Frequently asked questions
1. Why do I have to submit original passport, and not only a copy?
Russian visa is a sticker on one of the pages in your original passport.
2. I cannot open and print out application form using my internet browser.
Please, check if you have program called Adobe® Acrobat Reader (version 4.0 or higher) installed in your computer. If not, download it for from Adobe web-site, install it and try to open the application form link again. That should solve the problem. If, having installed Adobe Acrobat Reader, you are still unable to open application link, please right-click it once, choose SAVE TARGET AS... option from drop-down menu, save it on your hard disk and open it from there with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
3. How much money in foreign currency can I bring to Russia? Are there currency exchange offices in Russia?
You can legally bring to Russia any amount of cash, however you are required to declare a sum that is more than $1500. You can legally bring out of Russia only $1500 in cash. If you have more, the rest of the sum must be accompanied by a special certificate from a Russian bank called "Raz-resh-enih-ye na vy-voz va-lyu-ty" (Permission to export currency). Yes, there are currency exchange offices in Russia - you can legally exchange foreign currency in Russian banks.
4. Are there any restrictions on travel checks (Thomas Cook, American Express,Visa, etc.) or credit cards in Russia?
No, there are no restrictions. Credit cards and travel checks are not to be declared and can be used freely. Russian banks can cash your travel checks. You can also buy travel checks in Russian banks.
5. I have radio or electronic equipment equipment (i.e. walkie-talkie, GPS, radio transmitter, etc.). Is it legal to bring it to Russia?
To avoid any inconveniences, you are strongly advised to declare that equipment at the Customs Control and consult a Customs officer. If it is forbidden in Russia, it will be put in Customs storage and returned to you when you leave Russia.
6. I want to bring my dog or cat (a pet) with me. What are the veterinary requirements?
Prior to arrival to Russia 14 days (but not earlier) before trip your pet must get vaccination (please, consult your veterinarian) and animal’s transportation container must get special sanitary treatment. Upon completing these procedures, the veterinarian issues a certificate, which you have to authorize at your local Office of the Department of Agriculture (or similar local official authority) and, then translate into Russian by yourself or your authorized translation service (Sorry, Consulate doesn't have translation service at this moment). Please, note that in some cases Russian quarantine authorities may require the animal to be put in quarantine in Russia for additional 30 days.
7. I have an invitation to visit a city in Russia. Having received my visa, shall I be able to visit other cities in Russia?
Yes.
8. We adopted a child in Russia and now we want to take a trip to Russia together. Do we have to get Russian visa for the child?
No, you do not. Children, adopted in Russia, remain Russian citizens till they are 18 years of age (when they can choose their citizenship themselves) and are issued a Russian passport upon adoption. Russian Law does not forbid them to be US citizens at the same time, however, requires them to travel to Russia on their Russian passports as Russia, as many countries, does not recognize dual citizenship.
9. I need a double-entry visa. What documents do I have to submit?
Same documents as for a single-entry one, however, your valid invitation must indicate a request for double-entry Visa.
10. How do I get a multiple-entry visa?
Your partners in Russia must apply on your behalf to the offices of Passport and Visa service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. Then, this invitation can be either cabled to the Consulate by the Russian authorities or handed out to your inviting Russian partners who should send the original to you. Once we receive it, you can apply for a multiple-entry visa at the Consulate.
11. How do I invite my friends or relatives FROM RUSSIA to the United States?
We cannot help you with that. You have to contact your district Office of US Immigration and Naturalization Service, US Department of State or US Embassy and Consular Missions in Russia.
12. I came here from the former Soviet Union (USSR) or Russia and right now I am US citizen. Why do I have to confirm the absence of Russian citizenship in order to get Russian visa?
If you are a citizen of Russia and receive US citizenship, it does not mean that you automatically lose your Russian citizenship, because, according to the Russian Law, no person can be deprived of his/her citizenship, but on his/her stated (i.e. put officially in order) will. Russian Law does not forbid you to have several citizenships, however, considers you only a Russian citizen and does not recognize dual citizenship, and therefore, requires you to travel in and out of Russia on your Russian passport. The Consulate General as federal organization enforces the Law of the State, so, every person, whose foreign passports or travel documents indicate his/her place of birth as "Russia" or "USSR", or one of the states, which was a republic or a part of the former USSR, will be required to present a proof of absence of Russian citizenship.
13. Although my passport says that I was born in the Soviet Union (USSR) or Russia, I knowfor sure that I am not a Russian citizen, but all the documents which confirm this fact got lost long time ago. What do I do?
You can send a special request for confirmation of the absence of Russian citizenship to the Russian authorities through the Consulate. It takes time (approximately 1-6 month), so, please apply in advance. Upon receiving the answer, the Consulate will issue you official document confirming that you are no longer a Russian citizen. Look for instructions at Passport and Legal page of our site (www.consulrusia.org).
14. I want to obtain or restore or give up Russian citizenship. What do I do?
Please, apply with our Passport and Legal Department of the Consulate (see our Passport and Legal page).
15. What are the visa requirements for the citizens of the former republics of the Soviet Union (USSR)?
No visa required for: citizens of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
Visa required for: citizens of Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Turkmenistan.
16. When in Russia, can I change my visa status (i.e. from tourist to business or from business to educational and vice versa)?
No, you cannot change your visa status being in Russia. In order to do that, you have to leave the country and re-enter on different visa.
17. While in Russia what do I do in case of emergency?
In emergency, please, contact the nearest Consular Office or the Embassy of your country or Russian authorities. In fire, crime or health emergency you should contact the following emergency services: Fire Department - dial 01, Police Department - dial 02, Paramedics - dial 03.