In March 2020, all US consulates in Russia suspended their work: they cancelled interviews, did not accept applications for new visas and extensions of existing ones. To obtain visas for personal travel, Russians applied to consular departments in other countries, such as Croatia.
Where do Russians apply for visas to the USA?
In 2021, Russians can apply for B1 and B2 visas both in Russia and in other countries where there is a US consulate or embassy.
In Russia. The consular office in Yekaterinburg only accepts documents from applicants who do not need an interview.
It is possible to apply for a visa to the United States without an interview if a Russian:
- has a valid U.S. visa or a visa that expired no more than 11 months ago;
- Has been fingerprinted at the same consular office where the new visa is being obtained;
- is renewing a visa in the same country in which the previous visa was obtained.
In other countries. If a Russian does not meet the conditions, an interview has to take place. They are not yet held in Russia. But it is possible to sign up for an interview at a US consulate in another country.
The information about available dates for the interview is current as of 3 March 2021.
Open dates for interview appointments in 2021
|Country, City||Available dates||Interview language|
|France, Paris||April 9||English|
|Poland, Warsaw||May 10||English and Russian|
|Spain, Madrid||May 18||English|
|Belgium, Brussels||June 1||English|
|Israel, Tel Aviv||August 1||English and Russian|
|Italy, Rome||August 6||English|
|Italy, Florence||August 19||English|
|Italy, Naples||August 23||English|
|Israel, Jerusalem||September 23||English and Russian|
|Ukraine||September 1||English and Russian|
|UK, London||October 14||English|
|Austria, Vienna||no dates available||English|
|Azerbaijan, Baku||no dates available||English and Russian|
|Armenia, Yerevan||no dates available||English and Russian|
|Bulgaria, Sofia||no dates available||English|
|Germany||no dates available||English|
|Greece, Athens||no dates available||English|
|Georgia, Tbilisi||Only for residents and citizens of Georgia||Russian|
|Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, Almaty||no dates available||English and Russian|
|Lithuania, Vilnus||no dates available||English and Russian|
|Moldova, Kishinev||no dates available||English and Russian|
|Turkey, Istanbul||no dates available||English|
|Finland, Helsinki||no dates available||English|
|Czech Republic, Prague||no dates available||English|
|Estonia, Tallinn||no dates available||English and Russian|
How to travel abroad during a pandemic
Most countries in the world are closed to tourists. You need a good reason to enter: family reunion, medical treatment or study.
A meeting with the consular or embassy staff is considered a valid reason. At the border, you have to present an invitation with the date of the interview.
Russians need a valid Schengen visa in order to go for an interview in the European Union. Without a visa, they will not be allowed into the region, even for a good reason.
In March 2021 a Schengen visa for Russians is issued by the Greek consulate. But if the purpose of the trip is to visit another Schengen country, Greece has the right to refuse to issue a visa.
A residence permit of a European country or second citizenship solves the problem of entering the Schengen area. Some states allow you to obtain residence status by investment.
Residence permit and citizenship by investment for visa-free entry to Schengen
|Status and country||Investments||Entry into Schengen|
|Caribbean citizenship||From 100 000 $||Up to 90 days in half a year|
|Vanuatu citizenship||From 130 000 $||Up to 90 days in half a year|
|Residence permit in Austria for financially independent persons||From 100 000 €||Up to 90 days in half a year|
|Permanent residence permit in Malta||From 112 000 €||Up to 90 days in half a year|
|Residence permit in Portugal||From 250 000 €||Up to 90 days in half a year|
|Residence permit in Greece||From 250 000 €||Up to 90 days in half a year|
|Swiss residence permit for financially independent persons||From 450 000 ₣||Up to 90 days in half a year|
|Maltese citizenship||From 690 000 €||Up to 90 days in half a year|
How second citizenship can help you get to the US
Russians receive B1 and B2 visas for up to 3 years. In order to extend them, the applicant must re-collect the documents, make an appointment for an interview and wait several months for a decision.
Citizens of Caribbean countries receive a tourist visa to the USA for 10 years. A simplified processing procedure, which takes about two weeks, is also available to them.
Five Caribbean countries grant citizenship by investment from $100,000. The second passport processing time is from 2 months.
Grenada citizenship also allows for an E2 business visa in the US. To obtain it, an investor registers a company in the States and invests about $200,000-300,000 in its development.
The E2 visa is issued to Grenadian citizens for 5 years. It may be renewed an unlimited number of times. As long as the visa is valid, the investor and his family are allowed to enter the United States, live, do business and study in the country.
Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for the Caribbean and European citizenship and residency programmes by investment. If you want a second passport or a residence permit to travel freely around the world, seek advice from our investment programme experts.