Russian Requirements for Foreign Education Documents
Legalisation — is the procedure of affixing a special stamp on the document in the country of issue, after which it can be presented where requested abroad.
When enrolling at a Russian university, international applicants must submit an original education document. According to Russian law, it must be legalised in the country of issue.
When legalisation of diplomas is not required
No legalisation of education documents is required if the country of issue and the Russian Federation have executed a treaty on no legalisation. As of 2018, these countries include
Albania, Hungary, Algeria, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Cuba, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Spain, India, Iraq, Romania, Iran, Italy, Yemen, Belarus, Slovenia, Cyprus, China, Tunisia, North Korea, Latvia, Mongolia, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Finland, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and a number of others.
A complete list is available on the website nic.gov.ru or you can get more information at the Russian embassy in your country.
How to legalise an education document in your home country
General (consular) legalisation
The documents are legalised by Russian consular offices abroad. A stamp and an official seal will be affixed to your document. This legalisation will be valid only within the Russian Federation.
Simplified legalisation (apostille)
If your country has joined the Hague Convention of 1961, you can have an apostille affixed to your document. In this case it will be considered valid in more than 100 participant countries of the Convention, including Russia.
You can find out if your country has joined the Hague Convention on the Convention’s official website.
An Apostille is convenient for those who would like to study or work in various countries abroad.
To affix an apostille, find out what authority (ministry of justice, ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of education, district court, etc.) in your country provides this service and then submit an application. The apostille stamp is affixed to the document or to a sheet attached to it.
You have to legalise your education document in order to apply to Russian universities. Legalisation requirements depend on whether your country signed the Hague Convention or other international treaties.
How to have an education document recognised in Russia
In addition to mandatory legalisation, applicants from many countries need to complete a procedure recognising their documents in Russia.
When recognition of education documents is not required
If your country and Russia have signed a bilateral agreement1 recognizing education documents and your document is subject to this treaty. In this case it is sufficient to submit to the admission board of the higher educational institution an original document and its notarised translation.
If you have graduated from a university, the diploma of which is automatically recognised in the Russian Federation. A list of such educational institutions is approved by the Russian government and updated from time to time. The 2015 list includes the following universities ( «Appendix 1.pdf», 400 Kb).
In all other cases you need to complete a recognition procedure.
Where to have education documents recognised
Preparing your document package
- identity document or a copy (if you have to send it by post, do not send the originals!);
- education document: original and certified copies and a translation (if you have to send it by post, send copies only, not the originals!).
Submit your documents in person at the National Information Centre at 6 Leninsky Prospekt (Avenue), bldg 3, Moscow, or mail them. Another option is to use your personal account at the National Information Centre website (in Russian or English).
Applicants can track the progress of their application on the Centre’s website using their receipt number or in the members area (depending on submission method). As soon as the "awaiting payment" status appears, you can pay the fee.
Delivery of recognition certificates
Applications are reviewed within 45 days. You can collect the recognition certificate in person or receive it by mail.
A list of countries with which such agreements have been made is published on the website of the Main State Centre for Education Evaluation.
Russia has signed bilateral agreements with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Finland, China, India, Venezuela, Vietnam, Cuba, Bulgaria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Peru, Mongolia, Romania, Estonia, Albania, Chad, Namibia, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Yemen, Mauritania, Pakistan, Guinea-Bissau, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Zambia, Rwanda and others.
Find information about a specific country from a Rossotrudnichestvo office or Russian embassy in your country.