All Russian citizens need a passport to travel both within and outside the country. International travel permits, or international passports, are difficult to obtain and are mostly issued to those in the diplomatic corps or the armed forces. There are special circumstances where ordinary citizens are issued international passports, which allow them to travel to 81 countries, including the U.S.
For those Russian citizens who live in the U.S., all Russian passport requests and applications must be processed through the Russian Consulate in Washington, D.C. Depending on the circumstances of each particular passport service, the rules, documentation, price and processing time vary.
Passport Renewals for Russian Citizens Temporarily in the U.S.
Russian law requires international passports for Russian citizens be issued or renewed in Russia using the person's permanent Russian address. The Russian Consulate in Washington is able to accept passport renewal documents on behalf of Russian citizens who are temporarily in the U.S. on a student/work visa or with a U.S. work permit or for a person whose Russian passport was lost or damaged while in the U.S. A notarized consulate form and application is required, along with five identical passport-sized photos, a photocopy of the old passport and other documentation proving Russian citizenship.
Passports for Russian Minors in the U.S.
Similar to the requirements listed in Section 1, all forms notarized and otherwise must be sent to the U.S. consulate, which is able to process passports. Whether the minors are temporarily or permanently living in the U.S., parents of minors must also include their child's birth certificate copy, four passport-sized photos and the first page of both parents' passports. If information for one of the parents cannot be obtained, documentation as to why (divorce, death) must be included. Rather than getting a separate passport for a child, some parents may opt to add minors directly onto a parent's passport. The paperwork and application forms for adding a child to a parent's passport are different from what is required for a separate passport.
Permits to Return to Russia
If you are a Russian citizen with a lost or damaged passport who lives permanently in the U.S., you must obtain a special permit from the D.C. Russian consulate in order to return to Russia, however briefly. A return permit is issued for a specified departure date and is only valid for travel to Russia. Your Russian passport is immediately annulled, and you must submit your return permit to the local department of internal affairs, or UVIR, nearest to you in Russia. Once complete, a new Russian passport is processed by the local UVIR.
Renewals for Permanent Residents Without an Internal Passport
Russian citizens who need an international passport renewed and who do not have an internal one must submit the appropriate notarized documentation directly to the D.C. consulate. A passport will only be renewed if the passport has expired, is full or is permanently damaged.
Processing Times and Prices
Adding your child to a Russian passport costs the least amount of money ($100) and takes the least amount of time to be processed (five to seven days). Return permits take up to one month and cost $200. Passport renewals for Russian citizens and minors permanently residing in the U.S. without an internal passport can be expected to take about 10 working days and cost around $300. Passports for temporary U.S. residents take longer, with adults passports processing times taking anywhere between two to four months for $400 and minors taking one month for $350.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Franco has more than 15 years experience freelance writing. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the education magazine "My School Rocks" and Work.com. Franco has a master's degree in social work with an emphasis in health care from the University of Maryland and a journalism degree from the University of Richmond.