Be in the know before you go
Under a bilateral agreement signed in 2012, qualified U.S. applicants for humanitarian, private, tourist, and business visas may request and receive multiple-entry visas with a validity of three years or a single entry, three-month validity visa. (Please note that other types of visas are not part of the agreement and those visa holders should pay close attention to the terms of their visas.) You cannot enter Russia prior to the date on your visa, and you must exit Russia before your visa expires. The maximum period of stay is shown on the visa.
- You must have a current U.S. passport with the appropriate visa. Russian visas in an expired or canceled passport are not valid.
- You must obtain a valid visa for your specific purpose of travel before arriving in Russia, unless you are arriving as a cruise ship passenger (see below information for passengers of cruise ships and ferries). Do not attempt to enter Russia before the date shown on your visa. If you are staying in Russia for more than 7 days, you must register your visa and migration card with the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
- Passengers of Cruise Ships and Ferries at St. Petersburg and Vladivostok are permitted to stay in Russia for 72 hours without a visa when accompanied by a tour operator licensed by Russian authorities. Ferry schedules may not permit visitors to stay more than two nights without exceeding the 72-hour limit. If you plan to sightsee on your own, you must have a tourist visa. A visa is also required if you plan to depart Russia by another mode of transportation.
- Cruise ship passengers in St. Petersburg should seek assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for all emergency and passport services.
- Cruise ship passengers should be aware that loss or theft of a passport and/or migration card could result in the inability to obtain lodging. Hotels and hostels may not allow guests to check in without a passport, a migration card, or Russian visa.
- We recommend U.S. citizens obtain a Russian visa before traveling to Russia, in case of an emergency while in the country, such as unexpected medical issues or if you are not able to return on the cruise ship for any reason.
- Students and English teachers should be certain that their activities are in strict keeping with their visa type. Students must not teach or coach English, whether compensated or not, while traveling on a student visa as it is considered a visa violation and may subject you to detention and deportation.
- Transit visas: We recommend that all passengers transiting through Russia obtain a Russian transit visa.
Health and Wellness
Though Russia is a healthy area, you should be up-to-date on the vaccinations that you would normally have back home. There are no vaccinations required to enter the country. For up-to-date information on recommended and required vaccinations and general health travel tips for Russia, please refer to the CDC website. Please consult with your physician for clarification or concerns regarding recommended or required vaccinations.
Please advise us of any dietary restrictions, any medical conditions that may affect your tour, or any other special requests in general at this time in writing so that we may make the appropriate arrangements.