Must be an original signed document.

See example below:
Example of Business Letter

Justin Document Service – ORDER FORM & copies Mandatory order form, which must be included with your original documents to JIDS.

  1. ORDER FORM then PRINT to include with documents.
  2. COPIES of all documents included in your package to JIDS. If copies are not included then a $10.00 copy fee will be applied.
Register with the US Embassy in the countries you will visit.

Give yourself peace of mind!
Simply fill out this form STEP FORM and let JIDS do it for you $20.00.

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency. Read more…

Additional documents, Fees, Processing for Non US Citizens
  • If you’re a United States Alien resident, a copy of your Green Card must be attached to your application.
  • If you’re a United States Visa holder, a copy of your U.S. Visa must be attached to your application.
  • Any European National must also provide proof of medical insurance in Russia. the following insurance information must be provided:
  • Proof of medical coverage in Russia including information regarding who the affiliate company is IN RUSSIA for the medical coverage , call our office of details.
  • A letter from the insured’s insurance company covering their stay while in Russia.
  • A copy of the actual insured’s medical coverage card.

Fees may vary for all non US citizens.

Fees & Processing for a U.S. Citizen

ALL FEES VARY (based upon nationality,time of submission,outsourcing extras)

Entries Outsource fee Processing Time Consular Fees (JIDS Rush fee may apply depending upon how many days in/out consulate, call JIDS to explain fees

  • Below was before COVID :
    • Single $160.00—–10-20 business days from submission (based upon decision of the consulate) 5 day expedited is possible upon request.
    • Double $160.00—–10-20 business days from submission (based upon decision of the consulate)
    • Multiple $160.00—-10-20 business days (based upon decision of the consulate)


  1. Note:  Even if a pre check is done by JIDS, if the outsource office requests something different at submission you will be charged an additional 50.00 for them to make corrections.
  • Anything requested less than 10 days-4 weeks, could require LETTER of Explanation of why needs to be done in less than 10 business days and FLIGHT ITINERARY and the decision is solely at the discretion of the consulate. Single entry only is eligible.
  • JIDS fee for under 9 days is $275.00
  • $75.00 JIDS Service Fee for early submission.
  • ALL FEES VARY, the outsource office upon reviewing the documents may charge an additional fee for any corrections at time of submission.  Ask JIDS if you have further questions.


JIDS early submission fee is available is 75.00.

  • Cannot rush a MULTIPLE ENTRY request.
  • Money order fees plus 5.9 % processing fee applies to all above fees individually
  • Rush Fee/or application correction fee is 50.00 in addition to the higher consular fees
  • Transit fees vary.
  • Outsource fee 95.00 is mandatory since the Russian Federation only allows submission through this outsource company.
Please NOTE: Russia regulations concerning out source office
  • An additional fee of $ 95.00 per application.
  • Applicable fee paid in U.S. Post Office Money Order, only. If you wish to include your own money order
  • DO NOT WRITE or STAMP any information on your money order.

JIDS can obtain this money order for you.
JIDS Service fee– Minimum fee JIDS is $245.00 pp.

Please NOTE: Embassy fees may change without notice. JIDS does not assume any responsibility for changes. The above fees DO NOT include JIDS service fees, or return mail fees.

If JIDS is paying government fees (consular or passport agency fees) on your behalf a 5.9% processing fee will be added.

For Just-In Document Service, Inc. service fee

Please refer to our pricing page or call us (914) 592-2760.

Accompanying MINORS:
  • Letter of consent signed by both parents or legal guardian(s).
  • Identification from both parents-copies acceptable.
  • Copy of the minor’s birth certificate.
Return Shipping fees:
  •  Federal Express starting at $39.95 for priority Weekday Delivery based on zip code. Special Deliveries of Federal Express VARY (Ex. SATURDAY DELIVERY OR 8AM DELIVERY, call for rates). RESIDENT home deliveries are an additional $3.00 to have signature required. Verify SIGNATURE OR NO SIGNATURE must be selected.
  • You can include a printed air bill to avoid additional charges. Account numbers without air bill will be charged $5.00.
Health Requirements
  • Please see our NEWS PAGE with information about CORONAVIRUS
  • Visit the Center for Disease Control: CDC.GOV for complete health requirements.
  • Visitors are strongly recommended to hold a health/travel insurance to cover for any medical expenses.
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