Work Visas


A work visa is required in order to travel to Russia for employment purposes. It entitles the visa holder the right to remain in Russia for the period of visa’s duration. It is issued for up to 3 years. The foreign national can work only for the employer that invited this professional from other country. Letter of Invitation processing fees charged by the agencies vary from RUR 75,000 – 95,000 for a period of one year to RUR 135,000 for a period of three years; processing times may vary from 1.5 months to 2 months. Degree certificates and passports are required to be submitted along with their notarized Russian translations.

Obtaining of a work visa by an employer is a complicated and multiple stage process:
1. The employer obtains a quota for the employment of non-CIS, Georgia, or Turkmenistan nationals;
2. The employer and vacancy details are submitted to the State Employment Service;
3. Obtaining FMS permit to hire foreign nationals;
4. Obtaining a plastic card which is the work permit that allows a foreign national to work in Russia;
5. Applying for an invitation for a potential employee;
6. Completing visa application form. The reason for visit must be to take up salaried or wage earning employment;
7. Obtaining a work visa on the passport.

The foreigners with work visas must register with the local migration service office at the place of their stay. They are required to renew their registration every time they cross the Russian border. Besides, they can apply for the visas for their accompanying family members.

Reasons for a visa denial:

The inviting company’s name was filed incorrectly. Company name in the letter of invitation does not correspond with the company name in the visa application form.
The period of stay in the letter of invitation does not correspond with the period of stay in the visa application form. It is advisable that they be the same, or at least don’t exceed the requested period of stay.
The reason for visit: the visit was stated to be a business one, and “search for employment opportunities” was written in the Purpose of Visit field. Please note, that business visa is not supposed to be used for employment and generating the revenue.
The visa application form was submitted prior to the obtaining a visa directive (telex) by the consulate. Important note: a telex can be sent to the consulate and obtained by it from 10 am to 5 pm. For this reason it is recommended that the visa application form be filled on the day after the day on which the visa directive is sent.
The place of stay in the letter of invitation does not correspond with the place of stay in the visa application form. It is important to fill in Trip Itinerary field correctly and insert the place of stay the same as it is written in the letter of invitation.
Failure at the interview: consulate officials may require the applicant to appear in person for an interview or arrange a phone interview. The interview consists of some general questions about the inviting company, its name and location.
Areas closed for visiting by foreigners are mentioned in the visa application. In such cases, prior authorization is required.
The rule of 90 days has been violated. This occurs often. Previous overstay in Russia with a multi-visa constitutes a compelling reason for the Russian visa denial.