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03 March, 2021

How to obtain a tourist visa to the USA in 2021

As of 1 March 2021, B1 and B2 visas are issued in the USA both in Russia and abroad. With this visa, you can fly to the country for travel, medical treatment or business meetings. We tell you where Russians can obtain a U.S. visa in 2021.

Tourist visa and business travel visa for Russians to the US in 2021
Photo: Adobe Stock

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, CityAvailable datesInterview language
France, ParisApril 9English
Poland, WarsawMay 10English and Russian
Spain, MadridMay 18English
Belgium, BrusselsJune 1English
Israel, Tel AvivAugust 1English and Russian
Italy, RomeAugust 6English
Italy, FlorenceAugust 19English
Italy, NaplesAugust 23English
Israel, JerusalemSeptember 23English and Russian
UkraineSeptember 1English and Russian
UK, LondonOctober 14English
Austria, Viennano dates availableEnglish
Azerbaijan, Bakuno dates availableEnglish and Russian
Armenia, Yerevanno dates availableEnglish and Russian
Bulgaria, Sofiano dates availableEnglish
Germanyno dates availableEnglish
Greece, Athensno dates availableEnglish
Georgia, TbilisiOnly for residents and citizens of GeorgiaRussian
Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, Almatyno dates availableEnglish and Russian
Lithuania, Vilnusno dates availableEnglish and Russian
Moldova, Kishinevno dates availableEnglish and Russian
Turkey, Istanbulno dates availableEnglish
Finland, Helsinkino dates availableEnglish
Czech Republic, Pragueno dates availableEnglish
Estonia, Tallinnno dates availableEnglish 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 countryInvestmentsEntry into Schengen
Caribbean citizenshipFrom 100 000 $Up to 90 days in half a year
Vanuatu citizenshipFrom 130 000 $Up to 90 days in half a year
Residence permit in Austria for financially independent personsFrom 100 000 €Up to 90 days in half a year
Permanent residence permit in MaltaFrom 112 000 €Up to 90 days in half a year
Residence permit in PortugalFrom 250 000 €Up to 90 days in half a year
Residence permit in GreeceFrom 250 000 €Up to 90 days in half a year
Swiss residence permit for financially independent personsFrom 450 000 ₣Up to 90 days in half a year
Maltese citizenshipFrom 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.

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How to obtain a tourist visa to the USA in 2021