How soon do you need your Russia Tourist Visa for U.S. Citizens?

To our valued clients ordering Chinese visas, processing times are far greater than those posted on our site this is due to the volume of applications at the Embassy and Consulates. Processing times are currently 2 to 6 weeks weeks depending on your jurisdiction. Please Note: Our New York Office currently does not have any extended wait times.

The Chinese Embassy and Consulates-General in the U.S. will no longer accept same category visa applications with 10-year multi-entry visas still valid for more than six months. Applicants may choose to apply for compensated visas after the expiration of their original ones.

As an ongoing consequence of the global pandemic actual visa processing is typically taking longer than the usual times published here even in some instances where there is an option for the payment of higher consular fees for expedited processing. If you have a particularly tight departure please send us a note at [email protected] at the time you create your order to confirm it can reasonably be fulfilled in the current environment otherwise please just be aware of the possibility of delayed processing.

If you cancel your order after we have submitted your documents to a Consulate for processing there will be a $35.00 cancellation fee and your consular fees may not be refundable. Please do NOT contact consulates directly for status or with instructions once your documents have been submitted unless they contact you as this can cause processing to be delayed or declined.

What steps are involved in getting my Russian Tourist Visa from TDS?

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Document Requirements

These requirements are applicable for US Citizens applying for a Russian Tourist visa in Washington DC

The first step with any Russian tourist visa is to obtain your “Confirmation and Voucher" document aka "Russian Visa Support" document, this document must be in hand before you start your visa application form as information from your confirmation and voucher is needed to answer several questions on the Russian visa application form.

Click here for a Sample Confirmation and Voucher

Traveldocs can assist in obtaining this document for you, we can provide one confirmation and voucher document covering multiple places of stay and single or multiple applicants on one document making it a bit easier to manage the overall paperwork required for a Russian visa.

If suppling your own confirmation and voucher once you have confirmed your booking with a registered Russian Hotel(s), Cruise Ship, Tour Group Passengers, Hostel Stays, Rented Apartment, etc you must ask for your confirmation and voucher to be sent to you, this is most commonly done by email. If you are staying in multiple hotels and or combinations of hotels, cruise ships, etc., each place of overnight stay must send you a separate document that combined covers your entire stay while in Russia, no nights stay can be left unaccounted for. The confirmation and voucher are issued in many different formats there is no one overall standard, however, you cannot apply for a visa without this document(s) showing each night you intend to stay in Russia. 

Whether Traveldocs acquires the confirmation and voucher for you or you supply your own, you cannot proceed any further in the visa application process without obtaining this vital first step. 

Please send TDS your current valid and SIGNED passport.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the expiration of the visa you are applying for and MUST have at least TWO blank pages that are listed as VISA pages.

Foreign Embassies cannot issue a visa on a page not labeled as a Visa page. Amendment and Endorsement pages in the back of the passport cannot be used for issuance of a visa.

A visa cannot be stamped on a page even if only one Small Stamp is on the visa page. If you do not have Two blank visa pages in your passport, TDS can assist you in applying for additional pages. If your passport is NOT valid for at least 6 months beyond of the expiration date of your visa, you must renew your passport and then we will secure your visa with the new passport. 

If Travel Document Systems assists you in applying for a New/First Time, Renewal or Second Limited passport as part of this order, the passport will need to be returned to you for a signature before your visa application can be processed. Extra FedEx fees will apply in this case.

If you are applying for a 3-year multiple entry visa your passport MUST be valid 6 months beyond the expiration of the visa.


Please send 1 recent professional passport-type photograph.
The photograph must have been taken within the last six months.
Digital and non-passport photographs are not acceptable.
Passport Photo Guide - Click Here

Please do not attach the Photo to the visa application, TDS will do this for you.



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An official Tourist Confirmation and Voucher from Russia is required to apply for a Russian tourist visa, this is considered to be the first step in applying for a visa to visit Russia as a Tourist staying in a Hotel, Cruise Ship Passengers, Tour Groups, Hostel Stays, Rented Apartment, etc.

Click here for a Sample Confirmation and Voucher. (Issued by traveldocs)

Please send a copy of a standard Tourist Confirmation and Voucher from your authorized Russian travel agency or hotel registered with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The confirmation MUST have an Official Russian Company Registration Number and confirmation number on it. A Confirmation and Voucher from a hotel or travel agency in Russia is required for all tourist visas.

You must have the Confirmation and Voucher before you complete the Russian visa application form (below), information from this document must be included on your visa application form such as city(s) to be visited, dates of stay in Russia, inviting organization name, address, registration number and confirmation number, you MUST have this information before you can complete your visa application form.  

Traveldocs can assist with the Confirmation and Voucher process, please click on the banner below for more information or the order form link to get started.

TDS is able to obtain the Confirmation and Voucher documents for you. we will email you the required information detailed above, since it is required to obtain your Russian Tourist Visa, complete our simple online order form first.

Complete and Sign One Online Russian Visa Application Form.
This application is hosted by the Russian Foreign Ministry. We recommend allowing up to an hour to complete as the website and application form can be difficult to use.

. Send your Application ID and Password to TDS in case of corrections.
. The application must be printed on THREE or FOUR sheets of paper, back to back forms are NOT accepted.

For a guide to completing the Russian Application please Click Here

 Common Errors to Avoid

The first question on the electronic application site asks “Country (select the country where you will be applying for your visa)”. Be sure that you select “UNITED STATES" from the drop-down menu.

At the end of the online Russian visa application, you will be asked to select the visa issuing office. You MUST select "Russia Visa Center WASHINGTON", "Russia Visa Center NEW YORK", or "Russia Visa Center HOUSTON" depending on which Travel Document Systems location will process your visa.
If you select the city without "Russia Visa Center" the application will not be accepted.

The online Russian Application functions only with Internet Explorer Versions 7.0 and above and Mozilla Firefox Versions 3.6 and above. Browsers such as Chrome and Safari are not compatible with the online Russian Visa Application Website.



Visa Application Preparation

Traveldocs offers an optional Russian visa application completion service to assist our clients.
The fee for this service is $55 in addition to the service fees and government fees when applying for the visa. 

  1. Complete the simple to use Traveldocs online questionnaire.
  2. Scan and upload a copy of your valid passport and hotel confirmation and voucher.
  3. Submit the completed questionnaire.
  4. We will complete and return your visa application within 24 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays.
  5. We will contact you if any information provided is missing or incomplete.
  6. We will email you your completed Russian visa application; please proof, sign, and date the application before sending it to Traveldocs along with all other required documents for visa processing. 
If you have any questions, please contact 800-874-5100 for assistance.
This is an optional application service. 

Effective Dec 20th, 2019, the Russian Embassy no longer offers any type of Rush or Emergency visa processing, only regular 7-9 business day processing is available to US citizens.

Update: December 24th, 2019, Russian Visa Processing in New York. At this time, the Russian consulate in New York is still offering rush 4-5 business day visa processing, the consulate has not provided any information as to when this may stop. 
If you need rush visa processing, please apply using TDS office in New York.

Additional Helpful Information:
Over the past 8 months, the Russian Embassy has made several changes to their visa issuing policies. Prior to April 2019, US citizens could request rush or emergency visa processing 2-5 business days without any additional documentation requests and except to receive a fast processing turnaround.

In mid-April, the Embassy announced Rush and or Emergency visa processing would be considered strictly on a case by case bases.

On September 9th, 2012, the Russian Government introduced a new 3-year multiple entry visa option.

If you wish to apply for a 3-year visa follow the application form guidelines below:

You must answer Number of Entries as Multiple Entry on your visa application form.
You must answer Date of Entry and Date of Departure from Russia using a period of time covering 3 years. Example: If your Confirmation and Voucher starts on (Date of Entry) 24/07/2016 the  (Date of Departure) must be 23/07/2019, not the departure date listing on your Confirmation and Voucher. It must be a full 3 year period.

If you do not select "Multiple Entry" and "3 Year Period of Stay" your application form will have to be edited to reflect the correct information. If this has to be done you will have to sign, date and resend an original application to traveldocs for submission to the Russian Government, your signature must be an original, therefore a scan and email will not be accepted by the Russian Government.

If you apply for a Single or Double entry visa using the Rush or Emergency processing options you must use your actual date of entry into Russia and departure date from Russia.

A 3-year multiple entry visa can only be processed under the "regular processing" 7-9 business day option, the Russian Embassy does not offer "Rush or Emergency" for this visa type.

Please call for further assistance if required.

Any minor traveling to Russia must have a copy of their Birth Certificate and a letter of consent signed by both of the child's parents or legal guardians and a copy of both parents/legal guardians passport. If the minor is traveling with a parent or guardian who is not applying for a visa at the same time a copy of the parent or guardian's Russian visa or certificate of Russian citizenship must be submitted along with the minor's application.

When applying for a visa it is necessary to provide documentation that you no longer possess Russian Citizenship, such as:

Copy of USSR passport with a stamp stating you left for permanent residence abroad, dated prior to February 6th 1992.

Copy of a Visa to Israel issued prior to February 6th 1992.

Copy of a Certificate of Naturalization issued prior to 1996

Document confirming the renunciation of your Russian citizenship.

Copy of the main pages of a passport of a former USSR state, issued after February 1992.

Written statement of explanation in the case that you have no documentation.

In accordance with Russian law, visas can not be issued to Russian citizens with expired passports. We remind you that in accordance to Article 12 of Russian law "On citizenship of the Russian Federation", children born to two parents who are Russian citizens automatically gain Russian citizenship regardless of the place of birth. In this case visas are not issued and they must apply for Russian citizenship or have their information written into the passport of one of their parents or obtain a Russian passport.



If you were born in a state of the former Soviet Republic or Ukraine you must supply a copy of your Soviet or Ukrainian passport along with a letter stating when you immigrated to the US.




Be advised that crossing Russian territory and touring by vehicle are different things.

Transiting - This means crossing through the Russian territory to get to your final destination outside of Russia by the quickest means possible. Or that your country of destination can only be reached via the Russian Federation.

The visa issuance time is granted on covering 500 km/day on the quickest route through Russia. (You may use google maps to ascertain hypothetical mileage).

Traversing the Russian Federation via vehicle any other means is considered a common Tourist visa, requiring the person to obtain a confirmation and voucher from the hotel(s) or from a registered travel agency that they would obtain from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This would include your travel itinerary and places of stay along the way. In this case, your purpose of travel would be "auto-tourism".

Documents of vehicular registration and insurance are not necessary for obtaining a visa. But they would be required upon crossing the border, and whilst you are traveling.

The Russian Embassy has the right to request, (this is extremely rare) if needed, additional documents / evidence which shows the purpose and length of the applicant's planned trip, the applicant's financial means sufficient for a stay in Russia and the applicant's intent to depart the Russian Federation after the trip, documents / evidence may include:
*A Bank Statement from the applicant.
*A statement from the employer regarding the applicant's wages for the preceding year, half year or month.
*Medical insurance valid in the country to be visited and fully covering the period of the first trip.
*Documents regarding the applicant's ownership of property in the country of his/her citizenship.
*A certificate on the makeup of the applicant's family.
The Russian Embassy also have the right to request additional information and or documents and may request a personal interview from applicants as may be needed in particular cases. (Again this is extremely rare)


1. Citizenship.
2. Date of issue.
3. Date of Entry into Russia.
4. Date of Departure from Russia.
5. The number of entries (Single, Double, Multiple).
6. Given name (s).
7. Gender.
8. Visa number.
9. Passport number.
10. Date of birth.
11. Purpose of the trip.
12. Inviting-company (Visa sponsor).

It is important that you check the details of your Russian visa once your passport is returned to you. Russian visas are date specific DD/MM/YYYY and you could be denied entry to Russia if your travel dates change. All travelers are responsible for verifying the accuracy of their visa.

It is recommended that you carry copies of your visa support with you to Russia.

You must register your visa at a local OVIR or Police Station within 72 hours of arrival in Russia.

The Russian Tourist visa is usually issued for Single entry, for the cities specifically mentioned on the invitation/tourist confirmation, and the specified dates up to a maximum of 30 days stay. The period of stay cannot be extended in Russia.

Embassy requirements and fees are subject to change without prior notice.


Shipping Instructions

Please forward a printed copy of your order confirmation for a Russian Tourist visa for US Citizens and all required documents to:

Travel Document Systems, Inc.
STE #200
Washington, DC 20005

Local Phone Number: 202-638-3800

Urgent applications for a Russian Tourist visa should be shipped to TDS using only the FedEx Company.

Please use FedEx Priority Overnight. Do NOT ship "First Overnight." This will delay the delivery of your package.

Once your order is complete, your Passport with the visa sticker/stamp will be returned to you via FedEx Overnight.

FedEx Return ShippingFedEx Logo
Continental USA Only Price
Next Business Day - up to 3 passports $36.00
Next Business Day - 4 or more passports $39.00
Saturday Delivery $41.00
Alaska, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, USVI Price
Next Day Letter (No Saturday Delivery) $39.00
International Price
Call for a quote. Call.

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