I want to meet a friend in the summer, but I've been looking at sites and each one is either vague or says something different.

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    Beware of romance (and similar) scams, specially for people you have met in the internet. Being in trouble in a foreign country is always ways worse than at home, and a tourist (specially so young) is usually a better victim.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 10:30
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    I've added the US-citizens tag because of the phrase "from the USA"; if that is incorrect, please change it.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 12:18
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    @sjuan76 the statement that being in trouble in a foreign country is always worse than at home depends a bit on where you are from and where you are going....
    – ajd
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 15:17
  • @L_Church Finn Baxter maybe not, unless he has his sister with him. Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 21:01
  • This sounds like the rough plot for a new "Taken" movie... Commented May 1, 2018 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


You should be able, but you'll need:

  • written, notarized permission from both of your parents or guardians
  • a valid passport
  • an appropriate visa to visit Russia (assuming you're not a Russian citizen)

It is quite possible you'll be questioned on arrival as to whom you will be staying with in Russia. (It's possible this will happen during the visa application process as well.) As a minor, it'll be expected that a responsible adult will be in charge of you during your visit.

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    +1 for the possibility of questions on arrival. I was in Russia last week, and two kids (friends or siblings) were questioned nearly for 5-7 minutes by the border control officer. They were taking out so many papers and stuff. Eventually, they were let in.
    – trollster
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 6:38
  • @trollster, Russian-speaking kids or English?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 9:23
  • Unfortunately, I was not close enough to see their passports or hear their voice.
    – trollster
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 9:24

Note that in addition to border control, you'll have to fulfill requirements of the airline for unaccompanied minors. Obviously, those will depend on the airline. Typical requirements include:

  • taking only direct flights or flights with connections from the same airline.
  • night flights may be closed to unaccompanied minors.
  • your parents / legal guardians may be required to be present during your boarding in US.
  • a designated adult may have to be appointed to meet you in Russia. Should this person fail to meet you or present appropriate ID, the airline may decide to fly you back to US.

For teens of your age, such programs are often optional, but I'd encourage you to enroll in one anyway, unless you're fluent in Russian and can deal with the situation if something goes wrong. E.g. if you miss a connection and the hotel nearby won't accept minors.

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    Some airlines will not offer unaccompanied minor service for children as old as 15 years. United is an example, where the maximum age is 14.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 12:21
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    In the something goes wrong scenario, don't forget that your phone may fail to connect to the local network.
    – ugoren
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 14:27
  • I don't know of any airline that considers a 15 year-old an unaccompanied minor. It's for small children. Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 23:33
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    @nerdfever some airlines do offer the service for children that age without requiring it. American Airlines is an example.
    – phoog
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 1:42
  • @nerdfever.com Moreover, some airlines simply won't allow underage solo travelers. E.g. Ryanair won't let you fly alone if you're under 16. Commented May 2, 2018 at 11:45

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