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Welcome, Visa Applicants!

Most Russian citizens require a visa to enter the United States. A visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not guarantee entry. An immigration inspector at the port of entry determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission into the United States. 

Travelers holding dual U.S.-Russian citizenship must enter and depart the United States on U.S. passports.

There are two main types of visas, immigrant and nonimmigrant. Immigrant visas (IVs) are for people who wish to live in the U.S. permanently. Nonimmigrant visas (NIVs) are for people with permanent residence outside the U.S. but who wish to go to travel there on a temporary basis—for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply for a visa?

Nonimmigrant visa applicants should visit for instructions on how to apply.

Immigrant visa applicants should visit Immigrant Visas for instructions on how to apply.

What is the wait time for an appointment?

Visit for information.

Please note that no assurance regarding the issuance of non-immigrant visas can be given in advance. Final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable air tickets should not be made until you have been approved and have received your visa.

Not a Russian citizen? Check here to see if you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

For information on visa denials, click here

For more information, please visit "Questions about Visas".

If you have any further questions, you can contact us here.


Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States. We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known. Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on nonimmigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical or humanitarian emergency traveler dealing with life-threatening emergencies, we will expedite processing for you.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel, and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.

Please note that no one may accompany applicants into the embassy's visa waiting room. This includes American citizens, spouses, attorneys, sponsors, friends, and family members. Thus, any information these individuals would like to present should be submitted with the application materials or given to the applicant to present to the Consular Officer during the interview. We appreciate your understanding.


Important Information

The U.S. Department of State is currently experiencing technical problems with its visa system, which are affecting global operations. This issue is worldwide and is not specific to any particular country or visa category. We recognize and deeply regret the inconvenience to travelers. We are doing everything possible to return passports with visas as soon as we are able to complete processing. We regret that we are currently unable to predict how long the delay will be.

Applicants who interviewed with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate after July 21 and would like their passports temporarily returned to them without the U.S. visa may contact the Embassy or consulate where they applied, via email to for Moscow, for Yekaterinburg and for Vladivostok with RETURN PASSPORT in the subject line of their message, and include their full name and date of birth as they appear in their passport, and passport number in the body of the message.

Applicants who have an urgent need to travel to the United States may contact Contact the Embassy or consulate where you are planning to apply, via email to for Moscow, for Yekaterinburg and for Vladivostok with URGENT TRAVEL in the subject line of their message, and include their full name and date of birth as they appear in their passport, passport number, and nature of the emergency in the body of the message. Please understand that only true emergencies of an extraordinary humanitarian nature, essentially life or death circumstances, can be considered for exceptional handling.

We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this matter and apologize for the inconvenience.

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