Under recently introduced regulations, all international students staying in Russia for more than 90 days must undergo medical examination, fingerprinting and photographing procedures. The HSE News Service has talked to students who have gone through the procedure and HSE staff members who supported the students during the process. They shared their impressions and useful tips.
According to the federal law that came into force in December 2021, all foreign nationals (including international students) staying in Russia for more than 90 days must undergo medical examination, fingerprinting and photographing procedures. Students must complete these procedures within 90 days from their date of arrival in Russia. Those who pass the procedure receive a plastic card—this is an important document that foreigners must keep for the duration of their stay alongside their passport, migration card and registration slip. For example, police officers can ask to see this card during an ID check.
If you fail to complete the procedures and get the plastic card in time, the period of your stay in Russia may be reduced and you will not be able to continue your studies at HSE University.
International students are asked to complete the following steps:
Determine if you need to undergo new procedures, as there are exemptions. Check here.
Сollect the necessary documents:
Sign up here for an organised visit to Sakharovo migration centre to undergo the procedures. Visiting Sakharovo as part of a group is recognised as a legitimate reason for missing classes. If required, you can request a confirmation certificate from the HSE University Visa and Registration Centre.
Inform HSE University when you have completed all the procedures by sending scanned copies of all the documents received to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Depending on the address where you are registered, there may be other options for medical examination, photographing and fingerprinting. However, these options require at least four visits to different state offices, which may have their own individual requirements for documents and processes depending on their location and supervising body. The HSE Visa and Registration Centre can provide further information and advice on this.
Tatiana Gremiakina, incoming mobility coordinator at HSE University Student International Mobility Office (SIMO), shared her experience of guiding and accompanying students through the procedures.
In March 2022, the HSE SIMO office made arrangements for international exchange students to go through the procedures in groups accompanied by a Russian-speaking staff member. We initially split the process into two parts and organised initial visits for medical examinations to a polyclinic in Moscow, followed by trips to the large migration centre in Sakharovo for fingerprinting and biometric photo submission. Both stages had to include two visits to each location.
My tip: it is actually possible to go through all the procedures at the migration centre in Sakharovo. This way, you can save your time and effort and cut down your number of trips from four (two visits to the polyclinic and then two visits to Sakharovo) to only two visits to Sakharovo.
If you do not speak Russian, it is a good idea to go to the migration centre with a group organised by HSE University. An HSE staff member will guide you through the process inside the migration centre and help you communicate with the centre’s staff.
If you speak intermediate Russian, you can go to the Sakharovo migration centre on your own by bus. The centre is open from Monday to Sunday, except for some public holidays. We have prepared detailed instructions to help you with your visit.
I went for the medical examination to City Polyclinic No. 3, which was recommended by SIMO. Everything was well-structured and fast. This polyclinic is in the centre of Moscow, which also makes it easier.
We did the fingerprinting procedure at Sakharovo migration centre, and everything was well-organised. An HSE staff member was with us at all times, and I am very grateful to them. Everything went fast and smoothly. SIMO arranged transportation for us, which was really helpful.
Initially, I was frustrated at the formal bureaucratic procedures, given that prior to coming here, these laws were not in place and only came into effect after our arrival in Moscow. Nevertheless, things did go smoothly.
Through various briefings by SIMO and the Graduate School of Business International Office (I have to thank Tatiana Gremiakina and Ekaterina Popova), as well as the in-person guidance for many international students through the four visits for health check-ups and fingerprinting by Tatiana and her volunteers, we managed to complete all the formal bureaucratic procedures. Tatiana was always there to ensure that we had everything prepared, and she brought us to the right places and waited with us there. HSE transport was organised to take us to the fingerprinting centre, which is two hours away.
It is a relief to know that the procedure only has to be done once a year.
The procedures were okay. For fingerprint submission, we had to go to the migration centre in Sakharovo, a place at least a 1.5-hour drive HSE’s Pokrovka campus. So, commuting takes about three hours, but we enjoyed the transport organised by the university. The reason for meeting at HSE University is so the university’s specialists can check all the necessary documents before going to the centre.
The fingerprint submission procedure basically takes two full days. It took about 3–3.5 hours of queuing there before I could do the fingerprinting procedure on the first visit. I had to come back a week later to pick up the card confirming I had done it. This time, it went faster—about 1.5 hours.
I would recommend eating before visiting the migration centre or bringing some snacks. Also, it’s better to inform your teachers beforehand that you will be absent from lectures and seminars on those days.
It’s bureaucracy. I would say it’s energy- and time consuming, but not terrible. I try to look at it as an opportunity to see and learn about something new and different. I saw the migration facilities, which was interesting. It’s all a new experience, which is important.