Immigrate to Russia – Seek Legal Aid from Our Russian Lawyers

Immigrate to Russia

Updated on Monday 01st May 2023

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Russia's immigration policy is one of the world’s most liberal policies. This country gives its citizenship to the individuals who live in Russia for five years and pass the Russian language exam under the current law. Russia immigration policy makes it clear that immigration is a positive phenomenon and it is necessary for the development of the country. This policy also aims at inhabiting areas of Russia with low number of populations.
If you have questions related to immigration to Russia you can get in touch with our local lawyers. This policy is effective from 2019 to 2025. The lawyers at our law firm in Russia will guide you about how you can get benefit from this policy and immigrate to Russia.
 Quick Facts  
Entry visa requirement 


Types of visas available

- tourist,

- business,

- student,

- work,

- personal,

- transit

Time frame for obtaining work visa (approx.)  

Around 20 days
Validity of temporary residence permit

3 years

Temporary residence permit renewal requirements

- knowledge of Russian language,

- valid passport,

- proof of address

Documents for obtaining a residence permit

- clear criminal record,

- valid passport,

- proof of domicile,

- negative HIV test

Time frame for obtaining permanent residence (approx.)

Around 6 months

Investor Visa availability (YES/NO)


Start-up Visa Scheme availability  Russian work visa
Sponsorship requirement (YES/NO) Yes
Time frame for obtaining citizenship After living 5 years in Russia
Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability (YES/NO) Yes
Taxation of foreign citizens Between 13% and 30% income tax rate, depending on the source of income
Tax benefits for expats

They can claim foreign tax credit


Visas offered by the Russian government

In the Russian Federation, a visa is a document that allows an individual to stay and work in this country for a specific period. A visa bears your entry/exit dates, name, passport details and purpose of travel etc. If you want to immigrate to Russia, please find below the types of visas that the local government offers. Our lawyers will guide you to the appropriate visa types depending upon your purpose of entering the country, if you want to move to Russia:
  • Tourist visa: it is a single-entry visa, valid for 30 days;
  • Business visa: it is also a single-entry visa, valid up to three months;
  • Private visa: if you are ready to migrate to Russia for higher studies, then this visa is for you. It is based on a private invitation from friends or relatives in Russia, and it is valid for up to three months;
  • Student visa: this kind of visa is based on a student invitation from a college or university in Russia, valid up to three months;
  • Work visa: if you want to immigrate to Russia for work, then please keep in mind this visa is based on a work invitation from a Russian company and is valid for up to three months.
If you are planning to migrate to Russia, you can rely on the legal services of our law firm. You can also get information about transit and humanitarian visas from our immigration lawyers in Russia. Talk to us for more details about how to move to Russia.
Here is an infographic with information on this topic:
Steps involved in immigration to Russia

What do you need to know about a Russian visa?

Getting a Russian visa is a complicated procedure, so legal assistance throughout the process is recommended. It will save your precious time and prevent you from doing any mistakes. If you are planning to immigrate to Russia, you can trust the legal services of our law firm. Our lawyers in Russia will guide you in the visa procedure thoroughly. We present you the main details you need to know before you emigrate to Russia.

Permanent vs. Temporary residence in Russia

You can relocate to Russia for a temporary period or can apply for permanent residence. The steps for temporary residence are the following:
  • Determine what is the reason for your stay and submit approval for the correct type of visa;
  • Submit an application for the visa. Our Russian lawyers will help you with preparing the documents and offering legal advice and guidance;
  • Wait for the documents to be processed. Since this can take a longer period of time, it is advised to plan your temporary visit to Russia in advance.
The temporary residence permit for Russia (razreshenie na vremennoe prozhivanie) allows foreigners to reside in Russia for a specified period of time, up to three years. With this permit, a person is allowed to live and work in Russia, and may also travel in and out of the country as needed. A person with a temporary residence permit doesn’t need to apply for a work permit and can open an individual entrepreneur (IE) or a limited liability company (LLC). As it is for other countries, you must register with Federal Tax Service for tax purposes. Foreign citizens cannot extend their status after three years but can choose to apply for permanent residency instead. It is important to note the region you wish to migrate to in Russia since there are different regulations for each area and you can work only in the region you applied for. 
Citizens from some countries can receive a temporary permit in Russia thanks to intergovernmental agreements. Our specialized Russia immigration lawyers can offer more details and are up to date with the latest agreements and procedures for these countries.  
Permanent residency in Russia (vid nazhitelstvo) is automatically given to persons which have Russian children, are legally married to a Russian citizen, are native Russian speakers and citizens, or are pensioners/disabled persons that need care from a Russian-born citizen. Additionally, citizens of Belarus and workers in specialized Russian work fields can get move to Russia permanently as well. 
You can also apply for a permanent residency 8 months after receiving the temporary permit or after its expiration. The process of obtaining permanent residency is similar to a temporary permit. However, there are some differences and details our attorneys in Russia can guide you with. 
Below you can find a video presentation we have prepared:

What is an invitation letter?

Most first-time travelers have the misconception that everyone needs an invitation letter or a visa support letter bearing the information about the applicant’s every step. While actually, the purpose of the invitation letter is to show the Russian government your plans, whether they include leisure or a business trip and where you intend to go in Russia.
Business travelers may apply for an invitation letter that must specify a single, double or multiple entry visa allowing them to conduct conferences, research, meetings or other things related to their business in Russia or in abroad. This visa may take time to be processed between three to 18 business days for up to $300.  You can get your invitation letter for the tourist visa in one to 24 hours for $300. More about immigration to Russia can be discussed with our advisors.

Necessary documents for visa

You must gather all your documents very wisely to avoid rejection at the Russian embassy. Here is the general idea of the kind of documents you will need to submit when you plan to relocate to Russia, please note that the requirements for the visa procedure may vary from embassy to embassy:
  • Passport valid for at least six months;
  • Passport must have two blank pages for the visa and migration card;
  • Two passport-sized photos, taken recently;
  • Official Russian visa application form;
  • Proof of employment if you plan to relocate to Russia for work;
  • If you plan to stay longer in Russia, then bring travel insurance;
  • Medical certificates of not having HIV if you emigrate to Russia on a business visa.
Once you get all the required documents, you are ready to apply for a Russian visa. You can get legal help from our Russian lawyers. Being experienced immigration lawyers in Russia, they know how to carry out these tasks swiftly. 

Tourist visas in Russia

The easiest visa you can obtain in Russia is a tourist visa. It is a great opportunity for people who are interested in traveling and discovering more about Russian culture. It is available for up to 30 days and it’s issued quite quickly. 
Migrating to Russia with this visa should have the purpose of traveling as a tourist, but you can also visit any Russian friends or acquaintances you have in the country. You can also participate in cultural events that take place in Russia, that interest you. You cannot engage in business or work activities while on a tourist visa. 
The visa cannot be extended, with some special and particular exceptions that will be discussed with official authorities. A tourist visa is granted only by invitation from a Russian tourism agency and not based on a hotel reservation, for example.
Opening a travel agency in Russia could also be a profitable business venture that is often pursued by both domestic and international investors due to the thriving tourism industry. A travel agency in Russia has the ability to offer diverse activities and tourism packages, catering to both domestic and international tourists. These packages can be tailored to showcase local attractions or feature destinations abroad. If you are interested in immigrating to Russia and starting your own travel tourism agency there, feel free to discuss this with one of our specialists. 
There are some special tourist visas for short business trips or exceptional events such as medical procedures or surgeries. 
More on tourist visas can be discussed with our Russian lawyers who will provide legal help and documentation on obtaining your desired type of visa. 

Russian visas for family members

In 2020, the Russian authorities announced the introduction of what is called "Private visa". Thus, citizens who have relatives in Russia and who want to relocate to this country can do so by applying for this type of visa. In the following lines, we will list some of the formalities to take into account when applying:
  • The Russian family member must prepare a written form (made at the consulate or diplomatic mission) in which to mention the degree of kinship as well as the fact that they want to act as a sponsor.
  • A valid passport will be required, as well as information about personal income and reasons for staying in Russia.
  • Also, travel insurance is needed to cover the entire stay in this country.
We mention that the Family visa, respectively the Private visa has a validity of one year and can be obtained by children, parents, grandparents and other relatives of the Russian citizen. And in order to eliminate the complexities of obtaining this visa from the start, we strongly recommend that you contact our specialists. Our lawyers in Russia can provide you with the necessary legal support regarding the necessary paperwork, as well as the translation of documents, where appropriate.

How can I apply for a student visa in Russia from the UK?

Foreign citizens who want to apply for a student visa in Russia must consider the formalities involved in this process. It all starts with the unconditional agreement offered by a university in Russia. This will be sponsorship for the student applicant. The formalities must then continue at the visa application center in the country of origin, in this case the UK.
Full-time students in Russia will be able to relocate to Russia permanently after obtaining their diploma. 
We mention that it is important to apply for a student visa for Russia in time, to ensure that it will be issued before the start of the courses and the relocation to Russia. In this case too, we recommend that you talk to our lawyers in Russia and discover the legal services offered in this endeavor. You will be assured of a simple and fast process, without complicated formalities and without the risk that the respective application will be rejected.

Russian work visas

If you have accepted a job in Russia as a foreign citizen, you need to apply for a work visa. Even if the application itself starts at the visa immigration center, we recommend that you contact our Russian lawyers because they have experience in this field and can guide you regarding the formalities you have to comply with. Among them we mention:
  • The visa application form issued by the Russian authorities is required. This will contain personal information, as well as details about the employer in Russia.
  • The passport must be valid for at least 6 months and have two blank pages.
  • You will need one passport-size photo.
  • You must also present the employment letter from the company that hires you in Russia.
  • The employment contract will also be required, and it must include financial information.
  • You will need a medical certificate attesting that you are healthy.
  • The application fee must be paid and proof of this payment will be made in the application file.
Biometric information may be requested by the authorities when you apply for a work visa in Russia. We also mention that this type of visa can be issued in approximately 20 days, if all the formalities are respected. You still have the obligation to register with the local authorities after arriving in Russia.

Opening a business in Russia

If you move to Russia, you can open your own business there, no matter if you obtain permanent or temporary residency permit. Generally, here are the steps of opening a business in Russia:
  • Determine the type of business you will open;
  • Legally register your business with the Federal Tax Service;
  • Open a bank account and prepare additional documents and permits;
  • Register employees (if any) and comply with labor regulations.
It is possible to move to Russia through an investment visa. In 2020, the Russian government revealed its intentions to establish a residency through an investment scheme. A draft legislation created by the Ministry of Economy implies that investors have the chance to acquire permanent residency in Russia by making a minimum investment of 10 million rubles, into a company that generates a minimum of 10 jobs. There are other investment options that can be chosen at a higher cost, one of which is a real estate option that requires a minimum purchase of 30 million rubles. There are plenty of locations where you can start your business in Russia, including the Russian capital of Moscow
The first step for applicants would be to obtain a temporary residency permit and then they relocate to Russia permanently after a year. Russian language proficiency is a requirement. After a certain period of residency, citizenship may be granted.
This process can be complex and is advised to seek legal professional help. Our law firm in Russia can help you with obtaining the desired visa and residency permit and open a business respecting your conditions. 

Russia immigration statistics 

Please find below the Russian immigration statistics from year 1995 to 2015 and the current ones:
  • In the year 2000, there were 11,900,297.00 immigrants in Russia, a 0.24% decline from 1995;
  • In 2005, Russia had an immigration statistic of 11,667,588.00, a 1.96% decline from 2000;
  • In 2010, Russia accommodated 11,194,710.00 immigrants, a 4.05% decline from 2005;
  • In 2015, this country welcomed 11,643,276.00 immigrants, a 4.01% increase from 2010.
  • At the moment, the net migration rate for Russia in 2022 is 0.748 per 1000 people.
If you want to know about Russia immigration policy, you can contact our lawyers for details about their services and fees. They will also help you to immigrate to Russia.