Renewing Your Child’s Russian Passport
If legalese is hard enough for you to understand in English, good luck with the filling out the forms to renew your child’s Russian Passport. First of all, many Consulates are now requiring that they be completed in Russian. Second of all, you and your child generally have to apply in person to your local Consulate, which may be located hundreds of miles away.
We’ve been receiving so many questions about Russian Passport Renewal that it would be beneficial to review the basics. Your mileage may vary, depending on whether you go directly to the main Embassy in Washington, DC, to one of the various consulates located around the U.S., or whether you use a Passport Service as an intermediary at approximately $500 per application. (Outside of America, contact your local Russian Federation Embassy.)
Initially, you will need to determine under which jurisdiction your state falls and the corresponding Russian Consulate, whether San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, New York, or Washington. This may be found on the Russian Embassy website: http://www.russianembassy.org/Embassy_eng/Consulate/consulates_us.html.
The next page gives information about registering your child with the Embassy, which we all know needs to be done immediately upon arrival in the U.S. Farther down the page, you will note the “Requirements for Issuance of New Passports to Adopted Russian Children”: http://www.russianembassy.org/Embassy_eng/Consulate/adoptions.html. This delineates the specifics for children under the age of 14, and those aged 14-18.
Again, depending on whether you use the services of a facilitator, or submit directly, the application form may need to be filled out in Russian (Cyrillic), typed online, in under 60 minutes. Have your child’s Adoption Decree with any former names and the date and location when the names were changed. Also have the son’s or daughter’s original Russian Passport number, place of issuance, not to mention the Birth Certificate and its details. They will ask where the child attends school, and where the applying parent works.
After filling out the online application form in Russian, you will “Accept” their terms and “Submit”. This will issue you an Application Number, and you may then “Download” your completed form, giving you the ability to print it.
Next, e-mail the Embassy or Consulate and request an appointment to come in with your child and apply for the new Russian Passport. Keep in mind that for some locales, you may have to telephone upwards of 200 times (been there, done that). Depending on what number you call, you may need to speak Russian. Then there’s the issue of who answers the phone and whether or not you need to plead with them, or pressure them, because they will probably tell you to call yet another phone number… that also will not answer for the first 200 or so times, and whose employees will not speak a word of English.
But, you never know. There are kind souls there.
Following the e-mail request for an appointment, hopefully the Embassy will call you, or e-mail you back to instruct you to telephone the same number you’ve been trying to get through on for the past week, month, or year. They will summon you for an appointment which most certainly will not fit in with your timetable, lifestyle nor schedule.
Bring along with you: a Money Order made payable to the “Russian Embassy” (or whatever your location specifies), currently $30 for a 5-year Passport, or $80 for the New Generation Passport (10 year validity for ages 16+). Have an original of the Russian Birth Certificate, and a copy of the Adoption Decree, the child’s previous Russian Passport, and a copy of the applying parent’s U.S. Passport and a copy of the child’s U.S. Passport, 4 passport-sized photos of the child, and 2 passport-sized photos of the applying parent, along with your downloaded and printed Application Form.
The 5-year Russian Passport may be sent to you via a prepaid mailer (which you provide), whereas the 10-year Russian Passport must be picked up in person (but the child need not appear in person again).
Whether on your own, with a Russian friend or relative to translate forms, or through a Passport facilitator, you can do this. Not renewing the Russian Passport does not jeopardize your child’s Russian citizenship, however, it may be beneficial to keep the Passport current depending on your family’s needs and goals.
Check with your nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate for updated information, and to ensure that the above information is reliable and current.
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