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Russia Immigration Information Work Permit

Employment Authorisation

In general, a foreign employee assigned to work in the Russian Federation should have a degree of appropriate knowledge, specialised skills or managerial/executive-level skills that are not available in Russia's labour market.

'Regularisation' of Immigration Status from Visitor Status to Work Status

A foreign employee may not convert her/his immigration status from a 'Visitor' (travelling on the basis of a tourist or business visa) to 'Work' status while remaining in Russia. The employee can be present in Russia on the basis of travel or business visa while the work permit application is being processed; at that time he/she does not have authorisation to work in Russia. Once the work permit is obtained the employee (the inviting company) should apply for obtaining the invitation for the work visa on its basis in the Russian Consulate abroad.

Types of Work Visas

There are two types of work visas:

a) Ordinary Visa – Purpose: Work – this visa is issued to the foreign employee working in the company established in the Russian Federation;

b) Ordinary Visa – Purpose: Representative office employee visa – this visa is issued to the foreign employee working in the representative or branch office of the foreign company in the Russian Federation.

Visas are distinguished as single entry work visa (representative office employee visa) valid up to 3 months and multiple entry work visa (representative office employee visa) valid up to 1 year.

Process & Procedure

In order to sponsor a work permit application, a Russian company sponsor must first be formally registered in Russia. That sponsor must then obtain an employment permit; this process involves an evaluation of the application by three different Russian government agencies: The Local Employment Service, the Moscow Department of Federal Employment Service and the Federal Migration Service.

Obtaining the employment permit is a three-step process. First, the corporate sponsor must obtain approval to employ foreign employees from the Local Employment Service. This step generally requires a processing time of 21 business days. Second, the sponsor must obtain approval to employ foreign employees from the Federal Employment Service (Moscow Department). The approximate processing time for this step is 10-14 business days. Third, the employment permit is obtained from the Federal Migration Service, a process that requires approximately 30 business days. Please note that in some regions of the Russian Federation, obtaining the employment permit requires the additional step of obtaining an opinion from the local Trade Union authorities. This process requires roughly 10-12 business days.





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