Procedures for getting a work permit in Russia

Foreign citizens must obtain a Russian work permit to legally work in Russia.

Work visa is the most complex and expensive visa type necessary for foreign nationals permanently working in Russia.
There are 2 types of work visas:
♦ Single-entry visa valid for 90 days – is issued by the Russian Consulate on the basis of Work Visa Invitation (which is issued on the basis of work permit)
♦ Multiple-entry visa – is reissued on the basis of a single-entry visa at the local office of the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) for the period of validity of work permit (no more than 1 year).

Starting from 2010, there is a new type of Work visa – For Highly Qualified Specialists – which has several advantages (e.g., is valid for 3 years), but the salary of such a specialist in Russia should amount to more than two million rubles per year.

To get a work visa, your inviting Company-Employer is required to obtain several documents: Medical Certificate (issued on the basis of analyses of a foreign national), Quotas at the administration of civil service of the employment of population (UGSZN), Permit to hire foreign workers, Invitation for work visa and visa itself which can be got at the Consulate or in the local FMS office.

Work visa processing time and cost depend on several factors:
♦ your profession and type of intended work in Russia
♦ your citizenship
♦ visa and Visa Invitation's urgency
♦ prices and quality of your visa assistant's services

As a rule, work visa can be issued in 80-100 days with an average cost 40000 RUR ($ 1250, 1000 €).

To extend a work visa or get a new multiple-entry work visa, it is not required to leave the country, it can be issued at a local FMS office upon presentation of a Work permit valid for a new term.

Consultational centre "CONSUL" will help your Company-Employer to get a Work Visa Invitation for you with the following extension of work visa and re-issuance of a single-entry visa into a multiple-entry visa.

♦ Working as a private entrepreneur in Russia
Another option is to register as a private entrepreneur.
Eventually you’ll be able to apply for permanent residency, which will allow you to have the same rights as Russian citizens.

Proceed with caution, as although it’s been done, creating a business can be difficult without knowing the language or the country well.
In this case you will probably need the services of law firms with English (French, German, etc.) speaking attorneys.
The whole procedure for setting up a business can take about 2-3 months.

♦ Employees that don’t need a work permit
Some employees (lucky!) do not need work permits.
These include journalists, university lecturers, students working in their spare time and employees of foreign companies who are brought to Russia.

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.

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