Visa Support

To enter Russia for any purpose, most non-Russian citizens must be holders of a valid passport and valid Russian entry visa issued by a local Russian Embassy or Consulate. A Russian Federation visa is a document that permits entry and exit within the dates fixed therein. It is impossible to obtain an entry visa upon arrival, so travellers must apply for their visas well in advance. Please note that the applicant’s passport should be valid for at least 18 months after the beginning of the planned study period! Otherwise such applicant will not obtain a Russian study visa. Please remember that you should plan to exit Russia before your visa expires.

Registration of foreign nationals coming to St Petersburg University is under the charge of the Passport and Visa Support Department which has a branch at both of the SPbU campuses:

  • Universiteskaya Emb., 7-9B (rector’s Wing), 1st floor, office 109-110
    +7 (812) 363 64 03

  • 66 Botanicheskaya ul., Stary Peterhof, Dormitory No 10, Room 103, tel.: +7 (812) 428 4758.

In order to come in person for taking admission tests at SPbU, international applicants need to have a Russian visa to cross the border and to stay here legally.

To get a Russian visa you need to complete the following steps:

  • Fill in an application form for a visa invitation
  • Get your Russian visa at the Russian Embassy of your country.
  • Pick up the original invitation, either in person or by sending your authorised representative to the SPbU International Admissions Office
  • Submit the completed application form for a visa invitation, a copy of your identity document and your previous Russian visa (if any) with a request to issue a visa invitation. You can do it in person or by email. It takes 40 days to arrange a letter of invitation

For applicants having successfully passed the competition for Russian government-funded scholarships the invitation is provided by the Russian Ministry of Education.

Upon arrival: Very Important

Upon arrival at the Russian border, all foreign nationals must fill out a migration card. It is a small sheet of paper perforated in the centre. Upon completion of this form, one part thereof is taken by the passport control officer while the student keeps the other part for registration and exit procedures. The migration card must be stamped by the border passport control officer. This stamp indicates the date of arrival and is required for registration with the University. These cards are available onboard international flights and at airports at the passport control.

Procedures for migration registration of foreign citizens

Procedures for issuing or extending a multiple visa for foreign citizens having entered the Russian Federation in the visa regime

Procedures for extending the period of stay for foreign citizens having entered the Russian Federation in the non-visa regime


After staying in a hotel or any other organisation that provides hotel services (a hostel, a health resort, a holiday centre, a holiday facility, a campsite, a tourist camp, a health camp), as well as during admission to hospital

Primary regardless of the length of stay in the above organisations

– foreign citizens staying at the SPbU Halls of Residence shall contact the Passport and Visa Support Department to re-register their residence at St Petersburg University within 1 working day.

– foreign citizens residing at private addresses shall contact their “receiving party” to re-register their residence at their residential address.

NB!!! A foreign citizen shall submit a copy of the notification of migration re-registration to employees of the Passport and Visa Support Department of St Petersburg University.

We notify you that migration registration is legal only if it is applied for at the address of your actual residence and received by the owner of the private premises through authorised organisations: the Multifunctional Centre (MFC), the Administration for Migration Issues of the General Administration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Russian Post. Obtaining documents confirming your migration registration from third parties without being provided with a place of residence may lead to negative consequences for foreign citizens, up to and including expulsion from St Petersburg University and deportation from the Russian Federation.

St Petersburg  University endeavors to preserve the integrity of families of its international students. SPbU has a right to lodge applications for visa invitations to be issued to family members of international students and for subsequent visa extensions. Please, see SPbU Order made to that effect.