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U.S. visa for Russian citizens 2024

Russian citizens traveling to the U.S. for business or tourism must obtain a B1/B2 visa for entry. Obtaining a U.S. B1/B2 visa is purely online. If you plan to travel to the United States, you must know the process and requirements for getting a visa. This article provides information about the process and requirements for obtaining a U.S. visa. However, this process can often be overwhelming and stressful. To make the visa application process more accessible and stress-free, you can take advantage of the services offered by Visas for Future. We deliver a simplified and hassle-free visa application experience. Please click on the button below to learn more about our services and start your visa application.

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Russian citizens can apply for B1/B2 visas for temporary visits to the United States. However, the current situation regarding visa applications for Russians requires additional considerations:

1. Limited Processing Locations: Due to the suspension of non-diplomatic visa services at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russians must submit their B1/B2 visa applications at alternative locations currently designated as:

  • U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland
  • U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • U.S. Consulate General in Almaty, Kazakhstan

This can add travel and logistical challenges compared to applying in Moscow.

2. Increased Processing Times: Expect longer processing times than usual due to the current situation and increased workload at the alternative processing locations.

3. Standard Eligibility Criteria: Despite these additional considerations, Russians’ B1/B2 visa eligibility criteria remain the same as for other applicants. You must demonstrate to the visa officer:

  • Strong ties to your home country ensure your return after your visit.
  • Legitimate purpose for your trip, whether business or tourism.
  • Sufficient financial resources to support your stay and travel.
  • No immigration intentions exceeding the permitted B1/B2 visa duration.
  • You can do a few things to increase your chances of getting a U.S. visa.
  • Make sure you are applying for the right type of visa.
  • Gather all of the required documentation and submit it on time.
  • Be prepared for your visa interview and dress professionally.
  • Be honest and answer all questions truthfully.

The situation regarding Russian and US immigration is complex due to several factors influencing the process and outlook:

Political Tensions

  • The strained political relationship between the US and Russia affects visa issuance.
  • Increased scrutiny of Russian visa applications is reported, with stricter vetting procedures and potential denials based on perceived security concerns.

Humanitarian Considerations

  • Despite the political tensions, the US is still processing visas for certain categories of Russian applicants, such as immediate family members of U.S. citizens and green card holders.
  • Humanitarian cases, like individuals fleeing persecution or seeking medical treatment, are also being considered.

Visa Suspensions

  • Following the Russia-Ukraine war, the U.S. suspended immigrant visa services at the US Embassy in Moscow in March 2023. This means applications for green cards and other permanent residency visas are not processed there.
  • However, non-immigrant visas (like tourist and business visas, which are the U.S. B1/B2 visas) are still being processed at the US Embassy in Moscow and other US consulates in the region.

Embarking on a U.S. adventure but drowning in the details? Fear not! Let Visas for Future guide you in obtaining your U.S. B1/B2 visa. Our dedicated fulfillment team is expert at navigating the visa process to ensure a seamless journey. One of our top priorities is to assist you with meeting all of the requirements and accurately completing the application form.


What We’re Offering

If you are a Russian citizen and want to travel to the United States for business, pleasure, or medical treatment purposes, you need a United States B1/B2 Visa. Our processing service will deliver your US B1/B2 Visa to your mailbox within 30 days.

  • Non-immigrant visa that allows people to travel to the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2) purposes.1
  • For Russian citizens, it is multiple entries for three years validity.2
  • It costs $215.81.

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Types of U.S. visas that are eligible for Russian citizens and their costs

The specific type of visa depends on the purpose of travel. Here’s a breakdown of some common options.

Non-immigrant visas for temporary stays

  • B1/B2 Visa (Tourist/Business)
    •  Allows for tourism, business meetings, or medical treatment. 
    • Application fee: $215.81.
  • F Visa (Student)
    • For academic study programs.
    •  Application fee: $160.
  • H Visa (Work)
    • For temporary employment in the U.S.
    • Fees vary depending on visa type and category, and additional fees may apply.
  • L Visa (Intracompany Transfer)
    • For employees of a multinational company transferring to a U.S. branch.
    • Application fee: $190.
  • C-1 Visa (Transit)
    • For short stays while en route to another country. 
    • Application fee: $160.

Application procedures for Russian citizens to obtain a U.S. visa

B1/B2 Visa

Here is the step-by-step guide to the U.S. B1/B2 Visa application process.

  1. Visit Visas for Future, choose United States B1/B2 Visa, and click “United States B1/B2 visa Now“.
  2. Fill out the order form with your name, nationality, phone number, and email address.
  3. Make payment via credit card or debit card.
  4. Fill out the intake form correctly and completely.
  5. Upload the required documents needed.
  6. Review your information and submit it.
  7. Wait for the decision on your visa.

F Visa (Student Visa)

Here is the step-by-step guide to the application process for the U.S. F Visa (student visa).

  1. You’ll need to complete both the DS-160 online form and submit the I-20 form received from your institution as part of your U.S. student visa application process.
  2. Gather the required documents.
  3. Pay the visa application fee.
  4. Schedule a visa interview. Due to Moscow’s suspension, consider scheduling at embassies in Warsaw, Yerevan, or Belgrade.
  5. Attend your visa interview. Be prepared to discuss your study plans, finances, and ties to Russia.
  6. Wait for a decision. Due to increased scrutiny, processing times can vary, potentially longer for Russians.

H visa (Work Visa)

Here is the step-by-step guide to the application process for obtaining the U.S. H visa (work visa). The most common category for Russians seeking work in the U.S. is the general H-1B visa.

  1. Provide the fill out forms of the following:
    • Forms for your U.S. employer to file with the USCIS
      • Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker: This is the main petition your employer files on your behalf. It details your qualifications, the job offer, and why they need a foreign worker for the position. No separate form exists for H-1B3, so the standard I-129 applies.
      • H Classification Supplement (Pages 11 and 12 of Form I-129): This supplement provides additional information about your specific specialty occupation and how it qualifies for the H-1B visa.
      • H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement (Pages 17-19 of Form I-129): This supplement details certain details about your employer and the wage offered, potentially affecting filing fee considerations.
    • Form for you to complete electronically
      • DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application: This online form collects your personal information, travel plans, and details about your visa application. It’s relevant for nonimmigrant visas, including H-1B, and doesn’t differentiate between subcategories.
  2. Gather required documents
  3. Pay visa fees and other fees
  4. Attend a visa interview. Once your petition is approved by the USCIS, you will need to schedule a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in Russia. Be prepared to answer questions about your qualifications, job offer, and ties to Russia.
  5. Wait for a decision. Processing times for H-1B visas can vary, but they can take several months, especially for applicants from countries with high levels of scrutiny, like Russia.

L-1 visa (Intracompany Transfer)

Here is the step-by-step guide to the application process for obtaining a U.S. L-1 visa (Intracompany Transfer). Obtaining an L-1 visa as a Russian citizen can be complex due to the current political situation and the suspension of some U.S. immigration services in Russia.

  1. Determine your L-1 visa subcategory:
    • L-1A: Executive or manager.
    • L-1B: Specialized knowledge professional.
  2. Prepare the completed filled-out forms:
    • Forms filed by your US employer with the USCIS:
      • Form I-129L Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker: This is the main petition filed by your US employer on your behalf. It details your qualifications, the transfer to the US company, and why they need you in the specific role.
    • Form for you to complete electronically:
      • DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application: 
  3. Gather the Employer requirements.
  4. Gather required documents
  5. Pay the visa application fee
  6. Schedule a visa interview: Due to Moscow suspension, consider scheduling at embassies in Warsaw, Yerevan, or Belgrade.
  7. Attend your visa interview: Be prepared to discuss your role in the foreign company, the transfer to the US company, and your qualifications.
  8. Wait for a decision: Due to increased scrutiny, processing times can vary, potentially longer for Russians.

C-1 visa (Transit)

Here is the step-by-step guide to the application process for obtaining a U.S. C-1 visa (Transit) for Russians has seen some changes due to the current political situation and suspension of some US immigration services in Russia. Here’s an updated overview of the procedure:

  1. Determine if you need a C-1 visa.
    • You generally need a C-1 visa if you are in immediate and continuous transit through the US on your way to another country, with no plans to stay or visit beyond the airport.
    • If you plan to visit friends, sightseeing, or leave the airport, you may need a different visa category like B-1/B2.
  2. Gather required documents
  3. Fill out the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant form completely.
  4. Pay the visa application fee.
  5. Schedule a visa interview. Due to Moscow’s suspension, consider scheduling at embassies in Warsaw, Yerevan, or Belgrade.
  6. Attend your visa interview. Be prepared to discuss your travel plans, purpose for transit, and onward travel arrangements.
  7. Wait for a decision. Processing times can vary, potentially longer for Russians due to increased scrutiny.

Requirements and necessary documentation

The documents required for a United States B1/B2 Visa are as follows:3

  • Passport
  • Travel itinerary
  • Passport photo-size image 
  • Dates of your last five visits or trips to the United States if you have previously traveled there. 
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae.
  • Other Information – Depending on the intended purpose of travel, some applicants will be asked to provide additional information when completing the DS-160.

The documents required for a United States F Visa (Student visa) are as follows:

  • Valid passport (6 months beyond intended stay).
  • Completed DS-160 visa application form.
  • Recent passport-sized photos.
  • Proof of financial support for the entire study period.
  • Acceptance letter from SEVP-certified US educational institution.
  • I-20 form from your institution.
  • Evidence of English language proficiency (optional).

The documents required for a United States H Visa (Work) are as follows:

  • Valid passport with at least six months of validity beyond your intended stay in the U.S.
  • Completed Form I-129 petition for a nonimmigrant worker filed by your U.S. employer.
  • Evidence of your qualifications includes diplomas, certificates, and work experience letters.
  • Proof of your expertise in the specialty occupation, such as professional licenses or publications.
  • Financial documents demonstrating your ability to support yourself while in the U.S.

The documents required for a United States L Visa (Intracompany Transfer) are as follows:

  • Valid passport (6 months beyond intended stay).
  • Completed DS-160 visa application form.
  • Recent passport-sized photos.
  • L-1 petition filed by your US employer (Form I-129L).
  • Evidence of your specialized knowledge or managerial/executive position in the foreign company.
  • Evidence of your qualifications exceeding those of US workers.
  • Proof of salary and benefits in the foreign company.

The documents required for a United States C-1 Visa (Transit) are as follows:

  • Valid passport (6 months beyond intended stay).
  • Completed DS-160 visa application form.
  • Recent passport-sized photos.
  • Evidence of onward travel: Confirmed flight reservation for your onward flight to another country.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds for your transit through the US.
  • Travel documents for your destination country (visa if required).

Current challenges and political climate

Obtaining a US visa as a Russian citizen can be challenging due to a combination of factors, including:

Increased Scrutiny: The current political climate between the US and Russia has led to increased scrutiny of visa applications from Russian citizens. This means additional documentation, a more thorough interview process, and potentially longer wait times.

Limited Appointments: The US Embassy and Consulates in Russia have limited resources, leading to a backlog of visa applications and extended wait times for appointments, sometimes exceeding several months. You can consider applying in:

  • U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, Poland
  • U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
  • U.S. Consulate General in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Demonstrating Strong Ties to Russia: Convincing visa officers of your intention to return to Russia can be difficult, especially with concerns about economic challenges and political instability. Providing strong proof of employment, property ownership, or family connections can help address this concern.

Travel History: Any previous visa violations or negative travel history can significantly decrease your chances of approval. It’s crucial to have a clean travel record.

Additional Challenges:

  • Language barrier: The interview process is conducted in English, which can be a hurdle for some applicants.
  • Financial resources: Demonstrating sufficient financial resources to support your travel and stay in the U.S. is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring my Russian girlfriend to the U.S.?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can bring your Russian girlfriend to the U.S., but the process and specific visa options will depend on her reason for visiting and your long-term intentions for the relationship.

Can Russian citizens travel to the U.S. now?

Yes, Russian citizens can travel to the U.S., but it’s important to have a valid visa for the purpose of your desired travel.

What countries are Russians not allowed to enter?

It’s important to differentiate between countries imposing visa restrictions on Russian citizens and outright banning entry. The current political climate impacts travel options for Russians, but complete bans are relatively rare.

Countries with Banned Entry for Russians:

1. Ukraine: Currently in a state of war with Russia and prohibits entry for Russian citizens with few exceptions.
2. Latvia: Entry was banned for most Russian citizens from September 2023 onwards.
3. Estonia: Entry was banned for most Russian citizens from September 2023 onwards.
4. Lithuania: Entry was banned for most Russian citizens from September 2023 onwards.

Can I stay in the U.S. if I marry my girlfriend?

Whether you, a Russian citizen, can stay in the US after marrying your girlfriend depends on several factors and requires navigating the US immigration system. Yes, you can potentially stay in the US after marrying your girlfriend. It has a process with specific requirements and procedures.

Is there still a U.S. Embassy in Russia?

Yes, there is still a U.S. Embassy in Russia. Despite the current political climate, it continues to operate despite its operations and services have been impacted.
1. The embassy provides limited emergency services to US citizens in Russia.
2. Routine visa services are suspended as of August 2023 due to staffing limitations imposed by the Russian government.
3. US citizens in Russia cannot apply for non-diplomatic visas at the Moscow embassy. They need to seek an appointment at another US embassy or consulate elsewhere.


  1. Visitor Visa. (2023, December 1). Travel.state.gov. Retrieved January 31, 2024.<https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html> []
  2. U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country. (2023, December 1). Travel.state.gov. Retrieved January 31, 2023.<https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html> []
  3. Visitor Visa. (2023, December 1). Travel.state.gov. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html []

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Wences Orcales
Written by

Wences has been working home-based for 7 years in the Visa industry. As a content writer in Visas for Future, she makes sure the information she provides is useful for her readers. Once a quarter she does visa fulfillment for Turkey and India visas. She makes sure that clients are satisfied with their orders through customer service. She loves learning new things and hates procrastination.

Glen Vidania
Managed by Glen Vidania

Glen Vidania is the Content Manager at Visas for Future, a company that offers online visa services for eco-friendly travelers. He is a certified Content Marketer and an experienced academic writer. He writes and promotes content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to the readers. He had work experience and gained skills in writing articles, data entry, SEO email marketing, and guest posting. He is also an expert in applying for visas for Turkey and India.

Glen Vidania
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Cite this article

MLA Style

Orcales, Wences. "U.S. visa for Russian citizens 2024." Visas For Future, https://www.visasforfuture.com/us-visa-for-russian-citizens/. Accessed on 13 October 2023.

Chicago Style

Orcales, Wences. "U.S. visa for Russian citizens 2024." Visas For Future. October 13, 2023. https://www.visasforfuture.com/us-visa-for-russian-citizens/.

Published: 13 Oct 2023 8:00 UTC

Last modified: 23 Mar 2024 19:33 UTC

Reading time: 13 minutes

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