Planning to visit Russia in the near future? You’ll need a visa. But where do you get one?
Russian Embassies and Consulates
Getting a Russian visa is an infamously bureaucratic process. If you’re applying by yourself instead of using a visa expeditor, you must apply in person at the appropriate Russian embassy or consulate.
There are five Russian consulate offices in the United States. Each has its own service area, or jurisdiction, based on your home address. To figure out which office services your area, see the list below:
- Washington, DC
Address: 2641 Tunlaw Road, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Phone number for visa questions: 202-939-8913202-939-8913
Jurisdiction: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia, Puerto Rico.
- New York City
Address: 9 East 91 Street, New York, NY 10128
Phone number for visa questions: (212) 348-0926(212) 348-0926
Jurisdiction: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
- San Francisco, CA
Address: 2790 Green Street San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone number for visa questions: (415) 928-6878(415) 928-6878 , (415) 202-9800(415) 202-9800
Jurisdiction: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah.
- Seattle, Washington
Address: 600 University Street, Suite 2510 Seattle, WA 98101
Phone number for visa questions: (206) 728-1910(206) 728-1910
Jurisdiction: Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
- Houston, TX
Address: 1333 West Loop South, Ste. 1300 Houston, TX 77027
Phone number for visa questions: (713) 337-3300(713) 337-3300
Jurisdiction: Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas.
Russian Visa by Mail
What if you aren’t lucky enough to live in or near one of the five cities listed above? Can you apply by mail? Unfortunately, not any more. According to the Russian Embassy website,
“In order to expedite and improve visa obtaining process as well as for security concerns the Consular Division is no more processing visa applications by mail, starting from June 1, 2010.”
Russian Visa Online
You can fill out and print the Russian visa application form online here, but you cannot apply online.
If you need a Russian visa and don’t want to travel or to deal with the Russian Embassy on your own, use a visa expediting company. In fact, even if you live near an Embassy, you’ll have an easier time navigating the red tape if you go through an expediter. A visa expediting company walks you through the application process and deals with the Embassy or consulate on your behalf, helping you avoid common errors that slow processing time.
Also, you can ship your application materials to the expediter (generally using a carrier like FedEx), possibly saving you money on gas, flight, hotels and time off work.