Last Updated: June 07, 2021

Russian Student Visa

Russia with its internationally recognized educational system provides a multitude of opportunities to international students, covering a diverse field of study. Russia’s leading universities with top world rankings, good educational resources, and excellent facilities combined with a rich and prestigious culture make it one of the top attractive destinations for students to pursue their higher education. Every year Russia draws nearly thousands of students from different parts of the world, presenting them with numerous opportunities to shape their career path. Whether a student is considering to apply for higher studies in Russia or is already in the process of applying, the most significant step to take into account is acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of the visa application process.

Normally, it takes around 2-5 weeks for a visa application to get processed but the applicant can speed up the process by paying some additional fee. It is advisable to start with the application process 40-45 days before one’s expected date of arrival in Russia.

Choosing a Course

Russia offers a wide range of courses for undergraduates, graduates, masters, and research students. Before initiating the application process, make sure to explore the plethora of educational programs offered by the State Universities and Private Institutions, and once the course is selected, the student can move onto preparing a list of universities offering these courses and the eligibility criteria.

Types of Student Visas for International Students and their Validity

There are two distinct types of educational visas offered by Russia depending upon the duration of stay:

Who Needs to Apply for the Russian Student Visa?

Citizens of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are exempted from applying for a visa as they are permitted to enter Russia carrying their national passports only. Some countries also have visa-free arrangements with Russia which allows for their citizens to enjoy a short-term stay extending up to 3 months. However, it is advisable to go for a proper visa application process in case the student is planning for a long term stay in the country.

Countries such as Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan do not require an international passport or visa to visit Russia.

Cost of Russian Student Visa

The total cost involved in the visa application process can vary from country to country as different aspects are taken into consideration to determine the overall cost. The final amount usually covers the Processing fee, VFS service charge, and optional Value Added Services (which the student may or may not pay).
Please note that all the payments made in this case are non-refundable.

Steps to Applying for a Russian Student Visa

After finalizing the course of study, the student should begin the application process in the desired University. After the selection process is over, the student needs to secure his/her place in the course by paying the enrolment fee and accepting the Invitation letter issued by the University/Institute. The Invitation Letter is an official document provided by the host organization to confirm the student's enrolment in the course and it acts as an additional document to facilitate the visa application process.

Documents Required to Apply for Russian Student Visa

Here is a list of all the documents needed to initiate the visa application process : All documents are required to be translated in the Russian language, duly certified by the Consulate Office.

Steps to be Taken to Extend the Stay in Russia

The students are granted a short-term visa of 3 months initially and it can be extended depending upon the duration of the course. A request for visa extension should be made 30-40 days before the date of expiration at the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia.
After this, the student will be issued a 1-year multi-entry visa which can be used to travel in and out of Russia for a specified duration. The student needs to reapply for the extension before the expiry of their 1-year visa depending upon the duration of the course. Please note that every time a visa extension is requested, the student also needs to register at the Migration Office. The students can contact the International Office of their respective Universities to extract further information. Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying for the visa extension process:

Working While Studying in Russia

International students require a work permit which allows them to work for 20 hours per week in and around the campus. The students can also look for a part-time job outside the campus provided they do not comprise with their grades and meet their academic deadlines. Part-time working is a convenient way for international students to support themselves financially and overcome monetary constraints.

Steps to Extend the Stay in Russia After Completion of the Course

The students can apply to work with the foreign students at the University Department 20-40 days before their visa expiration date. Here’s a list of all the documents needed to ensure the visa extension:

Some Things to Remember




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