Russia - USCIS Moscow Field Office

Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow

Geographic Jurisdiction

USCIS Moscow is in the Europe, Middle East and Africa District and has jurisdiction over U.S. immigration matters in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

Public hours

Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The office is closed on Russian and American holidays.

Appointments

You must make an online appointment to visit USCIS Moscow.

Walk-Ins

USCIS Moscow does not accept walk-ins.

Fee Payment Information

You must pay the Form I-131A fee online. For all other applications and petitions that you submit to this office, you must pay the fees to the U.S. Embassy cashier in U.S. dollars, Russian Rubles, or by credit card. The cashier's window is open 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Please do not mail cash, personal checks, or traveler’s checks to this office.

 

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Office Services

Click on the tabs below for additional information on each service. For a complete explanation of the fees, required forms and documentation associated with the forms that we may accept directly at this office, click on the form name within the tab. To see if there are any special instructions for filing at this office, please see the information under Filing and Other Special Instructions” within each tab.

Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

To establish your relationship to a relative who wishes to immigrate to the United States.

Who May File or Receive Service:

U.S. citizens residing in Russia filing on behalf of their spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21 or parent (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).

U.S. citizens residing in this field office’s jurisdiction but outside of Russia may file with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the U.S. citizen's place of residence if the USCIS Moscow field office director determines that there are exceptional circumstances.

Active duty U.S. Military: Active duty U.S. military service members stationed permanently at a military base in USCIS Moscow's jurisdiction, but outside of Russia, may file this form directly with the Department of State without needing to establish exceptional circumstances.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

Residents of Russia filing with USCIS Moscow must submit the petition and supporting evidence in person.

Evidence of residency must be submitted with the petition. The evidence you submit must support a determination that you are a resident in Russia.

Please Note: Certain pieces of evidence may more strongly support a finding of residency than others. For petitions filed at this field office, you must submit one or more of the following:

  • Residency permit or card
  • Work contract or other employment documents

In addition, other evidence of residency may include, but is not limited to:

  • Passport entry stamp
  • Utility bills
  • Housing lease
  • Proof of local registration
  • Military orders
  • Bank statements
  • Proof of school enrollment
  • Vehicle registration
  • Valid local driver’s license
  • Tax documents
  • Foreign property deeds or registration (although proof of property ownership in itself, may be insufficient if there is no evidence that the petitioner resides at that property)

Any document issued in a foreign language must be accompanied by a full English translation and by the translator's certification that he or she is competent to translate the foreign language into English. The original documents, with one copy, and the English translation should be submitted with the petition. Any original documents submitted upon USCIS’ request will be returned.

If you live outside of Russia in a country where we do not have an office, and you believe that exceptional circumstances justify filing your petition overseas, please go to the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S Consulate to make your request to file. You must provide evidence of exceptional circumstances. The consular section will contact the field office director to request permission to accept your petition overseas. If your request is denied, you will need to file with the Chicago Lockbox.

Petitions from lawful permanent residents and petitions for relatives of U.S. citizens other than those mentioned in the "Who May File or Receive Service" section must be filed with the Chicago Lockbox.

Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (Refugee Travel Document)

Form I-131, Application for Travel Document (Refugee Travel Document), Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

To return to the United States after travel abroad.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Individuals within USCIS Moscow's jurisdiction with valid refugee or asylee status (or lawful permanent residents who obtained such status by adjusting from refugee or asylee status in the United States) who departed the United States within the past year.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

Customers should file this application in the United States before departing. The Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) District, which oversees USCIS Moscow, also has jurisdiction to accept and approve refugee travel document applications.

Please Note: If you have a pending domestically filed refugee travel document application, or if you currently possess a valid refugee travel document, you are not eligible to apply for the document abroad. If you are in USCIS Moscow's jurisdiction, you may apply for a Refugee Travel Document with the EMEA District Office located in Rome, Italy.

You may file by mail or in person. You must be fingerprinted using Form FD258. Fingerprints can be taken at U.S. Embassies or U.S. Consulates. The EMEA District Office will take your fingerprints if you live in Italy.

The EMEA District Office must have enough time to process your application and deliver your travel document so you can return to the United States within one year of leaving. If there is not enough time for this or your application is urgent, the USCIS Field Office or U.S. Embassy/Consulate with jurisdiction may issue a transportation/boarding letter instead of a Refugee Travel Document. These letters are issued in urgent cases; do not delay your application anticipating a transportation/boarding letter as an option.

You can also email the EMEA District Office for more information.

Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant

Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

For international offices, this form is usually filed by widow(er)s applying for certain benefits granted to various special categories of individuals eligible for immigration.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Widow(er) of a deceased U.S. citizen. The widow(er) must currently reside in Russia.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

You must file in person.

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

To apply for U.S. citizenship.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Members of the U.S. military stationed overseas and their qualified spouse who reside in USCIS Moscow’s jurisdiction.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

Please see the Form N-400 form page or call our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 for the most current form filing instructions.  USCIS will then forward the application to the appropriate international office. For qualified children of active service members stationed abroad, the proper form to file is the N-600K, Application for Citizenship and Issuance of Certificate Under Section 322, noted below.

USCIS Moscow handles citizenship applications only for overseas military personnel and their qualifying family members. You can find more information about who qualifies for this benefit on our Citizenship for Military Personnel & Family Members page. Please also see our Policy Manual for quick reference charts and information on overseas naturalization benefits for qualifying spouses, children, and parents of U.S. military personnel.

Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status

Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

To give up your lawful permanent resident (LPR) status/turn in your Green Card.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Any individual who wishes to abandon his or her permanent resident status and give up his or her Permanent Resident Card (Green Card).

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

You may submit this form in person or by mail. You will need to turn in your Permanent Resident Card, if available, along with any other travel documents issued by USCIS.

Form I-590, Registration for Classification as a Refugee

Form I-590, Registration for Classification as a Refugee

Purpose:

To determine eligibility for refugee status.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Individuals who have been referred for refugee resettlement through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

This form is not accepted at any international USCIS office.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

If you have questions about eligibility for a referral for refugee resettlement, please contact the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) through the information on the UNHCR website or the International Organization for Migration (IOM) at the IOM website.

This field office is unable to directly receive refugee resettlement applications. For general information and processing criteria please see USCIS’ information about the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program or the Department of State’s website on refugee admissions.

Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition

Form I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

To request a suitability and eligibility determination for prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a foreign-born child.

Who May File or Receive Service:

U.S. citizens who reside in USCIS Moscow's jurisdiction and seek to adopt a child from a non-Hague Convention country.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

You must file by mail.

You can find information on intercountry adoptions and procedures in the Adoption section of our website.

Please Note: Russia is not a Hague Adoption Convention country. USCIS Moscow does not handle processing of forms related to intercountry adoption from a Hague Adoption Convention country. If you are filing to adopt a child from a Hague Adoption Convention Country, you must use Form I-800A and Form I-800 and file with USCIS in the United States.

Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative

Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

To request orphan classification for a child who either is, or will be, adopted by a U.S. citizen to allow the child to enter the United States.

Who May File or Receive Service:

U.S. citizen petitioners who reside in the United States but will travel and adopt a child, or obtain legal custody of a child for purposes of emigration and adoption, from a non-Hague Adoption Convention country where the USCIS office is located, or

U.S. citizen petitioners who live within this field office’s jurisdiction and seek to adopt a child from a non-Hague Adoption Convention country.

For more information about filing criteria related to these filing options, please see Form I-600 filing instructions.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

You must file by mail.

You can find information on intercountry adoptions and procedures on the Department of State website and in the Adoption section of our website.

Please Note:  As of January 1, 2013, Russia has banned the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. You can read more about this on the USCIS  and State Department websites.

Russia is not a Hague Adoption Convention country. USCIS Moscow does not handle processing of forms related to intercountry adoption from a Hague Adoption Convention country. If you are filing to adopt a child from a Hague Adoption Convention Country, you must use Form I-800A and Form I-800 and file with USCIS in the United States.

Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

For those otherwise approved to immigrate to the United States, but are ineligible to enter because one or more grounds of inadmissibility that may be waived applies to them.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Individuals who reside in Russia and can show that:

  • There are exceptional and compelling humanitarian circumstances that require immediate filing and adjudication; and
  • Expedited domestic processing would be insufficient to address the urgency.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

Except as provided below, Form I-601 must be filed with the USCIS Lockbox in the United States by mail. You may submit a written request for expedited processing along with your application when you file with the Lockbox if you believe there are extraordinary circumstances that require expedited processing. Further instructions on requesting expedited processing domestically can be found in the USCIS policy memorandum on expedited processing.

To file with USCIS Moscow:

We will grant an exception to Lockbox filing and permission to file Form I-601 at an international office if:

  • The applicant resides in a country where a USCIS office is located;
  • There are exceptional and compelling humanitarian circumstances that require immediate filing and adjudication; and
  • Expedited processing would not address the urgency of the circumstances.

For information about the exceptions to Lockbox filing and permission to file Form I-601 at an international office, including examples of possible qualifying circumstances, please see the USCIS policy memorandum on exceptions for international filing.

To request an exception to Lockbox filing and permission to file at this office, please contact USCIS Moscow by phone or email for further instructions.

Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal

Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

To obtain consent to reapply for admission to the United States after having been deported or removed, or because you unlawfully returned to the United States without admission after a previous removal or after previous unlawful presence.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Those who have been granted an exception to Lockbox filing and given permission to file an associated Form I-601 at an international office, as described in the tab on Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

File with the USCIS office in the United States indicated in the Form I-212 instructions.

If you need to file both Form I-212 and Form I-601, file them together at the Lockbox address specified in the Form I-601 instructions.

If USCIS Moscow decides that exceptional and compelling humanitarian circumstances warrant filing your Form I-601 with USCIS Moscow, you can also file the Form I-212 with the Form I-601.

If you file Form I-601 and Form I-212 together, be sure to submit the correct filing fee for each separate form.

Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition

Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, Form and Fee Information

Purpose:

If you are a refugee or asylee, you file this to petition for your relative to join you in the United States.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Refugees or asylees file this application in the United States for their qualifying relatives living abroad.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

Please see the Form I-730 form page for filing instructions. If the beneficiary of a Form I-730 filed with a USCIS service center resides in Russia, the petition will be transferred to our office prior to approval.  We will contact you, the petitioning relative and any representative of record to initiate processing and gather additional information and documents, once we have received the Form I-730 from the appropriate USCIS service center.

Please Note: It is important to notify this office if the beneficiary’s contact information listed on Form I-730 has changed. You should inform us of any such changes by submitting your change via phone or email to this office. Due to customs delays, it may take up to two months for a Form I-730 forwarded by a USCIS service center to reach this office. Contact this office for case status inquiries only when more than two months have passed since you received a Form I-730 Approval or Transfer Notice from the service center and you have not received any correspondence from USCIS during that two month period.

Collection of Re-entry Permit

Collection of Re-entry Permit

Purpose:

To pick-up a re-entry permit that was approved through the filing of a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, allowing lawful permanent residents to return to the United States after travel abroad in certain circumstances.

Who May File or Receive Service:

For those who have submitted an application for a re-entry permit through the filing of a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document in the United States and have requested that the re-entry permit be sent to the U.S. Consulate/USCIS in Moscow.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

This office does not adjudicate re-entry permits. If we are provided with contact information, USCIS Moscow will contact the applicant when the Form I-131 has been approved by an office in the United States and the re-entry permit is ready for collection. If you believe that the permit has been sent to USCIS Moscow and you have not heard from us, you may send us an inquiry.

Instructions on how to obtain or replace a re-entry permit are found at How Do I Get a Re-Entry Permit.

Fingerprint Collection

Fingerprint Collection

Purpose:

To support certain applications and petitions pending with a USCIS international office and, in some cases, domestic office.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Generally, individuals residing in Russia may request biometrics (e.g., fingerprints and photographs) collection associated with the following forms after USCIS has requested biometrics in association with the adjudication of that form type:

Notes for Active Duty Military:

If you are an active duty military service member or dependent stationed abroad and are filing:

Then:

Form N-400, Application for Naturalization

You may have your fingerprints taken on a military base and do not need to appear at a USCIS office for a biometrics appointment.

Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.

The Conditional Lawful Permanent Resident (CLPR) does not need to attend a biometrics appointment. Instead your military base point of contact (POC) can take the CLPR’s fingerprints on a fingerprint card which you may include when mailing the petition in to a USCIS office in the United States.

Note: Dependents must include the USCIS biometrics fee when filing the Form N-400, even if your fingerprints were taken on the U.S. military base.

For All Other Forms Not Listed Above:

Biometrics collection is usually scheduled at an Application Support Center (ASC) based on the applicant’s address of record.

In rare circumstances, field office director's may use their discretion to collect biometrics that were initially scheduled to be taken in the United States. When deciding whether to collect biometrics at an international field office, field office director's will take into account resource constraints, and also consider appropriate supporting evidence the applicant provides as well as the following factors:

  • An appointment notice showing that biometrics collection was scheduled at a domestic USCIS office;
  • Evidence of extenuating circumstances that would require the individual to depart the United States before having his or her biometrics collected as indicated in the appointment notice. For example, these circumstances might include, but are not limited to, the need to assist a critically ill family member, an unexpected immediate job transfer, or other urgent need; and
  • Evidence that the applicant requested an expedited or rescheduled appointment at an ASC before leaving the United States and, if not, an explanation of the reasons for failing to request an expedited or rescheduled appointment.

For Those Residing Abroad:

  • Evidence of the compelling circumstances or hardship that would prevent the applicant or petitioner from traveling back to the United States for an ASC appointment. Generally, the expense of traveling back to the United States would not, in itself, be considered a hardship. Because of the small number of staff in our international offices, you may experience a delay in appointment availability for biometrics collection.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

You can contact USCIS Moscow to determine whether you are eligible to have your biometrics captured at this office or for further information.

*Note: The available fingerprinting services noted above are only applicable if you live in a country with a USCIS office.

**Note: USCIS international offices do not handle visa processing for T or U visas. However, they do assist T visa applicants and U visa petitioners with biometric services relating to the underlying Form I-914 or Form I-918 processed by a USCIS domestic office. The U.S. Department of State’s Consular Section handles visa processing.

Request for Review of a Denial of Refugee Status

Request for Review of a Denial of Refugee Status

Purpose:

To request review of a denial of an application for refugee status (Form I-590).

Who May File or Receive Service:

Individuals who have applied for and been denied refugee status through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

You can file by mail with the international field office with jurisdiction over your refugee case or submit to the Resettlement Support Center (RSC) that prepared your refugee case.

Verifications of Departure

Verifications of Departure

Purpose:

To provide individuals granted voluntary departure or who have been ordered removed with written verification of their departure from the United States.

Who May File or Receive Service:

Individuals who have returned to Russia after having been granted voluntary departure or who have been ordered removed from the United States.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

Requests must be submitted in person.  Please bring all removal or departure-related forms issued by a DHS official or immigration judge in the United States as well as evidence of departure such as a passport with exit/entry stamps and airline tickets. Please bring evidence of a bond if one was paid.

Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)

Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)

Purpose:

To allow lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who do not have a Green Card or reentry permit to apply for a travel document (carrier documentation) that permits a transportation carrier to allow them to board a flight or vessel to the United States without penalty.

Who May File or Receive Service:

You may apply for carrier documentation if you are an LPR and:

  • You are returning from temporary international travel of less than one year and your Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card or Form I-551) has been lost, stolen or destroyed.
  • You are returning from temporary international travel of less than two years and your reentry permit (Form I-327) has been lost, stolen or destroyed.

The length of your absence from the United States will be measured from the time you departed the U.S. to the time you pay the fee for filing Form I-131A.

If you are an LPR with an expired Green Card, you may not need to file a Form I-131A. We encourage you check with your airline or vessel before filing a Form I-131A.

Although regulations generally require an LPR to travel with a valid Green card, CBP policy permits a transportation carrier bound for the United States to board an LPR without carrier documentation if you:

  • Are an LPR who has an expired Green Card that was issued with a 10-year expiration date, or
  • Are an LPR with an expired Green Card with a two-year expiration date AND you also have a Form I-797, Notice of Action, for Form I-751 or Form I-829 to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status. The Notice of Action extends the validity of the Green Card for a specified length of time, generally one year.

Filing and Other Special Instructions:

You may file in person at this office by making an online appointment.  We aim to process applications for carrier documentation within two weeks. The document will be valid for no more than 30 days and cannot be extended.

Before appearing at this office to file a Form I-131A, you must pay the filing fee for this form online using the USCIS online payment system. You may pay the fee with your credit or debit card or U.S. bank account. When you appear in person to file Form I-131A, you must bring evidence that you paid the fee, such as a printed copy of your payment confirmation page or a printed copy of your emailed receipt. As with all immigration fees, we do not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application.

If there is an international USCIS office or an embassy or consulate closer to where you are traveling, contact that office or visit its website to verify whether they process the Form I-131A and for instructions on how to file.

Child Born Abroad to a LPR

If you are an LPR and your child is born abroad during a temporary absence from the United States, your child may enter the United States without a visa before he or she turns two years old if your child accompanies you on your first return to the United States. CBP’s guidance indicates that an airline may board a child in this situation. If an airline refuses to board your child without carrier documentation, we can issue a transportation letter. You do not need to file Form I-131A or pay a fee for this service. 

If your child does not come to the United States when you, the LPR parent first return to the United States, consult the U.S. Consulate or this USCIS office about the availability of an immigrant visa for your child.  

Outside the U.S. For More than One Year

If you have been outside of the United States for more than one year without a reentry permit (or more than two years with a reentry permit), you will need to either seek a returning resident visa (SB-1) with the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy nearest to you, or consult with the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the country in which you are traveling about an alternative travel document.

For information about maintaining your residency receiving your Green Card, see our After a Green Card is Granted page.

    For information on other immigration benefits, please visit uscis.gov. For your convenience, we have provided links to information on some commonly asked about services:

    • Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e): Used to petition to bring your fiancé(e) (K-1) and that person's children (K-2s) to the United States for marriage to you, or to bring your spouse and that person's children (K-3 and K-4 visas, respectively) to the United States to complete processing for permanent resident status. You can also read more about fiancé(e) visas on our website.
    • The NCSC’s Reference Guide is available from anywhere around the globe. The guide provides additional information on the services USCIS provides.

    Visas

    For in-depth information about visas, please check the Visa Services section of the Department of State’s website.

    Last Reviewed/Updated:

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION