Work visas for Russia


Foreigners who have successfully applied for a job in Russia have to get a work visa to be able to work there. The work visa which is issued by Russian authorities authorises single to multiple-entries into the country and has different validity periods. Qualified and specialised workers visas generally have a one year validity. However, highly qualified professional are eligible to an extension to up to 3 years. Note that there is no minimum duration.

 Good to know:

The work visa will only be issued when the professional has obtained a Russian work permit.

Work permit

To be eligible for a work permit, you must first have received an invitation from the Russian company which has offered you a job. This document will be delivered by the Russian Immigration Service.

You should also request a work permit from the Federal Migration Service. Procedures can take up to a month. Your employer may also fill in required formalities on your behalf.

The work permit request should contain the following documents:

  • a duly filled and signed work permit application form;
  • a 30 x 40 mm color identification photo;
  • copies of the foreign worker's diplomas and training certificates or a certificate of equivalence to Russian diplomas;
  • the foreign worker's tax registration receipt (which is required to be allowed to work in Russia); and
  • the original or a copy of the foreign worker's identity card.

Note that documents which have been issued in foreign languages have to be accompanied by a notarised Russian translation. You may have to wait for up to 90 days before receiving your work permit.

 Good to know:

The work permit will be issued by the Russian government in accordance with the work permits quotas which are set every year.

Work visa

Once you have obtained your invitation to work and your work permit, you may apply for the work visa at the nearest Russian Embassy or Consulate to your place of residence in your home country. Documents to be produced are the following:

  • an invitation to visit Russia, established by the Russian Federal Migration Service;
  • a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for the visa stamps (it should be valid for at least 6 months following the visa expiry date);
  • a duly filled-in and signed visa application form which is available at;
  • a 3.5 x 4.5 cm color photograph of on a light background, showing a clear image of your face, without glasses or tinted glasses and without headgear (excluding national or religious affiliated foreigners who can be photographed with a head covering in their passport);
  • a medical insurance covering the whole duration of your stay in Russia; and
  • an AIDS screening certificate if you wish to stay for more than 3 months.

A single entry visa will then be issued for a maximum of 90 days validity. You can still convert it into a multiple-entry visa. Proceedings from the moment you get a job offer and the moment you are handed a work visa can take up to two months.

 Useful link:

Federal Migratory Service of Russia

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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