Work permits in Russia

To work legally, foreigners have to obtain a work permit and a work visa.

Currently, there are two ways to obtain a work permit:

  1. Standard procedure;
  2. Simplified procedure for highly qualified specialists (HQS).

Benefits of a simplified procedure:

  • Preparation and obtaining of documents within a month;
  • Valid up to 3 years;
  • Tax on personal income – 13%;
  • No need to provide a medical certificate or higher education degree diploma;
  • Possibility to obtain Russian permanent residence permit limited to the period of work permit;
  • No need to pass Russian language exam.

Standard procedure

A work permit can be obtained by submitting the documents to the Russian migration authority. The work permit is valid for 1 year, and the application process takes 3 to 3.5 months.

Simplified procedure for HQS

There is a simplified procedure for issuing work permits to foreign citizens who hold a status of HQS.

HQS is a foreign citizen who has experience, skills or achievements in a particular field.

The main condition for hiring such specialists is the salary: before tax it should be more than RUB 167,000 per month (around EUR 2000). The employers shall also report quarterly that they comply with salary requirement.

What is the procedure of obtaining a work permit for HQS?

To obtain a work permit a foreigner needs to submit a set of documents to the migration authority. The decision to issue a work permit is taken within 14 working days from the date of documents receipt.

What documents should be submitted to obtain a work permit under a simplified procedure for HQS*?

  • Notarized copies of the company-employer’s incorporation documents;
  • Translated and notarized copy of HQS’s passport;
  • Photos;
  • Payment receipt of state fee;
  • Medical insurance policy valid in Russia (copy).

*including, without limitation

Case: work permit


A large German insurance company approached us for the service of obtaining a work permit and work visa for a CEO of its subsidiary in the Russian Federation. At the same time, the place of work of the CEO was considered the company’s office in Moscow, as well as a separate subdivision in the Moscow region.

  • Lawyers consulted the employer and the foreign citizen on collection of documents for the work permit and visa;
  • Prepared and submitted a set of documents on the conclusion of employment contract with a German citizen both in Moscow and in the Moscow region;
  • Agreed the CEO with the relevant Russian ministry in order to submit documents for a work visa to migration authority during pandemic;
  • Submitted documents for the work permit and visa to the migration authorities, and also accompanied the foreign citizen to obtain ready-made permits.

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Leading Lawyers

Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner
Thomas Relja
Dmitry Kofanov
Valentina Khlavich
Managing Partner

Law degree in the Russian Federation

Studied at the University of Passau, Germany

Foreign Languages: English, German

Since 2007 a lawyer in Beiten Burkhardt lawfirm

Since 2012 founder and managing partner at VALEN

Our specialists
Thomas Relja

Economics Degree

Foreign Languages: Croatian, English

5+ years as a head of Accounting and Finance in European Companies

2+ years as a SAP consultant for companies in Germany (Munich) and UAE (Dubai)

Partner at VALEN

Our specialists
Dmitry Kofanov

Certified Lawyer in the Russian Federation

Experience since 2003 – in Russian and foreign law firms

Since 2021 – partner at VALEN

Our specialists

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