The Russia–Ukraine war is causing mass migration from Russia. Some of those who fled may now seek new permanent homes, fearing their safety should they return to their country.
Russian citizens who wish to immigrate to the U.S. after fleeing can still apply for visas at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Warsaw. Asylum may be another option.
Visa options for Russian citizens
The rules for immigration to the U.S. from Russia have not changed. Generally, those seeking visas must have a relative or employer sponsor within the United States. Visa options include the following:
- Fiancé visa
- Family-based immigration
- Employer-based immigration
Additionally, Russian citizens are still eligible for the diversity visa lottery. The challenge for many who have fled the country is waiting out the immigration process outside of Russia.
Asylum option for entering the US
Russian citizens who don’t meet immigration requirements may seek asylum in the U.S. Without a visa, citizens cannot gain direct entry. However, many first go to Mexico, where they do not need a visa, and enter America at the U.S.–Mexico border.
After asylum seekers get through the border crossing, they need to apply for asylum status within a year of entry using one of the following methods:
- Affirmative asylum processing
- Asylum Merits interview
- Defensive asylum processing
Russian citizens currently residing in the U.S. and those who have started the application process are still allowed to seek asylum status.
The Russia–Ukraine war creates additional stress and challenges for Russian citizens who wish to relocate to the U.S., but avenues for entry remain open.