At present, most SRAS programs will require that you obtain a student visa. Here is a brief guide to visa requirements for study in SRAS locations. Note that this information is primarily aimed at citizens of the US, but generally is equally applicable to Canada and the European Union.
A student visa is needed.
If you are on a SRAS study abroad program, we will guide you through this entire process.
Student visa support is issued by Russian educational institutions to those arriving for paid studies, which can range anywhere from a week or two, to multiple years.
- Student visa support is typically issued as a single-entry, 90-day visa, although can be shorter if the study contract is much shorter, and at times can be a double-entry.
- Student visas are extended (beyond the 90 days) in-country based on overall study contract. At this point they automatically convert to multi-entry.
- For this type of visa, your passport must be valid for 18 months beyond the entry date of the visa.
- You must be studying to maintain this visa. While there is a check on this by virtue of the fact that your visa will be extended only with a paid contract, you also need to attend class. If attendance falls too low, you can be expelled and deported.
- If you switch universities, studying, for example, in Moscow one semester, and Irkutsk another, you must leave the country to obtain a new visa. There are only very limited situations in which a visa can be “transferred” to another university.
- An HIV test is required by the consulate to issue a student visa.
- Conducting research, including in archives and libraries, is allowed on a student visa.
- While it is not possible to work on a student visa, with the exception of a very limited range of on-campus jobs and some additional exceptions for full degree students, it is possible to intern as part of your academic program.
To read more about all types of Russian visas, the Visa Process, Visa Registration requirements, and issues that can come up if you were born in Russia/USSR, visit our Russian Visas 101 page.
If you are a Russian dual-citizen, or believe you may be a Russian dual-citizen, please see our page on Dual Citizens, Adoptees, and Heritage Speakers – Visa and Safety Issues for more information and to review your options.
Ukraine. If you will be in country 90 days or less, you do not need a visa. If your stay will exceed 90 days you do need a student visa. At present this is an overly complicated and expensive process and as such SRAS programs do not exceed 90 days in Ukraine.
If you will be in country 60 days or less, you do not need a visa. If your stay will exceed 60 days, you do need a visa and you can receive this upon arrival at Manas Airport. You should be prepared with a support letter from your host organization and payment (currently $70 for US citizens). Some nationals may need to apply to the Kyrgyz consulate in their country of residence for the visa.
If you are on a SRAS study abroad program, we will guide you through this process.
For stays of up to 90 days a visa is not needed. For stays exceeding 90 days a visa is required. This visa must be obtained in advance of arrival.
An in-person interview is required for Polish visas. Polish consulates abide by jurisdiction, which means that if you are a resident of New York but study in California, you still need to travel to the consulate in New York.
See the Polish Embassy website for consulate and visa requirements.
The host institution for our programs, Collegium Civitas (Warsaw) will issue the visa support letter you will need for this process.
Note that it is not possible to apply for the Polish visa outside of your home country. If you are in a situation where you cannot logistically process the Polish visa (for example, because you are studying abroad elsewhere), there is an option to apply for residency after arrival. This should be discussed in advance.
The following are countries in which SRAS either has short programs (under 30 days) or included program travel.
- Armenia. No visa is needed for stays of up to 180 days per year. Read more.
- Cuba. A visa is necessary for US citizens and can be ordered online through several services. If you are on a SRAS program that includes Cuba, we will guide you through this process.
- Georgia. No visa is needed for visits up to one year for many citizenships. Read more.
- Kazakhstan. No visa is needed for stays up to 30 days. Read more.
- Tajikistan. A visa is required for all visits. Read more. If you are on a SRAS program based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan that includes travel to Tajikistan, your visa will be processed in Bishkek.
- Turkmenistan. A visa is required for all visits. Read more. If you are on a SRAS program based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan that includes travel to Turkmenistan, your visa will be processed in Bishkek.
- Uzbekistan. A visa is required for all visits. Read more. If you are on a SRAS program based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan that includes travel to Uzbekistan, your visa will be processed in Bishkek.