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Last Updated: December 25, 2023

Russian Student Visa

Russia with its internationally recognized educational system provides a multitude of opportunities to international students, covering a diverse field of study. Russiaā€™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 thousands of students from different parts of the world, presenting them with numerous opportunities to shape their career paths. Whether a student is considering applying 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.

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 on to preparing a list of universities offering these courses and the eligibility criteria. The top courses in Russia are:

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.

Students from countries such as Azerbaijan, Abkhazia, Southern Ossetia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Armenia and Uzbekistan do not need a visa.

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

A foreign student must first ascertain whether they need a visa in order to study in Russia. If so, they should start the process of applying for a German entry visa. The following steps must be taken by interested candidates:

Getting an Invitation Letter

The first step in applying for a student visa in Russia is choosing a university or other type of educational facility. Foreign nationals are able to enroll in Russian universities on a private or government-funded basis. The majority of the time, applicants to universities must submit official, translated copies of their identification documents and academic transcripts. It may occasionally be necessary for candidates to pass the Uniform State Examination (EGE).

Once admitted to the university, students can proceed with obtaining a visa. To submit their visa application, candidates must have an original invitation. There are two kinds of situations for applicants:

Gathering the Documents and Beginning the Application Process

As soon as candidates receive their invitation letter (also known as Visa Support), they can start the process of applying for a student visa. The documents required may differ depending on the country, but the following are common documents required by all candidates.
Documents Required While Applying for Russian Student Visa: Candidates can apply for the visa at a Russian Embassy or Consulate in their nation after obtaining the necessary paperwork. They will need to make an appointment at the Consulate or Embassy of Russia. Students should confirm if their embassies accept walk-in submissions during office hours. Students will then need to pay the fees required for the visa application process.

Waiting for Decision on Visa and Reaching Russia

Students must now wait for the outcome of their visa application. After being accepted, students can arrange their trip to Russia. A migration card will be given to students upon their arrival in the nation.

Students entering Russia must register with the migration authorities within 90 days of their arrival, failing which they risk facing severe fines. Foreign nationals living in the Russian Federation are required to submitĀ official photos, fingerprinting, and medical exams.

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 a 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. Hereā€™s a step-by-step guide to applying for the visa extension process:

Working While Studying in Russia

To work while studying in Russia, international students must obtain the necessary permit from the regional office of the Interior Ministry's General Administration for Migration Issues. These permits are typically valid for a year. Only enrolled full-time students at universities with state accreditation are eligible to receive permits. Students are limited to working in the area (city) where their university is located and in accordance with the profession listed in their work permit. Students typically need to wait around 10 days for their regional Federal Migration Service to issue them a work permit. In order to apply for the permit, the following paperwork is needed: Exceptions- Students don't need a permit if:

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. Hereā€™s a list of all the documents needed to ensure the visa extension:

Some Things to Remember

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