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Rules of entry and stay in the Russian Federation for foreign students

To enter Russia, you have to apply for a visa. The university can provide you only with the invitation for study visas. So, if you have already entered Russia using a different visa type (tourist, business), the university can not extend it.

To apply for a study visa, the university sends you an invitation letter after you officially become a student of this educational institution. For sending the invitation letter, we need the following information:

1. Residence address in your country.
2. City which you plan to apply for a visa in.  An embassy or consulate of Russia should be in this city. You can find a list of all Russian embassies here.
invitation letter

The invitation stays until 90 days. You can find the exact date in the document.  The visa you receive at the Russian embassy will also be valid till this date.

To get a visa using an invitation letter, you need to contact the embassy you indicated earlier. The invitation letter includes also the place of getting a visa.
The list of additional documents you will need to apply for a visa depends on the embassy. That is why only embassy can provide you with a full and exact information about the documents required.

After getting a visa, you are entitled to enter Russia. At that, we draw your attention that an invitation visa is issued for a one-time entry into Russia, it means that you can enter the country only once.

The university should include you in the list of visiting foreign citizens, so that you are able to enter Russia. In this regard, you have to send your visa and ticket at least five working days before arrival. Otherwise, you may not leave the airport in case the university does not enter information about your arrival in this list on time. It is of importance to bear in mind the weekends and Russian holidays, during which universities and migration departments do not work.

Upon entry to Russia you will be given a migration card - this is a small but highly important document. The facts of entry and exit from Russia are entered here.

migration card
After entry, you have 7 days to receive the next important document - a migration registration card or, as it is often called, registration. You need to get registration at the place of stay in a hotel/hostel/apartment/dormitory. In case you do not receive this document after seven days, it will be considered as a violation of migration legislation and may result in penalty and other problems associated with obtaining a new visa and in the worst case - deportation and a ban on entry for five years.

To apply for a new multiple-entry visa, you need to register at least in two weeks before the submission date. However, we recommend you to make it before the end of your current visa. To apply for a new visa, additional documents may also be required. It depends on the university. For example, it may be a COVID-19 PCR-Test, medical insurance for the duration of stay in Russia, etc.

We draw your attention that it is necessary to apply for a new visa in three weeks before your first visa received based on the invitation letter expires. So, you can avoid eventual problems. A new study visa is issued for a period of one year, and you have to apply for its extension in 45 days before it expires. This is an important difference from a single-entry visa, which is obtained based on an invitation letter.

After getting a visa, you have three days to get a new registration as per the Russian legislation. If you leave Russia, your registration becomes invalid. Upon return you have to register again. As you see, it is extremely important to have a valid registration. In case you do not have a valid registration during a certain period of time, it might lead to problems, penalty and even your deportation.

All foreign citizens having entered Russia after December 29, 2021 for a period exceeding 90 calendar days have to undergo a medical examination as well as obligatory state fingerprinting and photographing procedure within 90 days after entry. As a result, you will be given the following card:
To get such a card, you have to undergo a medical examination in the first place. After that, you will receive three medical certificates. For medical examination, you can go to a city polyclinic. You have to show your passport, its translation certified by the Notary Public and a valid registration.

After receiving medical certificates, you have to go to the Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the place of your registration for fingerprinting and photographing procedure, in a week, you will have all documents required.

Follow these rules and your stay in Russia will be comfortable.