Information for U.S. Citizens in Russia – Travel Options Out of Russia

(Updated as of 3:00 p.m. May 20, 2022)

We are providing the information below to assist U.S. Citizens planning to depart Russia given the uncertainty surrounding circumstances there following recent Russian military actions in Ukraine. It will be updated daily by 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

U.S. citizens should depart Russia immediately via one of the limited commercial options still available. U.S. Citizens wishing to depart Russia have several options listed below. The situation on Russian borders is constantly evolving, and this page will be updated regularly to reflect these changes.

UPDATE: When considering departure options, please note that The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently downgraded the air safety rating for Russia, restricting any expansion of service or partnerships as a result of Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport not complying with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards. For more information on this matter, click here.

United States Customs & Border Protection and commercial airlines have announced an extension to current regulations and will continue to accept certain undamaged U.S. passports that expired on or after January 1, 2020, from U.S. citizens returning directly to the United States from overseas through June 30, 2022. For additional information, please click here.

Per U.S. Embassy Moscow’s February 28, 2022, Message to U.S. Citizens, those seeking to depart Russia should consider taking the following steps to facilitate their travel.  

  • Tickets for next-day flights out of Russia have recently been extremely limited. If you are considering an imminent departure, please review flight information carefully and contact the airlines directly to ensure sufficient ticket availability for your party.
  • Explore commercial air routing through non-European destinations.  Contacting the airlines directly is currently the most effective way to book travel.  Flight dates and availability vary significantly by airline.
  • Please note that Turkish Airlines has reduced the number of flights on its Moscow – Istanbul route. Flights remain available through Middle East and/or Asian transit points on other major airlines including:

o   Qatar Airways

o   Gulf Air

o   Fly Dubai

o   Etihad

o   Air Serbia

Fly Dubai reports that it has increased flights from St. Petersburg, and Mineralnye Vody in addition to Moscow, in response to demand, and to compensate for flight cancelations from Rostov and Krasnodar. Flights from Mineralnye Vody to Dubai operate Wednesdays and Saturdays and offer direct flight options for U.S. citizens in Southern Russia. Fly Dubai also offers flights four days a week from Yekaterinburg to Dubai, as well as twice-weekly flights from Novosibirsk on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Etihad and Emirates airlines likewise have both confirmed that they have not reduced flight routes with Russia at this time. 

Major Russian carriers such as Aeroflot and S7 have ceased most international flights. On March 16, Aeroflot announced that it will resume flights to Azerbaijan starting March 21. Sochi (AER), Rostov (ROV) and Ufa (UFA) flights remain temporarily cancelled until mid-April. There are also flights available on multiple carriers to Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and other countries in the region, including flights departing from Yekaterinburg.

  • For those planning to depart by air from Moscow or St. Petersburg, the chart below indicates seat availability on a sampling of flights for the next three days as of May 20, 2022 at 12:00p/m EST. Commercial airline routings, capacity, and availability are changing rapidly in response to events, and travelers seeking to depart should regularly check airline websites for the latest information.

 

21-May

       

Airline

Flight#

Origin

Dest

Min Seats

QR

338

SVO

DOH

Open

EK

2311

VKO

DXB

FULL

EK

2253

VKO

DXB

FULL

EK

132

DME

DXB

Open

EK

2323

VKO

DXB

FULL

EY

66

SVO

AUH

Open

TK

414

VKO

IST

Limited

TK

418

VKO

IST

Open

TK

416

VKO

IST

Open

TK

420

VKO

IST

FULL

TK

412

VKO

IST

Limited

TK

402

LED

IST

Limited

TK

404

LED

IST

Limited

TK

1234/7543

LED

AYT/IST

Limited

TK

1234/7539

LED

LED/SAW

Limited

           

22-May

       

Airline

Flight#

Origin

Dest

Min Seats

QR

338

SVO

DOH

FULL

EK

2311

VKO

DXB

FULL

EK

2253

VKO

DXB

FULL

EK

132

DME

DXB

FULL

EK

2323

VKO

DXB

FULL

EY

66

SVO

AUH

Open

TK

414

VKO

IST

FULL

TK

418

VKO

IST

Limited

TK

416

VKO

IST

FULL

TK

420

VKO

IST

FULL

TK

412

VKO

IST

Open

TK

402

LED

IST

Limited

TK

404

LED

IST

FULL

TK

1234/7543

LED

AYT/IST

Open

TK

1234/7539

LED

LED/SAW

Open

                                        

23-May

       

Airline

Flight#

Origin

Dest

Min Seats

QR

338

SVO

DOH

Limited

EK

2311

VKO

DXB

Open

EK

2253

VKO

DXB

Open

EK

132

DME

DXB

Open

EK

2323

VKO

DXB

Open

EY

66

SVO

AUH

Open

TK

414

VKO

IST

FULL

TK

418

VKO

IST

Limited

TK

416

VKO

IST

Limited

TK

420

VKO

IST

FULL

TK

412

VKO

IST

FULL

TK

402

LED

IST

FULL

TK

404

LED

IST

FULL

TK

1234/7543

LED

AYT/IST

Open

TK

1234/7539

LED

LED/SAW

Open

Airline Codes:

QR:                  Qatar Airways                    

EK:                   Emirates

EY:                   Etihad

SV/EY:             Saudia / Etihad codeshare

KQ/SU:            Kenya Air / Aeroflot codeshare

TK:                   Turkish Airlines

UT:                  Utair

JU:                   Air Serbia

FZ:                   Fly Dubai

MS:                 Egypt Air

  • Travelers should also explore flights out of Russia on smaller carriers to a third country and then look to book onward flights to the United States through a separate reservation originating in the third country.  
  • Family/friends outside of Russia may be able to assist in securing an airline ticket for the traveler in Russia and provide the flight/ticket information electronically, especially if credit/debit cards are not working, as described below.  
  • Private global travel agencies may be able to assist in securing onward travel through commercial airlines, although many are no longer offering flight options originating in Russia.  Major travel agencies include: American Express Global Expedia Group Booking Holding BCD Travel Flight Centre Travel Leaders Group and Direct Travel .

Note: These are just a sampling of global travel agencies and airlines.  Inclusion on these lists does not represent an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State.  

Travelers may also depart via some of Russia’s land borders. More information is below.

Use of Credit/Debit Cards & Access to Foreign Currency:  As a result of sanctions imposed on Russian banks in response to the Russian military actions in Ukraine, major credit card firms Mastercard, Visa and American Express announced a suspension of services in Russia. Reports indicate that as of March 10, Mastercard and Visa cards are no longer usable at a wide range of local businesses. Travelers may consider using local credit cards, cash, or other forms of payment, or request that family/friends outside of Russia purchase their ticket. U.S. citizens should take this into account when making their plans.  

The Bank of Russia has announced that its ban on non-residents from “unfriendly countries” transferring money abroad using any cross-border transfer method, including wire and electronic transfers, has been extended through September 31, 2022.

On March 9, the Central Bank of Russia announced that owners of foreign currency accounts, including those in U.S. dollars, would be allowed to withdraw no more than a cumulative $10,000 in foreign currency during a six-month period from March 9 until September 9, 2022. Depositors are permitted to continue using USD or other foreign currency accounts, top them up with foreign currency and withdraw any amounts in rubles in excess of $10,000. During the calendar year, individuals may transfer no more than 10,000 US dollars or an equivalent amount in another currency from their accounts with Russian banks to their foreign accounts or to another individual abroad.

We encourage U.S. citizens to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency. U.S. Citizens in Russia can email moscowacs@state.gov for assistance.

Click here for additional updates from the U.S. Embassy in Russia.

KEY LINKS

Latest Travel Advisory and Alerts

Departing Russia by air:

U.S. citizens wishing to depart Russia by land should be prepared to comply with country-specific entry requirements. Direct flights are currently operating from Moscow and other major Russian cities to Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Thailand, India, and other destinations. European and North American airspace remains closed. Please consult airlines and travel websites for schedules and availability.

Security Alert

Departing Russia by land:

U.S. citizens wishing to depart Russia by land should be prepared to comply with country-specific entry requirements, which may differ from the entry requirements for travelers arriving by plane. See the webpage of the U.S. Embassy in the country you wish to enter for COVID requirements. For a list of embassies, click here.

Departing Russia by sea:

Some ferries from Russia to other countries may be operating.

Visa Requirements for Families with American and Russian Citizen Family Members

The following information may be of use to those families with both American and Russian citizen family members that are considering departure options:

No Visa Required for Russian Citizens

Azerbaijan:     Russians do not need a visa to enter Azerbaijan and can stay for up to 90 days. 

Bahrain:          Russians can get visas on arrival.

Georgia:          Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter Georgia.

Kazakhstan:    Russian citizens can enter Kazakhstan without a visa by air for up to 90 days, but not more than 90 days within a 180-day period. Additionally, to enter overland Russian citizens need permission from the Inter Departmental Commission (IDC).

Mongolia:       Mongolia does not require a visa for temporary (30 day) stays of Russian nationals, just a passport with at least six months validity.

Qatar:             Russian citizens can enter Qatar visa free for an initial 30 day stay and the possibility to extend 30 additional days. 

Serbia:            Russians do not need visas to enter Serbia and can stay for up to 30 days.

UAE:                UAE does visas on arrival for Russian tourists, with authorization for a 30 day stay, extendable to 90 with application.

Visa Required for Russian Citizens

Estonia:          The Estonian MFA announced on March 10 that they will no longer issue visas to Russian citizens (or citizens of Belarus) unless they have an Estonian family member or a compelling humanitarian need.

Finland:          Russian citizens require a visa to enter Finland. In extreme circumstances the Finnish Border Patrol will consider parole entry if the person is transiting Finland or has other extraordinary circumstances.

Latvia:             Visas are required for Russians to enter Latvia. They are currently not being issued except for humanitarian reasons.

Lithuania:       Russian citizens need a visa to enter Lithuania. The Lithuanian Migration Department reports that Lithuania has stopped issuing most visas to Russian nationals in light of Russia’s war against Ukraine.  Exceptions include humanitarian visas. Lithuania still issues residence permits to Russian citizens but is subjecting all such applications to heightened scrutiny.

The following link provides information on countries to which Russian citizens can travel without requiring a visa. Please note that this website is not affiliated with the United States Department of State, which cannot vouch for the accuracy of its data, and is provided purely for informational purposes.

https://visaguide.world/visa-free-countries/russian-passport/

SPECIFIC INFORMATION ON ENTERING NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES FROM RUSSIA:

Azerbaijan

To reach the U.S. Embassy in Baku, call +994 12 488-3300, or email the American Citizens Services unit at BakuACS@state.gov

Click here to see all Messages and Alerts for U.S. Visitors to Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijani AZAL and Buta Airways suspended all flights operated to and from Russian cities as of 08:00 on March 6, 2022. Aeroflot has announced that they will resume flights to Azerbaijan starting March 21.

Belarus

Do not travel to Belarus due to the arbitrary enforcement of laws, the risk of detention, the Russian military attack on neighboring Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military in Belarus along the border with Ukraine, COVID-19, and related entry restrictions. U.S. citizens in Belarus should depart immediately via commercial or private means. Read the travel advisory for Belarus here .

Estonia

To reach the U.S. Embassy in Estonia, call 372-668-8128, or email ACSTallinn@state.gov.

Click here to read all Messages and Alerts for U.S. Visitors to Estonia.

  • The Estonian Police and Border Guard have announced an extension allowing U.S. citizen to enter Estonia on expired passports through June 30. U.S. citizens have expressed confusion and concern because the standard response emails from the Estonian Police and Border Guard state “Please note that every person has to have a valid travel document in order to travel to another country.
  • Estonia is not allowing air traffic from Russia due to EU sanctions.  U.S. citizens are allowed to cross into Estonia. U.S. citizens’ family members of other nationalities may require Estonian visas to enter.
  • Lux Express continues to offer bus service between St. Petersburg and Tallinn: Tallinn - St. Petersburg buses and tickets - Lux Express.  U.S. citizens traveling by bus from Russia to Estonia should expect longer than normal wait times to cross the border.
  • There are currently no ferries operating from Russia to Estonia.  Onward ferries are currently operating from Tallinn to Stockholm and Helsinki.
  • It is possible to cross the border on foot. Crossing by taxi is not possible, but there are buses that cross over into Estonia, as noted above.

Finland

To reach the U.S. Embassy in Finland, call +358-9-616-250, or email HelsinkiACS@state.gov

Click here to read all Messages and Alerts for U.S. Visitors to Finland.

  • Finland's national railway operator suspended services between Helsinki and Saint Petersburg, Russia effective Monday, March 28.
  • No air travel is possible.
  • There are currently no ferries operating from Russia to Finland.
  • There are still some bus companies operating from St. Peterburg to Finland. There are no citizenship restrictions when travelling to Finland by bus. Here are the links to the bus companies:

o   HH-Kuriiri

o   Skandinavia

o   Lux Express

o   Ecolines

o   Sovavto

  • The land border crossing points between Finland and Russia are operating normally:

o   Niirala border crossing point is open for passenger traffic from 9:00−20:00 Finnish time.       

o   Nuijamaa and Vaalimaa border crossing points are open for passenger traffic from 7:00−21:30 Finnish time.

o   Imatra border crossing point is closed for passenger traffic.

o   Raja-Jooseppi and Salla border crossing points are open for passenger traffic Monday−Friday 8:00−18:00 and Saturday−Sunday 9:00−17:00 Finnish time.

o   Vartius border crossing point is open for passenger traffic from 8:00−19:00 Finnish time.

  • Travelers may not cross the land border on foot.
  • U.S. Citizens with expired passports may transit Finland en route the United States, but must contact the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki at HelsinkiACS@state.gov in advance and provide the traveler’s name, arrival time, vehicle information, and U.S. airline ticket information.
  • Passengers transiting Finland may cross the border outside regular opening hours in order to make connecting flights/ferries.  Passengers must show proof of onward travel and meet all entry requirements. You can find the requirements (including COVID-19) for entry from the Finnish Border Guards website.

Georgia

To reach the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, call +(995 32) 227-70-00, or email the American Citizens Services unit at askconsultbilisi@state.gov.

Click here to see all Messages and Alerts for U.S. Visitors to Georgia.

The Georgian land border with Russia near Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) is OPEN.  This border is typically open to U.S. citizens 24/7. The limited hours posted on the website do not apply to private travelers.

Kazakhstan

To reach the U.S. Embassy in Kazakhstan, call +7 (7172) 70-21-00, or email the American Citizens Services unit at Contact Consul.

Click here to see all Messages and Alerts for U.S. Visitors to Kazakhstan.

  • Aeroflot is ceasing all international flights, including to Kazakhstan.  Air Astana and FlyArystan have temporarily suspended flights between Russia and Kazakhstan. While other airlines may continue to operate routes between Russia and Kazakhstan, it is important to note that U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling for official duties on Kazakhstani airlines without prior approval, except for Air Astana and FlyArystan, due to safety concerns. For more information about travel, see Kazakhstan’s Country Information Page.
  • While arrival via airports is unrestricted and visa free for up to 30 days, overland entry is only permitted for diplomats, immediate family members of Kazakhstani citizens, residence permit holders, and some employees of designated companies in critical industries.  Approval for each overland entry is required by Kazakhstan’s Interdepartmental Commission (IDC).
  • Regardless of vaccination status, entry either by land or air into Kazakhstan requires a PCR test with results dated no more than three days prior to entry to Kazakhstan. If travelers are unable to provide negative PCR test results, they will be denied entry.  Children under five are exempted from this requirement.
  • U.S. Citizens with expired passports will not be admitted to Kazakhstan, including for transit.

Latvia

To reach the U.S. Embassy in Latvia, call +371 6710 7000, or email askconsular-riga@state.gov.

Click here to read all Messages and Alerts for U.S. Visitors to Latvia.

  • The Russia-Latvia border remains open, and there is direct bus service from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Riga via the Ecolines buses, which depart daily until Tuesday, March 8, and then twice per week. Latvia permits U.S. Citizens to cross into Latvia from Belarus through the land border up through Daugavpils.
  • Beginning March 1, 2022, one of the following documents must be presented to enter Latvia: the interoperable EU COVID certificate on vaccination or recovery (in a smart device, or in paper format) or a negative COVID-19 test result (for an RNA test taken within the past 72 hours, or for an antigen test taken within the past 48 hours). CDC vaccination cards and vaccination certificates showing vaccination with Russia's Sputnik vaccine are accepted.
  • There is no train or ferry service which travels directly from Russia or Belarus to Latvia. There is direct bus service from Moscow's Bitsia station, Minsk, and St. Petersburg to Riga via the Ecolines buses, which are currently scheduled to depart daily.
  • The Russia-Latvia border remains open. A list of border crossing points and their hours of operation is available here. The Latvian Border Police have stated that American Citizens will be allowed to cross with valid passports and with passports which have been expired for no more than 24 months.
  • Latvia is not issuing visas for Russian citizens to enter the country at this time, including for accompanying Russian family members of U.S. citizen minors. Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Latvia if you need assistance with this issue.

Lithuania

To reach the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, call +370 5 266 5600, or email VilniusACs@state.gov

Click here to read all Messages and Alerts for U.S. Visitors to Lithuania.

There are currently no restrictions on individuals (who are in possession of required visas/entry docs, etc.) entering Lithuania from Kaliningrad.

Mongolia

To reach the U.S. Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, call +976-7007-6001, or email the American Citizens Services unit at UlaanbaatarACS@state.gov.

Click here to see all Messages and Alerts for U.S. Visitors to Mongolia.

  • There are no reports of any border/Point of Entry closures.
  • The Mongolian government requires those entering to be in possession a passport with at least six months’ validity.

Last Updated: May 20, 2022