RussiaOfficial Name: Russian Federation
Required six months beyond intended stay
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
2 pages per stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
10,000 USD or more must be declared
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
You may export up to 3,000 USD (or equivalent) without declaring it.
Embassies and Consulates
Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8
(Consular Section located at Novinskiy Bulvar 21)
Moscow 121099, Russian Federation
Telephone: +(7) (495) 728-5000 or +(7) (495) 728-5577
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(7) (495) 728-5000
Fax: +(7) (495) 728-5084
U.S. Consulate General St. Petersburg
15 Ulitsa Furshtadtskaya,
St. Petersburg 191028
Telephone: +(7) (812) 331-2600
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(7) (912) 939-5794
Fax: +(7) (812) 331-2646
U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok
32 Ulitsa Pushkinskaya,
Telephone: +(7) (4232) 300-070
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(7) (914) 791-0067
Fax: +(7) (4232) 300-091
U.S. Consulate General Yekaterinburg
Ulitsa Gogolya 15a,
4th floor, Yekaterinburg 620151
Telephone: +(7) (343) 379-3001
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(7) 89-17-56-93-549
Fax: +(7) (343) 379-4515
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Russia for information on U.S. - Russia relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
The Russian authorities strictly enforce all immigration laws and may bar entry to individuals with “administrative” violations for 5 years or more. Visit the Embassy of the Russian Federation website for the most up to date information regarding visa regulations and requirements.
U.S. applicants for humanitarian, private, tourist, and business visas are eligible to receive multiple-entry visas with a validity of three years, permitting in the territory of the Russian Federation for up to six consecutive months. Other visa categories are not part of this agreement. Regardless, all visa holders must abide by Russian immigration regulations and exit Russia before their visa expires.
- You must have a current U.S. passport with the appropriate visa. Russian visas in an expired or canceled passport are not valid.
- You must obtain a valid visa for your purpose of travel prior to arriving in Russia. If you are staying in Russia for more than 7 days you must register your visa and migration card with the Federal Migration Service (FMS).
- You must list all areas in Russia that you intend to visit on your visa application. You will be arrested if you enter a restricted area, so it is vital that you include all destinations on your visa application. There is no centralized list or database of the restricted areas, so travelers should check with their sponsor, hotel, or the nearest office of the FMS before traveling to unfamiliar cities and towns.
- You must carry your passport with you at all times. Russian police have the authority to stop people and request identity and travel documents at any time.
- Migration cards must be carried at all times while in Russia. A “migration card” is the white paper document given by the border police on first entry to Russia. If you lose your migration card you should ask your sponsor to assist you in reporting it to FMS and request a replacement.
- You cannot enter before the date on shown on your visa, and your visa must still be current (not expired) for you to leave Russia.
- Transit visas: We recommend that all travelers obtain a Russian transit visa.
- You will not require a transit visa if you are transiting through an international airport in Russia and you do not leave the Customs zone and you depart from the same airport within 24 hours.
- You must have a Russian transit visa if you plan to transit through Russia by land en route to a third country or if you transfer to another airport.
- U.S.-Russian dual nationals and Russian citizen Legal Permanent residents of the United States must register their dual nationality/foreign residency. Registration forms and further information can be found on the Federal Migration Service website (in Russian only).
- U.S.-Russian dual nationals must both enter and exit on a Russian passport. You will not be permitted to depart on an expired passport. Applying for a passport can take several months.
- U.S.-Russian citizen dual nationals who return to Russia on a “Repatriation Certificate” are only permitted to enter Russia and will not be permitted to depart Russia until they obtain a valid Russian passport.
- Students and English teachers should be certain that their activities are in strict keeping with their visa type. Students must not teach or coach English, whether compensated or not, while traveling on a student visa as it is considered a visa violation and may subject you to detention and deportation.
- Minors who also have Russian citizenship and are traveling alone or in the company of adults who are not their parents, must carry a Russian passport as well as a Power of Attorney written in Russian and signed by their parents. Authorities will prevent such minors from entering or leaving Russia if they cannot present a Power of Attorney.
- Passengers of Cruise Ships and Ferries are permitted to stay in Russia for 72 hours without a visa when accompanied by a tour operator licensed by Russian authorities. Ferry schedules may not permit visitors to stay more than two nights without exceeding the 72 hour limit. You must obtain a tourist visa if you plan to sightsee on your own. A visa is also required if you plan to depart Russia by another mode of transportation. Riverboat cruise passengers must have a visa and must follow the general guidelines for entry/exit requirements.
- Visas to Crimea: Follow the guidance in the Travel Warning for Ukraine and defer all travel to the Crimean Peninsula.
Documentary Requirements: Please note that the documentary requirements to obtain a Russian visa are extensive and cumbersome. Consult with the Embassy of the Russian Federation or Consulates General for detailed explanations of documentary requirements.
HIV/AIDS Entry Restrictions: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Russia. Applicants for longer-term tourist and work visas or residence permits are required to undergo an HIV/AIDS test. The Russian government may also ask these applicants to undergo tests for tuberculosis and leprosy. Travelers who believe they may be subject to these requirements should verify this information with the Embassy of the Russian Federation.
Safety and Security
Terrorism: Credible information indicates terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Europe. European governments are taking action to guard against terrorist attacks; however, all European countries remain potentially vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations.
In the last decade, terrorist have targeted various cities throughout Russia including, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Volgograd. Bombings have occurred at Russian government buildings, airports, hotels, tourist sites, markets, entertainment venues, schools, residential complexes, and on public transportation (subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights).
Bomb threats against public venues are common. If you are at a location that receives a bomb threat, follow all instructions from the local police and security services.
North Caucasus Region: Civil and political unrest continues throughout the North Caucasus region, including North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Additionally, local criminal gangs have kidnapped foreigners, including U.S. citizens, for ransom.
- Do not travel to Chechnya or any other areas in the North Caucasus region.
- If you reside in these areas depart immediately.
- U.S. government travel to the region is prohibited, due to ongoing security concerns.
- The U.S. Government has no ability to assist U.S. citizens in the North Caucasus Region.
- There have also been several kidnappings of foreigners and Russian citizens working for media and non-governmental organizations in the region
- Do not attempt to climb Mt. Elbrus, as individuals must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region.
- U.S. Embassy Kyiv’s Consular section provides services to U.S. citizens in Crimea.
- The current status of Crimea prevents U.S. government employees from traveling to that area.
Harassment: Foreigners may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion by law-enforcement and other officials.
- Police do not need to show probable cause in order to stop, question, or detain individuals. Always carry documentation to prove your legal status.
- If stopped, obtain the officer's name, badge number, and patrol car number, and note where the stop happened, as this information assists local officials in identifying the perpetrators.
- Active and former military personnel and their dependents on personal or official travel may be subject to increased scrutiny and harassment in Russia.”
- Report harassment or crimes to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow or the nearest U.S. Consulate General.
- Avoid public demonstrations, whether authorized or not, and avoid any large crowds and public gatherings that lack enhanced security measures. You can find Security Messages for U.S. citizens on the Embassy’s website at http://moscow.usembassy.gov/
Crime: Crimes against tourists occur at popular tourist sites and on public transportation.
- Be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
- Exercise caution when large crowds have gathered.
- Be vigilant, as pickpocketing is prevalent in the larger cities.
- Do not leave bags unattended. Thieves are active on public transportation, underground walkways, the subway, overnight trains, train stations, airports, markets, tourist attractions, and restaurants
- Never leave your drink unattended in a bar or club. Drink alcohol in moderation and stay in control.
- Never agree to go to a bar or club with someone you have just met on the street. Criminals have drugged some travelers at bars, while others have taken strangers back to their lodgings, where they drugged, robbed, and/or assaulted them.
- Report Credit card or ATM card theft to the credit card company or issuing bank immediately.
- Be alert to other criminal schemes, such as:
- “Turkey Drop” Scams, a street scam in which an individual "accidentally" drops money on the ground in front of an intended victim, while an accomplice either waits for the money to be picked up, or picks up the money him/herself and offers to split it with the pedestrian. Then the victim is accused of stealing the money. Do not get trapped into picking up the money, and walk quickly away from the scene
- Internet Dating Schemes: We have received many reports of citizens losing thousands of dollars to romantic “partners” met online who feign distress to persuade the American to send money. Never send money to anyone you have not met in person. Please review our information on International Financial Scams.”
- Airport Scams: A con artist asks you to watch his bag, and then extorts money or other valuables to avoid hassle with the police. Never agree to watch a bag that belongs to a stranger.
- Crimes Involving Businesses: Extortion and corruption are common in the business environment. Business disputes may involve threats of or even acts of violence. Organized criminal groups, and occasionally even local police, target foreign businesses in many cities and have been known to demand protection money.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 02 or 102, or 112 if using a mobile phone, and the U.S. Embassy at +7 495 728-5000. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence should contact the Embassy for assistance.
For further information:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department's travel website for Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts.
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to all Russian laws. If you violate these laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, imprisoned, or expelled.
- Immigration violations can lead to arrest, detention, and deportation. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Russia are severe, with long sentences and heavy fines. Driving while intoxicated can lead to your immediate arrest.
- Items such as artwork, icons, samovars, rugs, military medals and antiques, must have certificates indicating they do not have historical or cultural value. You can be arrested for attempting to leave the country with antiques, even if legally purchased. You may obtain certificates from the Russian Ministry of Culture. For further information, please contact the Russian Customs Committee.
- Global Positioning System (GPS) and other radio electronic devices, and their use, are subject to special rules and regulations in Russia. Contact the Russian Customs Service for required permissions.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask the police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. Your U.S. passport does not protect you from arrest or prosecution. See our webpage for further information.
Active and former military personnel and their dependents on personal or official travel may be subject to increased scrutiny and harassment in Russia.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: Russian law bans providing "the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors. The law is vague as to what Russia considers propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.
- Foreign citizens convicted under the law face fines, up to 15 days in jail, and deportation.
- Discrimination based on orientation is widespread, and violence targeting LGBTI individuals occurs, including entrapment and torture of gay men by neo-Nazi gangs.
- Government officials have made derogatory comments about LGBTI persons, and a January 2015 a regulation could potentially prohibit the issuance of driver’s licenses to transgender and transsexual people in Russia.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Getting around in Russia may be difficult for persons with mobility issues. Moscow and St. Petersburg are nominally better, but public infrastructure and transportation is generally not accommodating to people with disabilities; this includes the Moscow Metro.
Medical care in most areas of Russia is below Western standards due to shortages of supplies, differing practice standards and lack of comprehensive care. Moscow and St. Petersburg facilities may have higher standards but do not accept all cases and require cash or credit card payment at Western rates.
- Payment is expected at the time of service.
- The Embassy does not pay the medical bills of private U.S. citizens.
- U.S. Medicare does not provide coverage outside the United States.
- Elderly travelers and those with existing health problems are at risk.
- If you plan to travel in remote areas, bring a supply of sterile, disposable syringes and corresponding IV supplies, as there is no guarantee they will be available.
- Do not visit tattoo parlors or piercing services due to the risk of infection.
- Due to uncertainties in local blood supply, non-essential and elective surgeries are not recommended.
- Russia prohibits some prescription and over the counter drugs that are legal and commonly used in the United States.
- Carry a copy of the valid U.S. prescription, including a notarized translation into Russian, when entering Russia with prescription medications.
- Prescription medication should be in its original packaging.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Most care providers in Russia only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
The following diseases are prevalent:
- Sexually transmitted diseases: syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions and driver safety customs differ significantly from those in the United States. In some areas of Russia roads are practically nonexistent or have poor or nonexistent shoulders. Many roads are one-way or do not permit left turns.
- Exercise caution near traffic. Drivers frequently fail to yield to pedestrians.
- Vehicles regularly drive and park on sidewalks or pedestrian walkways.
- You should not drive outside the major cities at night.
- Livestock crossing roadways is common in rural areas.
- Construction sites and road hazards are often unmarked.
- Food, hotel, and auto service facilities are rare along roadways.
- You should not drive alone at night or sleep in your vehicle on the side of the road.
- You should not pick up hitchhikers. You may be assaulted or arrested for unwittingly transporting narcotics.
- Do not use unmarked taxis. Passengers have been victims of robbery, kidnapping, extortion and theft.
- Robberies may occur in taxis shared with strangers.
Traffic Laws: Russian authorities consider traffic or parking infractions as administrative violations that provide a sufficient basis for deportation and/or denial of entry back to Russia at a later date. This is an increasingly frequent occurrence.
- Drivers must carry third-party liability insurance under a policy valid in Russia.
- You may drive for 60 days using your U.S. driver’s license, with a notarized Russian translation.
- Tourists may also use International Driving Permits issued by the American Automobile Association or the American Automobile Touring Alliance to drive in Russia.
- Russian law requires foreigners on business or employment visas or with permanent residence status to have a Russian driver's license.
- Driving regulations are strictly enforced and violators are subject to severe legal penalties.
- Russia practices a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol. Authorities can detain an intoxicated driver and suspend your driver’s license for up to two years.
- If you are involved in an accident, do not move your vehicle from the accident site. You may be held liable if you move your car even if you are not at fault.
- Police response to accidents is slow.
- Roadside police checkpoints are commonplace and are ostensibly in place to detect narcotics, alien smuggling, and firearms violations.
See our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed that the Government of Russia's Civil Aviation Authority is in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Russia's air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA's safety assessment page.
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Moscow
Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8
(Consular Section located at Novinskiy Bulvar 21)
Moscow 121099, Russian Federation
- Telephone +(7) (495) 728-5000 or +(7) (495) 728-5577
- Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(7) (495) 728-5000
- Fax +(7) (495) 728-5084
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- U.S. Embassy Moscow