Visa and registration
The most of foreign students enter Russia with passports and student visas. There is a visa-free regime between Russia and some countries. As a rule visa-free period lasts from 1 to 3 months and don’t suit for longer stay or permanent living.
Citizens of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan can enter Russia with internal (national) passports (IDs). Students from other countries, including CIS countries, should have valid international passports.
Who doesn't need educational visa
Students from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, South Ossetia can study in Russia without student visas.
How to apply for educational visa
You should apply for a student visa to embassy or consulate of Russia in your country, or to visa service center.
Step 1. Formalization of invitation
For those who study on a contract basis the university will issue the invitation. If you apply via Russia.Study, we will check that invitation is issued on time and we will e-mail you a copy. For those who study free of charge with a state scholarship the invitations are issued by The Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. You can check the status your invitation at russia-edu.ru.
Step 2. Documentation package preparing
After receiving an invitation (or you can see at russia-edu.ru that your invitation arrives at your country) you should prepare documentation package for applying to embassy (consulate) of Russia. Here is the list of necessary documents:
- International passport (original) and copy of title (main page).
- Invitation (original) to Russia.
- Application form (electronic).
- Photograph 3,5x4,5 сm.
- Certificate of the HIV-negative status of the applicant.
- For under 18 – Parental Consent to Travel for Children under 18, certified by notary.
In Russian embassy (consulate) or visa application center in your country you can clarify which documents exactly you need.
Step 3. Applying to Russian embassy (consulate)
With full documentation package you can apply to embassy (consulate) of Russia in your country. After passing an interview you should pay for student visa. The student visa turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.
Educational visa validity
For the first time educational visa is valid for 3 months. For extension you should apply to General Directorate of migration of RF Ministry of Internal Affairs. There you can apply for multi-entry visa for 1 year. During this period you can stay in Russia or leave and return. Upon the expire you should apply for extension again and thus till the end of your studying.
How to extend a visa
For educational visa extension you should apply to university department for work with foreign students before 30-40 days before expiration.
Here is the list of necessary documents:
- Application form.
- International passport.
- Contract for study (copy) or assignment for study by Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
- Intercession from University in written and free format, indication the reason to extend visa.
- Receipt confirming the payment of State duty.
- Detachable section of the notification form (issued during migration registration).
- Admission form (original and copy).
State duty for 1 year educational visa is 1 600 rubles (approximately $30).
Pay attention that every time after visa extension you should pass migration registration once again. Apply to the university department for work with foreign students.
Upon arriving in Russia every foreign citizen should fill admission form and always have it in possession during his or her stay in Russia. In 2 days you should apply for primary migration registration with documentation package.
Migration cardThe purpose of migration card is to verify that foreign citizen crossed the Russian border legally. Without a migration card a foreign citizen cannot live, study nor legally work in Russia.
You can get a free migration card form onboard your plane, in a train or in passport control zone at the airport or railway station.
Admission form is valid during all the time of your staying in Russia. When leaving the country you should leave it at boarder control post. When returning to the country you should fill in a new migration card.
Migration registrationIn 7 days after entering Russia foreign citizens should apply for migration registration. For this purpose you should submit necessary documents to the University in 3 days after arriving. Here is the list of documents:
- Passport (or any document of identification).
- Visa (if available).
- Admission form.
How to extend migration registrationFor extension of the period of migration registration you should apply in the University department working with foreign students before 15-20 days till expiration.
If you lost migration documentsIn case of lost or damage of admission form you should in 3 days apply to General Directorate of migration of RF Ministry of Internal Affairs. You will receive a free copy upon presentation of passport, visa, student’s card, detachable section of the notification form.
It’s important to apply to General Directorate of migration of RF Ministry of Internal Affairs in term of 3 days after lost.