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How can an applicant from the CIS enter a Russian university?

Russia is among the top 10 countries in terms of the number of foreign students.

In Russia, foreign students can enjoy the opportunity to study at the expense of budgetary funds. The huge majority of students from CIS-countries study at Russian universities free of charge.

How many students from Central Asian countries are studying in Russia free of charge at the expense of budgetary funds?

Based on the data of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation:
  1. Tajikistan - 78%
  2. Kazakhstan - 59%
  3. Uzbekistan - 26%
  4. Turkmenistan - 11%

Let's find out what study opportunities applicants from CIS can choose.

1. Education with rights equal to the Russian citizens.
Students from the CIS can pass the Unified State Exam in accordance with general practices and participate in the competition with Russian citizens under the same terms. However, it is quite difficult to do so, because one needs to come to Russia to take the exam. The tests are prepared only for the Russian curriculum and are not adapted for students from other countries. It is worth noting that the applicant should be fluent in Russian to take the Unified State Exam.

2. Education based on the Contract.

Another way is education on the contract base. One has to submit documents to a desired university, to take exams (as specified by the university) and to participate in a competition. As a result, you are enrolled at the university based on the entrance examinations and sign a contract.

3. Federal Agency for Affairs of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Residing Abroad and International Humanitarian Co-Operation (Rossotrudnichestvo).

Another opportunity to study at a Russian university is offering by Rossotrudnichestvo. Each year, the Russian Government provides with free places at 450 state universities for foreign applicants. The program is implemented within the quota of the Government of the Russian Federation, and the education is funded from the federal budget. Mainly, the agency aims at "strengthening the humanitarian place of Russia in the world" and "promoting the fair presentation of modern Russia abroad." CIS countries present the important area of Rossotrudnichestvo's activity. At that, the huge amount of applications to enter Russian universities under the agency's programs comes from Central Asian countries.

To study free of charge, a foreign student has to:
1. Register on the website education-in-russia, having filled out an application form for study within the quota of the Government of the Russian Federation in advance.

2. Wait for an invitation to participate in selection procedure in the country of residence.

3. Find himself/herself on the website in the list of candidates recommended for the second stage of selection.

4. Wait for the access to the personal account on the portal (the notification will be sent to the email).

5. Track the application status in the personal account.

All applications are uploaded into a single information and analytical system.

They are divided into 3 types:
- candidate from the country (a foreign citizen has been selected to study in Russia based on the representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo in his/her country);
- candidate from an educational organization (a foreign citizen has been selected by one of the five government universities of the Russian Federation);
- candidate is a winner of International Academic Competitions of Schoolchildren or Academic Competitions for masters.

Number of budget places for CIS countries
In 2021, 18 thousand foreigners entered Federal Russian universities. It is expected that the number of quotas will increase to 23 thousand in 2022. The largest number of quotas is provided for students from Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
What documents are required for matriculation?

●     passport
●     document on education
●     medical certificates (provided that you are applying for free of charge study): tests for HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, a general blood test, a certificate of examination by specialists as per form 086
●     photo 3X4.

It is worth mentioning that educational documents of a foreign citizen should be recognized as equivalent to Russian educational documents in order to obtain higher education in the Russian Federation. That is why one has to undergo the procedure of consular legalization or apostille. You can check what type of legalization is required for your document on the portal of National Information Center. After legalization, the document will be recognized by Federal Education and Science Supervision Agency (Rosobrnadzor). You can submit documents for the recognition of education in person, per post, via your personal account or  the portal of State Services. The average application lead time now stands at 45 days. The cost amounts to 6500 rubles.

For some documents you do not need legalization. For example, in case they are included in a special list of the Government of the Russian Federation or in case they are issued by a country having concluded an agreement with the Russian Federation on mutual recognition of qualifications. You may find the full list on the Government portal.
More about passing the recognition procedure here.

Student visa for Russia
To study in Russia, foreign citizens have to get a student visa. This rule often applies even to countries which bilateral visa waiver agreements have been concluded with. As a rule, such agreements only provide for tourist trips lasting 1-3 months per year, and not a permanent stay.

A full list of countries whose citizens can study in Russia without a student visa:

●    Azerbaijan
●    Abkhazia
●    South Ossetia
●    Belarus
●    Kazakhstan
●    Kyrgyzstan
●    Moldova
●    Tajikistan
●    Ukraine
●    Armenia
●    Uzbekistan.

Other foreign citizens have to receive an official invitation letter from the university. It is issued 30-45 days after enrollment.

Do you have any questions about matriculation? Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.