How to apply
How to apply
Foreign citizens and stateless persons travelling to Russia must obtain a visa before attempting to enter the country. Visa-free entry to Russia is only possible if such a regime is established for specific categories of foreign citizens by an international agreement and/or laws of the Russian Federation. Please read the information below carefully before you apply for a visa.
I. Russian visa centers in the United States
Under an agreement between the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York and VFS Global foreign nationals and stateless persons can and are encouraged to apply for all types of visas at VFS visa application centers. VFS offices are located in New York, Houston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. Please be advised that the current visa center service fee is $38 per application. Please find more information at www.vfsglobal.com/Russia/USA.
You can reach VFS call center at (202) 503-99-11 or e-mail your inquiries to: info.RussiaUS@vfshelpline.com.
VFS office in New York:
Address: 145 W 45th Street, New York, NY 10036
Office hours: Monday-Friday, drop-off 9.00 a.m. - 3 p.m., pickup 3-5 p.m.
Walk-ins are welcome
II. Applying at the Consulate
Foreign citizens can apply directly at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York (9 East 91 Street, New York, NY 10128). Prior to submitting your visa application at the Consulate you must make an appointment through the electronic appointment system. The Consulate does not accept walk-ins. To apply at the Consulate you are required to appear in person, and have all documents properly prepared and filled out. Incomplete sets of documents and/or documents with errors will not be accepted.
Tourist\visa agencies can submit applications at VFS only.
III. Required documents
Regardless of the office you are applying at you must present the following documents:
1) Signed passport with at least two clear visa pages valid for at least 6 more months after the expiration date of the requested visa. If the validity condition is not fully met, your visa validity period will be shortened to allow 6 months of passport validity after the visa expiration date.
2) Invitation to visit the Russian Federation.
The form of the invitation depends on the type of the requested visa. Please see details on the corresponding page to the visa type you are going to apply.
3) Printed out, signed and dated visa application completed at http://visa.kdmid.ru. Please follow the instructions of the website while filling out the application.
4) Passport size color picture taken no earlier than 6 month before the date of application. The photos must be clear, forward facing and taken against a plain white or light-colored background.
5) Payment. The consulate accepts money orders or cashier’s checks only payable to Russian Consulate in New York. We do not accept cash, credit or debit cards, personal or company checks.
IV. Information for American citizens
In accordance with the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on the simplification of visa formalities for nationals of the Russian Federation and nationals of the United States of America, the US citizens are as a rule issued multiple-entry business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas valid for up to 3 years (36 months). We recommend that American citizens should as a rule apply for a 3-year multiple-entry.
Multiple-entry visas issued in accordance with the Agreement allow: 1) staying in Russia for up to 6 months per visit. The number of visits is unlimited; 2) subsequent trips with a purpose other than that initially indicated in the visa. Please note that the purpose of each trip and information on the hosting organization or person must be indicated in a Migration card form (filled out just before entering the country) in order to clear Russian customs and border control.
V. Information for citizens of the EU and Schengen area countries
According to the Russia-EU Visa Facilitation Agreement as well as bilateral visa agreements citizens of the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
are eligible for the following visa application fees:
– $40 – 4-10 business days;
– $80 – 3 business days.
Citizens of these countries must present a letter from an insurance company covering the whole period of stay in Russia. Medical insurance certificate must contain a Russian contact phone number for emergency or assistance.
Holders of diplomatic passports of the countries mentioned above do not need a visa to enter Russia for 90 days.
Please note these provisions do not affect citizens of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
VI. Information for Turkish citizens.
In accordance with the Decree № 583, issued by the President of the Russian Federation on November 28, 2015, the procedure for entering the Russian Federation for citizens of the Republic of Turkey, bearers of regular Turkish passports, has been revised.
As of January 1, 2016, Turkish citizens bearing said passports will be required to obtain a Russian visa issued by a diplomatic or consular division of the Russian Federation. (For more information please visit http://visa.kdmid.ru).
This does not affect Turkish citizens:
1) bearing temporary residency permits or permanent residency cards for the territory of the Russian Federation; 2) bearers of special or official passports, traveling to the Russian Federation for less than 30 days; 3) bearing special or official passports who work at diplomatic missions and consulates of the Republic of Turkey on the territory of the Russian Federation, and their family members who hold valid special or official Turkish passports; 4) holders of Seaman's Passports, provided they are entering for maritime purposes on ship orders.
VII. Processing time
We recommend applying for a visa at least 8 business days before your trip. A visa can only be expedited in case the applicant has documentary evidence of urgency. No expedited service is provided for multiple-entry visas.
Please apply for a visa no earlier than 6 months before the planned date of entry to the Russian Federation.
VIII. Filling out a visa application
All questions in the application form must be answered. If a question is not applicable, please put “N/A”.
Information in the visa application must fully correspond to the information in the applicant’s passport. The information about your host organization is found in the invitation and must be indicated in the “Host organization” field of the application. Please note that filling out an application online is only the first stage of your visa obtaining process, the Consulate does not issue visas online. In order to apply for a visa you must submit all the required documents at the visa center or the consulate.
In “Date of entry/exit into/from Russia” field please indicate the full period of the requested visa (as found in your invitation), not only the planned dates of your first visit. American citizens applying for a multiple 3-year tourist, private, business or humanitarian visa should indicate a 3-year period starting from the entry date indicated in the invitation.
While filling out the application you can choose to “Save draft” before you are finished. You can then retrieve incomplete or finished applications using your application ID (assigned at the beginning of the process) and your password.
If you need to make changes to a completed application, please select “Get a new draft ID” and then “Next” after accessing a completed application. In this case your previous application is duplicated with a new ID allowing you to make changes before submitting the corrected application.
Depending on the office you apply at in the “Destination name” please indicate “Visa application center VFS” or “Consulate General of Russia in Houston”.
Please make sure to print out your application, sign and date it in the designated area at the bottom.
IX. Medical insurance
Citizens of the Iran, Ireland, Israel, China and countries mentioned in Section V (Information for EU passport holders) must present medical insurance certificates valid in Russia or guarantee of medical coverage from a Russian hosting organization for the whole period of stay. Medical insurance certificates must contain a Russian contact phone number for emergency or assistance.
X. Additional information
1) Please note that the Consulate does not provide visa services by mail. Should you wish to mail your documents, you can use mailing services provided by the VFS visa application center.
2) Non-US citizens must provide proof of legality of their stay in the United States (US resident alien/permanent residency status (green card), U.S. visa, form I-94 etc.).
3) In accordance with the Russian law, citizens of the Russian Federation regardless of any other citizenships they may have, must travel to Russia on valid Russian documents only.
4) Visa processing fee is not refundable.
5) The type of requested visa or dates of entry/departure cannot be changed or extended. If your travel plans have changed after the visa issuance you have to reapply for a new visa.
6) After you have received your visa, please check that all the information in the visa is correct. In case of error, please return the visa to the Consulate for corrections. The Consulate is not responsible for any errors in visas, which are not brought to our attention prior to your departure from the United States.
7) Any visa applicant may be required to be interviewed by the consular officer, if necessary.
8) Processing time, requirements and fees are subject to change without notice.
9) In certain cases the visa section of the Consulate is entitled to process visa applications for as long as necessary. Visas can be denied.
10) Please be advised that a person cannot hold two or more valid Russian visas at the same time. In this case the older valid (unexpired) visa must be cancelled before a new visa is issued.