Can a Russian citizen who lives in Sweden and has a Swedish residence permit (temporary for 2 years) apply for an ESTA?

We are going to visit an exhibition for work purposes, but I'm not sure that it's applicable for Russian citizens even with European residence and work permit.

Maybe are there other programs or ways for getting a visa or permit to visit the USA? Not only ESTA?

1 Answer 1


The basic eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program (which is the actual program you travel on when you use an ESTA) is based on citizenship, not residency.

So, no, as Russian citizens, you are not eligible for the VWP, even if you reside in Sweden.

You need to apply for a visa from the US embassy in Sweden, most like a B-1/B-2 visa.

Note that the current wait time in Stockholm for the appointment stands at 50 calendar days. There are then 2-3 more weeks after that to get the visa.

So it takes about 2 to 3 months to get a visa.

Whether the visa will be granted given the current situation and your specific circumstances is another matter, I have no idea whether this would be easy or not, and it would be the subject for another question.

  • 17
    ... assuming the visa is approved at the first appointment. Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 8:15
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    and as a Russian you're almost certain to be denied a visa by any country outside of Russia's immediate sphere of influence.
    – jwenting
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 11:18
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    @jwenting I wondered about that while writing this answer, but I have no idea if this is the case or not, especially for someone with (effective) permanent residence abroad. As far as I know, there is no blanket ban on visas for Russians at this time in most countries.
    – jcaron
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 11:46
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    @jwenting "as a Russian you're almost certain to be denied a visa" - are you just guessing/hooping, or are you aware of any factual evidence that you could share? Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 12:43
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    @jwenting as a Russian with effective permanent residence abroad, this year I applied for 2 visas for countries well outside Russia's immediate sphere of influence. Got them faster than before COVID.
    – mintay
    Commented Oct 21, 2023 at 22:27

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