If you’re looking to pursue higher education in Russia, make sure to complete your application for a student visa. Upon approval, the visa is valid for only three months. As you need to stay longer than that to finish your degree, you can apply for a one-year visa extension without leaving Russia. Check out the required documents, estimated costs, and the steps below to learn more about how to get a student visa in Russia.

Steps on Applying for a Russian Student Visa

Step 1. Get Accepted at a Russian University

As it is with many countries that require a student visa, you’ll need to apply and get accepted first at a Russian university. This is the great first step to starting your journey as an international student. And, it will significantly make your stay in Russia worth it.

Make sure to carefully choose your program and university. Since you will be staying in the country for a long time, you’ll also need to put your finances at a high priority. There are some strict requirements as well, so ensure to submit those completely. By planning your admission to a Russian university, you’ll get better chances of receiving an invitation to study.

Step 2. Obtain an Official Invitation

As previously mentioned, one of the requirements to apply for a student visa in Russia is the official invitation from the Russian government. You’ll need to obtain this invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia if you apply through a competitive selection and study through a government scholarship.

Suppose you went through the standard application to get into a Russian university or were accepted as a fee-paying student. In that case, your host university will provide you the invitation. You will receive a six-digit number, which you need to submit to the embassy along with other student visa requirements.

Step 3. Confirm Requirements and Application Fee at the Russian Embassy

Before completing your requirements, make sure to check with the Russian embassy in your home country if there are any additional requirements you’ll need to complete. Moreover, the application fee depends on the country, so you’ll have to confirm that with the embassy.

To know the embassy website, you can refer to the information at the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia website. A world map with pinned points corresponding to the locations of the Russian embassy shows on their website. Just click on a pin located in your country to see the following information on embassies:

  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Fax number
  • Email address
  • Website link

Through these details, you can also contact the embassy to learn more about:

  • Photograph requirements
  • Visa processing duration
  • Order of submitting documents
  • Service fees

Step 4. Fill Out the Online Application Form

To start your application for a student visa in Russia, you’ll need to fill out the electronic visa application here. Make sure to prepare your passport before answering the form. Choose the country from where you’ll be applying for the visa and your preferred hints and help language, then carefully read the instructions before starting,

Take note that the website detects idle time and if it goes over 20 minutes without activity, the form expires, and you will need to start filling out the form from the beginning. To prevent this, focus on answering the form, or save a draft and the application number if you need to finish the application form at another time. Remember that the website saves your application form up to 30 days only.

Step 5. Submit your Application Form and Supporting Documents

After completing the online form, make sure to print a copy of it. Then, complete all documents and submit those to the Russian embassy in your home country. You’ll also pay the application fee during your appointment there.

Make sure to confirm with the consul how long the process will take. While it typically lasts up to 20 business days, in exceptional cases, the process can take up to 30 days if there are missing or incomplete requirements. If you need to expedite the process of getting a student visa in Russia, though, you can request a three-working-day processing time but you’ll need to pay higher fees.

Step 6. Get your Visa and Proceed with Your Trip to Russia

When you receive the confirmation that your application is approved, you can pick up your passport at the embassy. From there, prepare for your trip to Russia and take note of what to do as soon as you arrive there. This includes obtaining your Immigration Card and providing your passport data page copy, Russian student, and immigration card to your accommodation’s owner, so they can register your student visa.

Step 7. Extend Your Stay

The Russian student visa is initially valid only for three months. If your study duration is longer than that, you’ll need to apply for a visa extension before your visa expires. To do this, you don’t need to fly back to your home country. Simply set an appointment with the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia and submit the necessary documents.

After that, you’ll receive an extended student visa valid for one year. If in case you’ll need to prolong your stay, you can apply for subsequent one-year extensions until you finish your studies in Russia. Keep in mind that you need to apply for these visa extensions before your current visa expires.

Documents Needed for Russian Student Visa Applications

If you’re from the following countries, you won’t need to apply for a student visa to go to Russia:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Abkhazia
  • Southern Ossetia
  • Belarus
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova
  • Tajikistan
  • Ukraine
  • Armenia
  • Uzbekistan

Otherwise, you will need these documents to get your student visa in Russia:

  • Valid international passport
  • Photocopy of your passport front page
  • Official invitation from the Russian government
  • Letter of acceptance from your host university
  • Application form
  • Passport size photo
  • HIV-negative test result certificate
  • Notarized parental consent to travel for applicants below 18 years old

FAQs: Student Visa Applications for Russia

How Much Money Do You Need for a Russian Student Visa?

The application fee for a Russian student visa depends on your home country. The price also depends if you’re looking for a visa with single, double, multiple entries. However, it ranges between $41 to $500.

Besides the application fee, you’ll also need to prepare your tuition and living expenses. Typically, a bachelor’s degree costs around $3,400 to $3,700, while a graduate program costs $4,000 annually. You’ll also need approximately $300 to $400 monthly to cover your health insurance, household items, and study materials.

As for living expenses, you’ll need to prepare for the following:

  • Meals: at least $60 per month
  • Transport: $28 per month
  • Internet and cellular communication: $4 to $7 per month
  • Clothing: $7 to $21 per month
  • Cultural tour: $11 to $36 per trip
  • Sports: $24 to $64 per month
  • Entertainment: $7 to $71 per weekend


We hope that this article on how to get a student visa in Russia was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment