Russia Student Visa Guide

Who Needs a Russian Student Visa?

Students from almost all foreign countries require a Russian student visa to study in Russia. However, students from CIS (Commonweath of Independent States) do not require a visa to pursue higher education in Russia. These countries include Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Armenia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine - from where around 50% of the total international students pursued higher education in Russia in 2015.

There are certain conditions to the same. Students from Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan or Ukraine do not need to hold a Russia student visa but they should have a valid passport. On the other hand, those from countries like Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Southern Ossetia, Tajikistan, or Uzbekistan are allowed to study in Russia without even a passport.

Many countries also have visa-free arrangements for short stays of 14 to 90 days in Russia. They must, however, get a Russian student visa from the Russian General Directorate of Migratory Affairs (GUVM) once they are in Russia. For longer courses, students from other countries must get a Russia student visa.

Need Help Applying for a Russian Student Visa? We Can Guide You!

Russia Student Visa Rules and Regulations

Before applying for a Russian student visa, here are the rules and regulations that an international student should learn:

Study

  • A Russian student visa is valid or first issued for only for 90 days. However it can be extended to a year and further renewed for the total duration of the program at a Russian university. The same shall be applied for at the local division of the Federal Migration Service of the Russian Federation (FMS of Russia).

  • In case an international student wants to pursue postdoctoral research or attend seminars in Russia, they can apply for a Humanitarian visa that will be valid for up to 12 months.

  • While entering Russia, one must complete a migration form that is distributed on planes and trains or airports and stations.

  • If an international student wishes to continue their studies in Russia, they must extend their visa otherwise they may face a fine of RUB 5,000 to 7,000 and a five-year on entering Russia. It is recommended that one contact their university office at least 30-40 days before the visa expiration date.

  • A Russian visa lets an international student be accompanied by certain family members. However, the family member(s) may need an invite or be included in the invite from the GUVM.

Work-Study

  • A student with a Russian student visa can apply for a work permit at FMS in case the work is not undertaken during holidays or not at their designated institution or university.

  • A work-permit will be granted only if the applicant is a full-time student at a Russian state-accredited university and at least 18 years old. It will allow them to work in their field as mentioned in their permit and in the same city or region as the university.

  • Usually, it takes 10 days for the FMS to process one's work permit application.

Post-Study Work & Permanent Residence

  • Upon graduation, an international student may be able to stay in Russia if they have received a job offer or wish to start a business or look for a job. To be able to do the same, they will have to leave the country and reenter using a suitable visa.

  • After having lived in Russia for more than a year, one may be eligible to apply for permanent residence which will allow them to live and work in the country without a permit or visa.

Requirements for a Russian Student Visa

Here are the things that an international student will require in order to get a Russian student visa:

Applying to a Russian University

One must have a complete understanding of the requirements for the course they wish to study at a Russian university. They may also be required to sit admission tests or interviews to complete the admission process. In total, a student may apply to up to six universities in a region.

Letter of Invitation from a Russian University

Before applying for a Russian student visa, the applicant must have an acceptance letter from the university they have applied to. The invitation letter will be granted by the The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the Federal Migration Service of Russia. However, it may also come directly from the university in case the student has followed the standard procedure of applying. The invitation will be valid for the next three months.

Organising Finances for Education

Another prerequisite for a Russian student visa application is providing evidence of having enough money to cover course and study costs in Russia. One may also choose to apply for education loans, state funding or university-level/government-funded scholarships in Russia that may help ease the financial burden to a great extent.

Apply for a Visa

Once an applicant has a letter of invitation from the university and evidence of having enough money, they can move on to the application process. They need to visit the Russian embassy or consulate in their home country and submit the required documents.

Know Your Exact Requirements for the Russian Student Visa Here.

Russian Student Visa Application Process

It usually takes 10 days for a Russian student visa application to be processed. Given below are the step-wise guide to apply for a Russian student visa:

Apply By Post

Step 1: Visit the official website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Select the home country and the language of the application form and fill out the electronic visa application form and save the changes made to the form and get a print out of the same. Attach a passport-size photograph in the labelled box and sign the form. For Indian students - Select “Russia Visa Centre in Mumbai/Delhi/Chennai/Kolkata” as the visa application centre destination.

Step 2: Gather the documents as listed below and post it:

  • A valid and original passport.

  • A filled out, printed and signed visa application form.

  • The letter of invitation from the Russian university issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia.

  • Health insurance policy document, if the applicant has it already. (One can apply for it after they arrive in Russia).

  • Evidence of having the financial means to cover living and study expenses

  • Details of accommodation in Russia

  • HIV certificate issued within the last three months.

  • Notarised consent to travel provided by parents for applicants under 18.

  • A passport size colour photograph (3.5x5.4 cm) not older than 6 months.

  • Payment Confirmation Report

Step 3: Pay the visa application fee which will depend on the nationality of the applicant.

Step 4: Wait for the decision that is usually made within 10 days. However, it may take up to 30 days. One may pay an additional fee to expedite the process.

Step 5: Fly to Russia and get an immigration card at the border, one part of which will be kept by the authorities and another part will be kept by the student.

Step 6: Register the student visa within seven days of arriving in Russia. This will require your visa, passport and immigration card.

Apply in Person

Step 1: Fill the application form by visiting the official website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Step 2: Gather the documents as listed below:

  • A valid and original passport.

  • A filled out, printed and signed visa application form.

  • The letter of invitation from the Russian university issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia.

  • Health insurance policy document, if the applicant has it already. (One can apply for it after they arrive in Russia).

  • Evidence of having the financial means to cover living and study expenses

  • Details of accommodation in Russia

  • HIV certificate issued within the last three months.

  • Notarised consent to travel provided by parents for applicants under 18.

  • A passport size colour photograph (3.5x5.4 cm) not older than 6 months.

  • Payment Confirmation Report

Step 3: Book an appointment at the application centre and submit the application along with all the required documents.

Step 4: Pick up the passport from the visa application centre or have it delivered by courier.

How to Get an Extension for a Russian Student Visa

  • Students will have to contact the international office of the university where they have enrolled 30 to 40 days prior to the expiration date of the visa.

  • A written application in free format will be submitted regarding why the candidate needs a visa extension.

  • Each time the visa is renewed, the students will have to register at the Russian migration office.

  • Students will need a copy of the enrolment agreement issued by the respective university or referral provided by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

  • Candidates will have to provide a copy of the payment receipt or stamp duty (1600 roubles for one-year extension).

  • Arrival notification form issued at the migration registration desk also needs to be submitted.

  • Candidates will also need the original passport and original migration card as well as a copy.

Russian Student Visa Fees & Visa Processing Time for Indian Students

The Russian student visa fees and processing times effective from March 16, 2021 have been mentioned below:

Number of Entries

Visa Processing Time

Consular Fee

Service Fee

Total Fee

Single Entry

4-20 days

INR 6,160

INR 2,220

INR 8,360

Single Entry

1-3 days

INR 12,320

INR 2,220

INR 14,520

Double Entry

4-20 days

INR 9,856

INR 2,220

INR 12,056

Double Entry

1-3 days

INR 19,712

INR 2,220

INR 21,912

Where to Apply for a Russian Student Visa in India?

Here's where an Indian student can visit to apply for a Russian Student Visa:

Chennai

Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Chennai

Address: No.33 (old No.14), Santhome High Road, Mylapore, Chennai-600 004

Phone: +91 44 2498 2320, +91 44 2498 2330

E-mail: ruschennai@yandex.ru, ruschennai@ya.ru

Fax: +91 44 2498 2336

Kolkata

Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Kolkata

Address: 22 A, Raja Santosh Road, Kolkata - 700 027

Phone: +91 (33) 2479-7006

E-mail: rus.consul.kolkata@gmail.com

Fax: +91 (33) 2479-8889

Mumbai

Consulate General of Russia in Mumbai

Address: 42, L. Jagmohandas Marg (Old Nepean Sea Road), Palm Beach, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400036

Phone: (022) 2363-36-27, 2363-36-28

Email: consulate_mumbai@mail.ru, consrusmumbai@mid.ru

Fax: (022) 2363-14-93

Delhi

Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of India

Address: Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, Delhi 110021

Phone: +91 112611 0640, +91 112611 0641, +91 112611 0642

Fax: +91 112687 6823

E-mail: rusembindia@mid.ru

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