Work Permits in Russia

An overview of who needs a permit to work in Russia, and the process involved in applying for one…

All foreign nationals wanting to work in Russia need a work permit (Razreshenie na rabotu / Разрешение на работу) and without it, foreigners living in Russia have no right to engage in any work or business activities in the country. Permits are issued by the Federal Migration Service (Federalnaya Migracionnaya Sluzba - FMS / Федеральная миграционная служба). Once this is issued, an application may then be made by an employee for a work visa, which is required for most foreign nationals to enter and live in Russia.

Exceptions to this are:

  • Foreign nationals permanently residing in Russia – holders of a permanent residence permit do not need a work permit to work
  • Temporary workers in Russia – for those working in Russia on a temporary basis for a foreign company, or travelling frequently out of the country, a Business Visa enables foreigners to work in the country for up to 90 days, or a total of 90 days out of either six or twelve months. For more information on these visas and how to apply: Click here
  • Employees of diplomatic missions, international organisations and consular institutions of foreign countries in Russia, as well as private household workers for people in the above categories
  • Employees of foreign legal entities carrying out installation, servicing, warranty servicing and post-warranty repairs of installed equipment
  • Journalists accredited in Russia
  • Students in institutions of vocational education working outside hours of study
  • Staff in training for teaching and support positions who perform work (during holidays) in the educational institutions where training is being undertaken
  • Those invited to the Russian Federation for teaching positions in educational institutions, with the exception of professional religious education