Russian Migration Law
To reside legally in Russia, international students need to:
- Fill out a Migration Card
- Register with the Migration Service
The Migration Card needs to be filled out by all foreign citizens, whether or not they arrive in Russia with a visa. Free forms are distributed on planes, trains, and before passport control at the airport (or railway station).
How do I fill out a Migration Card?
A Migration Card should be filled out in Russian (or in Latin script if you don't know Russian) legibly, without erasures or corrections.
After that you hand the card over to the border control officer. You'll be given a detachable part of the form which will serve as your Migration Card. Keep it until you leave the Russian Federation.
How long is a Migration Card valid?
A Migration Card is valid for the duration of your stay in Russia. If you leave the country, hand it over at border control and fill out a new form when you return.
The document package includes: your passport (or identity document), visa (if you need a visa to enter Russia), and a Migration Card. Originals and copies of these documents are required.
Your university will then give you a detachable part of the arrival document with the stamp of the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia. This is your document of registration with the Migration Service. It gives you the right to remain in the country for the indicated period (first for 3 months, then for 1 year). The document should then be extended at the regional body of the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia.
How do I extend an arrival document?
Two weeks prior to the expiry of your arrival document, contact the university’s international office to extend it.
No fee is charged for registering with the Migration Service and extending the term of the arrival document.
Loss of and damage to migration documents
If your Migration Card is lost or damaged, you have to apply to the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia where you registered, within 3 days. Upon submission of documents (a passport, a visa, a student identity card, a detachable part of the arrival document etc.) you'll be issued a free duplicate.
If you have lost your part of the arrival document, you have to apply to the General Administration for Migration Issues of the Interior Ministry of Russia where you registered and write a declaration. Once the information has been verified, you'll be given a duplicate of this document (usually within 3 days) free of charge.
The international office can help you get lost documents reissued. The most important thing is to get this done within the statutory period – 3 days.
What happens if I breach migration regulations?