Russian Student Visa For Indians
The number of international students that land in Russia for higher studies is increasing every year. Although getting a student visa for Russia is quite simple,you should ideally apply for it in advance, as the process takes quite some time.
- You will need an invitation from the Russian University to apply for your student visa. As long as you study in the university the visa will be valid. You can do an internship but you will not be able to work with this visa.
- Russian student visas are valid for three months only and they are issued for single entry. Once you arrive in Russia, you can extend your visa for a year or more, depending upon the duration of your stay. You can also convert it into a multiple entry visa.
- When you have a student visa in hand, you will be allowed to stay at student dormitories only.
This type of visa is issued only for students, who come to study in Russia and enrolling on a course to a Russian university / school. This is the best kind of visa in terms of flexibility, but you can only get it if you applied to a Russian university, school or an institution and will study there.
Studying in a Russian University
If you are thinking about doing an exchange with one of the Russian universities (also known as "visiting scholars" or "stazhirovka" in Russian), you will need to submit your data to the university and the "foreign department" of the university will take care of all the formalities.
They will submit all your data to the immigration officials and have your student invitation ready in about 2 to 6 weeks (may take longer at MGU - Moscow State University). After that, the "foreign department" of the university where you will be studying will either send you the invitation by post, by fax, or send the invitation by telex directly to the consulate where you will apply for your visa and you'll just need to know the telex number when you apply. Usually, the student visa doesn't have a limited validity, it is extended all the time, depending on how long you study.
Studying in a Language School
If your language school is attached to some Russian educational body you will get a student visa and the process will be about the same as the one described for universities above. However, if it is a private school, they will most likely make a normal tourist (up to 1 month), or so-called "business" (which is a name for a long-term visas) invitation, which you will need to submit to a Russian consulate to get a Russian visa.
(Learn more: Education system in Russia)
Russian Visa Registration
Once you arrive to Russia, you will need to register your visa within the first 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) after your arrival. It is very important to get the registration done right, so we recommend you to read our Russian Visa Registration page as well as the Status of Foreign Citizens in Russia page for comprehensive information.
It is always the obligation of your inviting party (university, language school, business organization) to arrange your visa registration, because if they don't do it, you will have to pay fines and may be deported from Russia, and they may lose their education license. So, check beforehand that the place where you're going to study can provide your visa registration without a problem.
It is very easy for universities to get your visa registered: you will just need to bring them your passport with Russian visa and migration cards (that you get at the border) and the university's "foreign department" will submit your documents to OVIR (immigration officials) to register your visa. It will take about 1 week and you will have a registration stamp on your visa.
Normally, the registration can be done for the period of your visa, however, if it is not, it will be relatively easy to prolong it if you're still studying in the university. Just don't forget to submit your documents again when the time comes.