Short-term study in Russia is often conducted on tourist or business visas. Your school will let you know if you should apply for one of these visas. See: You have a job and need to relocate.
To study in Russia long-term, you need a student visa. The student visa can be valid for up 1 year, and can be single-, double-, or multiple-entry. To get a visa you must submit to the Russian Consulate in your home country:
- a visa application form
- your original passport, valid at least 6 months beyond the end of the planned trip
- 1 recent passport photo
- a medical certificate proving you are HIV-negative (less than 30 days old)
- either an original invitation letter issued by an authorized organization, or the telex number for an invitation telexed to the Consulate directly by the authorized organization. See Types of Visas for more information on invitations.
- a letter of introduction provided by the institution at which you are studying
The student visa takes 14-21 business days and costs around $80 depending on the country of application. To change this visa, for example if you get a job, you must leave Russia and re-enter.
Note that your entry date can be no earlier than 5 days after the visa issue date. Dependents can be included on the invitation and visa. They do not have permission to work.