Visa Application Procedures for US Citizens

US Citizens Applying for Russian Visas in the US

If you are American and you are applying for a visa to Russia for the purpose of teaching English, then the following visa application procedures apply to you.

If you are applying for a visa by mail, then you must send your visa application to the Russian Consulate via an intermediary visa agency.  At this time there are three visa agencies authorized to accept applications for visa.  These are CIBT Inc., PVS International and Travisa Visa Service. Please note, if you mail your application directly to any US-based Russian consulate, it will be returned to you.

If you wish to apply for your visa in person, then you may do so at any US-based Russian Consulate. There are Russian consulates located in New York City, Washington D.C., Seattle, San Francisco and Houston. For full contact details visit

If you apply in person, be sure to get a pick-up slip from the visa officer. In order to pick-up your visa, you will need to present the pick-up slip. Likewise, should you wish to check on the status of your application, you will need to refer to pick-up slip number.

Visa Application Documents

In order to obtain a visa for Russia, you will need to mail or carry in the following documents:

  1. Visa application form (completely filled in)
  2. Valid passport (with at least two visa-free pages)
  3. One passport size photo (stapled to the application form in the appropriate space)
  4. Official letter of invitation (from your visa sponsor)
  5. Cover letter from your visa sponsor
  6. HIV-test
  7. Money order or cashier’s check (cash and personal checks are not accepted)

The visa processing fees is USD 131 for 4 – 20 business days processing time. You make the money order or cashier’s check out to the ‘Russian Embassy

Please note that a new rule states that the holder of a Russian visa may not enter Russia sooner than five (5) days after the visa has been issued. The issue dates appears on the visa.

US Citizens Applying for Russian Visas Overseas

If you are a US Citizen and you are applying for a visa to Russia from any country in which you are not a resident (e.g. you are applying for a Russian Visa in Britain), then visa processing time can be significantly longer. Therefore, if you are planning to apply for your visa while traveling abroad, be sure to take this delay into mind when submitting your application for visa.