Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Russia, as established by immigration laws. Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Russian market. If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.
The process of employing foreign nationals in Russia typically requires the worker to be issued a work visa for entry into Russia, a work permit held by the employee and an employer permit held by the company, and an employment agreement between the employer and worker.
The type of visa required will depend on the purpose of the individual’s entry into Russia and the nature of their work. Foreign citizens from most Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries do not require entry visas, but do require identification documents and other residence entry permits. The issuance of visas is conducted through consulates of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
A work permit is required for any foreign nationals who are not from a CIS country and are not hold residency status in the Russian Federation. The work permit must be acquired by the employer either through applying for an employer permit, or through obtaining an individual work permit for “visa nationals”.
Processing Time: 4 – 6 weeks.
Cost: Dependant on consulate
Work Permit Application
Highly Qualified Specialists (HQSs)
Processing Time: At least 3 months for standard permits
Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hands, coordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.
|Category||Description of Visa|
The business visa is intended for foreign nationals who are entering Russia for business purposes, such as negotiations, conferences and consultations. It does not allow the worker to engage in any work or hold any positions in Russian entities under any employment agreements.
Single and dual-entry visas are valid up to three months, while multiple-entry business visas are valid up to twelve months. The multiple-entry visa requires that foreign nationals may not stay in Russia for longer than 90 days in a 180-day period. Certain countries under immigration treaties with Russia, particularly most of the European Union countries may extend the business visa for up to five years.
Processing Time: 14 days for single/double, 21 days for multiple-entry. May be reduced with an additional fee.
*Based on visa invitations to countries not in an agreement with Russia on simplifying visa regulations, e.g. U.K, Ireland, Canada and non-European countries. Invitations will be processed by FMS.
|Work Visa (Employer Sponsored)||
A work visa is intended for foreign individuals planning to work in Russia under an employment agreement. The work visa allows a foreign national to occupy a position in a Russian company or a representative office/branch of foreign company as outlined in the work permit. It allows the employee to act on behalf of the company.
The work visa is first issued as an invitation to work with the company. The work visa is delivered by a Russian consulate in the employee’s country as a single-entry visa for three months only, and may be extended to a multiple-entry work visa upon arrival in Russia.
The work visa is valid based on the validity period of the foreign national’s work permit, and must not exceed one year.
The work visa may be renewed after expiry given that the employment agreement remains in place, where a new multiple-entry work visa can be obtained provided that a new individual work permit is also issued.
Processing Time: 8 days for visa processing. Can be reduced with an additional fee. On average, it takes 80 days for the entire process.
*Based on visa processing fees and times for the Russian embassy in the U.S.
|Intra-Company Transfer Visa||
Intra-company transfer visas, also known as “Inosotrudniki” visas are a variant of the work visa issued for expatriate employees of foreign companies operating in Russia through its representative offices or branches.
The process and requirements are similar in nature to the work visa, however is easier to obtain as it separates the visa application from the work permit if the employee is being transferred within the organization.
|Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) Visa||
The HQS visa is a form of work visa intended for employees who have specialist skills and are prioritized for visa clearance. The process is much faster than obtaining a regular work visa, as the employer is not required to obtain a work permit quota, and the employee is not required to produce a medical certificate or evidence of Russian proficiency.
The HQS visa is may be issued for up to three years, and can be extended for another 3 years prior to the expiry of the HQS visa.
The prerequisite of an HQS visa is that the employee must earn no less than RUB2 million and is considered highly skilled in their profession or service. The foreign national is allowed to obtain a residence permit for his/her family, which no other visa permits.
Processing Time: On average, 16 days for the entire approval process.
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