Work Permits and Visas

Foreign nationals working in Russia should obtain work permit and relevant visa. We can guide you on all aspects on Russian immigration helping you get your personal paperwork to legally work and reside in Russia.

StartUpRussia provides professional advice in the field of migration and labor, legislation covering all aspects of employment of foreign citizens in Russia.

Our services:

  • Consulting services with regard to the requirements of the Russian federal and territorial migration authorities to companies employing foreign nationals
  • Assistance in obtaining of an HQS and standard work permits for foreign nationals
  • Consulting and other necessary assistance in the course of processing the documents necessary for obtaining work and business types of visas for the Client’s foreign employees
  • Obtaining work permits for foreign employees in the Russian regions

Representing of Client’s interests with the migration and labor authorities

Work permits for Russia

In order for a foreign national to work in Russia such foreign national has to have a work permit and work visa. Foreign nationals have to have a sponsoring entity (employer) that would apply for a work permit and work visa on behalf of the foreign national. Citizens of the CIS countries with which Russia has non-visa regime need to apply for a patent not a work permit. Foreign nationals from the Custom Union countries Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kirgizia are not subject to the work-permit, patent or visa requirements.

The following visa nationals are also exempt from the work permit requirements:

  1. Russian temporary and permanent residents
  2. Members of the government program that supports relocation of former citizens living abroad back to Russia
  3. Employees of diplomatic missions and international organizations, and their domestic employees
  4. Journalists accredited in Russia
  5. Students who work during their holidays or spare time at their educational institution
  6. Bands, singers and other performers
  7. Employees of overseas entities entering to do warranty or post-warranty maintenance or installation services in connection with equipment imported into Russia (technical assistance visas)
  8. Foreign nationals entering as instructors, teachers, and lecturers on invitations from Russian academic institutions (except religious institutions)
  9. Refugees and displaced persons (provided they have the required documentation to confirm their status)
  10. Foreign nationals that have obtained asylum status in Russia
  11. Citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kirgizstan

There are currently two types of work permits in Russia:

Standard Work Permit and a Highly Qualified Specialist Work Permit

Standard work permit is issued for 1 year so is the work visa.

There is a an annual quota that employers have to apply for in order to employ foreign nationals for a standard work permit. Some top managerial, engineering and IT positions are quota exempt


  • Higher educational diploma
  • Basic knowledge of Russian language, history and laws
  • Processing time – 3-4 months
  • Must register within 7 days of arrival every trip to Russia

HQS work permit is issued for up to 3 years so is the work visa.


  • Main requirement is a gross monthly salary not less than 167.000 rubles (~$2780)
  • No need to apply for a quota
  • No diploma is required
  • No Russian language test
  • No Medical tests are required
  • It is necessary to have Medical insurance coverage
  • Additional quarterly reporting requirement to confirm that the salary is paid at the required minimum level
  • Processing time – 4-5 weeks.
  • Must register within 90 days of arrival

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