Russian Visas

Visa support letter (invitation)

Virtually all travellers to Russia need an entry visa, which is a document stuck into the applicants passport. The earliest arrival and the latest departure dates are indicated on the visa and must be observed. Students have to apply for the visa at a visa department of a Russian Consulate or Embassy in their home country. The school will provide participants with a necessary letter of invitation.

Tourist visa: For students wishing to study four weeks or less, we will arrange a simple invitation which entitles the student to apply for a tourist visa. The tourist visa is valid for one entry and for maximum 30 days. In order to proceed, we need to have the following information:

  • Last name and first name(s)
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Passport number and expiry date

A tourist visa cannot be prolonged.

Short-term student visa: Students wishing to study more than four weeks need to apply for a student visa. The student visa is valid for one entry and for maximum 90 days. In this case the invitation will be issued by the Russian Ministry of Interior Affairs.

This procedure takes up to four weeks. We need the following documents and information about the student to file the student letter of invitation:

  • Clear passport copy with all relevant personal data (full name and first name, date and place of birth, nationality), passport number, passport issue and expiry dates, issuing authority and place of issue, any prolongation remarks. We need the copy either by fax or scanned and sent by e-mail. Please note that the passport must remain valid for six months beyond the Russian visa expiry date.

  • Exact length of stay (allow for some extra-days).

  • Place of application for the visa (city, country)

  • Permanent home address, phone/fax number

  • Place of work/study; job title, position, exact address of work or study, contact phone/fax

Long-term student visa: For students wishing to study more than 3 months (90 days) we will simply prolong the short-term student visa in Russia (up to 1 year in total). Since this procedure takes at least one month, the student must apply for it nolater than six weeks before the expiry date of his/her current visa.

After the prolongation, the student is given a new visa valid for maximum 9 months, with multiple entries.

Please note that in order to apply for a visa prolongation it is necessary to provide the original of a health insurance policy, indicating explicitly that the student is insured for the whole period of stay, as well as a recent HIV test.

In order to apply for a Student visa all consulates require the original of the invitation letter. We charge extra for sending. Mailing fees depend on destination and urgency.

We are delighted to announce that for the passport holders from Schengen countries a simplified student invitation procedure was implemented last year. For this category of students we are now able to issue invitation letters by ourselves. But please note that this type of visa will be valid for 90 days maximum, allows one entry only and cannot be prolonged. This means that we are now able to accept bookings for stays of up to 3 months at short notice, providing the student accepts courier costs for the invitation letter

Visa application procedure.

The visa-fee depends on the price policy of each consulate and on the applicant's nationality. The following items are needed to file an application for a Russian visa:

  • Completed visa application form (available at any Russian consulate)
  • Visa support letter (invitation), either for a tourist or a student visa 2)
  • One recent passport-sized photo
  • Valid passport
  • Health insurance policy (required by some Russian consulates especially for stays longer than four weeks)
  • HIV test certificate (only for stays longer than three months)

Some consulates will deliver the visa by mail. Students should allow minimum three weeks for the procedure. Last-minute visa is possible, but usually doubles the price. When the visa is issued, it is important to check if all relevant data on the visa are correct!

Please note that the visa support letter for student visas must be supplied as original (no fax, no scan) to Russian consulates in the following countries: France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, UK and sometimes USA.

Russian Consulates

Following websites will help locate the nearest Russian consulate:<.p>

Some embassies and consulates maintain their own website:

Visa registration

The school must register all students within three week days after arrival at the local office of the Ministry of the Interior. Registration of a visa normally takes two working days. We always hand out passport and visa copies during the registration process. Students can use these copies as valid documents while changing money, traveller's cheques (at some places), etc. Visa registration costs are included in the enrollment fee.

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