Which industries employ expats in Russia?
Expats are mostly employed in the Manufacturing, IT, Energy sectors and Consulting, but can be found in other sectors as well.
What kind of employment visas does Russia offer?
You can find a step-by-step outline of the immigration process HERE.
How can I get an employment visa in Russia?
Visas are issued at Russian embassies or consulates abroad based on appropriate invitation letters. Companies must apply for invitation letters separately but before applying for a letter, they must apply for required permits which vary depending on visa type.
Can I apply for an employment visa on my own?
Your company must sponsor your work permit and visa application. The only exception is for CIS nationals who may apply for a 3 months work permit on their own but they must find an employer during the 3 months.
Who can I hire to assist me in processing my papers?
You can turn to Move One Relocations for guidance on immigration to Russia.
What are the documents do I need to submit?
Standard documents required for work visa application include passport, photos, application form, health insurance and invitation letter. Depending on the consulate, an HIV test may be necessary to complete. For specific requirements visitors should contact the consulate where application is to be lodged. List of Russian consulates is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
Application for invitation letters and permits consist of corporate and personal documents, which vary depending on the specific process.
How long do I have to wait for my papers to be processed?
Visa application takes about 1 to 14 days, however this is just one step of a long process which may take months to complete. In order to complete the immigration process including obtaining all needed permits, the approximate time may be:
Where can I check the status of my application?
You can follow up with the consulate or embassy to ask about the status of your visa.
What will my proof of employment visa be?
A sticker will be placed into your passport.
What are the government fees I have to pay for while I’m on my work visa?
You will need to pay consular fee for visa processing, the amount should be checked with specific consulate of application and will depend on processing time. Additional governmental fees for work permit application will be covered by your company.
How long is the validity of the employment visa before it expires?
Visas are generally extended for the period of a foreigner's work permit. A work permit is issued for up to one year in case of standard case and for up to three years in case of HQP case.
If my passport expires before my employment visa expires, what should I do?
In most cases visa is not issued beyond passport expiration. Upon visa application, the passport must be valid for at least six months after the end date of issued permits. In case if visa was issued above the passport expiration date – you can apply for a new passport in Russia and once passport is ready, visa should be transferred to a new passport.
When my employment visa expires, how can I re-enter Russia and accept a new job?
If you intend to continue working in Russia, your work permit and visa can be extended. Visa extension can be completed within Russia. If you wish to change employers, a new work visa and relevant permits must be obtained.
Is there a grace period to renew employment visa?
To renew a visa, your company must obtain required permits before the expiration date of current visa. The process of obtaining new work permits has the same processing time as the initial application.
Can I come to Russia on a tourist visa to search and apply for jobs?
Except for HQP, conversion of visitor status into work permit status is not possible without leaving the country.
What happens when an employer asks me to work immediately without an employment visa?
This is illegal and will result in penalties in case of an audit.
How can I transfer my employment visa from one employer to the next?
A new employer must apply for new work permits and once they are ready, the visa can be transferred. For CIS nationals a new employment contact can be signed and after that the existing work permit should be corrected.
Aside from obtaining an employment visa, how can I have residency in Russia?
You may apply for temporary residence permit, though to apply you first need to receive a quota, unless your have any family members who hold Russian citizenship. The process of getting a quota is complicated and time consuming and not a common practice in Russia.
How can my partner / spouse or children who work and live in Russia sponsor my residency?
Dependents may accompany a main traveler by obtaining a dependent visa. The application for the dependent may be submitted simultaneously with that of the main applicant. An invitation letter from a FMS-registered company is necessary. Generally only spouse, and children under 18 qualify for dependent visas, however, highly qualified professionals are also able to bring the following family members as dependents: spouse and children (including adopted), children’s spouses, parents, parents’ spouses, grandparents, grandchildren. Marriage and birth certificates are required for family member applications and may require legalization/apostille.
How can I get a job soon after my family sponsors my residency?
As a dependent you can find a job in Russia, however you will have to obtain a work permit in order to take up the employment and your visa status must be changed to employment. Family members of HQP work permit holders do not need to change their visas.
How can I apply for permanent residency and acquire citizenship when I get my employment visa?
You can apply for permanent residence permit through a quota system, in case you have a Russian spouse. HQP has a simplified process which allow them to receive a residence permit without the above requirement. Such residence permits will be connected to an employer and in case of labor contract termination, the residence permit is annulled.
Will an expat’s child born in Russia acquire citizenship?
If both parents are foreigners, their child born in Russia does not acquire Russian citizenship, except for the situation where the country of parents' citizenship refuses to grant citizenship to the child.
I am Russian currently living overseas with a foreign nationality. What are the requirements for my partner to be able to reside with me in Russia?
Your partner (if you have a registered marriage) can apply for temporary residence permit.
Where can I find more information on work visa, residency and citizenship in Russia?
You can find a comprehensive immigration overview for Russia on the Move One website.
What should I do to have a successful relocation?
You should plan your move well in advance in order to allow enough time for the processing of your permits.
In which countries is Russia exempted from visa when traveling?
Travelers are advised to check with the destination country's local consulate or embassy to confirm visa requirements.
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ExpatCareers.com nor the author guarantee the accuracy of the information on this page. It is recommend that particularly prior to your travels you check with the relevant government authority. Please contact us with any updates you may have. Last updated 24 May 2012.