I am an American student who is planning to study in Russia, and my situation is a little complicated: I have been accepted to study the Russian language in Petersburg from June 20 to August 15 this summer, and I am waiting on the results for my application for an archival research grant in Russia from September to May afterwards--but I wont know if this application would be successful until April. If I receive the grant, I would like to travel to Russia for June 2016 to May 2017 (June to August-- language, September to May--research). But, if I don't receive the grant, then I would like to only go from June to August. And so I am trying to decide what I should apply for, in order for these options to work.
I was thinking that I should apply for a 12-month single or double entry visa (this will be my first trip to Russia, so I can't apply for a multi-entry visa, right?). But, I couldn't find that option on this site: http://waytorussia.net/Services/VisaSupport/Business.html?Submit=Get+It+Online+Now
If I can't apply for the 12 month, would it be possible to renew the visa or apply for two visas (the 3 month single-entry visa followed by a 12 month multi-entry?).
Essentially, this trip is actually two trips: language study (June to August), and research (September to May). The former is assured, and the latter is still up in the air.
Regarding invitations, are they to be provided by the institutions that I will affiliated with, or by the places where I will be living (landlord or hotel)?
If the institutions, should the language institute (for the first part of the trip (May to August) provide the invitation? The latter (research) will be at GIII (State Institute of Art History at St. Petersburg); should they provide the invitation?
Should I receive the research grant, I would like to do research in both Petersburg and in Moscow. Do I need separate invitations and do I need to register for both cities?
Sorry for the long and complicated message!
Thank you so much for your help!
EDIT: Since the chances of receiving the research grant are pretty slim would the following work:
Feb/Mar: Apply for VISA to study language and to do a little research from May to August (3 month business visa).
April: I will receive news of the research grant. If I receive it: apply for a 12 month business visa to do research in Petersburg and Moscow from September to May. If I don't receive the grant: I won't apply for the second visa.
I think that this is a better plan than what I mentioned above, do you think that this could work?