Russia Travel Advisory
October 4, 2022

Do Not Travel and Leave Immediately

Intercountry Adoption

English

Country Information

Russia

Russian Federation
Russian Federation
Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of U.S. citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19-related restrictions, and terrorism. U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart Russia immediately. Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions.

Click Here for Important Information for U.S. Citizens Seeking to Depart Russia.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.

Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of U.S. citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19-related restrictions, and terrorism. U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart Russia immediately. Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions.

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 as a result of sanctions imposed on Russian banks. There are reports of cash shortages within Russia.

Limited commercial flight options and overland routes by car and bus are still open and available. If you wish to depart Russia, you should make arrangements on your own as soon as possible. The U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens, and conditions, including transportation options, may suddenly become even more limited. U.S. citizens who are able to depart Russia for another country and are in need of emergency assistance upon arrival may contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in that country.

Due to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine, an increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. In addition, airspace around southern Russia is restricted, and a number of airports in the area have closed. U.S. citizens located in, or considering travel to, the districts of the Russian Federation immediately bordering Ukraine should be aware that the situation along the border is dangerous and unpredictable. Given the ongoing armed conflict, U.S. citizens are strongly advised against traveling by land from Russia to Ukraine. In addition, there is the potential throughout Russia of harassment of foreigners, including through regulations targeted specifically against foreigners.

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, the number of U.S. staff, and the ongoing suspension of operations, including consular services, at U.S. consulates.

Do Not Travel to:

  • The North Caucasus, including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus, due to terrorism, kidnapping, and risk of civil unrest.
  • Crimea due to Russia’s occupation of the Ukrainian territory and abuses by its occupying authorities.

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. All U.S. government personnel should carefully consider their need to travel to Russia.

Russian security services have arrested U.S. citizens on spurious charges, singled out U.S. citizens in Russia for detention and/or harassment, denied them fair and transparent treatment, and have convicted them in secret trials and/or without presenting credible evidence. Russian officials may unreasonably delay U.S. consular assistance to detained U.S. citizens. Russian authorities arbitrarily enforce local laws against U.S. citizen religious workers and open questionable criminal investigations against U.S. citizens engaged in religious activity. Russian security services are increasing the arbitrary enforcement of local laws to target foreign and international organizations they consider “undesirable,” and U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Russia to perform work for or volunteer with non-governmental organizations. Russian authorities may not notify the U.S. Embassy of the detention of a U.S. citizen, and consular access to detainees may be denied or severely delayed.

Russia enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Russian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying access to U.S. consular assistance and preventing their departure from Russia.

The rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia, and U.S. citizens should avoid all political or social protests.

Terrorist groups, 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, 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.

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.

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

If you decide to travel to Russia:

North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mount Elbrus) – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Terrorist attacks and risk of civil unrest continue throughout the North Caucasus region, including in Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. Local gangs have kidnapped U.S. citizens and other foreigners for ransom. There have been credible reports of arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killing of LGBTQI+ persons in Chechnya allegedly conducted by Chechen regional authorities.

Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region. The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Crimea – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize Russia’s purported annexation of Crimea. There is extensive Russian Federation military presence in Crimea. Russia staged its further invasion of Ukraine, in part, from occupied Crimea, and Russia is likely to take further military actions in Crimea as part of its occupation of this part of Ukraine. There are continuing abuses against foreigners and the local population by the occupation authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula.

The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in Crimea, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to Crimea.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas

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Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Intercountry adoptions are not currently possible between Russia and the United States. Russian Federal law No 272-FZ remains in place banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. This law entered into force on January 1, 2013. It bans the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, bars adoption service providers from assisting U.S. citizens in adopting Russian children, and required the termination of the 2012 U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement. The Russian Supreme Court issued a letter to city and regional courts on January 22, 2013 explaining the implementation of Federal Law No. 272-FZ. The letter states that adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens may be completed only in those cases in which adoption orders were made before January 1, 2013, (including those that became final after January 1, 2013 following the 30-day waiting period). The U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement was terminated on January 1, 2014. Additionally, on July 2, 2013 Russian Federal Law No. 167-FZ entered into force banning the adoption, custody, or patronage of children by same-sex couples and also to singles living in countries where same-sex marriage is allowed. Effective May 15, 2018, Russia’s adoption authority changed to the Ministry of Education. Previously, the Ministry of Education and Science held jurisdiction over guardianship and adoption issues. Please see the following web page for more information: http://government.ru/info/32614/.

Hague Convention Information

Russia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section  204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F).

Russian Federal law No 272-FZ remains in place banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens.

This law entered into force on January 1, 2013. It bans the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, bars adoption service providers from assisting U.S. citizens in adopting Russian children, and required the termination of the 2012 U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement. The Russian Supreme Court issued a letter to city and regional courts on January 22, 2013 explaining the implementation of Federal Law No. 272-FZ. The letter states that adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens may be completed only in those cases in which adoption orders were made before January 1, 2013, (including those that became final after January 1, 2013 following the 30-day waiting period). The U.S.-Russia Adoption Agreement was terminated on January 1, 2014.

Additionally, on July 2, 2013 Russian Federal Law No. 167-FZ entered into force banning the adoption, custody, or patronage of children by same-sex couples and also to singles living in countries where same-sex marriage is allowed.

AFTER ADOPTION

The Government of Russia requires children adopted from Russia to be registered with either the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) before they leave Russia or with the Russian Embassy or Consulate once they arrive in the United States.

Russia requires four post-adoption reports to provide information regarding the welfare of children adopted by U.S. families. We strongly urge parents with children adopted from Russia to comply with Russia’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.

  • The initial post-adoption home study should be done at least five months after the court order granting adoption goes into effect, and the post-adoption report is due no later than the end of the seventh month.
  • The second post-adoption home study should be done at eleven months after the court order granting adoption goes into effect, and the post-adoption report is due no later than the end of the 13th month after the court order.
  • The third post-adoption home study should be done 23 months after the court order granting adoption goes into effect, and the post-adoption report is due no later than the end of the 25th month after the court order.
  • The fourth post-adoption home study should be done 35 months after the court order granting adoption goes into effect, and the post-adoption report is due no later than the end of the 37th month after the court order.

Reports should be prepared in accordance with the requirements established by the Russian government and as agreed to during the adoption process. All reports should be translated into Russian. Reports may be submitted either to the Ministry of Education and Science at the following address or to the regional authorities where the adoption was completed. The Ministry’s address is below. For contact information for the regional authorities, please see our Russian Regional Authorities Contact List.

     Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation
     Department of State Policy for the Protection of Children’s Rights
     51 Lysinovskaya St.
     Moscow, 115998

Post - Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family— whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Russia
Address: #21 Novinsky Blvd.
Moscow, Russia 123242
Tel: 728-5000 switchboard
728-5567 (orphan visas)
Fax: 728-5247 (orphans only)
Internet: ru.usembassy.gov/

Russia’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation
Department of State Policy for the Protection of Children’s Right
Address: 51 Lysinovskaya St.
Moscow, 115998

Embassy of the Russian Federation
Address: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: 202-298-5700
Fax: 202-298-5735
Internet:   https://washington.mid.ru/en/

Russia also has consulates in: New York and Houston

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI, SA-17A, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
Email: Adoption@state.gov
Internet: adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1-913-214-5808
Email: NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS Contact Center
Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet: uscis.gov

Last Updated: March 17, 2021

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Moscow
Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok No. 8
Moscow 121099, Russian Federation
Telephone
+(7) (495) 728-5000
Emergency
+(7) (495) 728-5000
Fax
+(7) (495) 728-5084

Russian Federation Map