As per the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation № 1745-r dated June 28, 2021 the Consulate-General of the Russian Federation in Houston has resumed the issuance of visas for all categories (including tourist visas). Detailed information is available here.
Please read the following information carefully before making an appointment or submitting your documents.
Foreign citizens and stateless persons travelling to Russia must obtain a visa before attempting to enter the country. Visa-free entry to Russia is only possible if such a regime is established for specific categories of foreign citizens by an international agreement and/or laws of the Russian Federation (if you are a cruise ship passenger please see details).
I. Russian visa centers in the United States
Under an agreement between the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Houston and Artionis USA Corp. foreign nationals and stateless persons can and are encouraged to apply for all types of visas at Russian visa application centers. Such offices are located in Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. Unlike consulates visa centers are authorized to provide visa services by mail.
Please be advised that the current visa center service fee is $38 per application (paid in addition to the visa processing fees only at the visa center. Does NOT apply if documents are submitted directly at the consulate. Please see Fees page for a breakdown of visa processing fees. Please find more information at https://russia-visacentre.com/en/visa/usa/russia.
You can e-mail your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Russian visa center in Houston:
Address: 1001 Texas Avenue, suite 220, Houston, TX 77002.
Office hours: Monday-Friday 9.00 a.m. - 12 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.
II. Applying at the consulate
Foreign citizens may apply directly at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Houston (1333 West Loop South, suite 1300, Houston, TX 77027). Prior to submitting your visa application at the consulate you must make an appointment through the electronic appointment system (phone and email appointments are no longer available). Prior to making an appointment please make sure: 1) You are eligible for a visa as COVID-19-related restrictions apply. Learn more. 2) You have all the required documents (see section III below). 3) Families of up to 3 people make a single appoinment.
The consulate does not accept walk-ins and is not authorized to provide visa services by mail (including passport returns). To apply at the consulate you are required to appear in person, and have all documents properly prepared and filled out. Incomplete sets of documents and/or documents with errors will not be accepted. Please note visa applications addressed to the visa center are not acceptable at the consulate and vice versa. Tourist/visa agencies may submit applications at the Russian visa center only.
Passport pick-up time is 10 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm on business days.
III. Required documents
Regardless of the office you are applying at you must present the following documents:
1) Signed passport with at least two clear visa pages valid for at least 6 more months after the expiration date of the requested visa. If the validity condition is not fully met, your visa validity period will be shortened to allow 6 months of passport validity after the visa expiration date.
2) Invitation to visit the Russian Federation.
The form of the invitation depends on the type of the requested visa. Please see details on the page corresponding to the requested visa type (e.g. Private visas).
3) Printed and signed visa application filled out at http://visa.kdmid.ru. Please closely follow the instructions in section VIII while filling out the application. Make sure your application is addressed to the organization you're submitting the documents at (applications addressed to the visa center will not be accepted at the consulate and vice versa).
4) One passport-size (3.5 cm by 4.5 cm, or 2'' by 2'') color picture taken no earlier than 6 month before the date of application. The photo must be clear, forward facing and taken against a plain white or light-colored background.
5) Payment. The consulate accepts only money orders or cashier’s checks payable to Consulate General of Russia. We do not accept cash, credit or debit cards, personal or company checks. Please see FEES page for details.
6) A copy of your passport’s ID page.
IV. Information for American citizens
In accordance with the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on the simplification of visa formalities for nationals of the Russian Federation and nationals of the United States of America, the US citizens are as a rule issued multiple-entry business, private, humanitarian and tourist visas valid for up to 3 years (36 months). We recommend that American citizens should as a rule apply for a 3-year multiple-entry.
Multiple-entry visas issued in accordance with the Agreement allow: 1) staying in Russia for up to 6 months per visit. The number of visits is unlimited; 2) subsequent trips with a purpose other than that initially indicated in the visa. Please note that the purpose of each trip and information on the hosting organization or person must be indicated in a Migration card form (filled out just before entering the country) in order to clear Russian customs and border control.
V. Information for citizens of the EU and Schengen area countries
According to the Russia-EU Visa Facilitation Agreement as well as bilateral visa agreements citizens of the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
are eligible for the following visa application fees:
– $40 – 4-10 business days;
– $80 – 1-3 business days (applicable only in case there is documentary evidence of urgency).
Citizens of these countries must present medical insurance certificates valid in Russia or guarantee of medical coverage from a Russian hosting organization for the whole period of stay. Medical insurance certificate must contain a Russian contact phone number for emergency or assistance.
Holders of diplomatic passports of the countries mentioned above do not need a visa to enter Russia for 90 days.
Please note these provisions do not affect citizens of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
VI. Information for Turkish citizens.
In accordance with the Decree № 583, issued by the President of the Russian Federation on November 28, 2015, the procedure for entering the Russian Federation for citizens of the Republic of Turkey, bearers of regular Turkish passports, has been revised.
As of January 1, 2016, Turkish citizens bearing said passports will be required to obtain a Russian visa issued by a diplomatic or consular division of the Russian Federation. (For more information please visit http://visa.kdmid.ru).
This does not affect Turkish citizens:
1) bearing temporary residency permits or permanent residency cards for the territory of the Russian Federation; 2) bearers of special or official passports, traveling to the Russian Federation for less than 30 days; 3) bearing special or official passports who work at diplomatic missions and consulates of the Republic of Turkey on the territory of the Russian Federation, and their family members who hold valid special or official Turkish passports; 4) holders of Seaman's Passports, provided they are entering for maritime purposes on ship orders.
VII. Processing time
We recommend applying for a visa at least 10 business days before your trip. A visa can only be expedited in case the applicant has documentary evidence of urgency. No expedited service is provided for multiple-entry visas.
Please apply for a visa no earlier than 6 months prior to the planned date of entry to the Russian Federation.
VIII. Filling out a visa application
All questions in the application form must be answered. If a question is not applicable, please use “None”. Applications with incomplete or unfilled items such as missing middle names or prior employments will not be accepted.
Information on the visa application must match the applicant’s passport and invitation. The information about your host organization is found in the invitation and must be indicated in the “Host organization” field of the application. Please note that filling out an application online is only one step of your visa application process, the Consulate does not issue visas online. In order to apply for a visa you must submit all the required documents at the visa center or the consulate.
In “Date of entry/exit into/from Russia” field please indicate the full period of the requested visa (as found in your invitation), not only the planned dates of your first visit. American citizens applying for a multiple 3-year tourist, private, business or humanitarian visa should indicate a 3-year period starting from the entry date indicated in the invitation.
While filling out the application you can choose to “Save draft” before you are finished. You can then retrieve incomplete or finished applications using your application ID (assigned at the beginning of the process) and your password.
If you need to make changes to an existing application, please select “Get a new draft ID” and then “Next” after accessing a completed application. In this case your previous application is duplicated with a new ID allowing you to make changes before submitting and printing the corrected application.
Depending on the office you apply at in the “Destination name” please indicate “Russian visa center (Houston)” or “Consulate General of Russia in Houston”. Destination name must match the organization you're in fact applying at. E.g. applications addressed to the visa center are not acceptable at the consulate.
Please make sure to print out your application, sign and date it in the designated area at the bottom.
IX. Medical insurance
Citizens of China (tourist visas only), Iran, Ireland, Israel and countries mentioned in Section V (Information for EU passport holders) must present medical insurance certificates valid in Russia or guarantee of medical coverage from a Russian hosting organization for the whole period of stay. Medical insurance certificates must contain a Russian contact phone number for emergency or assistance.
X. Additional information
1) Please note that the Consulate does not provide visa services by mail. Should you wish to mail your documents, you can use mailing services provided by the Russian visa application center.
2) Non-US citizens must provide proof of legality of their stay in the United States (US resident alien/permanent residency status (green card), U.S. visa, form I-94 etc.).
3) In accordance with the Russian law, citizens of the Russian Federation regardless of any other citizenships they may have, must travel to Russia on valid Russian documents only and are not eligible for visas.
4) Visa processing fee is non-refundable regardless of whether a visa is issued or denied.
5) The type of requested visa or dates of entry/departure cannot be changed or extended. If your travel plans change after the documents are submitted and/or a visa is issud, you have to reapply for a new visa.
6) After you have received your visa, please check that all the information in the visa is correct. In case of error, please return the visa to the Consulate for corrections. The Consulate is not responsible for any errors in visas, which are not brought to our attention prior to your departure from the United States.
7) Any visa applicant may be required to be interviewed by the consular officer, if necessary.
8) Processing time, requirements and fees are subject to change without notice.
9) In certain cases the visa section of the Consulate is entitled to process visa applications for as long as necessary. Visas may be denied without explanation provided.
10) Please be advised that foreign citizens may not hold two or more valid Russian visas simultaneously. In this case the older valid (unexpired) visa must be cancelled before a new visa is issued.
Additional requirements for entry into the Russian Federation for foreign citizens due to the worldwide epidemiological situation:
When boarding a flight to Russia foreign citizens must have with them a medical document (in Russian or English) that confirms the negative result of a COVID-19 PCR test.
The samples for the test must be taken no earlier than three calendar days before your entry into the territory of the Russian Federation. If you cannot provide the medical document in Russian or English, it is possible to provide the document in the official language of the country where organization that issued the document is registered. Such a document must have its translation into Russian verified in the notary section of a Russian Consulate.
Moreover, before arriving on the territory of the Russian Federation foreign citizens must fill out a questionnaire for those arriving into Russia. The questionnaire is available on the website of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (RosPotrebNadzor):