Student visas in Russia are required for students from most foreign countries. Russia is not a member state of the EU/EFTA, so the EU visa-free entry privilege does not apply for European students. Exceptions to this rule are made for members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Abkhazia, Moldova, Southern Ossetia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
You can begin your visa application once you’ve been accepted into your Russian university, up to 45 days before your planned arrival to Russia. Visa processing typically takes two to three weeks and can be done at your local Russian embassy or visa centre. A Russian student visa is initially valid for 90 days, with the option to extend the visa for a year, and then can be continuously renewed throughout the duration of your studies.
Required Documents for Study Visas in Russia
- An official invitation letter from your chosen university or from the GUVM (Main Directorate for Migration Affairs);
- A valid passport that is valid for at least 18 months from the issue date of the visa. and with at least two unmarked pages;
- A certificate showing your HIV-negative status no older than 90 days;
- A printed filled application form (this can be done online) for submission to the embassy, consulate or visa centre;
- Passport picture
- All-Academic certificates and transcripts (Legalized)
- Visa Application Fee
Make sure to register your arrival in Russia at the local GUVM office within seven days of arrival. Failing to do so can result in a fine, or at times, expulsion from Russia. When it comes time to extend your 90-day visa to a one-year visa, contact our admission team or the university’s international office to make sure you have all the tools, information and documents to complete the process successfully.
Working While Studying
Student visas in Russia allow international students to combine their work with their studies. You will need to acquire a work permit from the Federal Migration Service (FMS) – unless you’ll be working during the holidays or at your academic institution. The permit requires you to be studying full-time at a state-accredited university and at least 18 years old. The permit costs RUB 3,500 (USD 63), is valid for 1 year and generally takes 10 days to acquire from the regional Federal Migration Service.
Housing & Living Costs
The cost of student accommodation in Russia can range from RUB 200 to RUB 35,000 (USD4.6 – USD 612) per month, depending on where you’re staying, the amenities, and the type of lodging you choose. Among the cities in Russia, Moscow and Saint Petersburg are well known for being the most expensive to live in. Multiple factors come into play when considering the type of accommodation that’s fitting for you, so we recommend doing additional research as early as possible.