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Regular version of the site

Entering the Russian Federation and Border Crossings

Procedure of entering the country

1. International students from all countries are allowed to enter Russia regardless of the epidemiological situation in their home countries. 

If you need a study visa to enter the Russian Federation, please submit an online application form for the official invitation to the HSE University in Nizhny Novgorod. Processing time is at least 45 days. Do not buy a ticket to the Russian Federation until the Embassy / Consulate of the Russian Federation assigns you a date for obtaining a visa! In order to avoid misunderstandings, we recommend that you do not buy tickets before receiving a visa.

When planning your trip, it is recommended to purchase tickets for direct flights to Russia from the country of your citizenship or permanent residence.

2. After buying a ticket and no later than days before the date of entry into the Russian Federation, please submit an online arrival form.

3. To cross the border, information about your arrival must be listed by the HSE University on the Public Services Portal of the Russian Federation.

Use the instructions (in Russian only) to check the entry of your information in the lists for crossing the Russian border on the Public Services Portal. If your entry is not available two days before your trip, contact the International Office at internationalnn@hse.ru.

4. Within 2 days (48 hours) before your arrival to Russia, take a PCR test for COVID-19 and send a scan of a negative PCR test for coronavirus to internationalnn@hse.ru. You will need to present the test results when crossing the Russian border.

Please note that international students from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, as well as international students entering Russia from these countries must install the mobile application "Travel without COVID-19" and upload the results of their PCR tests taken within 2 days (48 hours) before entering Russia (this requirement does not apply to international students who are making a connection or a short stopover in these countries). 

5. If you were vaccinated against COVID-19 in your country, or have an official medical exemption from vaccination, please inform the university of your status. Detailed instructions can be found here.

6. When crossing the border of the Russian Federation, indicate the purpose of entry "study"

7. In case of difficulties when crossing the border of the Russian Federation, contact the hotline for international students by phone: +7 (915) 932 08 16.

8. After arriving in the Russian Federation, observe the self-isolation regime at the place of residence and, within 72 hours from entering the Russian Federation, pass a second PCR test  for coronavirus. For the organization of the educational process during the period of self-isolation, contact your Programme Office.

9. The results of the re-test on the day of receipt should be submitted to the administration of the dormitory (if you live in one of the HSE dormitories), as well as sent by e-mail to your Programme Office and to internationalnn@hse.ru.

Re-testing for coronavirus is possible via insurance or at any private clinic. Both the insurance and the test in a private clinic are paid for by students at their own expense.

Border Control

All foreign citizens must go through border control procedures upon their arrival to the Russian Federation. To pass border control, you must have the following documents:

- passport;

- visa (for international students from visa required countries);

- migration card (issued for free at the border crossing).

If you enter Russia by transit through the Republic of Belarus, please use the following guidelines.

Migration Card

A migration card is issued to all foreign citizens (except for citizens of Belarus) upon entry to the Russian Federation and it confirms one’s legal stay in the country.

If foreign citizens arrive by air, the migration card shall be issued at the airport, at the border entry point.

If a foreign citizen arrives by train or car, he/she shall fill out the migration card themselves. He/she must specify passport details, dates and purpose of stay in Russia and other required information. If a foreign citizen does not speak Russian, the migration card may be filled out in the Latin alphabet as per his/her passport details. The completed form shall be presented along with other documents at the border control checkpoint.

IMPORTANT:  It is important to pay attention to the correctness of the information, including the purpose of your visit (it must be indicated as ‘education’)!  Please carefully check your migration card’s details before you leave the border entry point.

How to fill in and read a migration card


In addition to border control procedures, all passengers disembarking from international flights must go through customs control. If a passenger is carrying an item that is subject to declaration, he/she needs to fill in a customs declaration form upon entering the Russian Federation. It is important to note that some goods are prohibited for transportation across the border of the Russian Federation. Such items may be seized at customs.

Please note that some types of medication and drugs may only be brought in if a traveler can present a respective prescription. The prescription must indicate that the drug is intended for personal use. Furthermore, the prescription should contain information about one’s health condition (syndrome), for which the prescription was issued, as well as information on the dosage and quantity of the drug. If the prescription is in a foreign language, it should be accompanied by a notarized Russian translation. For more information about importing drugs or medications, please contact the Federal Customs Service prior to your trip to Russia (telephone: +7 (499) 449-77-71; e-mail:fts@ca.customs.ru).

You can find further detailed information about the procedures for moving goods across the customs border here.


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