Visas for your Russian Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother…

Russian Child Immigration

If your relative is in Russia (or Ukraine or Belarus) and you want them to join you in the U.S., you will need to go through the family immigration process.

Who can immigrate on a family-based visa?

  • Parents, spouses, and children (under 21) of U.S. Citizens.
  • Unmarried adult children of U.S. Citizens
  • Spouses and children (minors) of U.S. Permanent Residents
  • Unmarried adult children of U.S. Permanent Residents
  • Married adult children of U.S. Citizens
  • Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens

Russian parents, spouses, and minor children of citizens are considered to be immediate relatives. This means that there is no waiting list for these visas; as soon as the application is processed, your relative can be on their way!

Visas for all the other types of relatives, however, are distributed based on a wait-list. To see how long your relative will have to wait for a visa, check the State Department’s Visa Bulletin.

The process for bringing your Russian relative to the U.S. has two steps:

Step 1: Immigration petition

The first step in any immigration process is for the U.S. citizen or resident to file a petition on behalf of the Russian citizen. In other words, the US citizen asks the U.S. Government for permission for a loved one to come live in the United States. When the petition is approved, the approval is sent to the U.S. embassy (in Moscow, Kyiv, or Minsk) for further processing.

Step 2: Consular Processing

The U.S. embassy will then schedule the Russian citizen an interview date. On that date, the Russian citizen must go to the U.S. embassy in Moscow and be interviewed by a consular official (Ukrainian have their interviews in Kyiv and Belarusians have their interviews in Minsk). If the process is approved, then the Russian citizen is allowed to travel to the United States. Upon arrival, the Russian citizen is considered a U.S. Permanent resident and in a few weeks a green card will arrive for that person in the mail.