Russia has a prosperous economy, and because of that, many people would like to take advantage of every job opportunity in Russia. But, in addition, working in Russia has further benefits, which we will mention as we go on.
This webpage concentrates on Russia work visa application process, validity, eligibility criteria, required documents, etc.
Get the FREE Cheat sheet for
Russia work visa
Russia work visa eligibility
If you are considered a foreigner who wants to work in Russia, you will need a work permit. You can only apply for a Russia work permit and visa if you have obtained a job offer from a Russian employer.
Government quotas each year determine the number of available employment permits to foreigners, depending on the global economy and Russian government policies. In addition, there are specific quotas for Russian regions, occupational sections, and foreign nationals among the general quotas. The total quota in 2017 was 177,043, which was 17% lower than the 2016 quota.
Foreign nationals must get a visa to cross into Russia, require a work visa and work permit to be authorized to work in Russia.
Russia work visa exemption
The following groups do not need to apply for a work visa:
- Nationals from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) do not need a Russia visa, a work permit, or a guaranteed job opportunity by a Russian employer:
- Foreigners living in Russia who have obtained a permanent residence permit in Russia
- Foreigners temporarily working in companies abroad can apply for a business visa, allowed to stay in Russia for up to one year for business purposes.
- Employees of diplomatic missions or consulates of foreign countries in Russia, or any private domestic employees
- Foreign employees who install, repair, or service installed equipment
- Accredited journalists in Russia
- Students who hold a valid study visa and work during holiday time or where they are studying.
- Those who are invited to Russia to occupy teaching positions in educational institutions
The people who work in high-skilled jobs can apply for a special Russia work permit, which grants them particular concessions. The work permit issued to the employer will specify how many foreign employees, what nationalities, and what positions can be hired. Therefore, to find a job in Russia, you must find an employer with an ideal permit. If they have no permit for bringing you in, the employer must apply to the GUVM.
Types of Russia work permits
Once you find a job with an employer with the required permit, the employer will apply to GUVM for your work permit. The following types of Russia work permits can be used:
Standard Russia work permit
This is a general Russia work permit for employees in non-CIS countries. It is valid for the duration of the employment contract. If the work lasts more than one year, you must renew your work visa every year if you are doing it takes more than a year. You also need to obtain a temporary residence permit. This is different from Russia’s open work permits that are not specific to jobs.
Russia Work Permit for Highly Qualified Professionals
This is considered a special Russia work permit for skilled professions with an annual salary of more than R1 million (lowered from R2 million in 2015).
The advantage of this permit is that it is generally processed within 14 days, is valid for three years. It also entitles family members, including spouses, children, and parents, to obtain Russian visas.
Work Patent for CIS Nationals
Suppose you are considered a citizen of a CIS country. In that case, you do not need a visa to enter Russia, and you do not need a Russian job or work permit for work-related purposes.
However, you must apply for a work patent at the local GUVM office in your region within 30 days of your arrival in Russia. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to R15,000.
Then you will have 60 days to find a job. The work patent is valid for up to 12 months and can be renewed only once. It means that you can work out of government quotas, and your employer does not require a work permit.
To acquire a work patent, you must pass an exam certifying knowledge of the Russian language, legislation, and history of the Russian Federation.
Russia work visa application process
Your employer will handle the process of a Russian work permit by applying to the GUVM. The documents you must present include:
- Colored passport photo
- Valid passport or ID card
- Copy of mandatory qualification certificates
- Medical certificate confirming no illness
- Payment of fees receipt
Once you get permission, you will receive GUVM’s Russia work visa invitation letter. You must complete this procedure at the Russian embassy or consulate in your home country.
Russia work visa requirements
You need to provide the following documents and a complete application form for a work visa:
- One Passport photo
- GUVM invitation letter
- Employer’s letter, including job details, working location, and contract dates
- Medical certificate which verifies that you have no illness
Employees in certain countries/regions may need to provide additional documents.
Some countries need applicants to go to the Russian embassy or consulate for biometric scanning procedures in person. Therefore, you need to consult the Russian embassy or consulate in your country to see if this is the case.
Russia work visa processing time
The Russia work visa processing time almost takes 20 days. However, the total time from obtaining the Russia work permit to receiving the Russia work visa may take 3 to 6 months.
After obtaining a Russian work visa, you can travel to Russia. All foreigners entering Russia must register their arrival at the local GUVM office within seven days.
Your employer usually does this, but it is worth checking to ensure that they did the job for you. Failure to register with GUVM may result in fines, and in some cases, you may be expelled from Russia.
Russia work visa validity
Russia Work Visa is generally valid for 90 days but can be extended to one year and renewed every year. You can renew it through the local GUVM branch in your region.
However, suppose you stay in Russia for more than 90 days. In that case, it is also necessary to apply for a temporary residence permit through GUVM (except for highly qualified professionals who automatically obtain a 3-year residence permit.
Russia work visa costs
Russia work visa fees vary from country to country, regardless of whether the visa is a single entry or multiple entries and whether you choose the standard service or the express service.
There are different Russia visas that you can apply for, for volunteering and training matters. In addition, you can use The Russia humanitarian visa for charity travel or humanitarian assistance and visits for cultural, political, scientific, or sporting purposes.
Russia business visas can be used for official or private business purposes, including participation in training or seminars or unpaid work for private companies. If you are looking for more information in this regard, check out the menu of our website or the left sidebar.