More and more foreigners every year want to work in Russia and arrive in Moscow or Saint Petersburg with the goal of finding a job and starting a new life. However, not all of them are prepared for it.
I have read a lot of posts on the Internet about how to work in Russia, and I have realized that many of those were written by people who have no idea about how you REALLY find a job in Russia.
Luckily for you, you came across this post! Personally, I have searched for and found many jobs in Russia, so I believe I have a say and can give you more of practical advice on how to work in Russia.
- Which work you will NOT find in Russia
- Russian working visa VS Russian business visa
- Teaching English in Russia (or another language)
- Is your Russian good enough to work in Russia?
- Where you can find a job in Russia?
- Work in Russia as a freelancer
- Working in Russia as a cook
Which work you will NOT find in Russia
Your cousin has spent the summer working in a pub in Berlin and you would like to do the same in Moscow? Your friend works in a boutique in downtown Paris and you dream about selling high-end fashion in Saint Petersburg?
Forget about it.
The chances of working in Russia as a waiter or a shop assistant are really low. In order to work in Russia you would (the conditional choice is not accidental) require a work permit.
The shop, bar or restaurant would spend a lot of time, money and effort to hire you. And they won’t do that.
Just as they won’t allow you to work illegally in a club or a store where, at any time, inspectors could come in for a routine check.
When I say ”working in Russia” I am mainly referring to an office job at a Russian or foreign company.
Russian working visa VS Russian business visa
Let’s tackle this question, so we don’t have to worry about it anymore!
The Russian Federation provides two types of ‘’work’’ visas for foreigners. The business visa and the working visa.
The business visa was introduced to support cooperation among foreign and Russian companies. It’s easy to obtain (you just need the invitation from a company, which can also be bought online), but allows you to stay in Russia for only 90 days.
Many people come to Russia with a business visa. Companies may hire you to work illegally and every three months you have to return to your country and obtain another visa.
The working visa, on the other hand, is the one you obtain when you get officially hired. It gives you the possibility to stay and work in Russia from 1 to 3 years (it depends on the specialization).
It is great for you, but not for the company, because they have to sweat (and pay) a lot to officially hire a foreigner.
Finding a Russian company that is willing to hire foreigners is not easy, but not impossible either. It will take time.
Teaching English in Russia (or another language)
Russians love studying and practicing foreign languages and most Russian cities are packed with language schools and courses.
In Russia, the very fact of being a native speaker of a foreign language could give you the chance to get a Russian working permit and make enough for a living.
I have a lot to say about teaching languages in Russia. You’ll find every you want to know about working as a language teacher in Russia in the next post.
Is your Russian good enough to work in Russia?
The answer is quite obvious. The more fluent you are in Russian the more job opportunities will be open to you.
It has never happened to me and I have never heard of someone being asked a Russian language certification (TORFL) to work in Russia.
Usually, companies call you and it is there, on the phone, that they understand if your level of Russian is enough for them, or not.
Can you work in Russia without knowing Russian? Yes, that happens, but it is extremely rare. It depends on your previous working experience and on the job you are applying for.
If you apply for a job for large and international companies, you could receive a call for an interview if you have all the навыки (nàvyki – skills) required for the position.
In general, for Russians having a foreigner citizen working for their company is pretty cool.
If you want to learn or improve your Russian, read my posts about Russian grammar and vocabulary.
Where you can find a job in Russia?
In my opinion, you would be better starting your research not from agencies, but on the internet and more precisely on HH.ru: the biggest online-recruiting platform in Russia where I and almost each of my Russian and foreign friends have found at least one job.
Where do I find a job in Russia? HH.ru!
To access the вакансии (vakànsii – job offers) you have to sign in and create your profile, which consists in writing your резюме (rezyumè – CV curriculum vitae), step by step, year by year, job by job.
It is boring, but it’s definitely worth it.
Before publishing your profile/CV, please have it edited by a Russian native speaker, regardless of your level of Russian proficiency: recruiters have no time to waste on reading sloppy texts.
Once your profile is ready, you will be able to log in and star looking for job offers using filters and keywords. Many companies use HH.ru, sometimes people get calls from employers even before the job offer appears online.
HH.ru is available in Russian and in English. As I wrote above, it’s better to complete the profile in Russian, but if you really don’t know a single word, do it in English.
Linkedin is blocked in Russia. Of course you could access it using a common VPN, but not everyone knows how to do it.
Work in Russia as a freelancer
If you want to work in Russia as a photographer, designer, translator, webmaster or every other position that could be categorized as “freelancer“, I have another tidbit to tell you: Fl.ru.
Working in Russia as a freelancer is possible only if you have a visa which allows you to stay in Russia. Also, to work legally, you would need to get a VAT identification number (ИНН), which is not easy to do if you’re not Russian.
On Fl.ru Russian companies and individuals look for coworkers: from web design to consulting, from translation to SEO optimization.
Also in this case, the first thing you have to do is to sign in and create your profile. You don’t have to enter a CV, but a short description instead, your ставки (stàvki — rates) and your портфолио (portfòlio – portfolio of projects) to show the world what you can do.
Once you are done with building your profile, you will be able to log in, see the job offers and send your applications, or even receive invitations from potential employers.
Fl.ru is in Russian, I have rarely seen offers written in English and they were only dedicated to translators.
Working in Russia as a cook
Do you want to be a cook in Moscow or a pizza chef in Saint Petersburg?
Congratulation! The kitchen is one of those places where foreigners are always welcome. This is true especially for those coming from the countries, the kitchen of which is famous in Russia – Italy, France, China, Japan and Vietnam.
An experienced professional cook can find a restaurant willing to hire them and provide them with all the needed documents so that they can live and work in Russia.
If you are a cook, a restaurant is not the only place where you may work in Russia. In fact, many wealthy families in Moscow have their personal chef.
That’s all for now! Why don’t you read one of these posts?
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