Includes information on business customs, travel advisory, visa requirements, and other aspects of international travel.
U.S. companies should read the State Department Russia Travel Advisory. The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited.
For the latest information, please check the U.S. Embassy’s website for updates.
U.S. Embassy – Moscow
American Citizen Services, Consular Section
8 Bolshoy Devyatinsky Pereulok, Moscow 121099
After-hours (emergencies): Tel: +7 (495) 728 5025/728 5000
Please note that no walk-ins are accepted; please make an appointment via email
The Russian government requires visas and residence permits for businesspersons and investors. Work and residence permits must be renewed periodically – a cumbersome process that almost always requires local legal counsel.
Travelers planning to attend business meetings, negotiate transactions, or make business presentations while in Russia are required to clearly state this on their visa application and apply for the proper category of visa. There have been several instances of U.S. citizens being detained and/or expelled for traveling on an incorrect visa, typically for conducting business while on a tourist visa. In addition, registration with local authorities is required when remaining in Russia more than seven business days.
Russia’s visa system is very complicated, and visitors should consult the State Department, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Country Travel Information for the Russian Federation for up-to-date information and links regarding Russian entry and exit requirements.
U.S. companies that require travel of foreign businesspersons or workers to the United States should be aware that Russian citizens require visas to enter the United States. A visa is issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate and entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not guarantee entry. Due to Russian government restrictions on locally employed staff, non-immigrant visas are not being processed in Moscow; Russian applicants will need to obtain an interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy in a third country, taking into account U.S. Embassy and local regulations and restrictions related to travel and COVID-19.
The local currency is the ruble. U.S. citizens should note that U.S. credit and debit cards no longer work in Russia, and options to electronically transfer funds from the United States are extremely limited as a result of sanctions imposed on the Russian banking sector.
Limited commercial flight options exist to fly in/out of Russia. Due to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine, a number of airlines have cancelled flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines.
Moscow and St. Petersburg have extensive, efficient public transit systems, as do many other urban areas in Russia.
In metropolitan areas, well-marked taxis are generally safe and reliable; do not use unmarked taxis. Passengers have been the victims of robbery, kidnapping, extortion, and theft.
Per the State Department Travel Advisory, U.S. travelers face the potential for harassment by Russian government security officials, singling out by Russian police and government security officials, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law. At this time, the Embassy has limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia.
Health: Private medical care in major metropolitan cities and tourism centers in Russia often approaches Western standards. However, medical care is generally below Western standards in non-metropolitan areas. The effects of sanctions on the availability of medicines and medical devices are unclear, and shortages remain possible.
Private medical facilities require payment before providing services (unless they are life threatening) and are unlikely to accept proof of U.S. insurance as guarantee of future payment. Payment is expected at the time of service.