Can Americans visit Russia without a visa?
No. Getting a visa document is a legal way to get into the country. You need not make a request to Russia for this. It is enough to visit the consular or embassy office of the Russian Federation, in America.
What does the visa application process look like?
US residents cannot apply for a visa and enter Russian territory without an invitation. Its type depends on the visa document. A visa is determined by the main purpose of the trip. In some situations, there may be several purposes of visiting a country (a guided tour and meeting with business partners), but there must be the main one.
Travel to Russia: Visas for American Citizens
What are the visas?
- Tourist visa. A visit to the country is always associated with tourist vacations, sightseeing.
- Business visa. Issued to those who take part in a scientific conference or must organize a business meeting or extend the contract with an existing partner.
- Working visa. Issued on condition of being hired by a company in the Russian Federation.
- Private visa. Issued to Americans who want to see their Russian friends, immediate relatives. If you can make a tourist visa, we recommend choosing this option. A private visa will cost more, it will take longer to apply for this visa.
Who is involved in issuing visa documents?
This obligation is assigned to the consulates of the Russian Federation in the United States. Several such bodies are functioning. Choose the option that is closest to you.
What is the difference between visas?
Purpose of the trip
1 to 30 days (maximum — 3 years)
A tourist trip, meetings with relatives, friends from Russia
30 to 90 days (maximum 5 years)
Business-oriented meetings: negotiations, meetings with partners, search for new counter-parties, attendance at conferences.
A long-duration tourist trip.
Prolonged communication with relatives and friends.
30 to 90 days
An official visit of friends and relatives (this option is not recommended because of low practicality and high cost)
1 to 3 years
Employment, entry to Russia for permanent residence
Russian Tourist Visa from USA
The purpose of the trip is tourism
The most common type of visa is a tourist visa. Foreigners enter the country as part of an excursion tour. The goal is to get acquainted with the local culture, sightseeing, and visit popular places.
The visa document is issued by special invitation. It includes a travel voucher and an American acceptance certificate. The travel agency that organized the trip issues invitations. It must have a reference number. Only those companies that are in the Federal Register of Tour Operators may issue invitation documents.
The current legislation does not provide a special form. But there are requirements for the content. The sender shows the passport details of the US citizen, his name and a reference number, places to be visited, the number of entries, and the duration of the visa document.
The foreigner presents an invitation to the consulate. Employees of the body often require a ticket, hotel reservation documents, and a health insurance card. It is better to prepare all the papers in advance. Although, it is not necessary that they be requested.
As for criminal record checks, expulsion from the Russian Federation and fines, the consulate itself deals with these issues. This information does not play a role for the tour operator. They issue invitations, even if the fine is not paid or there is a criminal record. The consulate checks the foreigner on all points before applying for a visa. If there are violations, a visa will not be issued. The invitation does not guarantee the issuance of a visa.
If the inspection is successfully completed and there are no violations, the consulate processes a document valid for only 30 days. Depending on the visa type, it is allowed to enter the country once or twice. Since September 2012, it is possible to repeatedly visit countries by special invitation. This visa is valid for a longer period. Duration up to 3 years.
You can issue a tourist invitation to Russia for US citizens on our partner site. The price of a visa invitation will be 15 dollars.
To fill out the form, click the link https://goingrus.com/ru/russian-visa-invitation or go to fill out the form:
Russian Private Visa for Americans (US citizens)
A trip to meet with Russian friends
An American can come to the country if he has friends and relatives in Russia. A person needs a private visa. A visa is issued by invitation. The GUVM of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation is dealing with this issue. Issuing a visa is preceded by an application. Both an individual and a legal entity can submit it.
If an American is invited by a relative, the relevant document is processed by the department at the place of residence. If this is a company, then you need to contact the local office at the place of accreditation.
For the invitation, you need a DFMS form, which is assigned a unique number. The document contains everything about the inviting party, the foreigner (passport details), the duration and a number of entries.
A private visa is done for a long time. The reason lies in checking the foreigner. Unpaid fines, a criminal record, and the fact of expelling an American from the country can be a barrier to entry. If a foreigner has previously violated Russian law, a refusal will follow. If there were no such cases, a visa will be issued for a period of up to 90 days for 1 or 2 entries.
A distinctive feature of this visa is that it is issued even to a minor American. In other cases, parental support is a prerequisite. If a minor wants to fly to Russia alone, he will be refused.
Issuing a private invitation
The General Administration for Migration Issues of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation is dealing with this issue. The local authority is selected at the place of registration or accreditation. A company does not deal with issuing an invitation. This is a specific and lengthy process. In many situations, it is advisable to get a tourist visa (and if there is a business — a business visa). Alternative options will save time and money.
Russian Business Visa from USA
Sometimes Americans have to look for business connections directly in Russia. This purpose of entry is consistent with a business visa. It allows you to come to the Russian Federation legally, meet with contractors, sign new agreements, take part in tenders, and speak at a seminar. An invitation is needed. Unlike a private visa, an invitation is not only compiled on the DFMS form. There are 2 alternative methods: a telex or a letter from the company.
When choosing an option, it is worth considering some nuances that may affect the final decision:
- An invitation letter is the cheapest way (the other two options are less attractive);
- A letter from the organization is processed faster (it can be done online and received by e-mail);
- In the case of a Telex and a DFMS form, the original is needed, there are no such requirements for the letter (it takes time and money to get the original);
- If you have already entered the country twice on a business visa, it is possible to increase the period to 3 years (this option applies only when the company presents a letter).
What are the invitations?
- A letter. An organization accredited by the DFMS applies to the Russian Embassy in the United States. It takes 24 hours.
- A DFMS form. Issuing visas is handled by Office for Passports and Visas of DFMS. A company that wants to invite an American, appeals to the body, submits an application, provides information about the foreigner and about himself. The purpose of the visit, duration and the visa multiplicity are also reflected.
- A Telex. The invitation arrives at the consulate through the Russian Foreign Ministry. An American will need the number of this document. It is enough to report the data to the consulate.
The last two options are inferior in terms of a letter. The authorized bodies check the foreigner for offenses. If there are violations, a refusal will follow. When there are no restrictions to the trip, an invitation is issued. A business visa is allowed to come to the country for 1 to 36 months. The number of visits to the Russian Federation is limited (1 or 2 times) and unlimited (multiple entry visa).
You can issue a business invitation to Russia for US citizens in the form of a letter from the organization soon on our partner site. The price of a visa invitation will be 47 dollars.
Work visa for Americans (US citizens)
A trip to work in the Russian Federation
Americans are not forbidden to work in Russia, but only with a working visa. Everything is done through an invitation. In this case, it is the task of the future employer. Before this, the company draws up a permit.
Initially, the visa document is valid for 3 months. Within 90 days, an American arriving in the country must register at migration registration bodies. In the future, a visa is allowed to be extended up to 12 months. It depends on the duration of the work permit.
Work invitation specifics
The document is issued by employing companies. If there is no such company, but you want to work in the Russian Federation, you should first make a tourist visa and come to the country. You will have a lot of time not only to relax but also to solve other, more important issues that relate to the possibility of future employment.
Now you know how to obtain a visa to Russia in the United States. We hope that our article was useful to you, and if so, we ask you to share the link to it with your friends. We wish you to get a 3-year Russian visa and go on a lot of pleasant trips around our country!