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Is a tourist visa required for US citizens visiting Russia?

A valid visa and current passport are required for American citizens to visit Russia. The visa should be obtained ahead of your visit from a Russian embassy or consulate within your country of citizenship. You are required to have a sponsor in Russia for your visa application, which often necessitates the use of a travel agency or tour operator in Russia. If you must obtain your visa while in a third country, complications may arise. Please be aware that to exit Russia, your visa must still be valid. In cases of expired visas, the expired visa must first be extended before you will be permitted to leave the country. Visa requirements are strictly enforced and you are likely to require your sponsor's assistance should there be any issues.

last updated 2008.09.11
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