Study in Russia: Student Visas & Permits

International Student in Russia?

Here's what the international sanctions against Russia mean for your studies.

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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. 

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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 center.


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 which will be 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 application form (this can be done online) for submission to the embassy, consulate or visa center;
  • A letter of consent from your parents and certified by a notary (if you’re under 18).

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 your 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 allows international students to combine your work with your 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.

Overview of Russia

Russia is the biggest country in the world by a significant margin. Take a look at what it's like to study abroad in Russia and more.

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Education System

Higher education in Russia is similar in structure to the central European system, with a few key differences. Everything you need to know about the Russian university system.

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Housing & Living Costs

Student accommodation and living costs in for international students in Russia can greatly vary, depending on where you're staying. Learn more about different student housing options and how much everything costs.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

For some students, Russian university tuition will seem a lot less expensive than their home countries. Find out more about the range of tuition fees in Russia.

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Language & Culture

When you think about the size of Russia, it comes as no surprise that the country has a wide variety of languages and cultures. Take a look.

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Application Process

All countries have specific admissions requirements for students to gain acceptance into a university. Learn more about the ins and outs of admission to programs in Russia, and what you need to apply.

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Ready to look at programs in Russia? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Russia today!

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Last update: 02 Mar 2022


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