Russian Student Visa for Foreign Citizens

Obtaining the Russian student visa entitles a foreign student to permanently reside in Russia during his/her studies at a Russian university

What is the Russian student visa?

The student visa is an authorization document giving a foreign student or stateless person the opportunity to start studies in Russian universities. Obligations to apply for a visa of this type are assumed by the educational institution, which a foreign student entered upon the results of examinations or the interview.

Rules and procedure for obtaining the Russian student visa for foreign citizens

To obtain a short-term student visa with a validity of up to 90 days, a foreign citizen will need to collect the main package of documents and submit it to the Russian consulate or embassy.

Validity:

1 year

Visa multiplicity:

Multiple

Cost of an invitation for the visa:

You can find the basic information by phone or order the online application service

This package includes:

  • International passport (must contain at least 2 blank pages and be valid for at least 6 months after leaving Russia);
  • Pre-filled visa application form with a 3.5x4.5 cm photo. The application form should not contain corrections;
  • Invitation from the receiving party (original, electronic copy or fax). Also, in the case of a short-term student visa, the basis may be a temporary student card issued by an educational institution in Russia;
  • Medical insurance policy, the validity of which will be equal to the entire period of stay in Russia. The policy must be issued exclusively in the insurance company, which has signed an agreement with Russian partners.

According to the agreement on simplifying the visa regime between Russia and the European Union, the process of issuing short-term visas with a direct invitation should not exceed 7 working days and in this situation the consular fee is not paid. If a foreign citizen has submitted an invitation from the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation, a visa can be issued urgently (within 2 days). If a foreign pupil, student or accompanying teacher needs a student visa to Russia with a validity of more than 90 days, the Russian consulate will require to present the original invitation issued by the FMS of the Russian Federation (the availability of this type of invitation will make it possible to receive a visa urgently).

If the necessary documentation was not provided in full, the foreign citizen will be refused a visa to Russia. Moreover, the Russian consulate reserves the right to refuse to issue a visa without giving reasons.

A foreign citizen can get a student visa to Russia only on his/her own.

Assistance to foreign citizens in obtaining the Russian student visa

In order to arrive safely in Russia, foreigners from most countries will need to obtain a visa, first applying to the Russian consulate or embassy in their country of residence. At the same time, they will need to submit a package of necessary documents for obtaining a visa, which may differ depending on the particular Russian consulate.

For processing and issuing the Russian visa, any consulate will require a foreign citizen to present the invitation issued for him/her by the receiving party, in addition to the main package of documents. If the purpose of a foreigner’s arrival in Russia is to study at a university, the authorized employees of the university undertake to issue the invitation for him/her (this may be addressed by the vice-rector for academic work and research, his deputies, or the head of the passport and visa department at the university).

After a foreigner enters Russia, he/she will need to complete migration registration within 3 working days (if the duration of his/her stay in the Russian Federation is less than 7 days, he/she will not need to register in the migration service). If a foreigner violates the deadline or procedure for migration registration, he/she will be fined up to 5 thousand rubles.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Rules and procedures for issuing invitations to Russia for foreign citizens;
  • The procedure for registration of foreign students in the migration service;
  • The list of university pages with information on obtaining the Russian student visa;

Rules and procedures for issuing invitations to Russia for foreign citizens

In order to get an invitation for the Russian student visa, a foreign citizen first needs to come to Russia on a tourist, guest or business visa, then pass entrance exams or have an interview at the university which he/she is planning to enter. If, upon the results of examinations, a foreign applicant is enrolled in a Russian university, the authorized persons of this educational institution will have to submit the following package of documents to the head of the passport and visa department:

  • A written justification of the expediency of enrollment of foreign citizens in two copies. Form of justification of the expediency of enrollment of a foreign citizen. Form of justification of the expediency of enrollment of a group of foreign citizens;
  • A photocopy of the passport data of a foreign citizen (in one copy);
  • Application of the university or faculty;
  • Receipt of payment of a state fee for issuing an invitation for a foreign citizen in Russia (in case of issuing a visa invitation in the FMS).

The head of the passport and visa department (or an authorized employee of this department) submits the package of documents to the FMS, where it is under consideration for a period of 30 days. If a positive decision is made in the relevant Directorate of the Federal Migration Service, an invitation to Russia for a student visa will be issued in the name of a foreigner within a month.

If a foreign citizen who has been enrolled in a Russian university has a citizenship in one of the EU countries and he/she needs a visa with a validity of more than 90 days, he/she will need to issue an invitation in the Directorate of the FMS. For EU citizens, there is a simplified procedure for issuing invitations. To issue a student invitation, he/she will need to submit the above-mentioned package of documents to the FMS office. There is no need to submit a receipt of payment of a state fee. The invitation under the simplified procedure is issued within 5 working days from the date of registration in the passport and visa department. However, a visa issued on such conditions is valid only for 90 days and cannot be extended, therefore it is not suitable for foreign students.

Regulatory documents:

  • Order on the procedure for issuing invitations for foreign citizens;
  • Order on the introduction of new forms of justifications of the expediency of enrollment of foreign citizens;
  • Federal Law of April 21, 2011 No. 80-FZ “On Amending Article 13 of the Federal Law “On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens in the Russian Federation” and Article 25.6 of the Federal Law “On the Procedure of Exit from and Entry into the Russian Federation”.

Rules for registration of foreign students in the migration service

Obligations to register foreign students in the migration service are assumed by the passport and visa department of the university. After arriving in Russia, a foreign student is required to come to the passport and visa department at his/her educational institution and submit the following set of documents:

  • Application of a standard sample for obtaining the signature of the relevant faculty member, where a foreign student will study (Form for students, interns and graduate students, Form for applicants - citizens of the CIS);
  • Written notice of arrival (Form of the Notice of Arrival, Sample of the Filled Notice, Instructions for Filling the Notice);
  • A photocopy of the passport and the original;
  • A photocopy of the visa and the original;
  • A photocopy of the migration card and the original;

A foreign student must come to the passport and visa department of his/her educational institution within one week from the moment of his/her arrival in Russia for registration. If he/she needs to extend the current visa or apply for a multiple entry visa, the foreigner must also come to the passport and visa department of his/her university.

The visa can be extended for the purpose of further stay of a foreign student, graduate student or intern in Russia only in case of extension of studies or the employment contract. To obtain a multiple entry visa or to extend the current one, a foreign student must present the following package of necessary documents in the passport and visa department of his/her university:

  • Application of a standard sample;
  • Written notice of arrival and its photocopy;
  • Filled visa application form;
  • A photocopy of the passport data (2 pcs.) plus the original;
  • All previously open visas and their photocopies;
  • A photocopy of the migration card and the original;
  • A copy of the contract (for students under a contract), a photocopy of the referral from the ministry (for those studying at state’s expense) or a photocopy of the employment contract (for foreign teachers).
  • Medical insurance policy, which will be valid throughout the duration of the visa;
  • Certificate of residence in a student dormitory (if a foreigner lives there);
  • Photos 3x4 cm, black and white or color matte (for citizens of the CIS - 1 pc., for citizens from other countries - 3 pcs.);
  • Receipt confirming payment of a state fee.

Please note that the rules for issuing visa invitations for foreign students and their migration registration, operating in different universities, may differ.