A student visa is a major requirement to study in Russia. If you want to successfully enter the country, you need a guide on the student visa application process.
If you’re on your way to apply for a student visa, here are a couple of important things that you must know:
Applying for a Student Visa
Certain countries have authorized visa centers where you can obtain a visa. Alternatively, you can apply directly to the Russian Embassy or Consulate in your country.
It’s recommended to apply for a student visa 45 days before flying to Russia. It would typically take two to three weeks to process a student visa application. Once you’ve obtained your visa, make sure to apply for an extension when it’s nearing the expiration date.
Who Needs a Student Visa to Study in Russia
Students from these countries do not need to obtain a student visa in Russia:
- Southern Ossetia
The visa-free arrangement allows students to stay in Russia for only one to three months. If you’re from any of the countries listed above, you must leave Russia at the end of your valid stay.
You would then need to obtain a student visa to re-enter Russia. To save on time, obtain a student visa in the first place, even though it’s not initially required in your case. It’s best for your convenience, especially if you plan to study in Russia for the long term.
International students from the rest of the world need an international passport and student visa.
Required documents vary per country, so it’s best to visit your country’s Russian Embassy to determine specific document requirements.
Generally, here are the documents you must provide for your student visa application:
- Duly completed application form (E-form available at the official website of the Consular Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation)
- Original official invitation to enter Russia
- Original and valid international passport
- A copy of the front page of your passport
- Notarized parental consent (For students aged 18 and below)
- HIV-negative status certificate
How to Get an Official Invitation
If you have secured admission to a Russian university, you’ll receive an official invitation from that university. You must present this invitation to apply for a student visa.
Meanwhile, if you went through a competitive selection and obtained a government scholarship, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will direct you. You’ll receive a six-digit number of your official invitation.
How Long Can You Stay in Russia With a Student Visa
The Russian student visa is valid for three months. After this period, the student must apply for a visa extension—or else you may be fined, or worse, be deported back to your home country.
You can have your visa extended in Russia if you passed the entrance exams and completed your pre-university training.
Applying for a student visa is a must if you plan to study in Russia. Get relevant stories about studying in Russia here at MSM Unify.