Residents of the United States will need a visa to travel to Russia. The type of Russian visa required depends on many factors including how long you plan to stay in Russia and the purpose of your trip. In the near future, you will be able to obtain a Russia e-Visa, or electronic visa, online without the need to go to a consulate or embassy.
Until then, please check out the information below on the Russian e-Visa program and common questions foreign nationals have about obtaining and using a visa for Russia generally.
The Russia e-Visa Program | FAQ
How long will it take to receive an e-Visa once I have applied?
Usually, it takes no longer than 4 days to receive an e-Visa, but this depends on your visa operator and their e-Visa program requirements.
Am I allowed to enter Crimea or Ukraine with a Russian e-Visa?
Russia still enforces its visa policy within Crimea, so it is likely that you can travel there. It is recommended to verify with your Russian connections whether or not it is allowed as the state of politics is volatile at the moment.
Traveling to Ukraine requires foreign citizens to follow Ukraine’s visa policy. Use our Visa Checker Tool to see if you are required to get a visa for Ukraine.
Are there areas of Russia that require special permits?
Foreign citizens are restricted from entering the following regions without a special permit.
- Parts of Chelyabinsk Oblast.
- Within Leningrad Oblast region - all Russian islands of the Gulf of Finland, except Gogland, and a 12-mile (20 km) strip along the south coast of the Gulf of Finland
- Parts of Moscow Oblast
- Around 15% of Kaliningrad Oblast
- Part of Volgograd Oblast
- Part of Astrakhan Oblast
- Part of Kamchatka Krai
- Part of Primorsky Krai
- Part of Krasnoyarsk Krai
- Part of Orenburg Oblast
- Part of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast
- Part of The Republic of Mordovia
- Parts of Murmansk Oblast and the Republic of Karelia. Transit to and from Norway is likely by the primary roadway.
- Parts of Arkhangelsk Oblast (include South part of Novaya Zemlya island) and the Komi Republic
- Parts of Sverdlovsk Oblast
- Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, yet the Bilibino region is an exception
- Part of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
- The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, 45% of the territory. Transit to the border with Georgia and to the border with South Ossetia are possible along the main roads. Tsey Gorge is open to foreigners since 2012.
How many times can I enter Russia with an e-Visa?
The Russian e-Visa is a single entry visa. This means you are permitted entry in the Russian Federation one time. If you exit or leave Russia, you will not be allowed to reenter the country without another visa.
What type of travel is allowed using a Russian e-Visa?
Currently, the Russian e-Visa can be used for various purposes: business travel, tourism, and humanitarian reasons (in sports, culture, science, and technology).
What regions of Russia currently accept e-Visas?
The following regions of Russia currently allow foreign citizens to enter the borders with a valid e-Visa:
- The Far East
- Kaliningrad Oblast
- St. Petersburg
You can use our Visa Checker Tool to see if you have any e-Visa options currently available to use.
Can I travel between different regions of Russia with the same e-Visa?
It depends on which region you enter and what the specific requirements are for that region according to Russian federal law. Most visas though, are only good to use for the specific region that you chose to travel to.
How long can I stay in Russia with an e-Visa?
The e-Visa program currently allows visa holders to stay in Russia for up to 8 days from the date of entry in the country.
Do I need medical insurance if I am a foreign citizen traveling to Russia?
Yes. You will need to acquire personal medical insurance for international travel.
What is the expiration date of a Russian e-Visa?
The Russian e-Visa will expire after 30 days from the date of issuance. This means that you will need to enter Russia with the visa within 30 days from the issuance date or the visa will become invalid.
It is currently required to apply no less than 4 days before you travel to Russia and no more than 20 days before your intended arrival date.
Make sure to plan your trip to Russia within this timeframe so you do not make the mistake of allowing your visa to expire before you can use it.
What documents and information are required to fill out a Russia e-Visa application?
At the bare minimum, you will need the following documents and information to fill out the online application for a Russian e-Visa:
- Passport-Style Photo - Colored photos only, white background, ratio of 3.5 x 4.5
- Valid Passport - Your passport needs to be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the last day you plan to be in Russia. Have a couple of blank pages for stamping purposes.
- Invitation Letter - You can request an invitation letter from your Russian tour operator or the hotel or hostel you plan to stay at while in the country. In many cases, an invitation letter from a natural or legal person who currently lives in Russia is also accepted and can be used for business, study, tourism, or personal reasons. If you are lodging in different regions of Russia, you will need an invitation letter from each host of your stay.
- Health Insurance Policy - You will need to prove you have reliable health insurance coverage for the length of your stay.
Get a Russia Visa | Citizens of the United States
The Russian e-Visa is a great way to skip going to the embassy or consulate. When it is ready, come back to iVisa.com and fill out an online application for the e-Visa program of Russia.
Do you have more questions? If you do, reach out to our support staff who are available 24/7. We are here to help you get your visa for Russia as soon as possible.