Russian work visa

How to get a work permit in Moscow

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Foreign citizens must obtain a Russian work permit to legally work in Russia. Here's a guide to organising a Russian work visa.

Employeesin Moscow
If you want to work in Russia, you will need to be registered and get a work permit issued by the Federal Migration Service (FMS). The work permit is an official document in the form of a plastic card which can be obtained by applying to the FMS. The application takes about 10 days to be processed. If the permit is given, you can legally be employed in Russia by a company, or you can become self-employed. The cost of a work permit is RUB 1000 (around EUR 25).

Foreign citizens living in Moscow who have a temporary or full residence permit do not need to get a separate work permit. There are also some other special categories of people who do not need a work permit. You do not need one if you:

  • study or work in Russia during holidays,
  • are acknowledged as a reporter or teacher in Russia,
  • have been invited to work at an educational institute,
  • certain other special categories.

People who have a profession requiring obligatory licenses or qualifications, such as general practitioners and lawyers, should submit a copy of their notarised diploma. The diploma also needs to be translated into Russian.

A work permit can only be used for the profession for which the permit was given. Also, you can only work in the regions mentioned in the permit. If you would like to work in several regions simultaneously, it should be mentioned in the initial application.

Once the work permit is issued, you should find gainful employed within 90 days, otherwise you will be expected to leave Russia. If you are working, but you have to leave Russia temporarily, you do not have to apply for another permit: the work permit will stay valid for the period of time for which it was issued.  

You should never trust non-governmental agents or suspicious companies with your work permit application. It might be possible to get your documents from somewhere other than the Federal Migration Service (FMS), but you should be careful and check their authenticity, otherwise you risk both losing your money and being expelled from Russia. Therefore, the safest solution is simply to apply via the FMS.

Employers in Moscow
Employers require a permit to be able to hire foreign workers, and the company needs to be registered at the Department of the Federal Migration Service. Without a permit, the company risks being caught and faces heavy fines. The cost of a permit for hiring foreign workforce is RUB 3000 (around EUR 74).

Employers are also in charge of providing the employees with a set of documents which needs to be returned to the Migration Service within 90 days. This procedure completes the employment process. The documents include a health certificate stating that the applicant is not infected with HIV, does not have a drug addiction or any contagious diseases. Once a company has taken on a foreign worker with a legal permit, the company has to notify the Employment Service and the Tax Service within 10 days.

In 2010, a foreign labour quota of 200,000 workers was allocated for Moscow. / Expatica
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6 Comments To This Article

  • rammurthy posted:

    on 17th October 2016, 04:41:38 - Reply

    Hello @ram can you please reply me at my gmail id : or fb Ram Murthy
  • Ram posted:

    on 4th October 2016, 09:21:57 - Reply

    Dear Sir/madam
    I am in Russia.I have student visa but I want to convert into work permit.I have completed my Russian Language course. So I want to know is it possible to convert into work permit or not and what are the procedures for that.

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Rasha posted:

    on 25th July 2016, 13:58:41 - Reply

    Is this info updated
  • fazliwahid posted:

    on 20th January 2016, 11:40:53 - Reply

    Dear Sir/Madam
    I saw the valuable first page of your esteem paper which caught my attention to write you an email regarding work permit.Please inform me on this process please.As i am here is serving as S.O in human organization.
    Bye for now.Regards
    Fazli wahid S.O KPK Pakistan

    [Moderator's note: You can also post questions on our Ask the Expert free service.]

  • Dan posted:

    on 12th November 2012, 10:45:16 - Reply

    This articles is not accurate in the information it gives.
  • dr.saiq jee posted:

    on 21st October 2012, 16:45:55 - Reply

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