How to apply for a work visa to Russia
To work in Russia, you will need to apply for a work visa. This allows you to legally work, earn a salary, and live within the borders of Russia within a specified timeframe. It's a lengthy route to take but is perfect if you're looking for a more permanent option.
Here are a few steps you'll need to take when completing the visa application:
Stage 1 - Research and Preparation
– Find a legitimate agency/employer
– Send them all necessary documents
It takes about a month to issue an invitation. Electronic invitations will be sent directly to the Russian Consulate where you'll apply for a visa.
Stage 2 - Visa application
– Receive an invitation to Russia
– Apply for a work visa in the Russian embassy
– Get a Russian visa
– Arrive to Russia, get a residence registration (for 3 months)
The visa application usually takes 2-3 weeks.
Stage 3 - Visa renewal
– Apply for the visa renewal (to get one year of stay)
– Apply for a residence registration (for one year)
You'll need to apply for a renewal 20 business days before your visa expires. Don't forget that business days don't include weekends and public holidays. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you find yourself applying for a renewal before the Christmas holidays (Jan 1-10) and spring break (May 1-10).
The procedure starts the following business day once all required documents are received.
Timeline & Price
If you've collected all the necessary documents, this is how long you can expect the process to take.
– Issuing the invitation to Russia — 30 days
– Application for the work visa (for 3 months visa, single entry) — 10-20 days
– Work visa extension/renewal (for multiple-entry visa, when in Russia) — 30 days
The price for the visa application varies and depends on the country and selected fees for visa processing. Usually, you can pay extra for the express processing of your visa applications when applying abroad with a Russian Consulate. (Check the details of the visa application process for your country.)
P.S. As you may have noticed, you will first need to apply for a 3-month single-entry work visa and then renew it while in Russia. The new visa will be a multiple-entry visa for a period of up to one year, depending on the duration of the contract.
You won't be able to avoid applying for a 3-months visa before you get a year of stay, unless you are applying for a high-qualified employee visa that gives you three consecutive years of stay within Russia.