Immigrate to Russia from US - English-Speaking Local Lawyers

Immigrate to Russia from US

Updated on Friday 06th October 2023

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Immigrate to Russia from US
Foreign citizens who want to immigrate to Russia must comply with various requirements, as the Russian legislation implies several regulations to comply with starting with the visa documentation that needs to be prepared and the processing steps. These regulations also apply to American citizens who want to move to Russia.
Those planning to immigrate to Russia from USA must comply with the same requirements as any other foreign citizen seeking to move to this country. If you need information on how to move to Russia, our lawyers in Russia are at your service for assistance in various matters.

The main regulations to respect when immigrating to Russia from USA

American citizens who want to immigrate to Russia for short or long periods of time will need to comply with the same regulations as any other foreign citizen. Among these, the most important ones refer to:
  1. making sure they have valid passports in order to obtain the visa;
  2. to prepare all documents indicating the reason of their stay;
  3. to have a Russian sponsor (this requirement also applies to those who travel to Russia for tourism purposes);
  4. to apply for the right type of visa in accordance with the reason for immigration.
There are 7 types of visas available for those who want to immigrate to Russia from USA and other countries.
Our immigration lawyers in Russia are at your service with complete information about the regulations to comply with when applying for a visa.

Types of visas for American citizens - Immigrate to Russia from USA

As written above, there are 7 types of visas one can obtain when immigrating to Russia from US. These are:
  • the tourist visa which is the simplest and easiest to apply for;
  • the student visa which can be obtained by foreign students based on an acceptance letter from a Russian educational facility;
  • the commercial visa which is available for those coming here on business;
  • the guest visa which can be obtained by those coming to visit family members;
  • the diplomatic visa which is available for governmental officials;
  • the transit visa which is required for those who must pass through a Russian airport on their way to another country;
  • the work visa which is issued based on a specific quota imposed every year.
Not all visas mentioned above can lead to temporary or permanent residence permits in Russia, however, there are various criteria to meet in order to obtain Russian residency as an American citizen.
Those who want to immigrate to Russia from US can rely on our law firm in Russia for guidance in applying for various types of visas.

How to apply for temporary and permanent residence in Russia

Citizens interested in immigration to Russia from USA must comply with several requirements in order to obtain residency here. When it comes to temporary residence permits, one should know that each Russian region imposes its own quotas on the number of foreign citizens who can move here. The only exceptions from these rules are foreign citizens married to Russian nationals and investors coming to open companies in Russia.
Among the documents that need to be filed in order to obtain a Russian temporary residence permit as an American citizen are:
  • the valid passport;
  • the application form and 4 photographs;
  • a police certificate proving the good standing of the applicant;
  • an HIV negative test;
  • a medical certificate.
Permanent residency can be obtained after 5 years of living in Russia. Our Russian law firm can offer more information on the documents that need to be prepared when immigrating here from the USA. We can help you relocate to Russia as soon as possible.
All documents must be filed with the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS).

Sponsorship when immigrating to Russia from US

As mentioned above, those interested in immigration to Russia from USA must have a local sponsor. In the case of tourist, the Russian travel agency can vouch for the applicant, however, in the case of other categories of applicants, Russian relatives, companies or even employers can act as sponsors depending on the type of visa sought.
Our immigration lawyers in Russia can offer additional information on the sponsorship requirements applied to American citizens seeking to relocate to Russia.

Validity of visas for those seeking to immigrate to Russia from US

When it comes to the validity of each type of visa, here are the main aspects to consider:
  • a student visa is valid for 3 months and can be renewed;
  • temporary residency is usually granted for 3 years;
  • Russian permanent residence can be obtained after 5 years;
  • it can take up to 20 days for a visa application to be processed by the FMS.

Useful information for US citizens who want to travel or relocate to Russia

The process of immigration to Russia from USA can seem quite complicated, and this is because of the restrictions related to the visa regime, for the most part. Thus, US citizens who fail to comply with the visa laws in Russia can be deported, fined, or arrested.
Here is what is not allowed in this sense:
  • US citizens cannot leave Russia with an expired visa or without an exit visa, as required by law. They can wait around 20 days or even more to receive approval to leave Russia.
  • The intervention of the diplomatic missions to obtain the entry visa to Russia for certain citizens is not accepted, not even if the initial visa has expired.
  • The legislation related to immigration to Russia can change from one day to the next, therefore, certain rules may be imposed when applying for a visa, residence, and/or work permit. That is why it is advisable to work with a Russian lawyer from the very beginning.

What is a Russian exit visa and when is it issued?

As the legislation in Russia provides, a valid visa is needed to leave Russia. Here is what you need to know in this case:
  • If you have relocated from USA to Russia for a certain period, and now you must return, it is recommended that you know that you are not allowed to stay in Russia longer than the duration of your visa, not even for one day.
  • Your sponsor must notify you when the visa is about to expire or to extend it, as the case may be.
  • US citizens must wait up to 20 days or more to receive an exit visa from Russia if they have not done so in time.
  • Also, American citizens who have an expired visa in Russia cannot find accommodation until they receive an exit visa from this country, which makes things quite complicated.
  • American embassies and/or consulates in Russia cannot intervene in issuing such a visa.

Recommendations for those who have a US passport

It is known that the US passport is one of the most powerful documents in the world. If it is lost or stolen in Russia, it is recommended to replace this document immediately, by contacting the US Embassy. We specify in this case that, even if you have a photocopy of the American passport, this is not enough to leave Russia when necessary.

Russian visa replacements for US citizens

The visa problems that might arise for US citizens in Russia can be managed by the sponsors. In other words, the sponsors can deal with the extension of the visa if the immigration to Russia from USA is long-term.
Also, if the received visa has been damaged or lost, you can contact the Russian Embassy or Consulate for its replacement. In this case, too, we recommend specialized help from our Russian attorneys with experience in immigration matters.

Is dual citizenship Russia - USA allowed?

Russia has strict legislation regarding dual citizenship. Thus, thanks to the signed agreements with Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, only the citizens of these countries can have and enjoy dual citizenship.
On the other hand, the American government recognizes dual nationality but does not sustain it as a matter of policy because of the issues that might arise.  As such, dual citizenship Russia - USA  is a sensitive topic.
As for the process of obtaining Russian citizenship, the conditions of the naturalization process are respected, and the proof of the fact that the interested citizens have lived in Russia for at least 5 years. One should renounce the initial citizenship.
For detailed information on how to immigrate to Russia from US, please contact our lawyers.