Work permit and Visa for Russia

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You need a work permit and visa for Russia? We would be pleased to support you with our expertise and knowledge.

In order to enter Russia and pursue business interests, there are basically two different types of visas for foreign citizens: business or work visa. In both cases, the basic prerequisite for a successful application is not only the required personal documents, but also an official invitation. The specifications contained therein are decisive in determining the type and duration of the issuing of the visa.

Business visa for Russia:

A business visa authorizes foreign citizens to enter Russia for business purposes. These include participation in conferences, negotiations with business partners or the signing of contracts. It is important to note that a business visa is not sufficient to be able to work in Russia.

A distinction must also be made between the validity period of a business visa. This document is generally valid for 30 days up to 5 years. In all cases, the length of stay within the Russian Federation is limited. This amounts to 90 days per half year. If this time is not sufficient or if you want to work in Russia, a work visa is required.

Working Visa for Russia:

A valid working visa authorizes foreigners to take up employment with a Russian or foreign company in the Russian Federation. It also permits permanent residence in Russia during the entire visa period. The maximum stay limit of 90 days per half-year period, as it is applicable for business visas, is thus eliminated.

There are basically two different ways of obtaining a work visa for Russia, which go hand in hand with applying for and issuing a valid work permit.


Ordinary work Visa:

Applying for a work visa in the usual way involves numerous formalities and a relatively large amount of bureaucracy. In particular, the future employer must provide a number of supporting documents. This includes, among other things, the Federal Migration Service's permission to hire a foreign worker. This is preceded by a permit from the Russian employment office, in which the company must prove that the position to be filled by the foreign citizen cannot be filled by a domestic citizen. These permits are based on a mechanism which is also used in many other countries of the world and serves to protect the domestic labour market. Every year, a certain rate is collected for the various sectors of the Russian economy, which limits the number of work permits issued to foreigners.


Work Visa for Highly Qualified Specialists (HQS):

A work visa for highly qualified specialists imposes various requirements which, if fulfilled by the applicant, make it possible to apply for a simplified visa and issue procedures. According to Russian law,"foreign citizens with work experience, skills and services in certain fields of activity" are considered to be highly qualified. This is measured in particular by the amount of the annual salary. This must be gross at least 16000 rubles per month to be classified as a highly qualified specialist. In addition to a visa validity period of up to three years, benefits include the immediate receipt of the Russian tax residence. In Russia, tax residents are liable to pay income tax at 13%, while non-residents are liable to pay income tax at 30%. Furthermore, highly qualified specialists are not covered by the quota system, which makes it much easier to apply for a visa.

In order to apply for a regular work visa, as well as to apply for a work visa for highly qualified specialists, it is necessary to apply for a Russian work permit in advance.

Work permit for Russia:

A foreign citizen requires a work permit for Russia in addition to a valid visa in order to work in the Russian Federation. As with the application for a work visa, a distinction is also made between general and simplified applications for work permit applications for highly qualified specialists.

Classification as a highly qualified person leads to considerable advantages over the usual application procedure, which are largely identical to those for a work visa.

Our services in the area of work permits and visas for Russia

We would be happy to accompany and advise you in all questions concerning work permits and visas for Russia. Our offer includes:

  • Preparation of an invitation and application for a business visa at the Russian consulate

  • Preparation and submission of documents for the application for a work permit and a corresponding work visa

Do you have any questions regarding the application for a work permit or business or work visa for Russia? Please do not hesitate to contact us. Please feel free to send us an e-mail, give us a call or make an appointment at one of our offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg or Vienna.

Further information on work permits and work or business visas for Russia as well as on numerous other topics in the Russian economy can be found in the section publications or on our Russia Economy blog.

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Business Set-Up, accounting and reporting in Russia

Ausserer & Consultants is an international tax and accounting company based in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vienna. Since our foundation in 2012, we have made it our mission to support small and medium-sized companies in local accounting including tax returns, reporting, business Set-Up and expansion in Russia. We also advise on individual questions regarding the Russian market and support our clients at all times.