You will need a visa to enter Russia. Before you can apply for a visa, you will need an official invitation from the Federal Migration
Service of the Russian Ministry of the Interior. RLUS expects to receive the invitation between 3 and 8 weeks before departure.
RLUS cannot be any more exact than that, as Russian bureaucracy is notoriously unpredictable!
Your visa invitation will allow
you to apply for a single entry visa for 90 days. On arrival in Russia, if your course is longer than 90 days, the university or institute
in Russia will extend your visa. In recent years they have also been able to convert your visa to a multi-entry one. This will allow
you to leave Russia during the reading weeks. There will be a small charge for this. RLUS strongly advises all students to convert
their visa to a multi-entry one, even if you have no plans to leave Russia during your course. Each year one or two students need
to return home in an emergency, e.g serious illness or death of a close relative. If you only have a single entry visa, you may not
be able to return to Russia to complete your course.
Please note that Russian bureaucracy is unpredictable and there is
no absolute guarantee that you will have your multi-entry visa in time to travel during the reading weeks. You are therefore
advised not to make any travel plans, until you have your multi-entry visa.
There are now two types of visa invitation: paper
and electronic. If we are provided with a paper invitation RLUS will send it (sample on the left) to the address you gave RLUS
on your booking form. If it is being sent to an address in the UK, it will be sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery. If you want it
sent outside the UK, it will be sent by UPS courier, as sending it by the most secure postal service Royal Mail can provide has proved
unreliable. You will be expected to pay the cost (currently £45). If we are provided with an electronic visa invitation, it will be
e-mailed to you. Please note that if we are sent an electronic invitation, you should apply to the visa agency that you put on your
booking form, as you are unlikely to get your visa at a different agency.
Most students will apply for their visa in the UK.
You need to apply through the VFS Global website, and not directly through the Russian Consulate. There is a link on the left to their
website. You will need an HIV test. There is a link on the left to NHS test centres.
You can find out how to apply for
a visa in the UK by dowloading the file on the left. If you are a national of another country, or are studying ouside the UK,
you may also apply in that country. However, please note that the rules for obtaining a visa are different in different countries. You
will need to contact the Consulate concerned to find out how to apply. You can find the addresses of Russian Consulates worldwide
by clicking on the link on the left. Even if you apply in the UK, the documents required by non-UK nationals are likely to be
different. There are full details on the VFS Global website.